Learn how to get started with running
Would you love to be able to just put on a pair of trainers and go for a run? To enjoy the freedom and euphoria that you hear other runners talking about?
Learning to run sounds so simple in theory, but if you’ve tried and failed in the past you’ll know how frustrating it can be to make consistent progress.
You get out of breath before you reach the end of the road and feel so far from euphoric it’s clear that you’re not designed to run!
The good news is that there is a different approach to running that tackles the most challenges and struggles, removes the pressure of coming up to a certain standard and allows you to build confidence as you progress at your own pace.
I have helped thousands of complete beginners learn to love running, through my program Beginner’s Luck Guide for Non-Runners and I would like to share some of my insights with you.
Communities like parkrun are incredibly welcoming of beginner runners
3 Tips For Getting Started
If you’re considering giving running another go to see if you can finally crack it, make sure you read and implement these 3 tips.
1: The Golden Key
Do you ever say to yourself ‘I couldn’t run for the bus’?
Running for the bus suggests that the bus is about to leave, which means you’re in a hurry, which means you’re probably going to try and run fast!
It’s probably no surprise to you that running fast is harder than running slow, but most beginner runners start out at a pace that they can only hold for a matter of seconds.
It feels uncomfortable and you quickly get out of breath, which plays into your story that you ‘can’t run’.
The Golden Key is the principle of running s-l-o-w-l-y
(I actually recommend that you don’t run much faster than a brisk walking pace)
The slower you go, the longer you can run for which allows you to build your confidence and belief that you can run for longer than just a few seconds.
Yes at some point you’ll probably want to try running quicker, but to begin with never forget the Golden Key and slow down as much as you can.
2: Run no more than 3 times a week
Enthusiasm is a great thing, but going from zero to running every day is a recipe for disaster for most people.
Your body needs time to adapt to the stress you put it under when you run, so try to avoid running 2 days back to back.
3 runs a week seems to be the sweet spot for most runners (all of my programs are based on 3-a-week, including my marathon program!) as it gives the best balance between progress and recovery
If you find yourself wishing that today was a run day, you’re doing something right. Better to feel like you’re holding yourself back than pushing too hard and starting to resent it.
3: Run and walk
As a beginner runner you’ll find that you need to take breaks and this can sometimes feel like a ‘failure’, especially when you see other runners whizzing past you without stopping!
The good news is that not only is taking walk breaks ‘ok’, but it’s recommended as this walk-run strategy allows you to cover more distance and accumulate more minutes of running than you would do if you were just trying to go as far as you can without stopping.
If you slow down, take frequent walk breaks and run no more than 3 days a week, you will find you make surprising progress your confidence will begin to grow rapidly.
If you would like a free, downloadable copy of the 10 week program I have written for complete beginners, enter your email in the box below and I will send it to you immediately.
The program is based on the 3 principles above, and allows you to progress at your own rate even if you can’t commit to 3 runs a week!
The book that has helped thousands of beginners just like you!
In 2014 I wrote the book Beginner’s Luck Guide for Non-Runners.
You’ll learn about what you need to do before you even think about going for your first run. The kit you need and what you can get away with not having for the time being. You’ll discover the best way to warm up and cool down, how to avoid injuries and how to deal with niggles if they do strike. How to breathe, how to avoid getting a stitch, your running technique, stretches, when it’s the right time to think about running faster or even entering a race, and how to stay motivated.
I cover nutrition for runners, which is especially important if you’re trying to lose weight. My ‘power foods’ you should always have in your cupboards and the linked resources such as recipes are particularly useful.
Beginner’s Luck will change your view of running from a dreaded chore to excited anticipation.
Learning how to run should be a fun and rewarding experience in itself, not just a means to achieve a goal. Beginner’s Luck is a complete program that teaches you everything you need to build your confidence as a runner. The book itself contains all the information you need to get running, but you will also have access to a incredible range of powerful resources.
You can join hundreds of other beginner runners in the private coaching forum on Facebook, where you’ll find support and be able to ask me questions personally. There are several links within the book and in the resources section at the back to the private Beginner’s Luck area of this website.
Here you will find video demonstrations of stretches and exercises, breathing techniques, motivational interviews and warm up drills.
The program itself removes the pressure of having to stick rigidly to a set rate of progress, and instead allows you to progress at your own pace. So whether you can commit to 1, 2 or 3 runs a week you can still go out and make consistent progress through the program.
If you are a beginner runner who would like to learn how to run for up to an hour AND surprise yourself as to how easy it really is, get Beginner’s Luck and start out on your journey today.
“This is excellent if you are new to running or did it once but lost enthusiasm or just haven’t run for a long time. It’s short (not TOO short!), to the point, clear and friendly. It has a programme to follow over about 10 weeks or however long you want it to take. George (author) is non-judgemental but clear about a few commonsense things we perhaps don’t hear enough – like you don’t need to eat a million carbs in order to job a few hundred yards, and alcohol and running don’t make a great combination. But the book DOESN’T preach – it just gently and clearly advises, leaving the decisions to you. I’ve never run before and although generally active, am in my early 50s and my only specifically ‘fitness exercise’ was to cycle – sometimes 20 mins 3 times a week, often less – and this book and programme is working for me. But some readers are ex-runners who want to get back into it, and it seems to suit them too.
I’m so glad I found this amongst the millions of running books and highly recommend it.” – RJW