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Couch to 5K Week 1: Where Do I Begin?

Thinking about running? Here's what every new runner should know. 

By Dr. Brian Hay, DPT, MS, OCS

Now that you've made the decision, just like any new activity, it's important to approach it with a plan. Often, many people start running but easily become turned off, simply because they run too much too soon and end up sore and frustrated.

The key to starting a running program is to just be patient.

Your initial goal is to be a tortoise, not a hare.

Evaluate your current fitness level to make sure you start from where you are, not from where you want to be. Before introducing running to your exercise program, you should be able to comfortably walk for 30 minutes every other day (3-4 times a week). Once you are able to do this, running can be added.

If you start the exercise plan below and it doesn’t feel right, then reduce the jogging time to 30 seconds or 10 seconds, you can even decrease the total time spent exercising. Make your exercise work for you and make it enjoyable! The key is to go out and just try some jogging, whether it’s a few steps, a few minutes, or a few miles. Learning to run is just like learning any new activity – it takes practice.