Newbie Runners Guide to Get on the Road

YOU NEED running shoes. Other types aren't designed to handle the increased impact.

YOU'LL DO running workouts, alternated with walking and cross-training to work different muscles, condition your body for higher impact, and prevent injury.

Run 3x/WEEK Run the given distance (see chart below), taking walking breaks as needed. If you can run only 15 to 30 seconds at a time to start, that's okay. Stop before you're out of breath, walk until you've recovered, and then return to running. Gradually you'll be able to go longer, until, after 6 weeks, you can cover a full 3 miles without walking. (You don't have to be able to run the entire distance to progress each week.)

Cross-Train 1x/WEEK Incorporating different types of workouts helps beat boredom and prevents injury by exercising different muscles. Try swimming to beat the heat and tone your upper body, yoga to stretch and relax your muscles, or cycling to give your legs a break from impact.

Try these stretches to help improve your walking and running.

Walk 1x/WEEK This is your easy exercise day, designed to get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. Walk at a pace that allows you to chat with a friend.

More: Mix It Up

Workout Schedule

WEEKS 1-6

MON Run 1.5 miles* Run 1.75 miles* Run 2 miles* Run 2.25 miles* Run 2.5 miles* Run 2.75 miles*

TUE Crosstrain Crosstrain Crosstrain Crosstrain

WED Run 1.5 miles* Run 1.75 miles* Run 2 miles* Run 2.25 miles* Run 2.5 miles* Run 2.75 miles*

THU Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest Walk 30 min

FRI Run 1.5 miles* Run 1.75 miles* Run 2 miles* Run 2.25 miles* Run 2.5 miles* Run 3 miles*

SAT Walk 30 to 60 min Walk 35 to 60 min Walk 40 to 60 min Walk 45 to 60 min Walk 50 to 60 min Walk 30 to 45 min

SUN Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest

*Begin and end each workout with 5 minutes of easy walking.

Try this  4-week walk/run program and watch the pounds melt off.

More: How to Train for Your First 5K

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