Instead of just bootstrap the shoes and head out on the trail without a prepared plan, it can be a better way to start. When I have tried earlier in life to start with running, headed out getting started without any plan more than a decision that I will run this-and-this far, it always ends up with me stopping really soon nausea’s and deadly tired not even close to managing the distance I had decided for. Instead, a good way to get started when you begin to run is to follow a schedule or program.
Why use a running schedule/running program
Some advantages of using a preplanned schedule are that you get a chance for both your brain and your body to prepare and successive scale off your strengths and fitness. Instead of giving it a shock when starting as I used to do.
The schedules and programs can look different. But usually they give you a plan for when to run, how often to run and how many minutes or how far you should run.
Choosing a running schedule/running program
When deciding what schedule or program you like to follow, start with thinking through two things at first. What is your starting point? And what is your first goal?
Are you starting out from the couch, from managing long walks, or do you already manage a short jog or a long run from the beginning? My recommendation should be that it’s better to underestimate your starting point if you feel unsure, instead of overestimating it. If you overestimating it, it’s a big risk that you starting off too hard, that you don’t manage the first walks/runs according to schedule, get disappointed and stop, or getting injured of strain. If you underestimate you can maybe jump over a couple of steps in the schedule if you feel it’s going to slow.
You also need to look on where the plan leads you. You can find programs taking you to so many different goals, from short distances to long marathons. Even if the dream should be a marathon, maybe it’s better to take it in more than one step and put up another goal at first?
What program I started with
I and my partner did the choice of starting with a beginners running schedule taking us from the couch to 5km. The program had a schedule when we should run three times a week, and reach the goal in 9 weeks. We did make the choice thought to step it up a bit and did the runs almost every second day instead of three times a week. So we did it a bit quicker, but in other case we did follow the plan fully both of us. And I was seriously not sure about if I should be able to make it at all when started. But the fighting spirit stepped in, and even when it sounded like too big steps between the runs, it was possible. A review of the chosen beginners running schedule will be done further on, when I will tell you a bit more about it.