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Running Injuries: Avoiding and Treating

George Sheehan: The Runner's Philosopher


Recommended Reading:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jogging & Running by Bill Rodgers

Running: Start to Finish by John Stanton (available at The Running Room)

The Courage To Start: A Guide To Running For Your Life by John "The Penguin" Bingham

No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running by John "The Penguin" Bingham

Galloway's Book on Running by Jeff Galloway

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COMPILED BY MICHAEL COYNE

Starting Out | Zero to 5K in 18 Weeks | 5K Plan | 10K Plan

First Steps


How you begin depends partly on your current level of fitness. In any event, start slow. You'll have fewer problem with sore muscles, or other injuries, if you don't work too hard the first few days, or even the first few weeks or months. A good pair of properly-fitted running shoes are highly recommended for both comfort and for dramatically reducing the risk of injury. You can get good advice from the expert staff at the Running Room.

You'll enjoy running more if you try to do less than you're capable of accomplishing. You'll also achieve more, since the most important factor in achieving success is consistency.

The best approach for beginners is to start by walking, then after you feel comfortable with that basic fitness exercise, begin to include jogging (easy running) in your routine. Jog, walk. Jog, walk. Jog, walk. Eventually, you'll be able to jog continuously, both farther and faster. How fast you progress depends on you, but don't be in a hurry to run fast or run far.

30/30 Plan


Here's a simple 30/30 plan to get you going, featuring 30 minutes of exercise for the first 30 days.

Walk out the door and go 15 minutes in one direction, turn around, and return 15 minutes to where you started: 30 minutes total.

For the first 10 minutes of your workout, it is obligatory that you walk: No running!

For the last 5 minutes of your workout, it is obligatory that you walk: Again, no running!

During the middle 15 minutes of the workout, you are free to jog or run--as long as you do so easily and do not push yourself.

Here's how to run during those middle 15 minutes: Jog for 30 seconds, walk until you are recovered, jog 30 seconds again. Jog, walk. Jog, walk. Jog, walk. Once comfortable jogging and walking, adapt a 30/30 pattern: jogging 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds, etc.

Follow this 30/30 pattern for 30 days. If you train continuously (every day), you can complete this stage in a month. If you train only every other day, it will take you two months. Do what your body tells you. Everyone is different in their ability to adapt to exercise. When you're beginning, it is better to do too little than too much.

If you continue this 30/30 routine for 30 days, you will finish the month able to cover between one and two miles walking and jogging. You are now ready to progress to the next stage of your training as a beginning runner.


Going Farther


Your next goal is to develop an ability to run continuously for a mile, then two miles, then more if you want. The way to do that is to gradually increase the length of time in the middle of your workout spent jogging and decrease the number of walking breaks. Do 45/30 (45 seconds jogging, 30 seconds walking), then 60/30, then 75/30, or 60/15.

Vary your routine. Work a little harder one day, then make the next an easy day. Program in occasional rest days when you do no walking and jogging, or cross-training days when you do some other exercise. Test yourself to see if you can run a half-mile continuously, then a mile. It won't happen overnight, but you should begin to see a gradual improvement in your physical fitness.

Below is a six-week training program for this second phase of conditioning. As with the 30/30 training program, begin and end each workout by walking 10 and 5 minutes. This pattern of warming up, training hard, then cooling down is one used by runners at all levels.

Week
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
rest or jog/run
jog/run 45/30
jog/run 30/30
jog/run 45/30
rest
.5 mile run
30 min walk
2
rest or jog/run
jog/run 60/30
jog/run 30/30
jog/run 60/30
rest
.75 mile run
30 min walk
3
rest or jog/run
jog/run 75/30
jog/run 30/30
jog/run 75/30
rest
1 mile run
45 min walk
4
rest or jog/run
jog/run 45/15
jog/run 30/30
jog/run 45/15
rest
1.25 mile run
45 min walk
5
rest or jog/run
jog/run 60/15
jog/run 30/30
jog/run 60/15
rest
1.5 mile run
60 min walk
6
rest or jog/run
jog/run 90/30
jog/run 30/30
jog/run 90/30
rest
1.75 mile run
60 min walk

Click HERE for a printable version of the schedule

If the above progression seems too difficult for you, either repeat the week you have just completed or drop back to the previous week before continuing. Only you can judge whether you are pushing too fast or too slow, but it's best to err on the conservative side. Also, there's nothing magic about resting on Mondays or Fridays and doing your long runs on Saturdays. Feel free to adapt this program to fit your own work schedule--although the general pattern and progression should remain about the same.

Training for Your First 5-K

You might want to consider picking a local 5-K race* as a motivational goal. In the last several years, the 5-K has emerged as America's favorite road racing distance. One reason is that the 5-K is easily accessible to people just like yourself, who want to participate in an organized event. Even marathoners like to run 5-Ks as a test of their speed and fitness.

Following is an eight-week program for your third phase of conditioning, culminating with a 5-K race.

Week
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
rest or jog/run
1.5 mi run
rest or jog/run
1.5 mi run
rest
1.5 mi run
60 min walk
2
rest or jog/run
1.75 mi run
rest or jog/run
1.5 mi run
rest
1.75 mi run
60 min walk
3
rest or jog/run
2 mi run
rest or jog/run
1.5 mi run
rest
2 mi run
60 min walk
4
rest or jog/run
2.25 mi run
rest or jog/run
1.5 mi run
rest
2.25 mi run
60 min walk
5
rest or jog/run
2.5 mi run
rest or jog/run
2 mi run
rest
2.5 mi run
60 min walk
6
rest or jog/run
2.75 mi run
rest or jog/run
2 mi run
rest
2.75 mi run
60 min walk
7
rest or jog/run
3 mi run
rest or jog/run
2 mi run
rest
3 mi run
60 min walk
8
rest or jog/run
3 mi run
rest or jog/run
2 mi run
rest or jog/run
rest
5-K Race*

Click HERE for a printable version of the 5K schedule

The above training Program is from the Runner's World Web Site


Training for a 44 min. 10K

WEEK

SUN

MON

TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT

1

OFF

OFF

6K Steady Run 4:10 Pace
4 Hills 85% Effort: 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
5K Steady Run 4:55 Pace
6K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

2

10K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

6K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
5 Hills 85% Effort: 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
6K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

3

10K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

6K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
6 Hills 85% Effort: 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
6K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
5K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
6K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

4

13K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

6K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
7 Hills 85% Effort: 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
6K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
6K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

5

16K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

8K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
8 Hills 85% Effort: 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
8K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
8K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
OFF

6

16K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

8K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
9 Hills 85% Effort: 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
8K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
8K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

7

19K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

8K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
10 Hills 85% Effort: 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
6K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
6K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
OFF

8

16K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

8K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
4 speed int. 400m in 1:40 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
8K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
8K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

9

19K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

8K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
5 speed int. 400m in 1:40 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
8K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
8K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

10

22K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

8K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
6 speed int. 400m in 1:40 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
6K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
8K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
5K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

11

26K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

13K Steady Run 4:30 Pace
8 speed int. 400m in 1:40 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down
8K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
8K Tempo Run 4:25-4:45 Pace
6K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

12

13K Steady Run 5:00-5:15 Pace

OFF

6K Race Pace 4:24
6K Race Pace 4:24
3K Steady Run 5:00 Pace
OFF
3K Steady Run 5:00 Pace

FINALE!

RACE 4:24 Pace

.

Click HERE for a printable version of the 10K schedule

You are now ready to begin training for the ultimate running experience:

The Marathon

Michael Coyne

Updated: August 29, 2003