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For most of my life I've been a pretty active and fit person. But it wasn't until my mid-30s that I really got into running. Before I started the program I'll outline below when I met a runner I'd often ask (in a mocking fashion), "What are you running to, what are you running from?" Running just made no sense to me, something I saw zero purpose behind.

And then I started doing some research and I quickly found out why.

Anytime I started to try to get into running I'd strap on some shoes and try to run, not really jog, but run like five miles. You know, more is better right? I never got close to finishing those five miles and I didn't even attempt it again for months if not years.

I made the universal fitness mistake of jumping into an activity with both feet, then getting mad and/or discouraged at my performance, and quitting. This is a far too common mistake we all make when attempting to get fit. So with that said, below is a stupid simple program, developed from several different sources, that can make you a runner in three short months.

NOTE: Running (really we're talking jogging) is something just about anybody can do. Young or old. Fit or not fit. Underweight or overweight. Even those with medical conditions. The plan here was developed and tweaked based on personnel experience, but the core if it was created under a grant (not to me of course) from The Sports Medicine Council of British Columbia.

The focus of those in the study were folks that in the past had strokes, hip replacements, weight problems, foot issues, you name it. Now with that said, before jumping into a new activity talking to a doctor is always the best idea.

My 30-day Thesis Statement

Do anything for 30 days in a row, one month, and it becomes a habit. Those first few days and weeks are hard, but be it reading, running, writing a journal, you name it if you can get past the first month the next 1,000 will take less effort then the first 30.

My Three Rules Of Running

Be moderate, be consistent, give your body time to rest.

The first two go to my previous comment of trying to just up and run five miles and my 30-day thesis, coupled with how each of those affect your body.

Rule one is be moderate. Start your running program slowly. Being able to cycle for 100 miles or swim 50 laps in a 100 meter pool doesn't make you a runner (believe me I know -- cause I can do both). Don't derail your running efforts by trying to do too much, too fast.

If moderation is my first rule, consistency is the second. Habits (both good and bad) are formed over time. If you violate rule number one and push yourself to the wall/breaking point, you'll never gain the 30-days you need to make running a habit.

Finally, rule three is give your body (and your mind) the time to adapt to the changes it will encounter with starting a running program. If your body is telling you to take a day off, but that isn't in the program, use the time when you would have run to think about running and your program.

Rest is not the avoidance of work; it is the proper period of recovery from an activity that wears down your body.

Shoes, Cloths, Where To Run

For this diary I am not going to really touch on any of this outside a few short comments. Although important things to consider, they could each be a diary themselves.

Shoes, just spend the money. If you have tennis shoes that look "cool" with jeans running shoes are a far different breed. The $80 Nike running shoes I use when I first put them on stunned me beyond words. They are so light it just feels like I am wearing socks, yet they provide all the comfort and support needed.

Update: About shoes, you can't get "cheap" with your socks either. And good socks will almost surely mean you need to buy a shoe a 1/2 to full size bigger then you normally would. So spend the $10 for good socks before trying on any running shoes.

Cloths, just wear what you are comfortable in and keeps you cool if it is hot outside or warm if it is cold.

Level grass, is better than a paved surface. A track at a high school or local college is the best on your body (no worry of unlevel grass surface -- twisted ankles), but personally I got no desire to run in semi-circles. Do what works for you depending on where you live.

Warming-up/Stretching

I am not going into a lot of details here, you can find countless online resources. But it is vital that before you start to run you spend at least 10-15 minutes stretching.

Position yourself against a wall and push out on each leg and work your calfs. Sit "Indian Style" and pull your legs towards your groin. Lay on your back and pull each of your legs towards your head to work your hamstrings. Stand up and reach back and pull each leg up and work your quadriceps. Do a dozen or so sit-ups. In the same position (laying on your back) pull both legs towards your head with your hands to work your back. Do a couple of lunges to work your hips. Clasp your hands and raise them above your head to work your shoulders.

BTW: Personally after I stretch I jump rope for 3-4 minutes before I run, it gets my heart going.

If you got no need for the "Plan" cause you are a runner, you will never run, or you want to talk about something else fitness related, please just hop to the comments section.

The Beginners Running Plan

This is a 13-week program. It involves three running sessions a week, ranging in length from 35-60 minutes. The program starts gradually, with lots of walking. Some fit folks will find the program is too "slow" for them, but please, please stick with it, it works.

Week One<</p>

Session 1 (35 Minutes)
Run 30 seconds. Walk 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 7 times.

Session 2 (40 Minutes)
Run 30 seconds. Walk 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 8 times.

Session 3 (40 Minutes)
Run 30 seconds. Talk 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 8 times.

Week Two

Session 1 (45 Minutes)
Run 1 minute. Walk 4 minutes. Do this 9 times.

Session 2 (40 Minutes)
Run 1 minute. Walk 4 minutes. Do this 9 times.

Session 3 (40 Minutes)
Run 1 minute. Walk 4 minutes. Do this 9 times.

Week Three

Session 1 (50 Minutes)
Run 1 minute and 30 seconds. Walk 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 10 times.

Session 2 (40 Minutes)
Run 1 minute and 30 seconds. Walk 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 8 times.

Session 3 (50 Minutes)
Run 1 minute and 30 seconds. Walk 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 10 times.

Week Four

Session 1 (55 Minutes)
Run 2 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this 11 times.

Session 2 (45 Minutes)
Run 2 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this 9 times.

Session 3 (50 Minutes)

Run 2 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this 10 times.

Week Five

Session 1 (60 Minutes)

Run 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Walk 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 12 times.

Session 2 (50 Minutes)
Run 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Walk 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 10 times.

Session 3(50 Minutes)

Run 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Walk 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Do this 10 times.

Week Six

Session 1 (65 Minutes)
Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 13 times.

Session 2 (50 Minutes)
Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 10 times.

Session 3 (55 Minutes)

Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 11 times.

Week Seven

Session 1 (60 Minutes)
Run 4 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 10 times.

Session 2 (54 Minutes)
Run 4 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 9 times.

Session 3 (54 Minutes)
Run 4 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 9 times.

Week Eight

Session 1 (60 Minutes)

Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. To this 10 times.

Session 2 (48 Minutes)
Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. To this 8 times.

Session 3 (54 Minutes)
Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. To this 9 times.

Week Nine

Session 1 (63 Minutes)
Run 7 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 7 times.

Session 2 (54 Minutes)
Run 7 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 6 times.

Session 3 (50 Minutes)

Run 7 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 5 times.

Week Ten

Session 1 (44 Minutes)

Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 4 times.

Session 2 (41 Minutes)
Run 20 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes.

Session 3 (45 Minutes)
Run 22 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 22 minutes.

Week 11

Session 1 (51 Minutes)
Run 25 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 25 minutes.

Session 2 (56 Minutes)
Run 30 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 25 minutes.

Session 3  (51 Minutes)
Run 25 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.

Week 12

Session 1 (66 Minutes)
Run 45 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes.

Session 2 (66 Minutes)
Run 50 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes.

Session 3 (45 Minutes)
Run 45 minutes

Week 13

Session 1 (50 Minutes)
Run 50 minutes.

Session 2 (40 Minutes)
Run 40 minutes.

Session 3

Run ..... run .... run .....

Originally posted to webranding on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 07:59 AM PST.

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