16/04/2021
Two men running in the mountains

Training Plan to Start Running from Zero

If you are thinking to start running and you don’t know how to do it, you are in the right place. In the following lines I will provide you with a training plan in which, for 8 weeks, you will start from scratch to achieve a very specific goal: to be able to run for 30 minutes (or 5 km) continuously.

Plan objectiveBeing able to run 30 minutes or 5 km.
Plan duration8 weeks.
Dedication3 days a week, 35 minutes a day.
Who is it forAnyone who wants to start running without having done it before.

What do you need to apply this training plan?

It doesn’t matter about your current fitness level. You just need to be able to dedicate some time to it (ideally 3 days a week, just over 30/35 minutes a day ), to persevere during the 8 weeks that the plan will last, and to have some decent running shoes. You won’t need to spend a lot of money on them, but it is important that we start well, and that the shoes chosen are running shoes.

With that and appropriate sportswear for the outside temperature, we will be ready to start our plan (for now, you don’t have to go crazy looking for specific running gear; the time will come once you progress and decide to continue with this exciting sport).

What does this training plan consist of?

By now you are probably wondering how we are going to do it. How are you going to be able to run for half an hour straight if right now you consider yourself unable to run for more than a couple of minutes?

Very easy. During these 8 weeks, we will alternate running and walking intervals, in which the first weeks we will spend more time walking than running, to progressively increase the time we run while reducing the time we walk, until the end of the last week, running continuously for 30 minutes. At that time we will have achieved our goal.

As I was saying, the ideal is to be able to dedicate 3 days a week to it, and it is important that they be alternate days so that we dedicate a day to rest (or not to run). If you can only dedicate two days a week we will try to adapt the plan. It is important that they are alternate days to give the body time to recover between sessions.

The rest of the days of the week you can continue practicing any other sport that you have been doing already, or go out for a walk (at a happy pace, but without running).

At what pace should you run?

One of the problems that anyone who wants to start running faces is knowing if they are running at an adequate speed. If you go too fast, you will be exhaust very quickly, and you will not achieve the goal, which is none other than to run for a certain time.

To find out what pace is good, let’s run with a gentle jog. The way to know if you are going at an adequate pace is to do it at a pace that allows you to talk while you run. When you speak, you are breathing less efficiently than you could, so you have some reserve. If you see that you cannot speak, it will mean that you are going too forced, with which you have to loosen up a bit. With this method, you can control your rhythm without having to buy a heart rate monitor.

Note: runners talk about pace instead of speed. When we talk about times, we do it in time per kilometer rather than the speed at which one runs. Don’t worry about your rhythm for now; we are working on just holding on running instead of walking. Times will come when we worry about your rhythm.

silhouette of three women running

How we warm up when we start and stretch when we finish

To warm up, what we will do is simply walk at a cheerful pace for the first 5 minutes before starting to alternate with our jogging and walking series.

When we finish, we will cool down with another 5 minutes of walking at a happy pace, and, finally, we will do some stretches.

The Training Plan

WeekDay 1Day 2Day 3
1Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
1 minute running, 3 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 30 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
1 minute running, 3 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 30 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
1 minute running, 3 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 30 minutes
2Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
90 seconds running, 3 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 32.5 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
90 seconds running, 3 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 32.5 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
90 seconds running, 3 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 32.5 minutes
3Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
2 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 30 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
2 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 30 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
2 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 30 minutes
4Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 35 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 35 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (5 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 35 minutes
5Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
5 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 31 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
5 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 31 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
5 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 31 minutes
6Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
8 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 40 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
8 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 40 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
8 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 40 minutes
7Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
10 minutes running, 1 minute walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 43 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
10 minutes running, 1 minute walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 43 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
10 minutes running, 1 minute walking (3 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 43 minutes
8Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
15 minutes running, 1 minute walking (2 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 42 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
15 minutes running, 1 minute walking (2 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 42 minutes
Warm-up: 5 minutes walk.
15 minutes running, 1 minute walking (2 sets)
Cooldown: 5 minutes walking.
Stretching.

Total: 42 minutes

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