Haven’t exercised for a while, or want to start running? Then you need a good running plan for beginners.

How a running plan for beginners can let you down

There are plenty of running plans for people starting running but many of them have the downside of being too difficult or two complicated.

As with any new lifestyle change, those first few weeks are crucial. It’s in those early days that we can easily say “as i expected, this running thing just isn’t for me.” You then flit around to some other options and end up giving up altogether.

This article keeps things simple so you have less reason to even think about giving up.

How to get running

The trick is to not start running too soon and too fast.

To start off, make sure you are going for regular walks (aim for three or four times a week).

Next you will start gently introducing running into your schedule.

There are three things you should keep in mind before starting. Always warm up and warm down, concentrate on exercising for a fixed amount of time (not distance) and be careful with stretching (this post goes into this in depth).

The walk run routine

There are hundreds of variations on this so I’ve picked a running plan for beginners that has worked for people starting out just like you.


Week 1

Warm up (3-5 minutes walk)

Walk 3 minutes – run 5 minutes.

Repeat this 5-7 times.

Cool Down


Week 2

Warm up (3-5 minutes walk)

Walk 2 minutes – run 6 minutes.

Repeat this 5-7 times.

Cool Down

  • *How do you know what speed to run? This is actually very simple. After running you should be breathing quite easily. If you are panting and struggling for breath then you’re going to fast. Keep within yourself.


Week 3

Warm up (3-5 minutes walk)

Walk 1 minute – run 7-8 minutes.

Repeat this 5-7 times.

Cool Down

  • * To reiterate, you should only stretch after your work out. This helps to improve your flexibility but should only be for about 5 minutes.


Week 4 and beyond

Continue with this process of slowly increasing your running time.


* REMEMBER, your general condition on any given day will dictate how comfortably you can run (or do any exercise). If you have had a particularly hard time at work, or with your kids, then your whole energy levels will be down and your performance will suffer too.

This is normal and don’t stress it. You should be strict on yourself. In terms of once you have committed to running 3 or four times a week, you should fit that into you schedule.

However, it’s essential to be realistic. Don’t make a plan to work out on a day you know you’re going to be super busy.

Once you start letting yourself down by cancelling your planned workout/running sessions you are on the road to giving up altogether.


Follow this simple running plan for beginners and you’re giving yourself every chance of letting running change your life.


Thanks to these articles for their inspiration on writing this: