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Archives for the day Monday, November 28th, 2011

While talking about running half marathons and marathons, I was recently asked how people get started in running.  Now that our culture is designed around cars, we don’t walk so much.  A lot of people have desk jobs and live in driving communities.  The most exercise we get is when we walk to the parking lot to get into our cars.  If you are in this group and just starting out, I will explain my plan.

I will start my explanation with a couple of rules.
Rule #1 – Have fun
Rule #2 – Be proud of yourself
Rule #3 – Take it easy

My half marathon plan is a 3 month plan with a one month warm up to get ready for the training.  The first month is basically the same training repeated every week with the expectation of getting stronger as miles build up on your legs.  I start out with a 30 minute run/walk plan.  Make no mistake about it; running for 30 minutes is hard.  I started out by running from one telephone pole to the next, then walk to the next pole and alternate the sequence.  As the run progressed, I would start walking a step short of the pole then start running a step after next the pole.  I would talk to myself about how close to the pole I would get before I started walking.  Then I would drag my feet a little before it was time to run again.  It would look something like this:

  • Pole 1-2: Jog
  • Pole 2-3: Walk
  • Pole 3-4: Jog
  • Pole 4-5: Walk
  • Pole 5-6: Jog
  • Pole 6-7: Walk
  • Pole 7-8: Jog
  • Pole 8-9: Walk

You may only jog for 1 or 2 of these legs the first time you go out.  That is just fine.  Give your body time to adapt to motion.  Over time, you will be able to follow the plan.  As time progresses, you will be able to run the whole time and do speed intervals on the poles.  For now, just work on being able to jog for 30 minutes without walking.  Take your time.  It may take months for you to be able to jog for 30 minutes straight.  You are better off easing into things than to try and race right off.  Avoiding injuries and feeling good enough to go back are very important to every runner.  If you go out too fast, you may not want to run again because it was so painful.  If you ease into things, you feel a lot better about running and you can find that inner peace.


It is easy to get into a rut.  Pay attention to yourself and break out of the rut by doing something different.  Think about what you do every day.  Odds are, you have a routine.  You have to figure out a way to break the routine and change things up.