So now that we have covered the importance of properly fitting shoes and good form we can move onto building your base through intervals…getting started…do a simple test…regardless of speed, how long can you run while maintaining a conversational pace and good form? Can you make it to the mailbox? The end of the block? Around the block? or to the next town?  It doesn’t matter if you can run for 30 seconds or 30 minutes…you are on the right track…you just need to determine your starting point.

Once you know this number, or distance in a round about sense you can move forward with choosing a program that works for your particular level of endurance…many will be below the three minute range, and thats COMPLETELY normal for non-athletes who are starting a new program.  Remember, at this stage of the game we are NOT focused on speed, only on time…speed is not really a priority if you don’t have the endurance to make it to the end of your first 5k…got it? Ok.  I’m not terribly competitive so it’s REALLY easy for me to let go of my concerns with speed, but for those of you who are…LET IT GO…for now. As much as I sometimes loathe speed work (happening for me tonight after spin :(), I promise we will revisit the subject at a more appropriate time!

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So, now that we have established that most normal folks will start a new program running with less than 3minutes of endurance…I think that the Couch to 5k Program is a great one, because it starts from a realistic place for most people…you will notice on first glance the you start with walking and short intervals of running. If you possess more than normal endurance starting out (abnormal endurance is anything more than me) then here is another program with a beginning distance of 1.5 miles working up to a 5k, this would be a good program for folks in the 6-8 minute endurance range.  Once again, as a reminder…this pace is not one that you can just ‘survive’ it one you can maintain with good form while your breathing and heart rate are under control. I can survive running a half-marathon today, that doesn’t mean it good for me, smart or that I will not injure myself!

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More than anything, observe the KISS principle and KEEP IT SIMPLE, don’t want to follow a program?…no problem…building your base with intervals is simple proportionality…you begin walking and run short distances, over time you increase your running to walking ratio regardless of minutes or distance.  When I started I simply tried to run through an entire song on my playlist, took a two minute break and ran again…for a total of  about 30 minutes….whatever works for you…

Remember the goal for beginners is to build up to a base of around 30 minutes of running with minimal breaks…once a base is in place there are a variety of workouts available to improve everything from speed or endurance to race specific training.

More importantly…your changing your life and your perception of self, redefining your possible!

If your just starting out, what method have you chosen to base building?