The Beginner's Guide to Starting a Running Program

Beginning a Running Program

Ready to start training for your first 5K? Download the Couch to 5K app for Apple or Android today.

Running isn't always the most welcoming sport.

Veteran runners seem to speak in a different language, dropping words like fartleks, negative splits, and lactate clearance workouts into everyday conversation. It may also seem like they travel in packs (both while running and not) and can set off for an "easy" 10-mile run any day of the week.

With the abundance of technical gear, wearable technology that tracks metrics like pace and distance and an almost countless sea of running shoes, starting to run can be an intimidating prospect.

But it doesn't have to be. Every runner had to start running from scratch at one point. The journey from beginner to intermediate runner won't take long; you don't even need all the fancy gear and terminology to begin your own personal transformation from non-runner to runner.

Let's explore how you can start running the right way.

Rule #1: Know Why You Run

Every runner laces up her shoes and goes running for a different reason. Some of us run for health, others do it because it's our "me" time, while others train to run faster race times.

No matter your reason for starting to run, know that it's valid. It's your reason for running and it's no less important than any other runner's reason.

You don't have to run marathons. Or be that runner doing 6-minute miles while smiling like a crazy person. You don't even have to get real running gear.

Figure out why you run and be content with that reason. And remember: anybody who runs is a runner. Nobody can take that away from you, so lace up those shoes and go enjoy yourself!

More: Why Run?

  • 1
  • of
  • 2
NEXT

About the Author

Jason Fitzgerald

Jason Fitzgerald is a USATF-certified running coach, 2:39 marathoner, and the founder of Strength Running. Have a question about running? Download the free Strength Running PR Guide to get 35+ answers to the most commonly asked questions about running.

Jason Fitzgerald is a USATF-certified running coach, 2:39 marathoner, and the founder of Strength Running. Have a question about running? Download the free Strength Running PR Guide to get 35+ answers to the most commonly asked questions about running.

Discuss This Article