RW Start Running Plan (7 weeks)

Average Weekly Training Hours 02:53
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 02:53
Training Load By Week

This plan, developed by the experts at Runner's World, will help you start running, by adding short bursts of running to your regular walks. At the end of this seven-week plan, you'll be able to complete 175 minutes of run/walking workouts per week, running for about twice the amount of time that you spend walking. The plan includes four workouts per week with an optional fifth day. The first workout is a 20-minute walk, and the plan builds gradually so that by the end of the program, you should be able to work out for 55 minutes - run/walking. If you don't have time for the longest workout of each week, it's okay to split it in half. If you have a BMI of more than 25, are 60 years or older, or if you'd like to take a more gradual approach, you can repeat any week.

Sample Day 1
0:20:00
Walk 20 Minutes

Welcome to the Runner's World Start Running plan. This seven-week plan is designed for people who have been regularly walking and want to add short bouts of running to their workout routines. The plan includes four workouts per week with an optional fifth workout and builds gradually so that by the end of the program, you should be able to work out for 55 minutes of run/walking. If you're over 40, or have a family history of heart disease or other health problems, see a doctor before you start a regular exercise program. If you have a BMI of more than 25, are 60 years or older, or if you'd like to take a more gradual approach, you can repeat any week, or every week, and stretch this out to an eight-, 10-, or 12-week plan. Today you'll walk for 20 minutes. This should be a brisk walk--not a race walk and not a window-shopping walk. You should be walking at a comfortable pace, easy enough that you can hold a conversation. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast. Don't worry about the distance or your pace, just focus on getting out and completing the 20-minute walk feeling good.

Sample Day 2
0:40:00
Walk 40 Minutes

This week, scout out a few flat, scenic, safe routes that you can regularly take in a variety of weather conditions. You should always walk against the flow of traffic, and assume that drivers cannot see you. Tracks are great options because they are flat, free of motorists, and the distance is measured. Many schools open their tracks to the public when they are not in use.

Sample Day 4
0:40:00
Walk 40 Minutes

In these first few weeks, establish a workout routine that blends well into the rhythm of your daily life. Figure out what times of day are most convenient for your walk, and find a variety of routes that you can take on a regular basis.

Sample Day 6
0:55:00
Walk 55 Minutes

Today is your first long, slow distance (LSD) workout. Since you'll be walking longer, you can start out slower than you usually do. On these days, your goal is to just complete the workout. The important factor in these workouts is how you feel. They should feel smooth and comfortable, as if you could go forever.

Sample Day 8
0:20:00
Walk 20 Minutes

Welcome to week two of the Runner's World Start Running plan. This week will be similar to last week, with four days of workouts, plus an optional fifth day. Two of your workouts will get just five minutes longer than last week. At the end of the week, you will have 165 to 185 minutes under your belt. Today, walk 20 minutes. As your exercise routine gets under way, invest in shirts, pants, shorts, underwear, and socks that are made of technical, lightweight fabrics that wick away moisture. These fabrics, such as Dri-FIT and Coolmax, help prevent blisters and chafing.

Sample Day 9
0:45:00
Walk 45 Minutes

A well-kept training log can help keep you motivated and injury-free. Take notes on how you feel during the workout, how long you went, where you went, and what the weather was like. Seeing all the workouts add up can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. And if you keep track of aches and pains, you can nip them in the bud before they become full-blown injuries.

Sample Day 10
0:20:00
Rest or 20-Minute Walk

If you have to switch around your workout routine because of schedule conflicts, be patient as you make the transition. It takes a few weeks to fully adjust to a time change. Don't be surprised if you feel tired or 'jet-lagged' when you're walking at your new time. Stick with it. Your body will adjust.