The Easiest Way To Get Started Running: Mind Your Breath, Not Time

The Easiest Way To Get Started Running: Mind Your Breath, Not Time

It’s a big transition, going from walking (or no exercise) to running or jogging. While many beginner running programs suggest doing timed intervals that cycle between walking and running, Runner’s World offers a simpler method.

Picture: Lake Mead Imagery

In this learn to run program, you commit to three 30-minute running workouts per week over three months. The first and last five minutes are warm-up and cool-down periods. During the 20 minutes of running and walking, you follow your breath and run based on your body’s energy:

Run and walk by your body. Alternate running until you hear your breath, and walking until you catch your breath for a total of 20 minutes. No formulas or intervals — run by your body and breath. If you’re like me, you may start out with 15 to 20 seconds of running and 2 to 3 minutes of walking until you catch your breath. No worries. That may be where your body is at fitness-wise right now. Go with it, tune into your body, and avoid pushing to go longer.

The next workout may be close to the same as well. But a few weeks down the road, that 15 seconds will grow to 30 or 45 seconds or even a minute, and the time it takes to catch your breath will drop. That’s when it starts to get fun, because you feel the difference as you go.

By sticking with a plan that’s based on your body — not arbitrary time intervals or a certain pace — you might enjoy developing the running habit more and the progress you’ll see each time you hit the road.

The World’s Simplest Learn to Run Program [Runner’s World]


  • i did the couch to 5k program which is walking & running on intervals…. i never thought i would be able to run 5k’s, but i made it… unfortunately due to injury i stopped, now i’ve gotta get back on it…

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