Get in Shape With Running

A Learn to Run Guide for Couch Potatoes

Woman running along lake
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Have you decided that now is the time you want to get in shape? A beginner running program is a great way to get in shape, improve your overall health, and establish a regular exercise routine. An extra bonus, of course, is that hopefully you'll be able to maintain your weight or lose some pounds along the way.

Getting Started

If you've never run before, it's helpful to do a little research before you throw on a pair of running shoes and run out the door (or hop on the treadmill). Check out these articles for some basic information about getting started with running:

How to Run

Once you've been cleared by your doctor for starting a running program (a good idea for anyone who has been sedentary for more than a year or has a medical condition), you'll want to learn some of the basic running techniques. Knowing the proper running form and technique will make running (or run/walking) easier, so you'll be able to consistently build up the time and distance that you're running. You'll also reduce your risk of running injures if you use good running form. Find out if you're guilty of some of these very common running form mistakes and learn what you can do to correct them.

Beginner Training Programs

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to run, you're ready to start a beginner running program. We have lots of training schedules to choose from, but these training schedules are designed with a total beginner runner in mind:

  • 8-Week Plan to 30 Minutes Continuous Running: This simple, eight-week beginner running plan will help you ease into running and help you build up to running continuously for 30 minutes.
  • 3 Weeks to a 30-Minute Running Habit : This beginner running program is designed to encourage a new running habit. To get started, you only need to be able to run for 1 minute at a time. By the end of three weeks, you'll be able to run/walk for 30 minutes.
  • 4 Weeks to Run One Mile: This four-week training program is designed for total beginner run/walkers who want to build up to continuously running 1.6 kilometers (1600 meters), which is the equivalent of about 1 mile.
  • Running: 30-Day Quick Start Guide for Beginners :To begin this beginner running program, you only need to be able to run for 1 minute at a time. Using the run/walk method, you'll work your way up to running continuously for 20 minutes in 30 days.
  • 5K Run/Walk Training Schedule: This eight-week training schedule is designed for those who can run for five minutes at a time and want to build up to running an entire 5K (3.1 miles) race.

    More Fitness Programs to Get in Shape

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