Beginners Running Tips

10 Week 3k Running Plan

Starting a new training plan can be difficult if you are a beginning runner and don’t know how to start.  Listed here is everything you need to know in order to run your first 3k in as little as 10 weeks.  Other factors, such as cross training, stretching, nutrition, and hydration are also discussed. 

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 15 min of 1:00 run, 2:00 walk 10 min walk Stretch 15 min of 1:00 run, 2:00 walk Cross train 10 min 5 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min run Off
2 15 min of 1:30 run, 1:30 walk 10 min walk Stretch 15 min of 1:30 run, 1:30 walk Cross train 10 min 6 min run, 2 min walk, 6 min run Off
3 15 min of 2:00 run, 1:00 walk 15 min walk Stretch 15 min of 2:00 run, 1:00 walk Cross train 15 min 7 min run 1 min walk 7 min run Off
4 15 min of 2:30 run, 1:00 walk 15 min walk Stretch 15 min of 2:30 run, 1:30 walk Cross train 15 min 5 min walk 8 min run 5 min walk Off
5 16 min of 3:00 run, 1:00 walk 20 min walk Stretch 16 min of 3:00 run, 1:00 walk Cross train 20 min 5 min walk 10 min run 5 min walk Off
6 16 min of 3:30 run :30 walk 20 min walk Stretch 16 min of 3:30 run :30 walk Cross train 20 min 5 min walk 12 min run 5 min walk Off
7 20 min of 4:00 run 1:00 walk 25 min walk Stretch 20 min of 4:00 run 1:00 walk Cross train 25 min 5 min walk 14 min run 5 min walk Off
8 20 min of 4:30 run :30 walk 25 min walk Stretch 20 min of 4:30 run :30 walk Cross train 25 min 5 min walk 16 min run 5 min walk Off
9 24 min of 5:00 run 1:00 walk 30 min walk Stretch 24 min of 5:00 run 1:00 walk Cross train 30 min 5 min walk 18 min run 5 min walk Off
10 10 min run 15 min walk Stretch 8 min run Off 3k run Off

Training
When starting a training program from scratch it is best to start small.  Not only does incorporating a run-walk-run program safely build endurance, but it ensures you will have the motivation to continue by making exercise more manageable.

In the beginning of the training program you will alternate short periods of running with longer periods of walking on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  As your endurance grows, you will switch to longer periods of running and shorter periods of walking.  Saturdays will be your long run day, where you will gradually build your endurance until you can run for 18 minutes without stopping.  Even though that may seem like a difficult task right now you will be ready when the time comes. 

It is important not to run too much, so as not to over-stress your muscles, bones, and joints.  Tuesday will strictly be a walking day, which will provide you with necessary time spent on your feet without the additional stress of running.  Stretching and cross training days will be further discussed herein.

Before you begin to run, make sure to perform a short warm up.  This will reduce your risk of injury.  An example warm up is 5 minutes of walking.  After your run, a 5 minute cool down walk is also recommended. 

When you complete your run, do not pay attention to pace.  Instead, your focus should be to run steadily for the given duration of time.  Avoid the urge to sprint.  If you have extra energy, use it for the very last running segment of your run-walk. 

Cross training
Cross training is a great way to add variety to your workout and to stay mentally engaged.  Choose a low impact activity, such as cycling, swimming, yoga, or the elliptical machine to supplement your running.

Stretching
Running constricts the body’s muscles, which can lead to increased risk of injury.  A stretching routine not only minimizes damage, but also promotes mindfulness and meditation.  A recommended routine can be found here 

Nutrition
Throughout your training it is important to focus on quality of food, not quantity.  Make mindful choices about the food you put into your body.  You should focus on consuming 3 meals per day that consist of a wholesome carbohydrate (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat flour), a lean protein (i.e. chicken, tofu, pork, fish), and a healthy fat (i.e. olive oil, coconut, avocado).  In addition, you should consume a healthy snack between each meal, such as fruit and nut butter, a handful of nuts, or veggies and hummus.  After your run, replenish with a 100 calorie snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates. 

Hydration
Finally, hydration is extremely important when taking up a new exercise routine.  Our muscles are primarily composed of water, and we lose that water via sweat and other processes during exercise.  Muscles that were once elastic suddenly become brittle and at-risk for injury.  Rehydrate after exercise with water, green tea, or a low-calorie sports drink such as Nuun.  A hydration calculator can be found here.   

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