Choose a Training Programme

Training programmes which are drawn up by experienced coaches look simple but are carefully crafted. You should choose a programme set out by someone you trust to know what they are talking about.

As a beginner you should follow a programme which has been designed for the person who has taken absolutely no exercise whatsoever. You may think that it looks too easy for you to be bothered with. After all you want to get on and run for a few miles not mess about walking interspersed with short bursts of running. Whoa, slow down there. If you can do the “easy” programme that will be fine because you will be able to move through the phases more quickly.

However, make sure that you can actually cope with each phase before pushing through to the next. It may seem easy the first few outings but if the build up is too fast, you will find yourself floundering within a few weeks. This will cause you to give up before you actually achieve anything.

Have a look at my Eight Step Starter Programme especially designed for beginners. I have a couple of groups which are made up from people who come to me for a fitness regime built on running. I find that this type of programme means that individuals keep coming and also go out in ones and twos between sessions each week. So I know that this works – and works well.

Try to get out three times each week. Space these sessions evenly so that you have at least one rest day between each outing.

Start with Step One. If you find this easy do Step Two the next time that you go out. If it is difficult to keep jogging for a full minute then repeat this step on your next outing. Hopefully, by the end of the first week you will manage it.

The next week try Step Two. Repeat this until you can do it comfortably. For some this will be one outing, for some it will take a week. Don’t worry about how long it takes.

The most difficult part is to get your pacing right in order to get your breathing right. If you are gasping for air – slow down you are probably trying to “sprint”. Yes, I know, you think that you look stupid going so slowly you could probably walk faster. So what. At the moment you are just trying to jog AND breath for two minutes. When you walk you are still gasping for breath. Walk slowly to give yourself a chance.

You may get to Step Four and find that you have to repeat it for a further week (or maybe two). No matter, the better you manage the better you will eventually be able to run.

For most of us, life will at some point get in the way. If you are not able to get out for a week or two, go back in the programme and repeat the last step that you completed. If you are out of training for longer then you may be better starting again.

My promise to you is: If you follow these steps in order, taking care to to feel that you are coping well, then you will be able to move on to the next programme.

When you have chosen to follow a programme – STICK WITH IT. This means being blinkered. Don’t even look at any other programmes while you are working through one. I have seen so many people, at all levels, get sidetracked into jumping into other programmes. There are some who always think that something else is better. Stay focused on the programme you have chosen.

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