Building Up A Running Routine

Many people hate running because they don’t know where to start and expect to be able to run 5km straight, instantly. If you have not run in a long time, or even if you’re just unfit it’s very important to STRETCH FIRST and start off slow, THEN build up otherwise your just going to end up with a whole lot of pain and shattered dreams.

Here is a step to step guide of how to build up a running routine.

  1. Decide where you’re going to run: Gym? Around the block? At the park?
  • If you’re going to run at the gym I recommend a direct debit membership program (such as fitness first) as the regular cash deduction whether you go or not will motivate you to go and get your moneys worth.
  • Running at the park is motivating because you will see a lot of people in the same boat as you. Also public humiliation from not being able to keep up with everyone is a good way to keep going when you want to give up. 
  1. Plan which days you feel that you ‘must’ run, days which you can’t and ‘maybe days’.
  • This is a tip I personally use because the guilt you feel when you don’t run on your ‘must days’ is almost unbearable.
  • You don’t need to run 7 days a week to increase your lung capacity, although running 2 days a week won’t increase it either. Aim for 4-5 times a week.
  • Tell people you live with what days you are running, and advise them to nag you if you decide not to go.
  1. Buy some outfits, a bag and a water bottle
  • This tip may not appeal to some but having a new running outfit makes you want to run more!

    Now that you have everything planned, it’s finally time to start running!
  • If you aren’t running at a gym make sure you have some sort of time-keeping device otherwise you won’t be able to keep track of how much you have run and if you have improved.

    Interval training is the best way of building up because you are constantly moving. The idea is to slowly make your intervals further apart and shorter and eventually running non stop.

    For the gym/park/streets:
  • Start off with a short walk (2-5 minutes)
  • Run as far as you can (Aim for 10 minutes and higher)
  • Take a 2 minute break
  • Continue to run for 2 minutes and walk for 1 minute.
  • Finish your run at 30 minutes, or your km goal (I recommend 5km)

    That is just a simple guide to start off, but EVERY TIME YOU RUN either: increase speed, lower walking break or lengthen running time. There are no rules to the adjustments you make, it’s only vital that you are always improving. This is the best way to increase your cardio fitness and you will see results and increase your lung capacity.