Get Fit Indoors: 6 Fun and Effective Treadmill Workouts for Beginner Runners

Are you ready to dive into the world of treadmill running? Well, you’re in luck because this is the ultimate guide you’ve been searching for! Forget about risking injury or burnout, because the treadmill is your ticket to a fantastic running experience. Wondering how? Keep reading, my friend.

In today’s post, I’ll be sharing with you everything you need to know to get started with indoor running. By the time you finish reading this beginner’s guide, you’ll have the knowledge to:

  • Master the art of using the treadmill
  • Discover the incredible benefits of treadmill running
  • Learn how to improve your treadmill running form
  • Take your very first steps on this fantastic machine
  • Uncover the perfect treadmill workout designed specifically for beginners

And guess what? There’s so much more waiting for you! Excited? Then let’s hit that start button and begin this exhilarating journey together!

The Benefits of Treadmill Running

Here’s what you stand to gain from hitting the belt more often.

Less Impact

Running on hard surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, increases the risks of overuse injury.

However, the treadmill belt offers extra cushioning that helps absorb much of this stress.

Forget About the Outdoor Conditions

Outdoor running exposes you to the elements, be it the weather, unsafe streets, uneven surfaces, etc.

All of these can stand in the way of your running success.

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about any of this when running on the treadmill.

Simulate the Race

Preparing for a race?

A treadmill can help you nail your perfect pace.

For example, if you are planning for a hilly 10K race, you can simulate that racing experience by incline training or even intervals on the treadmill.

Additional Source – Check this treadmill pace chart

Safer Than Running Outside

You can always run into troubles when doing outdoor running workouts: cracks, ruts, cyclists, cars, people, thieves, stray dogs, the wrong side of town, you name it.

Again, a treadmill can help you sidestep all of these risks.


Dealing with insecurities?

Worry no more.

Hopping on the treadmill gives you more privacy as you don’t have to fret about anyone judging your performance.

You can run at your own pace and call it to quit anytime you want.

Measurable Data

On a treadmill, you have a say on your training conditions, helping you run with more accuracy, whether it’s speed, incline, calories burned, heart rate, step count, and so on.

Beginner Treadmill Workout FAQ: Answering All Your Burning Questions

Are you eager to start treadmill running but feeling unsure about how to begin? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Before we dive into the beginner treadmill workout, let’s address some common questions beginner runners often have about the treadmill.

How Fast Should I train on the Treadmill As A Beginner?

The answer depends on your current fitness level. If you’re just starting out and have a sedentary lifestyle or are over 50 and overweight, don’t worry about speed. It’s important to start slow and work your way up gradually. However, if you’re already active and in good shape, you can crank up the pace.

Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is essential to improving your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. If you can achieve a pace of 5 mph or higher as a beginner, that would be fantastic. This will give you room for growth and help you to get your heart rate up. Plus, it’s a great way to challenge your body and boost your confidence.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not able to hit 5 mph right away. Remember that five miles per hour is the equivalent of a 12-minute mile, which is perfectly fine for someone who’s just starting out. To help you determine your per-mile pace, we’ve included a cheat sheet with various speeds and their corresponding minutes per mile.

Here’s a cheat sheet so you can have more ideas about your per-mile pace.

  • 5.0 mph = 12:00 minutes per mile
  • 5.5 mph = 10:55 minutes per mile
  • 6.0 mph = 10:00 minutes per mile
  • 6.5 mph = 9:14 minutes per mile
  • 7.0 mph = 8:34 minutes per mile
  • 7.5 mph = 8:00 minutes per mile
  • 8.0 mph = 7:30 minutes per mile

How long Should a Beginner Train on a Treadmill?

Again, the answer depends on you.

Every beginner is different and has a different starting point.

Just do as much as you can in the beginning while staying within your fitness level and paying attention to your body’s needs and signals the entire time.

For a complete beginner, you can start off treadmill training at a slow pace for no more than 15 to 20 minutes three times a week.

Then slowly increase the duration to 30 to 40 minutes over the course of a few week.

Here’s how often should you run per week.

How To Start Running on A Treadmill
For Beginners?

To make the most out of your treadmill workouts, try to incorporate these two valuable training tips.

Know Your Treadmill

If you’re feeling nervous about using a treadmill for the first time, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Taking your first few steps on the treadmill can be quite daunting. But it’s not rocket science.

The first thing you need to do is locate the “Start Workout” or “Quick Workout” button. Once you do, hold onto the handrails, step onto the belt, and press the button. In 3…2…1, the belt will start to move. It’s that simple!

As you get started, keep in mind that you may feel a bit wobbly or dizzy. Don’t panic, this is completely normal! You’re practicing a new motor skill, and it will take a few sessions to feel at ease. Once you’re comfortable with the basic functions of the treadmill, start experimenting with the speed and incline/decline options.

Of course, not all treadmills are created equal. Some have minimal options, while others have a more complicated user interface.

But the basics are still the same: Start/Speed/Stop.

Warm-Up For Your Treadmill Workout

Just like outdoor running, the key to effective treadmill training is a proper warm-up.

Skipping it will only increase the risks of premature fatigue and injury.

A good warm-up helps you get your blood pumping and heart rate ticking and be for the hard effort ahead.

Invest in at least a 5 to 10 minutes warm-up period, then aim to slowly increase your speed as you go, but never speed up to the point that your form begins to suffer.

Pay attention to your body before you speed up.

Treadmill Running Form

Treadmill running form is essential.

Bad form hinders performance and leads to injury.

Keep your treadmill running technique in check by doing the following:

  • Run tall and look straight ahead as if gazing at the horizon.
  • Aim to run with your natural gait, and avoid taking short and quick strides as well as thumping the belt too hard. Not good for your sole and ankle.
  • Keep your posture straight, the head should be up, back straight, and shoulders level.
  • Never slouch or curve your back, especially when going against an incline. Open your chest, make space for more air.
  • Let go of the handrails and keep pumping your arms the same way you do when running outside.

 6 Treadmill Workouts For Beginners

If you’re not sure how to proceed with your next treadmill workout, here are six treadmill runs to get you started.

Routine I – The 30-minute Beginner Treadmill Workout

To get started, let’s dive into some beginner treadmill workouts. If you’re brand new to running, start with the 30-minute beginner routine. This workout incorporates intervals of slow jogging and walking breaks for recovery.

First step –Start walking at a 1.5 to 2 mph pace and stick to it for at least 10 minutes.

Be sure to breathe deeply and visualize success all the way through.

Mental preparation is key.

Second Step Pick up the pace and start jogging at 5 to 5.5 mph for two minutes.

This is your first interval, so you shouldn’t push yourself here.

Practice good running form the entire time.

Run as tall as you can, engage your core, let go of the handrails, and swing your arms by the sides.

Keep your form aerodynamic,

Third Step – This is your first two minutes break, so make the most out of it.

Breathe deeply, towel off, and hydrate.

Fourth Step – Repeat the jogging/walking cycle for five times.

If it feels too much, pace yourself and slow it down, especially when your form starts to suffer.

Fifth Step –Slowly decrease your jogging pace and start walking at two mph for five minutes and cool down properly.

Breathe deeply and release all tension.

Make sure to also check in with your body and see how you feel.

Try to perform this workout at least three times per week during the first few weeks.

Then, as you get fitter and stronger, increase the time you spend jogging and less for recovery until you can run at a comfortable pace for 30 minutes without gasping for air.

Want more structure? Try my Couch to 5K treadmill Plan.

Routine II – The 30-minute Interval treadmill workout

Already a runner?

Then try this more challenging routine.

First Step – Warm up for 5 minutes by jogging slowly and taking deep breaths.

Skipping on the warm-up leads to premature fatigue or, even worse, injury.

Second Step – Run at your 5K pace (it should feel hard) for one to two minutes, depending on your fitness level.

Third Step – Recover by jogging slowly for one full minute.

Fourth Step – Repeat “Second Step” and “Third Step” five to eight times, depending on your fitness experience and training goals.

Fifth Step – End your workout with a 5-minute slow jog to cool down.

Stretch gently afterward.

A proper cool-down will help you avoid dizziness and might reduce muscle soreness for the following day.

Additional Resource- Your guide to curved treadmills

Routine III – The Incline Treadmill Workout

Want to take intervals to the next level?  Do them on an incline.

This helps simulate outdoor hill running, which boosts endurance and builds killer lower-body strength.

First Step – Warm up for 10 minutes.

Second Step – Increase the incline to 3 or 4 percent and run for 90 seconds at 80 percent of max-effort—a pace that feels moderately challenging.

Third Step (Recovery) – Jog for 60 seconds with no incline.

This is your recovery break.

Fourth Step – Raise the incline to five or seven percent and run for another 90 seconds at 15 seconds slower than your 10K paces.

Recover for one minute.

Fifth Step – Repeat the previous step three to four times, depending on your fitness level and goals.

Choose a steeper incline for more challenge.

Sixth Step – Cool-down

Additional Resource  – When to replace a treadmill belt

Routine IV – The Beginner Tempo Treadmill Run

A treadmill tempo workout teaches your body how to adapt efficiently to increased intensity.

This type of running helps you build up a fairly high volume of intense exercise that enhances both aerobic and lactate-threshold systems.

First Step – Warm up for 10 minutes.

Second Step – Run a mile at 20 to 30 seconds slower than your half-marathon pace—a pace that feels comfortably easy.

Third Step – Pick up the pace every mile by five to 20 seconds until you’re running the final mile 20 to 30 seconds faster than your half marathon pace.

Fourth step –  Cool down for five minutes.

Additional resource – How To run with a partner

Routine V – The Pyramid Treadmill Workout

Pyramid workouts are straightforward.

You’re simply kicking off your hard interval at one-minute segments, going for a longer running segment, and then working you’re back down one minute.

It should take you at least 50 minutes to complete the routine, but that’s not cast in stone.

Do what feels the best for you, and remember to always stay within your fitness level.

First Step – Five minutes: The Warm-up

Start with a proper warm-up, jogging for 10 minutes at a speed of 4 to 5 mph with no incline.

Second Step –Seven minutes: 1st Ladder

Increase speed to 6.0 mph and keep it going for the next three minutes. Practice good form.

Keep your torso straight, and your body relaxed from head to toe.

Next, increase the speed to 7 mph and incline to three percent for four minutes.

Second Step – Two minutes: Recovery

Slow down and recover for three minutes.

Hydrate, breathe deeply and release any built-up tension.

Third Step – Nine minutes: 2nd Ladder Interval

Increase the speed to 7 mph and incline to three percent for four minutes.

Next, increase the speed again to 8 mph and incline to five percent for five minutes.

Fourth Step – Two Minutes: Recovery

Slow down to 4 mph with a two percent incline.

Fifth Step – Nine minutes: 3rd Ladder

Increase speed to 7 to 7.5 mph and incline to five percent, and keep running strong for a full five minutes.

For the upcoming four-minute, keep the same speed, but lower the incline to three percent.

Sixth Step – Two minutes: Recovery

Slow down to 4 mph and recover.

Seventh Step – Six minutes: Ladder No 4

Speed it up to 8 mph and raise the incline to three percent.

Then, for the next two minutes, keep the same speed but raise the incline to five percent for the last interval of this pyramid workout.

Eighth Step – Five minutes: The cool-down

Jog slowly for ten minutes at a speed of 4 mph with no incline.

Additional resource – How to become a morning a runner

Routine VI – The Beginner Hybrid Treadmill Workout

Mixing treadmill training with bodyweight exercises can help you burn more fat, improve performance, and bust treadmill boredom.

Here is a CrossFit-Running treadmill workout.

It’s one of my favorites.

You can choose to add these bodyweight exercises to your treadmill workout any way you like.

After a proper warm-up of 5 minutes of jogging and some dynamic exercises, do the following.

  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Pushups: 8-12 reps
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Squat Jumps: 8-12 reps
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Treadmill recovery: 90 seconds of slow jogging.
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Jumping jacks: 60 seconds
  • Lunge steps: 16 to 20 reps
  • Sprint for 30-second
  • Finish it off with a 5-minute slow jog as a cool down, followed by stretching.

Need more structure?

Try my beginner running plan.

For more, check my How to design your running program guide.

Treadmill workouts for beginners  – The Conclusion

Still, wondering how to start running on a treadmill? Then I believe today’s post has you covered.

The above simple training guidelines are all you need to start treadmill running.

The rest is really up to you.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

And please, if you have any treadmill workouts for beginners, please share.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Keep running strong.

David D.

How to Start Running: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

woman starting a run

Are you ready to lace up your running shoes and embark on a thrilling journey towards becoming a runner?

Then you’ve come to the perfect place.

As someone who has been pounding the pavement for over a decade and has guided countless beginners to running success, I’m here to equip you with everything you need to know to kickstart your running adventure.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll unveil the secrets to becoming a confident and injury-free runner. No more wondering how to start running or feeling overwhelmed by the process.

I’ll explain  how often you should run, the correct running technique to prevent injuries, and the ultimate beginner running plan that will take you from hesitant steps to victorious strides.

But wait, there’s more! Once you’ve conquered the basics, we’ll take your training to the next level, unlocking new levels of endurance, speed, and strength. You’ll learn the tips and tricks to elevate your running game and unleash your full potential.

By the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and tools to unleash your inner runner and reap the remarkable benefits that running has to offer.

Ready? Let’s get started!

How to Start Running? – The Exact System You Need

So you have decided  to start running.

First things first: Relax.

You won’t have to sacrifice an arm and a leg to the running gods to get started.

In fact, it’s not overwhelming, complicated, nor expensive.

The hardest part about taking up running for the first time is actually taking the first step.

If you do that, you’ve already gone farther than 82.5 percent of the population (a totally bogus statistic that I made just to make a point!), so give yourself a pat on the back.

If you ask me, it’s actually the easiest thing to do in the world—as long as you follow beginner running rules.

That’s where this section comes in handy.

Without further ado, here’s the exact step-by-step you need to become a runner.

Start Easy

Whether you’re a newbie lacing up your shoes for the very first time or a seasoned runner returning after a hiatus, there’s one golden rule you must engrave in your mind: start easy and build gradually. Trust me, I’ve witnessed too many beginners take on more than they can handle, only to find themselves sidelined by injuries or completely drained within weeks. We don’t want that for you.

Picture this: you’re famished, and a mouthwatering buffet lays before you. You can’t resist the temptation, so you pile your plate high with every delectable dish in sight. But soon enough, you realize that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

The same principle applies to running. If you go from zero to full-throttle, diving headfirst into high-intensity, high-volume, and high-impact training within a short period, you’re treading on dangerous ground.

Let me give it to you straight. You’re practically asking for trouble—burnouts and overuse injuries like Runners Knee and Stress Fractures—when you push too hard, too soon. Take a moment to let that sink in. It’s like trying to sprint before you’ve even learned to crawl.

During the first few months of your training (yes, I said months!), it’s essential to take it easy and embrace the beginner’s mindset. Start right where you are, not where you wish to be. It may not sound as glamorous as diving into intense workouts, but trust me, it’s the smartest approach you can take.

Additional resource – How to start running with your dog

Walk Before you Run

Not only does walking help you shed those extra pounds, but it also boosts your stamina, reduces stress, enhances your physical shape, and improves your overall health and well-being. It’s the foundation upon which you’ll build your running empire.

Now, let’s talk strategy. In these initial weeks, as you embark on your fitness journey, make it a habit to take 8 to 10 30-minute walks. This will gradually prepare your body for the transition into running. Think of it as priming the engine before you hit the gas pedal.

But what if you’re already in decent shape? Well, my friend, you’re ready to kick it up a notch. Gradually increase the duration of your walks to 60 minutes, three to four times a week. Allow your body to adapt to this new level of activity for at least three weeks before delving into the beginner running plan that awaits you.

How to Progress?

Now, it’s time to take your training to the next level and introduce a game-changing method that will revolutionize your running experience. Say hello to the walk/run method, a genius strategy crafted by the renowned running guru Jeff Galloway.

Here’s the secret sauce: the walk/run method combines the best of both worlds—low-intensity running intervals and strategic walking breaks. It’s like a beautifully choreographed dance between your feet and the ground, allowing you to manage fatigue, improve your fitness, and build stamina while safeguarding yourself from discomfort, injuries, and burnouts. It’s a method backed by science and championed by countless runners who have successfully embraced it.

Let’s break it down. As you transition from walking to incorporating running into your routine, take it step by step, quite literally. During the first week, aim for 20 to 30 minutes of walking per session. Feel the rhythm of your feet hitting the pavement as you gradually build up your strength.

As you move into the second week, it’s time to kick things up a notch. Increase your walking duration to 30 to 35 minutes per session. You’re pushing your boundaries, challenging your body to adapt and grow stronger.

But we’re not stopping there. Oh no, we’re just getting started. From here on out, I want you to add two to three precious minutes to your walks with each passing week. It may seem like a small increment, but it’s these incremental steps that will lead you to greatness. Keep adding those minutes until you’re comfortably walking for at least an hour. Feel the confidence surge through your veins as you conquer each milestone.

Once you’ve reached the point where you can power walk for an hour without breaking a sweat, it’s time to unleash the true runner within you. It’s time to embrace the run/walk method, alternating between easy jogs and well-deserved walking breaks. By incorporating short bursts of running into your regular walks, you’ll extend your endurance, push your limits, and remain injury-free.

How Much is Enough?

The exact run to walk ratio depends, mostly, on your current fitness level and training goals.

Now, here’s the golden rule: take breaks at the right times. Just like a well-timed pit stop during a thrilling race, these breaks will ensure you don’t push yourself to the brink of exhaustion. It’s all about strategic rest, my friend.

Let’s explore three walk-to-running ratios that you can experiment with. Remember, you have the freedom to choose the one that suits you best. No pressure, no judgment—just you and your personalized running journey.

If you’re just starting out on this exhilarating path, consider yourself a complete beginner. Start by running at an easy and slow pace for 10 to 20 seconds, and then reward yourself with a rejuvenating one to two minutes of walking. Feel the rhythm of this alternating dance between running and walking, allowing your body to adapt and grow stronger with each step.

As you progress and enter the intermediate stage, typically after two to three weeks of consistent running, it’s time to challenge yourself a little further. Embrace the runner within you by extending your running intervals. Push yourself to run for two to five minutes, and then savor the bliss of one to two minutes of walking. It’s a delicate balance, a symphony of effort and recovery, propelling you towards your running aspirations.

Now, if you’ve been on this running journey for over a month, congratulations! You’ve reached the realm of experience. It’s time to unleash your true potential. Challenge yourself to run for a solid ten minutes, immersing yourself in the sheer exhilaration of movement. Then, catch your breath with a short but well-deserved 30 seconds to one minute of walking.

Additional resource – Here’s your guide to running three miles a day.

Run For longer

As you progress on your running journey, the key is to gradually increase the time you spend running while reducing the number of recovery breaks you take. It’s a beautiful dance between pushing your limits and allowing your body to adapt and grow stronger. Picture it like a challenging puzzle where each piece fits into place with each passing day.

Now, let’s talk about reaching that magical milestone of running for a solid 25 to 30 minutes without feeling like you’re gasping for air. The timeline for reaching this goal varies depending on your current fitness level, but one thing is certain: consistency is the name of the game.

Stay committed and trust the process.

With each step, each breath, and each stride, you’ll inch closer to that moment of effortless running bliss.

Once you’ve conquered the 30-minute mark with ease, it’s time to level up your running game. It’s time to add a dash of variety to your training program. Think of it as spicing up a delicious dish with different flavors and textures. You can add distance to challenge your endurance, incorporate speed work to enhance your quickness, and conquer hills to strengthen those leg muscles. The possibilities are endless, and your running adventure is about to get even more exciting.

Now, let’s talk about exertion levels during your runs. It’s important to find that sweet spot where you’re pushing yourself enough without going into full-on sprint mode. Aim for a 6 to 7 out of 10 on the exertion scale during the running portion of your workout. Feel the burn, embrace the challenge, but also listen to your body’s cues.

And when it’s time to switch to a walking break, dial it down to a comfortable 2 to 3 on the exertion scale. It’s all about finding that delicate balance and honoring your body’s needs.

Want more structure?

Try my couch to 5K treadmill plan.

Follow a Beginner Running Plan

Having a plan is key to achieving any goal–let alone running.

You don’t pursue a career in marketing, for example, without a concrete plan of studying the right books and tutoring under the right teachers.

That’s why I highly recommend you follow a well rounded, well-thought training plan, just like the one shared below.

Doing so will not only help you build your training volume, but also keep you motivated beyond the initial motivation.

The simple beginner runner plan features three days of run-walk sessions.

You begin with a few short intervals of running–or slow-paced jogging–for 30 to 60 seconds, then build you on that while taking less and less for recovery.

By the end of the eight weeks, you should be able to run for thirty minutes straight–that’s roughly two to three miles–without much trouble.

Week One – Walk for five minutes, then jog for 30 to 6o seconds.

Repeat three to four times.

Week Two – walk for three minutes, then jog for one to two minutes.

Repeat the sequence for four to five times.

Week Three – Walk for three minutes, then jog for two to three minutes.

Repeat the cycle for five to six times.

Week Four – Walk for three minutes, then jog for three minutes.

Repeat the cycle six times.

Week Five – Walk for two minutes, then jog for three to four minutes.

Repeat the cycle four to five times.

Week Six – Walk for two minutes, then jog for five minutes.

Repeat the sequence three to four times.

Week Seven – Walk for two minutes, then jog for eight to ten minutes.

Repeat the cycle two to three times.

Week Eight – Warm up by brisk walking for 10 minutes, then slow jog for 20 to 30 minutes while keeping an easy and conversational pace.

Just keep in mind that this is a generic plan, so feel free to adjust it according to your own needs and preferences.

It’s not written in stone by any means.

Looking for a more extensive plan?

Try my couch to 5K training schedule.

And if you’re into challenges?

Give this 30-day running challenge a try.

You can also learn how to design your running plan here.

Note – Here’s how often should you run per week.

How Long Does it Take To Become A Runner?

If only I could conjure a magical stopwatch to provide you with a definitive answer. Alas, my friend, the path to becoming a runner is as diverse and intricate as the winding trails we traverse.

I must emphasize that each individual embarks on this journey with a unique set of circumstances and characteristics. Just as each snowflake boasts its own intricate design, your journey to becoming a runner is a personal tale, shaped by a multitude of factors.

Let’s explore some of these factors that weave together to create your running narrative:

First and foremost, we have your current shape. Are you starting from scratch, or do you possess a level of fitness from previous activities? Your starting point sets the stage for the adventure that lies ahead.

Consider your training history. Have you dabbled in running before, or are you a complete novice to the world of pounding pavement? Previous experiences, whether they involve running or other forms of physical activity, contribute to your body’s adaptation process.

Age is but another brushstroke on the canvas of your running journey. As the years grace us with their presence, our bodies may respond differently to the rigors of training. Fear not, for age is but a number, and determination knows no bounds.

Ah, the weight we carry, both physically and metaphorically. Your current body weight can influence the demands placed upon your joints, muscles, and cardiovascular system. Remember, every stride forward is a step towards a stronger and healthier you, regardless of the number on the scale.

Now, let us not overlook the intricate tapestry of our genetic makeup. Like a hidden treasure map, our genetic composition influences our body’s response to training stimuli. Embrace your unique genetic blueprint, for it holds the secrets to unlocking your potential.

Back on Track: How to Start Running Again After a Break

start running again

Are you ready to reignite your running passion and hit the pavement once again? Well, you’re in luck because today we’re diving headfirst into the exciting world of getting back into running after taking some well-deserved time off.

We all know that life sometimes throws us curveballs, and our running routine takes a backseat. Whether it’s been two months, six months, or even longer since your last glorious run, the journey back to the road can seem like a daunting task.

Starting running again after a long break isn’t a black-and-white process. It’s more like a beautiful palette of colors, each representing a step towards reclaiming your running prowess. And guess what? I’m here to equip you with all the tools you need to paint your running masterpiece, even if it’s been months, or dare I say, years, since you last laced up those running shoes.

So, my running friend, are you ready? Take a deep breath, lace up those running shoes, and let’s embark on this epic comeback adventure.

How To Start Running Again After A long Break

So, you’re ready to dust off those running shoes and hit the pavement again after a long hiatus? That’s fantastic! But let’s be real, my friend, getting back into the running game after an extended break is no easy stroll through the park. However, fear not, because I’m here to guide you through the process and get you back on track.

Start Small After a Long Break

First things first, it’s crucial to approach your comeback with a beginner’s mindset. Embrace the fact that you may encounter some obstacles along the way. Whether it was an injury, illness, or the twists and turns of life that kept you away from running, it’s important to acknowledge that you might not be starting from the same place you left off.

Stamina may have taken a hit, and that’s completely normal.

Now, here’s the key: start small. Think of it as laying a strong foundation for your running journey. .

So, let’s take it step by step.

If you used to effortlessly breeze through a 10-mile run, let’s dial it back a bit. Start with a humble 3 to 5 miles at a slow and controlled pace.

Remember, this is just the beginning, and there’s no need to rush. The goal is to gradually rebuild your stamina and fitness levels, allowing your body to adjust and adapt along the way. Patience and consistency will be your guiding forces on this journey.

Commit to a 15 to 20-minute short runs, three times for one week.

Sure, you may want to do more, but just stick to 20-minute run sessions.

After three or four weeks of regular training, aim to increase your workload and running mileage.

Start with Where You’re At

Whether life got busy, motivation took a detour, or a pesky injury sidelined you, getting back into running can be quite the challenge. But fear not, my friend, because I’ve got your back, and together we’ll make this transition a breeze.

Now, listen up and take note: the key to a successful comeback is starting right where you are. This means resisting the temptation to dash out the door and conquer a 5K right off the bat. Trust me, that’s a recipe for disaster and disappointment.

Even if you’ve been diligent with cross-training activities like cycling, swimming, or hitting the weights to maintain your cardiovascular endurance, remember that running is a whole different ball game. It’s a high-impact sport that puts unique demands on your body.

So, give yourself some grace and acknowledge that it may take weeks, even months, for your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments to regain the strength needed to handle the rigors of running.

Now, let’s dive into the action steps on how to get back into the running groove.

First things first, begin with two to three short and easy “sessions” per week. Think of it as training every other day to allow your body ample time to recover and adapt. We’re not aiming for heroic feats just yet. These initial sessions are all about reacquainting yourself with the joy of running and gradually building up your endurance.

Once you’ve completed your first session, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Was it challenging but manageable?
  • Did you find yourself breathing easily and effortlessly, or did it feel like you were gasping for air?
  • Did any lingering pain make its presence known?
  • Did it genuinely hurt, or did it feel like a rejuvenating challenge?
  • Did you need to take walking breaks during the session?

These questions will help you gauge your starting point and adjust your approach accordingly. Remember, it’s perfectly okay if the first session felt challenging.

Additional resource – How to start running with your dog

Choose One Goal To Start Running Again

Juggling too many things in life is no easy feat. I can totally relate! When we find ourselves falling off the exercise wagon, it’s often because we’re spread thin, trying to do it all without any intense focus.

But fear not, my friend, for I have a secret to share: the key to success lies in choosing one goal to reignite your running journey. I know, it sounds simple, but trust me, it’s a game-changer.

In the whirlwind of life, maintaining focus on a single objective can feel like an uphill battle. As an overachiever myself, I understand the struggle all too well. Our ambitious nature pushes us to take on the world, tackle multiple goals simultaneously, and conquer the universe before breakfast. But here’s the thing: spreading ourselves thin often leads to diluted efforts and lackluster results.

That’s why I encourage you to embrace the power of singularity. Choose one goal, one focal point, and direct all your energy and attention towards it. It may seem counterintuitive to some, but trust me, it’s a secret weapon that yields long-term rewards.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this approach. When selecting your one goal, consider what truly resonates with you. Is it completing a local 5K race? Shedding those extra pounds that have been clinging to you like stubborn barnacles? Or perhaps it’s simply reigniting the joy of running and reconnecting with that inner sense of freedom and empowerment.

Once you’ve identified your goal, commit to it wholeheartedly. Make it your North Star, guiding you through the twists and turns of your running journey. This doesn’t mean you ignore other aspects of your life—it’s about creating a laser-like focus on this particular objective while maintaining a healthy balance.

Sit down and come up with the ONE goal you want to achieve.

Do you want to run a 5K under 30 minutes, or shoot for a sub 3-hour marathon?

You choose.

Just make it accurate.

Write down your ONE goal, and keep it visible.

Your work desk is a good place, so is the living room.

Here’s the full guide setting fitness goals.

Rebuild Your Endurance—The Retraining Phase

Ah, the question that lingers in the minds of many returning runners: How much conditioning did we actually lose during that hiatus? If only there was a foolproof formula that could give us an exact number. Alas, the answer is not a one-size-fits-all equation, for each of us is a unique and wonderfully complex individual, responding differently to the ebb and flow of training stimuli.

The rate at which our conditioning dissipates depends on various factors: the length of the break, the reason behind the break (be it injury, work obligations, or a well-deserved vacation), and, of course, our conditioning level prior to the hiatus. It’s like a delicate ecosystem, influenced by multiple variables that shape our body’s response.

But worry no more. While I cannot provide you with an exact numerical value, I can offer some general guidelines based on scientific studies and research papers that explore the effects of breaks on maximal aerobic capacity, also known as VO2max.

So, here’s what the data suggests:

After a mere two weeks of rest, you may experience a decline of up to 5 to 7 percent in your VO2max. It’s a modest setback, but one that can be regained with some focused effort

Now, if your hiatus stretched to a two-month period, the impact on your VO2max becomes more substantial, with potential losses of up to 20 percent. It’s like a temporary dip in the energy reserves of your running engine—a setback that might require a bit more time and dedication to bounce back from

But wait, there’s more. For those who find themselves on a three-month sabbatical from running, brace yourself. Studies suggest that VO2max losses can reach a range of 30 to 50 percent. It’s like a gust of wind blowing through your running sails, requiring significant rebuilding and conditioning to regain your former glory.

Now, remember, these numbers are not set in stone. They provide a general framework to understand the potential impact of breaks on your aerobic capacity. Your individual response may vary, influenced by factors such as genetics, previous training history, and the activities you engaged in during your time off.

Still curious? Check the following research papers on deconditioning:

 The Golden Principle

As a rule of thumb, I advise returning to a running routine in a progressive manner.

If you pick things off from where you left, and do too much too soon, putting too large of a demand on your body, you could seriously hurt yourself.

The Conversational Pace

During this crucial period of rebuilding and reclaiming your running prowess, it’s essential to embrace the power of the conversational pace. This pace, also fondly known as the talk test, serves as your faithful guide, ensuring you don’t venture into the treacherous territories of breathlessness and overexertion.

Picture this: You’re out for a run, and a running buddy magically appears by your side. As you exchange greetings, you begin chatting effortlessly, sharing stories, dreams, and perhaps even debating the merits of sprinkles on ice cream. This delightful conversation flows seamlessly, with no desperate gasps for air or excessive panting interrupting your verbal ballet. That, my friend, is the epitome of the conversational pace.

To determine if you’ve discovered this harmonious pace, let the talk test be your compass. If you can speak in complete sentences without gasping for breath, you’re on the right track. However, if you find yourself struggling to recite anything more than a muffled “hello” or a few disjointed words, it’s a sign that you’ve veered into the realm of pushing too hard. Ease off the accelerator, slow your tempo, and find your conversational groove once again.

Remember, this phase of rebuilding is not about breaking speed records or conquering grand distances. It’s about nurturing your body, gently coaxing it back to its former glory. By embracing the conversational pace, you provide your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system the opportunity to reawaken gradually, building strength and endurance with each passing run.

Now, you may be wondering, what’s the science behind the conversational pace? Well, research studies have shown that running at a conversational pace allows your body to primarily rely on aerobic energy systems, tapping into the vast reserves of oxygen to fuel your efforts. It’s like sipping from a bottomless well of energy, allowing you to sustain your running without depleting your resources.

Rates Of Return To Running After A Break

Now, let’s dive into the realm of return rates and discover the secrets to a safe and successful running comeback. Are you ready? Let’s hit the ground running!

Running after Less than 10 Days Off

If your absence from the running scene lasted less than ten days, rejoice! You can pick up where you left off, like a runner with a secret time-turner. Just make sure you listen to your body and train pain-free.

Should fatigue strike mid-run, simply ease your pace or take a leisurely stroll to catch your breath. It’s all about finding that delicate balance between pushing yourself and respecting your body’s limits. And if you’re looking for inspiration on planning your running route, I’ve got just the additional resource for you. Explore the possibilities and unleash your inner cartographer!

Running After Two to Three Weeks Off

If you return to running following a three-week break, it’s wise to dial back your pace and mileage during this rebuilding phase. As a general rule, aim to run about one to two minutes per mile slower than your usual pace.

Consider it a gentle reminder to savor the moments and take in the sights along the way. And don’t forget to reduce your distance as well, running about half of what you were accustomed to before the break. This will help you avoid unnecessary soreness and ensure a smoother transition back to your running routine.

Running After One to Two Months Break off

Begin your journey by alternating between 30 to 60 seconds of running intervals and 30-second walks during your first session. Train for a total of 20 to 30 minutes, allowing your body to gradually adapt to the demands of running once more. In the days that follow, increase your running time while reducing your recovery periods.

Witness the transformation as you effortlessly run for 30 to 45 minutes, feeling the exhilaration of your comeback. And by the end of the third or fourth week, you’ll find yourself fit enough to conquer the holy grail of running—an hour of non-stop, conversational-paced running.

Running after Three Months Break to a Year Off 

Now, let’s chart a course for your grand return.

If it has been three months to a year since your last run, consider this a fresh start. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t pick up where you left off. Instead, embrace the concept of starting from scratch.

Think of it as a chance to rebuild the foundation of your running prowess, one brick at a time. Leave your ego at the door, my friend, and embrace the beauty of baby steps.

During these initial weeks, you’ll discover that it takes time to reacclimate to the rhythm of running. Even running a mere three miles may feel like a herculean task at first. But fear not, for I have a strategy to guide you through this reawakening.

Before diving headfirst into running, it’s essential to assess your readiness. Can you briskly walk for 45 to 60 minutes without discomfort or pain? If not, it’s wise to prioritize walking as your initial training ground. Walking serves as the gateway to reestablishing the exercise habit, revitalizing your soft tissues (those muscles, tendons, and ligaments), and expanding your lung power. Think of it as a gentle reintroduction, allowing your body to remember the joys of movement.

Once you’ve mastered the art of brisk walking, my friend, it’s time to take the leap into the walk-run method. Picture yourself as a graceful dancer, seamlessly transitioning between low-intensity jogging intervals and moments of recovery. This approach provides a gradual progression, allowing your body to adapt to the demands of running once again.

Start with short jogging intervals, interspersed with recovery periods. Feel the rhythm of your breath and the beat of your heart as you rediscover the exhilaration of movement. With each passing week, gradually increase the duration of your jogging intervals while maintaining a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable.

For the full guide to the walk/run method, check my post here.


So what are you waiting for?

Now it’s the time to start running again since you have the exact tools you need.

And please be careful out there.

Thank you for reading my blog post.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below


David Dack.

The Ultimate Guide to Running for Fat People: Tips, Advice, and Inspiration

Looking for the best way to start running when you’re overweight? Then you come to the right place.

Getting into running when you’re really out of shape can be overwhelming. The fear of judgment from others can be paralyzing, and the fear of failure can be even worse.

But I’m here to tell you that those fears are just illusions. With a little bit of guidance and a whole lot of determination, anyone can become a runner, no matter their size or fitness level.

In this guide, I’ll share with you the tools and techniques that helped me go from couch potato to marathon runner.

We’ll explore the benefits of running for weight loss, dispel the myths about running when fat, and even dive into the nitty-gritty of proper running technique.

But most importantly, I’ll show you how to find the motivation and inspiration you need to keep going, even when the going gets tough.

So, are you ready to take that first step towards a healthier, happier you? Together, we’ll break free from the chains of self-doubt and unlock the full potential of our bodies.

Let’s lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement!

Fat People Running? FAQ

People often ask me if running is good for fat people.

And the answer is, of course, yes!

Running regularly can help you shed pounds and keep them off, even though it may be tough to get started, especially if you’ve been inactive for a while.

While it’s true that running is high-impact and can take a toll on your joints, the dangers of being overweight far outweigh the risks of running. In fact, the extra weight can wreak havoc on your body, far more than running ever could.

Here are some research papers that looked into the impact of running on overweight people:

  • A 2018 study published in the Journal of Obesity found that a 16-week running program resulted in significant weight loss and improved cardiorespiratory fitness in overweight and obese adults. Participants who ran for at least 150 minutes per week lost an average of 5.5 pounds and improved their VO2 max by 5.6 mL/kg/min. The study suggests that running can be an effective way to improve weight and fitness levels in overweight individuals.
  • A 2017 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that running may be more effective than walking for weight loss in overweight and obese adults. The study compared the effects of running and walking on body composition and metabolic health markers in a group of sedentary, overweight adults. After 12 weeks, the runners lost more weight and body fat than the walkers, and also experienced greater improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood lipid levels.
  • A 2014 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that running can be an effective way to reduce abdominal fat in overweight and obese individuals. The study followed a group of sedentary, overweight adults who engaged in a 12-week running program. At the end of the study, the participants had reduced their waist circumference and abdominal fat mass, suggesting that running can target and reduce visceral fat in overweight individuals.

See Your Doctor

First things first, let’s talk about seeing your doctor.

Think of it like getting a tune-up before a big road trip. You wouldn’t want to hit the highway without checking your brakes and getting an oil change, would you? The same goes for starting a new exercise plan.

Plus, you don’t want to be that guy hobbling around with a sore ankle or knee after your first run. Trust me; I’ve been there.

During your visit, expect to undergo an extensive physical assessment.

Be honest to get the most accurate feedback and advice.

You’re only cheating yourself by not telling the truth.

Some of the issues to address include:

  • Any history of a heart condition, including blood pressure,
  • Kidney health,
  • Any respiratory diseases (including asthma or lung diseases),
  • Joint issues (such as arthritis and trauma history),
  • Current medication, and
  • Pertinent issues in your medical history.

Once you get the green light from your physician, it’s time to get going.

Proper Footwear

Speaking of running pains, let’s chat about shoes. Your sneakers are like the tires on your car – they can make all the difference in how smooth your ride is.

And trust me, running in ill-fitting shoes is like trying to drive a car with a flat tire. It’s just not going to go well. So, invest in a good pair of running shoes that fit properly.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help! Think of it like getting a GPS for your car. You don’t want to get lost on your journey, right?

The same goes for finding the right shoes. Head to a specialty running store and let the experts guide you.

They’ll examine your feet and running style to help you find the perfect pair of kicks. It might cost a bit more, but it’s worth it. Plus, think of all the money you’ll save on Advil in the long run.

Running Clothing For The Obese Runner

Choose technical gear (clothing specifically designed for runners) that’s comfortable, fits well, and is within your budget.

I highly recommend compression gear for fat runners.

These are typically made of lightweight fabric that pulls moisture away from the skin while providing extra support.

It also helps prevent swelling in the legs and arms and may reduce muscle soreness afterward.

Additional resource – How to find affordable running clothes

A Running Plan For obese Beginners

Gotten the green light as well as basic running gear?

Great! It’s time to get started!

Let’s look at the actual steps you need to take in order to become a runner when you’re overweight.

Walk First

You might think that walking is for leisurely strolls in the park or for senior citizens, but it’s actually the perfect stepping stone to becoming a runner.

Walking is a low-impact exercise that allows you to build the endurance and strength needed for more intense physical activity. Think of it as the warm-up before the main event.

Not only that but walking is an excellent way to identify any underlying issues before you start running.

Trust me, there’s nothing worse than discovering you have knee pain halfway through a a short jog. If you experience any discomfort or pain while walking, talk to your doctor, or at the very least, acknowledge that your body might need some extra TLC.

Action Step

Let’s start by taking it one step at a time – literally. In the first week, aim to walk three to four times for about 30 minutes each session. By week four, you should be walking five to six times a week for 50 to 60 minutes each session.

But hold on, don’t just start walking like you’re on autopilot. Here’s how to make the most out of each session:

Here’s the ideal walking session.

  • Begin your session with a 5-minute slow walk as a warm-up.
  • Increase your intensity to a brisk walk pace and stick with it for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When you’re near the end of your walk, slow down, then stretch your body to bring your heart rate down.

Important Note: Remember, the most important thing is to progress at your own pace. You’re not competing with anyone except yourself, and as long as you’re moving forward, you’re making progress. Just don’t give up! The road to becoming a runner may be long, but it’s definitely worth it.

Additional resource – Here’s your guide to running three miles a day.

Start Run/Walking 

Now that you’re able to briskly walk for an hour without any pain, it’s time to introduce the run/walk method to your routine. It’s like a dance, but with your feet pounding the pavement instead of your partner’s.

Action Step:

Start by getting that blood flowing with a 10-minute brisk walk warm-up.

Next, feel the wind through your hair (or sweat through your cap, if you prefer) with a 20-30 second jog, followed by a 30-second to one-minute walk. Repeat this groove for 15-20 minutes, and then cool down with a 5-minute walk.

Once you can jog for a minute without feeling like you’re going to keel over, bump that up to 90 seconds.

Feeling like a superstar already? Increase your jogging time to two minutes. Keep on grooving, baby! If you’re worried this plan might be too much for you, no sweat! I’ve got you covered with a plan tailored specifically for overweight runners.

Feel like too much to handle?

Don’t worry.

I’ve already provided you below with the exact overweight runner plan you need to get started.

And remember, the name of the game is gradual progress. Your goal is to be grooving for at least 20 minutes without too much huffing and puffing. Keep on moving and keep on grooving.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to much to run to lose weight

Listen to your Body

By far, this is the most important rule to abide by when you start running or any other form of exercise – listen to your body.

It’s okay—and expected—to experience a little muscle soreness the day after a run, especially during the first few weeks. It’s a sign that you’re making progress.

You’ll be sweating, your heart rate will increase, and you’ll find it hard at times to keep at it. But, if you’re doubling over in pain, you’re doing it wrong. Trust me, you don’t want to end up like a cartoon character clutching their chest while gasping for breath.

Slow down if you notice any of the following red flags:

  • Nausea: Feeling queasy is a clear sign that something is off.
  • Intense chest pain: This is not the time to play tough guy. Chest pain could be a symptom of a serious medical condition, so stop immediately and seek medical attention.
  • Vomiting: Throwing up is your body’s way of telling you that you’ve pushed it too far. Don’t ignore this signal.
  • Severe muscle or joint pain: Pain is not a gain in this situation. You might need to take a step back and re-evaluate your approach.
  • Confusion: If you’re feeling disoriented or confused, stop what you’re doing and get some rest.
  • Loss of balance: Losing your balance is a recipe for disaster when running. Slow down and regain your composure.
  • Heart palpitations: Feeling your heart racing can be unsettling. Listen to your body and take a break until you feel better.
  • Dizziness or vertigo: Feeling lightheaded or dizzy is not a good sign. Stop immediately and take a break.

Remember, it’s important to push yourself, but not to the point of causing harm. Your body will thank you for it!

Recover Well

If you think that pushing yourself to the limit every day is the key to becoming a great runner, think again. In reality, rest and recovery are just as important as hard training when it comes to making progress and avoiding injury.

To get started, make sure to alternate your hard training days with rest days. This will give your muscles a chance to repair and rebuild, so you can come back stronger and more energized for your next workout.

If you’re not keen on taking a full day off, that’s okay! You can still cross train with other activities that complement your running routine. Some great options for beginners include swimming, strength training, spinning, and yoga.

Additional resource – How to combine keto and running


Running Plan for obese beginners – The Conclusion

There you have it.

If you’re looking on advice on how to start running when overweight, then my running plan is perfect for you. The rest is just details.

Thank you for stopping by.

Keep training strong.

Building A Better Running Lifestyle – The 8 Runners Habits You Need

runner on a beach

Want to unlock your full running potential? Ready to smash those personal records, conquer new distances, and kick those extra pounds to the curb for good? Well, you’re in the right place because we’re about to dive headfirst into the world of the best runner’s habits.

Now, I know what you might be thinking—building habits sounds daunting, right? Fear not! I’m here to show you that it’s not rocket science, and it can actually be kind of fun. So, lace up those running shoes and get ready to transform your running lifestyle one habit at a time.

In this article, we’re going to break down each habit, sprinkle in some practical tips, and guide you on how to seamlessly integrate them into your running routine.

Excited? You should be! Let’s hit the ground running and discover the secret sauce to becoming the best runner you can be.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 1. Become a Morning Runner

Our lives are a whirlwind of activities, from work commitments to social gatherings and family responsibilities. It often feels like there’s barely enough time to maintain a consistent running routine. But what if I told you there’s a simple solution: become a morning runner?

Embarking on a morning run has two significant advantages. First and foremost, it allows you to check off your run before the chaos of daily life takes over. Studies even suggest that people who exercise in the morning tend to stay more committed to their fitness regimen in the long run.

Secondly, starting your day with a run sets a positive tone that can enhance productivity, alertness, and overall energy levels. It’s like a shot of espresso for your body and mind, minus the caffeine jitters.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you’re a night owl and have successfully maintained a consistent running schedule in the afternoon or evening, kudos to you! But for many of us (myself included), transitioning into the “morning runner” lifestyle has been a game-changer.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 2. Set a Variety of Goals

Goal setting is the cornerstone of a successful running journey, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all concept. To truly harness its power, I encourage you to embrace a variety of goal types that will keep you motivated and consistently progressing.

Let’s explore the key goal categories every runner should consider:

Life (Long-Term) Performance Goals:

Think of these as your ultimate running aspirations—the crowning achievements that define your running journey. It’s your lifetime running legacy. Examples include conquering a marathon, earning that coveted Boston Marathon qualification, or triumphing in an ultra-distance trail race. These are the goals that make you say, “I did it.”

Annual Performance Goals:

These mid-range objectives serve as stepping stones towards your life goals. They provide the roadmap to your ultimate running dreams. For instance, it could be breaking the 20-minute mark in a 5K race by June or completing a local marathon in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. Annual goals keep you focused and moving forward.

Short-Term Goals:

While life and annual goals set the direction, short-term goals define your day-to-day and weekly actions. They are the building blocks that prop up your larger objectives. Short-term goals typically span one to four weeks, depending on where you are in your training cycle.

Examples include committing to two weekly speedwork sessions or ensuring you tackle a long run every weekend. These goals keep you accountable and steadily progressing.

Other goals to consider:

Here are other goals you might consider setting:

Running Lifestyle Habit – 3 Do a Dynamic Warm-up Routine Before a Run

Ah, the dreaded warm-up miles. We’ve all been there, right? But fear not, my fellow runner, because I’m about to let you in on a game-changing secret: dynamic warm-up exercises.

Dynamic warm-ups are like your running BFF. They not only get your blood pumping and your heart racing but also make sure your joints and muscles are all geared up for action.

So, without further ado, here’s the idea dynamic warm-up routine:

Step 1:

Start with a leisurely 5-minute walk. This is like your warm-up for the warm-up.

Step 2:

Now, get ready to shake things up. Spend 20 to 30 seconds on each of the following exercises in the order listed:

  • Leg swings: Channel your inner pendulum and swing those legs back and forth.
  • Skips: Yes, you read that right. Skip like you’re a kid again. It’s fun, I promise.
  • Squats: Drop it like it’s hot (but controlled) with some squats.
  • Lunges: Step into greatness with some lunges. Alternating legs, of course.
  • Inchworms: Feel like a mini-giant as you inch your way forward and backward.

Step 3:

Now that your body is awake and raring to go, slowly transition into your regular running pace. It’ll feel like a breeze, trust me.

After your invigorating run, don’t forget the golden rule of running: stretching. Show some love to those hardworking muscles – calves, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors. Give your shoulders and chest a little TLC to release any built-up tension.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 4. Take Care of Your Body

Oh, running, the beautiful agony of it all! It’s a love-hate relationship, isn’t it? On the one hand, you’ve got the thrill of the open road or the soothing rhythm of the treadmill, and on the other, there’s chafing, cramps, blisters, and the ever-looming specter of more serious injuries.

But here’s the deal, my fellow runner: to keep those running shoes laced up for the long haul, you’ve got to embrace the art of recovery. It’s not just a nice-to-have; it’s an absolute must. Why, you ask?

Well, let me drop a truth bomb on you: you’ll never unlock your full running potential if you’re constantly nursing injuries or feeling like a burnt-out candle.

In the grand scheme of things, I’d say you’re only as good as your recovery game. For the elite athletes out there, recovery isn’t a side dish; it’s the main course. So, my friend, it’s time to get serious about your recovery. Ignoring it or trying to outmuscle it is a one-way ticket to a world of trouble.

After all, those personal records and that runner’s high are waiting for you on the other side of a well-executed recovery routine.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to speed up recovery and staying injury free:

  • Schedule recovery runs, recovery days, and recovery weeks into your training program.
  • Never run through pain—especially in the hips, knees, shins, or feet.
  • Stay within your fitness level at all times—but stretch it gradually.
  • Get at least 8 hours of high-quality and uninterrupted sleep during the night’s time.
  • Change your running shoes every 400 to 500 miles.
  • Take care of your running feet.
  • Use a compression garment while running.
  • Cross train—preferably low-impact activities, such as walking, biking, strength training, and yoga. This can also be a form of “active recovery.
  • Keep listening to your body and adjusting your training program accordingly.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 5. Strength Train

Ah, the weight room – the secret haven of many a successful and joyful runner. It might sound counterintuitive, but believe me, resistance training is your running BFF.

Let’s break it down: hitting those weights does wonders for your running game. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of workouts for runners. First off, it tackles those pesky muscle imbalances, and when you’re balanced, you’re less likely to wind up on the injury list.

Nobody wants that, right?

But that’s not all – resistance training is your ticket to building power and speed, two things that can turn you into a running powerhouse.

Plus, it’s like a crash course in improving your running economy, which is a fancy way of saying you’ll use less oxygen when you run. Efficiency is the name of the game.

Strong muscles working in harmony, proper form locked in, and you are gliding like a gazelle (or at least feeling like one). That’s the gift of a well-rounded athlete.

So, here’s the deal – make those weight room dates at least twice a week. Give your muscles the love they deserve, and they’ll reward you with strength, resilience, and endurance.

Now, I get it – not everyone’s besties with the gym. No problem. You can start right at home with some classic bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, pull-ups, lunges, and planks. These bad boys will whip you into shape and boost your total body strength in no time.

And hey, if time’s not your friend, don’t sweat it (well, maybe a little). You can squeeze in some strength exercises post-run. Imagine this: you’ve just crushed your run, and now you’re topping it off with a bonus round of 25 push-ups, 30 squats, 20 lunges, and a 90-second plank.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 6. Run With Others

When it comes to achieving success – and I’m talking about success not just in running but in every nook and cranny of life – the people you surround yourself with are like secret weapons.

Here’s the deal: if you want to crush your running goals while having an absolute blast, there’s no better way than to run with others, especially those you genuinely enjoy hanging out with. Why? Because you are the company you keep, plain and simple.

But don’t just take my word for it; science has our back on this one. A nifty study by the Society of Behavioral Medicine spilled the beans – those who exercise with others are way more likely to stay true to their training.

But wait, there’s more. Running with your crew isn’t just about clocking miles together; it’s about building a support system, a cornerstone of long-term health and fitness success.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 7  Eat Healthy

Whether you’re pounding the pavement or taking it easy, a healthy diet is your ultimate sidekick – and trust me, it’s not up for debate.

Here’s the deal – even if you could run from sunrise to sunset, you’d never outrun an unhealthy diet. Period.

So, let’s make healthy eating a lifelong habit, shall we? I know it’s easier said than done, but hey, it’s not rocket science.

Now, let’s break it down.

The “when” is key.

What you munch on before, during, and after a run directly impacts your performance and how much you enjoy that workout. So, here’s the game plan: chow down something light and easy on the stomach one to two hours before your run.

Think carbs – they’re your energy buddies. And don’t forget to refuel right after you wrap up that run. Your body will thank you.

Now, let’s talk “what.” Proper nutrition isn’t about stuffing your face; it’s about fueling your engine with the good stuff.

So, load up on veggies, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats – you know, the A-team. Kick the junk to the curb. It’s time to level up your plate game.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 8 Drink lots of Water

I can’t stress this enough – you need to make guzzling water a daily habit. Not coffee, not iced tea, and certainly not soda or sugary drinks. We’re talking good old H2O.

Here’s the game plan: aim for at least 36 ounces of water per day. That’s about six six-ounce glasses. But, if your body’s hankering for more, then drink up. But here’s the catch – don’t go overboard. Too much water can actually upset your stomach and mess with your sodium levels. So, be smart about it. Know when to say when.

Now, here’s a pro tip for you – your pee is a hydration indicator. If it’s clear throughout the day, you’re nailing the hydration game. But if it’s looking pale and yellow, you’ve got some catching up to do in the water-drinking department.

Building A Better Running Lifestyle – The 8 Running Habits You Need – Conclusion

Last but not least, I want to hear from you, guys and girls.

Which of these eight habits do you think is more crucial?

Which one(s) do you need to start working on?

And please, do you have any habits or running practices you feel like sharing?

Leave your suggestions and questions in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading my post.

Running Technique Guide – How To Improve Running Form for Beginners

couple running and have good running form

Looking to improve your running technique and improve running technique? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Now, here’s the deal: Running is as natural to us as breathing. I mean, think about it. According to the evolutionary gurus and running connoisseurs like Chris MacDougal, our very own bodies were designed to do one thing exceptionally well—run, and run for long distances. It’s how our ancestors survived back in the good old days. Running was a matter of life and death.

Now, here’s the not-so-pleasant truth: Having proper running technique doesn’t always come naturally to most of us. Yep, you heard it right. One of the most common mistakes runners make is strutting their stuff with less-than-stellar form. And let me tell you, it’s not a topic that gets talked about enough. I get it, everyone has their own opinion, but that’s no reason to dismiss the importance of proper running form altogether.

That’s where I come in. I’ve made it my mission to unravel the secrets of good running form and compile them into this comprehensive article. I’ll dive into topics like what exactly running form is, why it’s crucial, how to improve your running posture, and even explore the intriguing concept of Lean Gravity Running.

Oh, and we’ll also tackle the burning question of what to do with those hands of yours while you’re out there pounding the pavement.

I know, it’s a lot to cover, but let’s be real here—running technique deserves all the attention it can get. So buckle up those laces, my friend, because we’re about to embark on an epic journey of mastering your running form.

Excited? Let’s get started.

What is Running Form?

Picture running form as the conductor of an orchestra, harmonizing all the different elements to create a symphony of effortless motion. It’s like the secret sauce that can take your running from good to absolutely jaw-dropping.

When we talk about running form, we’re diving into the fascinating world of running mechanics, technique, and style. It’s all about how you move and groove when you hit the pavement. Think of it as your running signature, uniquely tailored to your body and capabilities.

Now, let’s break it down. Your running form encompasses a medley of crucial factors. We’re talking about your running posture, the way your feet strike the ground, the position of those powerful arms of yours, and even the rhythm of your cadence.

But why should you care about all this? Well, my friend, here’s the tea. Proper running form is the key that unlocks a world of benefits. It’s the secret sauce that enhances your running experience and unlocks your true potential.

When you dial in your running form, you’re setting the stage for comfort, efficiency, and mind-blowing results. Trust me, you want to tap into that magic. Picture yourself gliding through your runs with ease, feeling light as a feather, and leaving your competition in the dust. That’s the power of nailing your running form.

The Importance of Good Running Technique

Proper running form, my friend, is the secret sauce that separates the running champs from the strugglers. It’s like having the perfect rhythm in a dance, where each step flows effortlessly and gracefully. When you unlock the power of good running technique, you unleash a whole new level of running prowess.

Let’s get real here. When you master your running form, you open the doors to a world of benefits. Think about it like this: it’s the difference between cruising down the highway in a sleek sports car or chugging along in an old clunker. You want to be the sports car, effortlessly gliding towards your running goals.

But here’s the catch. If your running form goes off the rails, it’s like throwing a wrench into the gears. Suddenly, you’re at risk of injury and your performance takes a nosedive. We don’t want that, do we? No way! We want you to conquer those miles with confidence and reach new heights.

Note: It Takes Time To Build Good Running Form

Learning any new skill—whether it’s a new language, how to use new software, or in your case, how to develop good running form—requires time and experimentation.

It doesn’t happen overnight.

But it’ll definitely help you ward off injuries and run more efficiently.

How To Improve Running Form for Beginners

Here are the exact guidelines you need to improve your running technique.

Your Running Posture

Let’s talk about posture. Now, I must admit, the word itself doesn’t quite excite me. It brings to mind images of stiff, book-balancing individuals trying to maintain a perfect stance. Not exactly the most thrilling mental picture, right? But here’s the thing: despite its lackluster reputation, good posture holds incredible power.

Think of it as the invisible force that aligns your body like a well-oiled machine. It’s like the conductor leading a symphony, ensuring that every instrument plays in perfect harmony. When you have proper posture, everything falls into place—your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments all work together seamlessly.

But here’s the kicker: good posture isn’t just important for sitting up straight at a desk or walking gracefully. When you lace up your running shoes and hit the track, proper posture becomes your secret weapon.

Imagine this: your body is a magnificent structure, and good posture is the solid foundation upon which it stands. It’s like the rock-solid base of a towering skyscraper, keeping everything stable and balanced. With each step you take, proper posture ensures that your body moves efficiently and effortlessly, reducing the strain on your muscles.

Let’s not forget the injury prevention aspect. Good posture acts as your body’s personal bodyguard, shielding you from unnecessary aches, pains, and injuries. It’s like having an invisible shield that deflects potential harm, allowing you to run with confidence and resilience.

Bad Posture on The Run

Let’s talk about the nemesis of a good run: bad posture. Now, I understand that some of you may have been lucky enough to avoid this plight, but let me tell you, it can turn your long run into a real nightmare.

Picture this: you’re out there, pounding the pavement, chasing your running goals. But wait! What’s that nagging pain in your neck, shoulders, or back? Ouch! It’s like an unwanted hitchhiker that jumped on board without your permission. And let me tell you, bad posture is often the culprit.

You see, when your posture is off, it’s like your body’s internal GPS got rerouted. Instead of proper alignment, your muscles and joints bear the brunt of the stress. They’re working overtime, becoming tense, and screaming for mercy. Not exactly the kind of harmony you want while you’re out there conquering the miles.

But here’s the thing: bad posture doesn’t stop at ruining your running experience. Oh no, it has a whole repertoire of mischief up its sleeve. Wasted energy? Check. Interfering with your running gait? Double check. Contributing to overuse injuries? Triple check. It’s like a domino effect of discomfort and setbacks.

Trust me, I speak from personal experience. I used to battle a host of problems that I can only attribute to my poor posture. After even a short run, my lower and middle back would ache and feel fatigued. Sitting for just an hour would leave me with a burning pain between my shoulder blades and in my lower back. And let’s not forget the cherry on top—my poor posture made me look shorter and heavier than I actually am. Not the confidence boost I was hoping for.

But fear not! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Once I made a conscious effort to improve my posture, a miraculous transformation occurred. Those issues that plagued me for so long? They simply vanished into thin air.

Sure, I still get the occasional twinge of back pain, but it’s nowhere near as intense or as frequent as before. And here’s the kicker: even with longer work hours and more miles on my running shoes, I’m standing tall, feeling stronger, and looking like the best version of myself.

Good Posture

First things first, it’s all about tackling the root causes of bad posture. Strengthening and mobilizing the right muscles became my secret weapon in this battle. Let me tell you, it made a world of difference.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to achieve that perfect posture. Picture this: a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, and a slight forward lean. That’s the winning formula right there. But we can’t forget about our torso—it should be straight as an arrow, avoiding any excessive chest or booty protrusions. Keep it all in line, my friend.

And here’s where the core takes center stage. Engage those core muscles like a superhero tightening their cape. A strong and tight core not only gives you the stability of a mighty oak but also sets the stage for impeccable posture and efficient running. It’s the rock-solid foundation you need to conquer those miles with confidence.

To truly grasp the essence of proper posture, let’s do a little experiment. Find a wall and stand tall against it. Now, press that derrière firmly against the wall while keeping your chest lifted, core engaged, and back nice and flat. Voila! That’s the posture you should strive for while you hit the running trails.

And if you’re a visual person like me, here’s a little trick for you. Imagine there’s a plum line suspended above your head, gracefully descending through your body, ensuring every inch of you aligns perfectly. Picture that vertical line, my friend, and let it guide you to running glory.

But here’s the cherry on top—don’t forget to check in on your running posture every 10 to 15 minutes. Just like a navigator constantly reassesses their course, you need to ensure everything is on track. Are you standing tall? Are your shoulders relaxed? Is that core engaged? Take a moment, my friend, and make those adjustments if needed. Your body will thank you for it.

woman running

Lean Gravity Assisted Running

The art of gravity-assisted running is like harnessing the power of the universe itself to propel us forward. But here’s the thing, my friend, you’ve got to do it right. Let me share the secret to mastering this technique and unlocking your true running potential.

Imagine this: a slight forward tilt, a mere two to three degrees. It may sound minuscule, but trust me, it’s the sweet spot where magic happens. When you lean forward from your ankles, not your waist, you activate the mighty force of gravity, becoming its dance partner on the running stage.

But here’s a word of caution—balance is key. Avoid leaning too far forward, like a daring acrobat defying gravity’s limits, or too far back, like a hesitant turtle retreating into its shell. Find that sweet spot, my friend, where you’re in perfect harmony with the gravitational forces at play.

Now, let’s talk about the hips. They bear the weight of our running endeavors, and we must treat them with care. Say no to bending backward or forward from the waist. That’s like putting excessive pressure on the hips, asking them to bear a burden they’re not meant to carry. Let’s spare our hips the trouble, shall we?

To truly understand the beauty of proper forward lean, let’s take a moment to appreciate the Nordic ski jumpers. Picture those graceful athletes soaring through the air, defying gravity’s grasp. Their bodies lean forward in perfect synchrony, riding the waves of momentum. They are the epitome of the ideal forward lean we seek in our running form.

Your Head While Running

Picture this: your head held high, like a regal monarch surveying their kingdom. It should be centered, maintaining its rightful place between the shoulders. This is the foundation of a harmonious head-body relationship.

Now, let’s talk about your gaze. Look ahead, my friend, approximately 10 to 15 feet into the distance. Fix your eyes on the path that lies before you, like a keen-eyed adventurer, always aware of what lies ahead. Avoid the temptation to glance downward at your feet. Such an act leads to the treacherous land of slouching—a place no runner wants to be.

The chin is the bridge between head and body. It holds great power over our running form. Keep it level, neither tilting it up nor down. Yes, fatigue may try to tempt you into a downward gaze, but resist its siren call. Your chin should remain steadfast, like a vigilant guardian, protecting the alignment of your head and spine.

Why all this fuss, you ask? Well, my friend, it’s about energy. When your head assumes its rightful position, aligned with the spine, energy flows freely throughout your body.

Your Shoulders While Running

As you embark on your running journey, remember this golden rule: keep your shoulders relaxed and nestled comfortably under your ears. Think of them as a pair of loyal sentinels, maintaining a watchful stance.

Why is this so important, you ask? Well, my friend, hunching those mighty shoulders creates unnecessary tension—a prison of discomfort that inhibits your breathing and restricts your movement. We don’t want that, do we?

When your shoulders are relaxed, it’s as if a weight has been lifted off your chest, allowing your lungs to expand and contract freely. Your breathing becomes a rhythmic melody, a symphony of oxygen flowing in and out with ease. This not only enhances your running efficiency but also fills you with a sense of liberation, as if you’re soaring through the skies like a majestic bird.

But there’s more to it than just breathing. When your shoulders are relaxed, your arms can swing like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, effortlessly propelling you forward. It’s a beautiful dance of synchronization, where your shoulders and arms work in harmony, enhancing your stride and propelling you towards your goals.

Your Arms While Running

While running may seem like a lower-body affair, your arms play a crucial role in your performance. They’re not just idle bystanders; they are active participants in the symphony of motion that propels you forward.

Imagine your arms as swift, graceful wings, guiding you through the air with effortless precision. As you swing your arms in rhythm with your legs, you tap into a hidden well of power. This synchrony enhances your balance, boosts your speed, and elevates your overall coordination and rhythm.

To optimize your arm position while running, remember these key tips. Keep your arms comfortably at your sides, like two trusty companions accompanying you on your running escapade. Let your elbows form a gentle angle of around 90 degrees, slightly pointed away from your torso. This position allows for fluid movement, reducing unnecessary tension and freeing your energy to conquer new horizons.

As you swing your arms forward and back, like the pendulum of a grand clock, embrace the sensation of freedom. Resist the temptation to cross your arms over your body, for it disrupts the symphony and limits your potential. By allowing your arms to move in harmony with your legs, you create a rhythm that is music to the soul of a runner.

Your Hands While Running

Ah, the unsung heroes of the running world: our trusty hands. They may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of running, but let me tell you, my friend, they hold a remarkable power. Like conductors of an orchestra, they regulate the tension in your upper body, ensuring a harmonious and efficient running experience.

Now, imagine your hands as delicate vessels, cradling a precious butterfly or holding an egg that you’re determined not to crush nor break. Keep your hands in an unclenched fist, with your fingers and thumbs lightly touching. Feel the gentle embrace of your fingers, as if they are holding onto something fragile yet full of beauty.

Now, here’s a little secret: instead of swinging your arms forward, imagine that you’re channeling your inner martial artist. Visualize yourself elbowing an unseen force behind you, propelling yourself forward with power and purpose. It’s like unleashing a hidden strength, propelling you towards victory.

Why is all this hand business so important? Well, my friend, tightness in your hands can lead to tension creeping up your back and shoulders. We don’t want that. By maintaining a relaxed yet focused grip, you release unnecessary strain and allow your upper body to move with grace and ease. It’s a dance of freedom, where tension has no place to take hold.

Your Knees While Running

Your knees bear the weight, absorb the impact, and keep us moving forward with grace and resilience. Let’s give these joint warriors the attention they deserve.

Picture this: as you glide through the air, your knees act as flexible springs, always ready to absorb the shock of each foot strike. They are like the suspension system of a high-performance sports car, ensuring a smooth ride even on the bumpiest terrain.

Now, here’s a golden rule to keep in mind: maintain a continuous slight bend in the knee throughout your entire gait cycle. It’s like maintaining a gentle flex, a state of readiness that allows your knees to adapt and respond to the ever-changing demands of the road beneath you.

As your leading leg propels you forward, imagine a subtle bend in your knee, relaxed and supple. This slight bend serves two purposes: first, it allows for a more efficient transfer of energy, enabling you to land with finesse just a tad in front of your center of gravity. Second, it acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the impact of each foot strike like a protective buffer.

You see, my friend, the knees are not meant to be locked in rigid extension. They crave that gentle flexion, that little bit of give, which prevents unnecessary strain and reduces the risk of injury. It’s like the difference between a rigid stick and a supple spring, ready to rebound and propel you forward.

Stay Relaxed Running

Running with tension is like trying to sprint while wearing a heavy backpack filled with rocks. It weighs you down, drains your energy, and prevents you from reaching your full potential. But when you let go of that tension, it’s like shedding that backpack, freeing yourself to run with lightness and ease.

Let’s start by identifying those tension hotspots. They can be tricky little troublemakers, often lurking in our hands, shoulders, and jaws. But fear not, for you hold the key to releasing them. Consciously bring your awareness to these areas and give yourself permission to let go. Imagine gently untangling knots, like a skilled masseuse working their magic.

Your shoulders, my friend, deserve a special mention. Keep them back and relaxed, as if they were carrying the weight of the world with ease. If you sense any tightness, let your arms drop by your sides, open your hands, and give them a little shake.

Now, let’s unlock the power of your face. Yes, your facial muscles can play a significant role in your overall body tension. So, unclench your jaw, allowing it to slacken and your eyes to soften. Think of it as a gentle sigh of relief, releasing any unnecessary strain and inviting relaxation to wash over you.

And those tightly clenched fists? They’re a recipe for tension and improper form. Instead, picture yourself cradling delicate eggs in each hand, eggs you don’t want to crush. Let your fingers loosen their grip, allowing the energy to flow freely and unencumbered.

Lastly, let’s dive into the world of breath. Deep, powerful breaths have the magical ability to both calm and energize. Instead of relying solely on your chest, engage your diaphragm, that marvelous muscle beneath your lungs. Feel your belly expand as you draw in a nourishing breath, and then let it gently contract as you release. It’s a dance of oxygen and vitality, fueling your every step.

Know your Cadence For Proper Running Mechanics

Think of cadence as the conductor of your running orchestra. It sets the pace, the tempo, and determines the harmony between your body and the ground. Each time your foot kisses the earth, it’s like a musical note, contributing to the melody of your stride.

Experts have spoken, and they tell us that an optimal cadence falls within the range of 170 to 180 steps per minute. This golden range, discovered by the esteemed running coach Jack Daniels, holds the key to unlocking your true running potential. It’s the sweet spot where efficiency and injury prevention meet, paving the way for remarkable performance.

But before you embark on your cadence journey, let’s measure where you currently stand. Take a moment to count the number of strides your foot takes in 30 seconds. Then, with a touch of mathematical prowess, multiply that number by four. Voila! You now have a snapshot of your current cadence.

If your cadence falls below the magic 180, fear not. Improvement is within your reach. Begin by increasing your cadence gradually, aiming for a five percent increment every three to four weeks. It’s like fine-tuning a musical instrument, making small adjustments to find your perfect rhythm.

Remember that your cadence may vary depending on the intensity of your run. During speedwork or racing, your cadence will naturally be faster, like a virtuoso violinist playing with passion and speed. So, strive to find your ideal cadence for both training and racing, ensuring a symphony of strides in every scenario.

Foot Strike & Good Running Technique

When it comes to foot strike, we’re faced with three contenders: the graceful forefoot strike (FFS), the balanced mid-foot strike (MFS), and the trusty rearfoot strike (RFS). Each has its loyal following, but here’s the catch—the evidence supporting a clear winner is yet to be discovered.

Now, before you throw your hands up in frustration, allow me to offer some guidance. As a beginner, I would recommend aiming for a mid-foot strike. Why, you ask? Well, it’s like finding the sweet spot between elegance and efficiency. Landing on your mid-foot helps minimize stress on your precious knees and ankles while giving you a solid foundation for a powerful push-off.

Here’s the secret sauce to mastering the mid-foot strike: as you glide through your running stride, focus on landing softly on your midfoot or the area between your heel and midfoot. Then swiftly roll forward onto your toes, engaging those glutes with each step.

But wait, hold your horses! While I’m here singing the praises of the mid-foot strike, it’s important to remember that running form is a deeply personal experience. What works for one runner may not work for another. So, take my suggestion with a pinch of salt and embrace the beauty of experimentation.

Pay attention to how your body responds. If you’re landing in a way that feels right, and you’re free from post-run aches and pains in your lower limbs, then you’re on the right track, my friend. Remember, running is as much an art as it is a science. Find the style that resonates with your unique rhythm and adapt accordingly.

If you find that your current foot strike isn’t serving you well, fear not! You have the power to make a change. Embrace the freedom of choice and explore different foot strike patterns until you find the one that brings you the most joy and efficiency.

Run Your Own Way

Here’s the secret sauce: as you embark on your running journey, focus on developing those proper technique habits. With each stride, you’ll be toning your form, refining it like a sculptor shaping a masterpiece. It’s all about finding what works best for you, like a bespoke suit tailored specifically to your body.

Remember, the key is to let your running technique harmonize with your physiology. Don’t force yourself into a mold that doesn’t fit. Instead, allow your natural movement patterns to guide your form, embracing the freedom to run as nature intended.

Now, here’s a nifty tip for instant feedback on your running journey—join a running group! Picture it as a vibrant community filled with experienced runners who have traveled the paths you’re about to tread. These groups are a melting pot of fitness backgrounds and levels, a treasure trove of wisdom waiting to be shared. Seek their guidance, soak up their knowledge, and be open to honest criticism. Sometimes the truth might sting a bit, but it’s all part of the learning process that propels you forward.

It’s worth noting that every runner has their own unique style. Just like a kaleidoscope of colors, we all bring our own flair to the running world. So, embrace your individuality and cherish the learning process. Keep a keen eye on your performance and the joy you derive from each training session. These markers will guide you along the right path, illuminating the way to running bliss.


To re-cap: when it comes to building proper running form, run tall with a slight forward lean, keep your body relaxed the entire time, improve your cadence, and find the foot strike that suits you the best (mine is the forefoot strike). And that’s it.

As a recreational runner—even if you take your running a bit more serious than the average joe—I don’t think you will need sophisticated from analysis to get the hangs of proper form.

Just keep your focus on the basics of proper running form and you will undoubtedly reap the rewards of proper form: efficient running and fewer injuries. And that will make your daily runs a lot more fun for sure.

And please be gradual about changing your form. In my experience, the fastest way to get injured is to try to change everything overnight—so just give it time and change one thing at a time while listening to your body’s feedback and staying within your fitness level the entire time. Then it’s just a matter of time before you master good running form.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Go out there and RUN!

6 Yoga Poses to Ease Post-Run Muscle Soreness

Yoga Poses to Ease Post-Run Muscle Soreness

Post-workout soreness after running or any other exercise, often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness, better known as DOMS, is common among runners—whether you are a beginner just starting out, or an intermediate runner after dramatically increasing the duration or intensity of your runs.

Good or Bad?

Don’ get me wrong.

Post-workout muscle soreness is a good sign.

It says that you are pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, and that’s where real change happens.

And the good news is that the more you run, the less your muscles will be sore in the weeks and months to come.

In other words, if you feel sore after a run, then good job buddy!

But this soreness can also be a bad thing, especially if it’s interfering with your everyday activities.

Post-run soreness can also be an unpleasant experience—even painful at times, and may interfere with your daily activity and how ready you can be—physically and mentally—for your next workout.

Therefore, today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite cross-training activities you can do to speed up recovery: yoga.

women performing Yoga Poses to Ease Post-Run Muscle Soreness

The Power Of Yoga

Yoga can help you alleviate a lot of post-workout pains and it’s more efficient than, say, the traditional stretching technique you learned in high school.

Truth be told, a regular yoga practice can help you rehab tired muscles, prevent injuries and get your body ready for your next run.

Therefore, here are some of my favorite yoga poses that will work to alleviate post-run pains and aches while increasing your flexibility and mobility in key running muscles such the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

I recommend that you use this routine as means for speeding up recovery after a hard run—mainly a long run or an interval session.

Hold each for 30 to 45 seconds, and breathe deeply to release any tension or tightness you might experience.

Keep in mind that this simple 20-minute sequence is an easy and gentle sequence.

So no need to push yourself here.

Just do it gently and slowly and remember to breathe deeply.

So don’t try to win the world’s most flexible human contest in one session.

Here’s the full guide to yoga for runners.

1. Standing Forward Bend


This is a must pose for calming the mind while also stretching and relieving the muscles of the spine and the hamstrings.

Proper Form

Begin by standing with your feet together, toes parallel, core engaged, with hands on your hips.

This is your starting position, or what’s known as the Mountain Pose, Tadasana.

Next, while allowing for a slight bend in the knees, fold over at your hips, and roll your spine down as you reach towards the floor, lengthening the front of your torso in the process.

Make sure to let your neck relax once you reach the bottom part of the pose, once you reach your max flexibility point.

Then, let the crown of your head hang loose and place your fingertips on your knees, shins or the floor beside your feet if your flexibility allows it.

Make sure to fold forward with a straight back, releasing slowly and gradually into the full pose.

Then, straighten your legs as much as possible while shifting your weight forward into your toes.

Hold the pose for one to two minutes, being mindful of your spine and legs the entire time.

2. Wide Legged Forward Bend Twist


Also known as Prasarita Padottanasana , this asana stretches and strengthens the inner back legs and spine while penning the hips and improving the trunks rotation ability.

Proper Form

From mountain pose, widen your feet and place them three to four feet apart, with toes slightly turned slightly out, then hinge your torso forward at the hips.

Next, roll your spine downward and place your hands on your ground or on a yoga block, letting your neck and head relax.

Then, while breathing deep and being mindful of your spine, lift your right arm and reach it toward the ceiling, feeling your spine twist and open.

Hold the pose for 30 to 45 seconds, then slowly bring your hand down and switch sides.

3. Lunge with Side Stretch


An awesome pose for releasing and opening the adductors, the abductors, and the glutes.

Proper Form

Assume Tadasana pose, then widen your stance with toes pointing 45 degrees outward.

Next, lunge to the right side, bending your right knee to a 90-degree angle and straightening the left leg to point upward with heel on the floor.

You can place your hands on the right thigh, or on the floor, depending on how flexible you are.

Hold the stretch for 30 45 seconds, then change sides.

Please, keep your back straight and core engaged during the stretch.

4. Star Pose


This pose can help you open up and release tension in the hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck.

Proper Form

Sit down on the floor with the sole of the feet together, knees bent in a kite shape, creating a diamond shape with your legs.

Next, lengthen your spine, grasp your shins or feet, then slowly let your back round and roll your body forward drawing your forehead towards your heels, then breathe deep and look within.

Relax into this pose for at least one to two minutes.

5. Legs Up the Wall


This is in my experience one of the best relaxing and restorative inversions in the yoga world.

This post speeds up recovery by draining tension from the legs while stretching the lower back, legs, and hamstrings.

Proper Form

Sit on the floor with a wall next to right side.

For more support, you can use a long firm pillow by bolstering against the wall.

Then, raise your legs up into the air then rest them on the wall.

Make sure your lower is resting against the support pillow, if you are using one.

Next, relax your body and put your hands on your belly, rest head and shoulders on the ground, and start taking deep breaths to release any tension or stress in your body, starting from your toes and down through your ankles, knees, thighs, glutes, lower back and the rest of your body.

Stay in this pose as long as you can—nothing short from 5 minutes.

6. Lying-down Body Twist


Also known as Natrajasana, this asana can help you release tension in the lower body—especially the lower back and glutes.

Proper Form

Start by lying down on your back with both feet on the floor at hip width and knees bent, then extend your arms out at your sides.

Next, bend your knees, and bring them toward your chest as close as possible, then slowly lower your bent knees to the left side while turning your head and looking over to your right side.

Next, reach your arms out to the left side then lower both legs to the left side while keeping your right shoulder in contact with the floor.

Hold the pose for 30 to 45 seconds and feel the stretch in your back, stomach, neck, shoulders, groin and thighs, then slowly return to the center and switch sides.

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From Zero to Running Hero: How to Make Running a Lifelong Habit

runner trying to Make Running a Habit

It was a crisp morning when my trusty alarm clock chimed at 6:00 a.m. As a dedicated runner, I’ve always prioritized my sleep, aiming to get a solid 7-8 hours of shut-eye every night.

My morning routine is a well-oiled machine. By around 10:00 p.m., I’m already snuggled in bed, ensuring I’m well-rested for the next day’s adventure. When that alarm sounds, I’m raring to go. Within minutes, I’m up, dressed in my running gear – sneakers, socks, a comfortable tee, and my favorite workout shorts.

At precisely 6:15, I step out the door, ready to embark on my morning run. Today, it’s all about tempo training. But tomorrow, it’s a different story. I’ll rise at the same early hour, but my focus will shift to yoga. Later in the day, you’ll find me at the gym, tackling a CrossFit WOD. I prefer evening gym sessions – they somehow boost my productivity.

My exercise routine has become second nature, etched into my daily life. There’s no resistance, no forcing myself out of bed, no teeth-grinding to get going. It just flows naturally. Of course, there are moments when life throws curveballs, and I might stray from my routine. But rest assured. I always come back stronger than ever.

A Very Common Struggle

Let’s face it: forming an exercise habit is no walk in the park for most people. Many folks start off with good intentions, whether it’s running, eating healthier, reading more, or reducing screen time, only to find themselves stopping and restarting repeatedly.

But fear not! What I’m about to share with you today will provide the keys to breaking free from this endless cycle and transform your running routine (or any other workout regimen) into a lifelong, ingrained habit.

How To Make Running a Habit – Start Small

A common mistake many new runners make is pushing themselves too hard right from the beginning. This approach can lead to injury, burnout, and frustration. To build a sustainable running habit, it’s crucial to begin with manageable and realistic goals.

Starting small, such as incorporating a walk-run method or going for a short run around the block, can make the early weeks of running more enjoyable and achievable. Remember the mantra, “A short run is better than none.” This mindset is especially helpful for beginners.

Whether your goal is weight loss, completing a 10K, or simply being able to jog for 20 minutes without getting out of breath, ensure that your initial goals are realistic and attainable.

The Walk-Run Method

For beginners, the walk-run method is an excellent approach to establishing a running habit. Here’s a beginner’s running program that incorporates this method.

Additional Resource – When it’s the best time to run

Come Up with a Running Plan

Deciding to start running is a significant step, but it’s equally important to support your decision with a well-thought-out plan. The saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” attributed to Benjamin Franklin, holds true for managing exercise routines.

To ensure your running journey is successful, create a detailed plan covering every aspect related to your running routine. This includes choosing a running route, deciding on the time and type of run, and even preselecting your music playlist or any other elements of your training routine.

As crucial as planning your runs is, don’t forget to plan your rewards as well. These rewards can be anything that motivates you, whether it’s a post-run smoothie, a massage, or a relaxing hot shower. These incentives will keep you motivated on your path to achieving your long-term running goals.

Write It Down

Research supports the effectiveness of planning in achieving fitness and health objectives. An experiment conducted at the University of Hertfordshire revealed that individuals without a plan struggled to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

Once you’ve determined the components of your running plan, write them down and place them where you’ll see them regularly. Be specific about the details, including:

  • Running distance
  • Running time
  • Running duration
  • Type of run
  • Walk/run ratio (for beginners)
  • Training pace
  • Running route

I have written a comprehensive guide to running program design.

You can find it here.

Also, prepare in advance your running shoes, clothes, water bottle, and running backpack, preferably the night before.

This helps eliminate any excuse to skip the run.

Turn Your Plan into a Ritual

Once you’ve established a solid running plan, the next step is to turn it into a daily ritual. This concept draws inspiration from Tony Schwartz, the author of “The Power of Full Engagement,” a renowned book on productivity and personal management. If you’re serious about making lasting changes in your life, this book is a must-read.

But what exactly is a ritual, and how can it benefit your running journey?

A ritual consists of a specific set of behaviors that you perform at the same time every day or on specific, designated days. To create a ritual, you need to define the precise behaviors related to running that you’ll engage in. Once these behaviors are defined, commit to performing them at the designated times.

By establishing a fixed time for your running routine, you eliminate the need to expend mental energy on when to fit it in. Additionally, rituals often carry a sense of spirituality or religiosity, making them more compelling, even for individuals who aren’t particularly religious or spiritual.

Creating a running ritual helps you solidify your commitment to regular running, making it an integral and non-negotiable part of your daily or weekly routine.

Additional reading – How to Prevent Overuse Injury

Set a Specific Time for the Ritual

Selecting a specific time of day for your running ritual is crucial. You must determine whether the morning, midday, or evening is the most suitable and feasible time for your runs. Once you’ve chosen a time, it’s vital to stick with it consistently, regardless of any obstacles or distractions.

For example, I’ve committed to running every day at 6:15 a.m., and I find that maintaining this consistency greatly contributes to my success, whether I’m going for a run or practicing yoga.

To enhance your chances of success, treat your runs with the same level of importance as you would an essential work meeting or a family obligation. Make it a non-negotiable commitment by scheduling it into your calendar. This approach demonstrates your dedication to the practice.

As a helpful strategy, develop a habit of marking your calendar with a prominent red “X” on the days you plan to go for a run. This visual representation can serve as a powerful motivator, and ideally, you should aim for three to four big red “Xs” on your weekly calendar. This level of consistency will reinforce your commitment to your running ritual.

Run First Thing in the Morning

Our lives are incredibly busy, filled with long work hours, childcare duties, the captivating but time-consuming world of social media, and various daily obligations. Balancing it all can be challenging, but there’s a strategy to help you maintain your running lifestyle even in the midst of a hectic schedule: run in the early morning when your willpower is at its peak, and the rest of the world is still asleep.

Research supports the idea that individuals who consistently exercise prioritize morning workouts. Therefore, it’s advisable to establish a morning running routine before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, especially before your children wake up. But how can you make this adjustment to your schedule?

It’s relatively straightforward. Start by setting your alarm an hour earlier than usual. If you prefer, you can have a light snack before your run. Once you’ve completed your run, follow it up with a refreshing shower and a nutritious breakfast. By doing so, you’ll already have accomplished more than many people do in the morning.

Remember that being a morning person is not an inherent trait; it’s a habit that can be cultivated. Running in the morning will not only boost your metabolism but also enhance your productivity throughout the day, which is pretty cool, right?

picture of Calf Pain

Lay Out your Running Gear

If you have a run scheduled in the morning, make sure to get your running gear ready the night before.

Doing this will help you head out the door with minimum friction, as there’s nothing worse than waking up early and having to hunt through a dark room in a semi-awake state for gear that you need.

This is especially important if you’re not naturally a morning person: if your running gear is nowhere to be found, you’re much more likely to drop the whole plan and say that you’ll run another time.

So, what do you need to lay out? Your clothes, from underwear and running socks to your hat.

Earphones, shoes,  watch, hydration belt, headlamp, reflective vest, gels, even post-run rewards—everything that’s needed for your run, in a nutshell.

For more discipline, try sleeping in your running clothes.

If you’re an efficiency freak like me, this is your best option.

Make it Regular

Once you decide on a running ritual, do your best to never skip a workout.

If you skip a day, the process of exercise habit formation only gets harder.

It’s all about keeping your momentum going, especially during the first few weeks.

The easiest way to keep your resolution going is simply not to stop.

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.

It’s a basic physics law, and you should use it to your advantage.

If your ultimate goal is to run three times a week, then schedule your three runs on non-consecutive days (On Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, for instance) and do your best not to miss a day.

Pick A Time

Once you establish your running ritual, strive never to skip a workout. Skipping a day makes forming the exercise habit more challenging. Maintaining momentum is crucial, particularly during the initial weeks of habit formation.

Remember the basic physics law: “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.” Leverage this principle to your advantage. If your goal is to run three times a week, schedule these runs on non-consecutive days, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Make a commitment not to miss a day.

Consistency is key, and it’s easier to stick to a routine when you keep it going. Choose a specific time of day for your runs and try to stick to it. For example, if you prefer running in the morning, aim to run at the same time every morning. Establish a routine of at least five workouts per week, including three runs and two cross-training sessions.

On rest days, remain active. Go for long walks, hikes, or bike rides. The principle is simple: keep moving during the early stages of habit formation to solidify exercise as a regular part of your daily schedule.

Prioritize your workout schedule by treating your running sessions as appointments that cannot be canceled. By prioritizing your fitness and health, you ensure that your exercise routine becomes a non-negotiable part of your life.

Make it Pleasurable

Running shouldn’t feel like a dreaded ordeal; it should be an enjoyable experience. While working on building your exercise habit, focus on the pleasure and fun of running rather than solely on end results.

Here are some ideas to make your running more enjoyable:

  • Treat yourself to some new, colorful running gear that makes you happy.
  • Run with a friend, your dog, or both for added companionship.
  • Explore new routes and locations to keep things fresh and exciting.
  • Choose pristine trail routes that immerse you in natural beauty and fresh air.
  • Use a running app to track your progress, helping you stay motivated.
  • Take in the beauty of the sky and appreciate the solitude.
  • Create an upbeat playlist of your favorite songs to keep you energized and distracted from fatigue.
  • Use the time to listen to an audiobook, podcast, or radio show, making the most of your run.

There are endless possibilities to infuse joy into your running routine, so find what works best for you and make each run an enjoyable experience.

Recharge—Have a Recovery Day

Recovery is crucial for your body’s well-being and performance. It provides an opportunity to rest and readapt to your training load. To support your running habit, consider having a designated recovery day.

I highly recommend taking one day off from intense exercise every week. On this day, prioritize rest and relaxation. If you feel that you need some activity, limit it to a gentle half-hour walk to keep your body moving without exerting too much effort.

The key is to engage in some form of activity every day except your designated rest day. Ideally, this activity should be something you enjoy, and that maintains your habit of staying active. Don’t hesitate to explore other exercise routines in addition to running, as they can also contribute to the development of your exercise habit. Incorporate activities such as strength training, swimming, cycling, and yoga into your routine to keep things fresh and enjoyable.

Give Your Running Ritual Eight Weeks

Be patient with yourself and commit to at least 66 days to establish your new running habit. Habits don’t develop or change overnight; they require time and dedication to become ingrained in your daily routine.

Research conducted at The London University College suggests that it can take six to eight weeks to form a lifelong, lasting habit. Therefore, aim to stick with your running routine for a minimum of 50 to 60 days.

Once you reach this point, you’ll begin to notice significant changes. Your running habit will start to feel like a natural part of your daily life. You’ll build enough cardiovascular endurance to run comfortably for around 45 minutes, experience weight loss, and see tangible improvements in your body and overall well-being. Keep persevering, and the results will be worth it.

Life is Messy Y’know…

A word of caution: Life is unpredictable, and there will be times when your running routine faces obstacles. Whether it’s due to injury, demanding work hours, family commitments, or holiday celebrations, these challenges can disrupt your plans. Remember, it’s not personal; it’s just a part of life.

Perfection should not be your goal, as striving for it will only lead to frustration. Accept that you may miss a day or two (or more) occasionally. When these disruptions occur, don’t beat yourself up or lose sleep over them. Everyone makes mistakes, and life can be unpredictable; it’s a part of the human experience.

Forming a habit, like maintaining a running routine, is a skill that requires consistent practice. Think of it as a muscle you’re training; the more you work on it, the stronger it becomes. So, if you stumble along the way, pick yourself up, brush off the dust, and start anew. Embrace the warrior spirit and never give up on your running habit.

Track Your Progress

You cannot make progress without measurement. This is one of my all-time favorite sayings related to productivity and management, and it holds true when it comes to physical exercise. Whether you choose to track your progress with pen and paper or using a dedicated app, keeping a record of your runs is essential for maintaining your fitness routine.

Being analytical about your exercise regimen pays off. By maintaining a record, you’ll start to notice training trends that can help you determine what works best for efficient and successful training. After all, how can you decide what to do next if you don’t have a record of what you’ve done in the first place?

Progress in your fitness journey can take many forms, from being able to run longer without fatigue to lifting heavier weights or even experiencing improved fitness in how your clothes fit. These are all signs of progress, and they’re something to be proud of.

The Things to Track

It’s important to track various aspects of your exercise routine and achievements, whether you maintain a workout journal or store the information digitally for periodic review. Here are some key things to track:

  • Running Workouts: Log the details of your running sessions, including distance, duration, pace, and any specific notes about the run.
  • Heart Rate: If you monitor your heart rate during workouts, record this data to track your cardiovascular fitness.
  • Running Goals: Document your running goals, both short-term and long-term, and track your progress toward achieving them.
  • Running Times: Keep a record of your best running times for different distances to monitor improvements.
  • Mileage on Running Shoes: Note how many miles you’ve logged on your running shoes to determine when it’s time for a replacement.
  • Running Performance: Track your performance in races or time trials, including race results and personal records.
  • Cross-Training Activities: If you engage in cross-training activities like strength training, yoga, or swimming, record these sessions.
  • Weight: Monitor your weight regularly to track changes, especially if weight loss or maintenance is a goal.
  • Body Measures: Measure your body dimensions, such as waist circumference or body fat percentage, to assess changes in your physique.
  • Before and After Pictures: Take photos to visually document your progress over time.
  • Meals: Keep a food diary to track your daily meals and calorie intake, which can be helpful for nutrition and weight management.
  • Weather: Note the weather conditions during your runs, as weather can affect performance.
  • Sleep Patterns: Record your sleep duration and quality to ensure you’re getting adequate rest for recovery.
  • Weekly Mileage: Summarize your weekly running mileage to gauge your training volume.
  • Calorie Intake: Keep track of your daily calorie intake if you have specific dietary goals.
  • Aches and Pains: Document any injuries, aches, or pains to help identify patterns and seek appropriate treatment or adjustments to your training.

How to Make Running A Habit – The Conclusion

Have you considered starting the running habit? Do you run regularly? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section.

Featured Image Credit – Ed Yourdon through Flickr.

The Greatest 72 Running Tips Of All Time

Looking for the best running tips on the web? Then you have come to the right place.

Whether you’re a beginner runner, a weekend warrior, or a seasoned athlete, the following running guidelines can help you improve your performance, prevent injury, and reach your fitness goals.

What’s not to like!

Let’s dive in.


To become a runner, you need to start running.

It’s that simple, period.  Accept the challenge and do your best—even if it scares the hell out of.


If you are a beginner runner, then you need to think in minutes, not miles.

Shoot for a 30-minute run while opting for the walk/run method.

Once you can run for up to 30-minute with ease and without taking breaks, then aim to up the ante.


To make sure that you are running at a comfortable pace, take the ‘run-talk’ test.

If you can keep a conversation going with your buddy while running without much trouble, then you are opting for the right beginner running pace.


Yes, you can walk in your running shoes, but you just can’t run in your walking shoes, period.

So do yourself a solid and get the right pair.

Spend at least $50 on a good pair.

It should last you at least 500 miles.


When purchasing a running shoe, make sure that they are wider and longer than your bigger foot—your dominant side.

Also, steer clear of pointed shoes and always seek the advice of a specialist when in doubt.


Breaking into a fast running pace is the recipe for premature fatigue, even injury.

As a result, start your runs right and do a warm-up.

I usually start my runs with a 5-minute jog.

If I feel any tightness or soreness in my muscles, then I gently stretch it away.


Rushing back to the real world with too much gusto after a run is a big mistake.

Instead, invest time in a proper cool-down by taking at least  10 minutes to stretch, relax your body and contemplate on what you have just completed.


Keep a keen ear on how your body felt both during and after a run.

Doing so can help you avert trouble and can set you in the right direction toward achieving your running goals.

Try My Beginner Guide

If you’re looking for a simple guide on how to start running, lose weight, and stay injury free, then make sure to check out my Runners Blueprint System!

My system was specially designed for beginners who either want to start running or take their training to the next level, but have little clue on how to do it.

And don’t worry, my ebook is written in a conversational, jargon-free, style.

All you need to do is download it, follow the simple instructions, then start seeing results ASAP.

Here’s what it includes :

  • How to quickly and easily get started running (it’s indeed is easier than you’d think!)
  • How fast (or slow) should you go on your first sessions
  • The exact 13 questions you need to answer before you a buy a running shoe
  • The seven most common running injuries….how to deal with them before they progress into major ones!
  • The quick standing stretching routine that keeps you flexible even if you’re busy as hell
  • The 10-minute warm-up you must do before any session to get the most of your training
  • And much, much more.

 Click HERE to get started with The Runners Blueprint System today!


“keep it simple, stupid” should be your motto when it comes to training—whether you are prepping for your first 5K or about to compete in an ultra marathon adventure.


The right foundation can take you a long way.

After building it, then you can move on to adding hill reps, pace work, speedwork, and eventually race strategy.

Just be sure to have the right foundation first.


Building up mileage is not an upward straight arrow.

In fact, every third or fourth week of training, you should cut back on mileage to recover.

Injecting recovery week into your training program can help you dodge overtraining—with all its vows—and stay on track for the long haul.


Work on increasing your total body strength—especially the core. Work also on your mobility, flexibility and balance.

Think in wholesome terms and your fitness and health will be forever in your debt.


Reaching a weekly mileage of about 10 miles per week can significantly boost your aerobic capacity- and help you ward off heart trouble.

10 miles is the benchmark—you can always add more once you’ve built the lung power.


Junk miles are not just junk.

Those slow miles done during warm-ups or recovery days play a vital role as well.

Junk miles can shed some serious calories and grant you the mind focus you need to work on improving your running form, plus other fitness and health benefits.


Just because you can run a 10-miler without breaking a sweat does not mean that you go can through a 8 X 400m on the track at a fast pace—unscathed.

That’s why you need to always keep a beginner mind when approaching a new running training method. Stay humble, and you’ll surely achieve progress.


Doing all of your workouts in the comfort zone is comfortable, but it’ll not help you improve much.

That’s why you would need to step out of your comfort zone and embrace quality training.

You just need to find the sweet spot—challenging but healthy.


If you run, let’s say 20 miles per week, then be sure to log at least 4 to 6 miles of quality miles.

These miles will boost your aerobic capacity and help you run faster, further with less fatigue.


Hills are runners’ worst nightmare, but they are exactly what the doctor ordered.

Hill work is the best form of resistance training that there is, and can also help you run faster and improve your running mechanics and form.

All this while lessening the risks of injury.


Fartlek training is a less structured form of interval training that was developed in the 1930s.

It’s simple, start with a warm-up jog, run flat out, jog for recovery, then sprint again without following a strict distance recipe.

Sprint and jog on feel, not on benchmarks. Image


Start a training log and keep track of your quantifiable gains (and losses).

This is the best way to shed light on darker aspects of your training so you can judge what needs to stay and/or to go.


The best way to find what works the best for you can only happen through embracing the trial and error process.

Our mistakes show us the road to success, period.

Ignoring the feedback you get from your training is the biggest mistake you can ever make, so learn from it and make the right adjustments and you’ll improve.


Success varies from one person to the next, and once you find what works the best for you, you need to keep it up by building a ritual around it.

Repeat it as habitually as possible until it’s a part of your training program.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.


To improve your running, you ought to measure it.

And the best way to do so is via regularly testing yourself.

Compete in races as part of a plan to test your fitness level, progression and race pace.

Do regular test runs to see if you are improving or slacking.

Additional resource – Guide to running lingo


Keep your body fully relaxed throughout the running session.

Breathe deeply, keep your shoulders relaxed and let your jaw hang loose.


Don’t clench your fists in a tight grip.

Instead, be sure that your fists are loose, thumbs gently resting on the fingers as if you were holding on a delicate butterfly in each palm.

Clenching builds unnecessary tension that leads to discomfort and energy waste.


From the looks of it, running is solely a lower body activity. But to get efficient with your running, your upper body can also be of help.

That’s why you ought to move your arms more—especially when trying to gain speed.

Just take a look at sprinters, and you’ll get the idea.

Seek-Advice-runningImproving your running style on your own has its limits. In fact, you would need to seek the advice of a specialist—such as a podiatrist or a coach—to help you nail down your running mechanics.

If you can’t afford a specialist, then rub shoulders with elite runners and learn the skill by osmosis.

Become-a-Morning-Runner According to study, those who exercise first thing in the morning tend to stay more consistent with their training programs than those who do it later on.

So, score high points in the consistency game and become an early morning runner.

Believe me; it’s like an addiction.

Once you taste the joys of the morning run, you’ll never be the same.


If you are not a morning runner, then schedule your runs during your lunchtime breaks.

Noontime running is the perfect break from the workday, and can also ramp up your dose of Vitamin D—the daylight. Plus, it can also help you avoid eating a heavy lunch.


If 20 minutes is all you have, then go for it.

A short run is better than none.

This also helps you ingrain the habit of exercising no matter how crazy and chaotic life can be.


Running against traffic can help you stay alerted and have your eyes opened on any danger you may face.

We all hear about the traffic statistics, so don’t let yourself be just another statistic.

Better safe than sorry.


Sticking to the same running route is the recipe for boredom.

Instead, be sure to add variety to your training by changing up your running routes regularly.

This will not only help you outrun boredom, but it’s also good for injury prevention and developing proper running mechanics.


Running on hard and uneven surfaces is a major cause of running injury.

So do your body (and knees) a solid and stick to softer surfaces whenever possible.

This can be hard living in urban areas where pavement surfaces are  the norm, but your best to run on proper surfaces.


Top athletes in all fields have a little trick they use to stay top of the game.

Hint: it’s in their heads.

Visualization techniques have the been the staple of mental training for decades, and you should be putting them to good use as well. .


Goals provide clarity and direction.

Plus, they do your motivation wonders.

So set them right and update them regularly.

Better yet, sign up for a challenging race and set your training goals around it.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to protect yourself from dogs


Jotting down your goals on a piece of paper is a must, just don’t write them on stone.

Goals can vary according to your body’s response to training and your aspirations.

So make sure to rewrite and upgrade your goals whenever it’s necessary.

Plus, just the mere act of rewriting a goal can enforce it.


Goals are key to success, but when you set unrealistic ones, you are setting the stage for disappointment, and failure and all the enthusiasm can turn into resentment.

That’s why you need to run your goals through a reality check.

Shoot for a reasonable goal and build on it.

Remember, you’ll never know what’s unrealistic until you try it.


Ask any person why they are not running—or not working out in general—and they’ll surely spit out a list of excuses.

I don’t have the time, I’m too old, I don’t know why and so on.

Iif you want to stay on the training track, you have to fight that allegedly logical voice that “manufactures” all that crap.


Why are you running? Come up with at least five reasons and keep them close to heart.


I owe my training consistency to a long list of running partners. Heck, I was dragged to running by my steadfast cousin.

You should be doing it too.

Instead of venturing down the running path on your own, try to schedule your runs with a training buddy, even a running group.

Do that, and consistency and motivation will come in handy.


Peer pressure can do your motivation and consistency wonders.

This instinctive force is so powerful that you just can’t resist it, but you have to take the first step by joining a club or a running group.

It can bring out the best in you.

There are plenty of clubs out there, just pick the ones that feel right for you and are a match to your training goals and schedules.


I love running because I can make it fun.

It’s like play for me.

Yes, of course, it can get serious when I’m prepping for a race or trying to break a personal record, but if it’s not fun, I wouldn’t be doing for long.

Fun is the road; fitness is merely the result.


A training buddy can help you push the pace and stay consistent with your goals, but sometimes going solo is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Going solo is important especially if you are trying to recover from a hard run and don’t want to push the pace.

Going solo is also a great way to be alone with your thoughts on the road, just you and your legs pounding the pavement with no other worries.


Get out of a training running rut by injecting at least four 30-second pace pickups (not all-out-sprints) on your next 30-minute run.

This will not only help you dodge boredom, but also get your heart rate up and boost your performance.


Well, not literally, unless you want to spend the night in jail.

Technology based performance tools—think heart monitors, chronometers, GPS tracking and the like—can surely help you improve your performance, but relying heavily on such tools can be counterproductive.

Sometime you ought to run with your imagination.

Run with yourself.

Run with no worry about performance and numbers.

Run naked.


When doing easy runs, take the time to enjoy the scenery.

Smell the roses, breathe deeply, look over the horizon, ap

preciate the beauty that surrounds you, and remember to have fun.

Don’t get trapped in the training-is-everything mindset; otherwise, you’ll definitely get drained out.


I just couldn’t go for a run without my music on.

In fact, one of my major reasons to running is listening to music.

Running has become the activity I do just to listen to music. 

So use music to get your mental state up to the challenge.


To keep running for the long haul, think in terms of the current moment.

Thinking about your past will make you feel guilty, and thinking about the future will invite worry.

The only moment is the now, and all change can only happen in the now.


Runners of all creeds should follow a well-balanced diet.

Aim to eat about 70 percent carbs, 20 percent protein, and 10 percent fat.

Base your diet around carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, and potatoes since glycogen—a product of carbs—is a vital source of energy on the run.

You would also need the protein for rebuilding damaged muscle tissue and recovery.


Make sure that you are getting the most bangs out of your diet choices by expanding your nutritional gamut and testing (and tasting) new food each week.

The more varied the colors, the better.

Just keep it healthy.


If you are serious about making the most out of your runs, then hydrate.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and if you are planning for a long run, then take a bottle of water with you—this is especially true during summer time.


Make pre-run meals a priority.

About one to two hours before a run, have a small meal to fill up your energy tanks.

Pick what you like; a sports drink, fruit smooth

ie, or even a small sandwich.


Choose low-fat bars (less than 5 grams) and packing no more than 250 calories.

Gorging on energy bars will only make you fat, even compromise your running.

So be moderate. It’s energy on the go, not a holiday meal.


Eating during the recovery window—the hour following a run—is crucial for recovery and energy replenishment.

Choose a mix of carbs and protein to get the most results.

Something like a banana-milk-shake is ideal because it scores high on carbs—essential for replenishing the empty tanks—and protein—the recovery process.


Everyone needs a healthy dose of the multivitamins in their lives, but runners need even more thanks to the stresses of exercising.

The high impact nature of running can produce damaging free radicals and may even cause some harm to the red blood cells your feet—that why you would need the multivitamins to take care of the collateral damage.


Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and other serious health trouble.

The bad news is that runners are more prone to suffer from iron deficiency than the average person.

That’s why you ought to eat plenty of fish, dark meats, liver, eggs, beans, and nuts.


Overtraining can wreak havoc on performance and health.

But you can ward it off by keeping tabs on your normal heart rate.

If your morning pulse rate is higher than normal— 10 beats or more— then you haven’t recovered from the previous run.

Take time off or back off until it comes down to its regular rate.


Going too fast too soon increase your risk of injury and overtraining.

To ward off the trouble, adopt a progressive mindset.

Do as little as possible and build on that.

Think baby steps.

Walk before you run if you have to.


The old motto of ‘no pain, no gain’ may sound tempting to follow, but it’s not always the safe approach when it comes to injury-free running.

Most of the time, pain is just pain and can be counter-productive.

Any one can train himself or herself into the ground.

You should always strive to “get fit without getting hurt”—That’s the motto.


Building up mileage is not a straight upward arrow.

In fact, every third or fourth week of training, you should cut back on mileage to recover.

Injecting recovery week into your training program can help you dodge overtraining—with all its vows—and stay on track for the long haul.


Bad days, bad workouts, injuries, emotional sand pits and the likes are a part of the training life.

Expect them, and when they happen, be sure to get over them as soon as possible.

Allow yourself some time to stew over them, then just let go.

Wallowing in sorrow and self-pity will not get you where you want to go.


To train for the marathon, you won’t necessary need endless hours of training.

By running for about 45-minute two times a week, and by incrementally boosting the length of your the long run, you would be able to pull off the 26.2-miler beast.


Marathon training can get you into the best cardio shape of your life, but you should learn when to stop.

That’s why you should never run for more than 3 hours straight in training.

Quality always defeats quantity, and marathon training is a fine example.


During marathon training, pains and aches are bound to arise.

Overtraining and most marathon-related injuries can be prevented by just keeping a keen ear on your body and readjusting your training accordingly.


To get the most bangs out of your marathon race, don’t keep your eyes on just one goal—pulling it off in less than three hours for instance—but you should develop a range of goals so that can bolster your odds of success.


A great taper period is what will make the difference between a great race and a disaster—especially if you have been putting the sweat in training.

As a result, gradually decrease your training volume in the three weeks before the big day.


Don’t let race jitters highjack your running pace during the first miles—that can be hard to resist thanks to the race-day adrenaline rush.

Pick up your pace slowly and consciously hold yourself back during the early miles.


Once you finish a marathon race, take some time to take note of what went right and what was right down awful, then move on.

Just let it go and forget about your last marathon before you sign up for another.

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