HOW TO GET FROM WALKING TO RUNNING IN 4 WEEKS

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You have become comfortable with brisk walking 4 or 5 times a week and now want to take it up a notch.  As much as you would like to start running straight away, it is wise to introduce it slowly, thus avoiding injury and disappointment.  During the following 4 weeks you will enjoy a combination of walking and running and finally, just running.  Try to walk/run every other day and on alternate days do yoga or Pilates, or go to the gym.

WARM UP/COOL DOWN

Start your walk/run slowly and gradually build it up to a power walk.  For your cool down, do the opposite, finishing with a comfortable stroll.

CLOTHING AND SHOES

Your most important item is good running shoes.  Go to a specialist shop and discuss your needs with someone who knows what they are talking about.  Reflective gear, such as a reflective running vest, is essential if you are running along roads of any sort.

WEEK 1

Start by walking for 2 minutes and then running for 2 minutes and repeat this 8 times. Remember to do at least 5 minutes of stretches when you have finished.

Don’t be discouraged if you find that some days are harder than others.  It may be due the fact that you have had a sleepless night or been working exceptionally long hours.  These factors, along with many others, will impact on your run.  If you are feeling really energetic, then push yourself a little harder that day.  If you are feeling a little lethargic, then go gently.

WEEK 2

Start by walking for 1 minute and then running for 3 minutes and repeat this 8 times.  Don’t forget the stretches.

It is important not to push yourself to the point of exhaustion.  You are doing this to improve your health and general fitness, not to make yourself sore and unwell.  

WEEK 3

Start by walking for 1 minute and then running for 4 minutes and repeat this 6 times.

When walking or running look straight ahead and not down at your feet and take short strides.  Keep your elbows flexed at around 90 degrees and relax your hands.  

WEEK 4

Start by walking for 30 seconds and then running for 5 minutes and repeat this 6 times.

Plan your exercise routine for the week and try to stick to it.  It is good to run at the same time every day so that you fall into a comfortable routine.

By the end of this week, you will easily be able to run for 30 minutes.  Well done.