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Here is my article I wrote a few years ago when I got in to running. More for distance than as a minimalist workout but it is effective. Hopefully it’ll inspire me and you to get out there and run!
Like everyone else I was once an out of shape do nothing couch potato. I used to watch people running and wonder “How can they run so far for so long and not die?” It fascinated me. I longed for the days when I played High School basketball and would play 40 minutes without being subbed out. I played Center so I ran baseline to baseline every play. I can’t imagine how many miles I ran a week between games and practice! But the reality is I wasn’t born a basketball player. It took years and year of hard work and dedication to get to that point. It all ended my junior year when I was just too short to play center and girls were more fun than practice. That started me down a long sad road. In the end I found myself 80 pounds heavier, 30 years old, married with kids and watching a lot of TV. I made a decision one day. I decided to get back in shape. I read somewhere that you should start real slow. Just walk. I walked around the block that day. The next day I walked around the block the next 7 days. It didn’t do any good. I was able to walk a lot. I just couldn’t go any faster! I started doing my research and found out about interval training. I’ll give you a schedule to run to but I need to address some things first.
As always, it is important to consult a doctor before starting any workout program.
At first running will not be easy but will be manageable. You’ll be able to do it. You’ll need to be aware of a few things. Your body will not be happy about you running. It isn’t going to know what you’re doing. It’ll hurt at times and want to stop but you need to find ways to stay motivated. With that said, if the pain becomes too bad you need to find out if you’re pushing yourself too hard. You don’t want to risk injury. A couple of common places you’ll feel the bad kind of pain is in your anterior calf and your knees. Also, if your hamstring or quad muscles seem strained then you need to rest up a couple of days. These are also areas where you’ll feel good pain, pain where your body is just trying to get itself in shape.
Last summer I was watching the Olympics. I couldn’t believe my eyes when they had the speed walking competition. Speed walkers walk as fast as they can but must keep at least one foot on the ground at all time or they’ll be disqualified. There were some walkers who were disqualified. This is how you want to define your running. Taking strides, feet leaving the ground. It’s running, you’ve done it before, you know what to do. Another event that I really enjoyed was the marathon. You are not running a marathon. You are beginning a running program so don’t try to run a marathon! It isn’t a race. Keep it slow and once you’re a 30 minute runner you can work on speed. You will be running 3 days a week.
5 minute warm up walk then for 20 minutes run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds. You will run these intervals 8 times then a cool down walk for 5 minutes.
5 minute warm up walk then 20 minutes of intervals. Run 90 seconds, walk 2 minutes. 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up walk then this set of intervals twice. 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk. Remember to do that twice then 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up then 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run, 2 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run.
Day 1- 5 minute warm up. 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 5 minute cool down
Day 2- 5 minute warm up. 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute walk. 5 minute cool down.
Day 3- 5 minute warm up. 20 minute run. 5 minute cool down.
Day 1- 5 minute warm up. 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 5 minute cool down
Day 2- 5 minute warm up. 10 minute run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run. 5 minute cool down.
Day 6- 5 minute warm up. 25 minute run. 5 minute cool down
All 3 days – 5 minute warm up, 25 minute run, 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up, 28 minute run, 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up, 30 minute run, 5 minute cool down.
If you need help timing your runs there are plenty of interval training podcasts on the internet.