So you want to start running, but you don’t know where to start? You’re not alone, I get asked this question fairly frequently and I may be able to offer some assistance. Before you start running or any sort of program you should check with your physician -especially those who may fall into the obese or overweight category. Running can be hard on your joints and you don’t want to cause any injuries. I would say that the easiest and best way to start running would be to look up a program online (a lot of them are free). I can give you hints here and there but a professionally designed program would be much more effective and beneficial to you. One of the more well known programs can be found by searching “couch to 5k” in your search engine but there are many other resources available online as well. You can even find free marathon training programs for anyone from a beginner to an advanced runner. However, if I were to offer some advice as to how to begin running I would start by explaining that you need to have realistic expectations. You’re not going to be able to run sub six minute miles or be able to go out and run the Leadville 100 in a week. I’m sorry; I wish it were possible to do so, but it’s just not realistic. The programs you may find do a great job of progressing you gradually, stick to them. I suggest not straying away from these by exceeding them. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is slow down or even stop running when you feel so good or are running so well, but when you are just starting, it is very important to progress gradually. I’ve already mentioned this but I cannot stress it enough. Increase the intensity/length of your runs gradually, start short and increase the distance/time slowly. You don’t want to risk injury or any complications that may occur. Most importantly, have fun. You shouldn’t hate running and if you do, you’re either doing it wrong or, to be blunt about it, you’re not very good at it yet. Running is hard, it really is, and there’s days it’s tough to find the motivation to go out and run. But it will get easier and you will improve, I promise. It just takes patience and a little hard work.
Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with his weightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra endurance power athlete.