Beginners Running Program


This one’s for the wannabe cardio junkies…
I have found running outside very enjoyable in the past but there is a window of acclimatization that the body needs.
I’m including a chart from the NY Road Runners that i found many years ago. I use my own version of this anytime I hit the pavement.

This program should suit most nonactive beginners. Therefore, if you can, follow the program exactly. However, if you are very overweight, older or have been very inactive, it will probably take longer. Do not exceed what you can do, listen to your body. Stay at the level you can handle until you feel able to move to the next stage. It doesn’t matter if it takes you twenty weeks. The goal is to get there. On the other hand, if you have been somewhat active before, you may find the program too easy and progress quickly. In that case, simply move forward to the next level. Once you hit 20 minutes nonstop running, move on to the advanced beginners program. You may be able to complete 30 minutes of continuous running at the end of 10 weeks. Still, take it easy. The goal of this running program is to get there uninjured and it is better to veer on the side of caution.

Remember to clear any exercise program with your doctor before starting, especially if you have any medical condition.



Run-Walk Plan

Total Duration


1 min run, 2 min walk (7x)

21 minutes


2 min run, 2 min walk (5x)

20 minutes


3 min run, 2 min walk (4x)

20 minutes


5 min run, 2 min walk (3x)

21 minutes


6 min run, 90 sec walk (3x)

20 minutes


8 min run, 90 sec walk (2x)

18 minutes


10 min run, 90 sec walk (2x)

23 minutes


12 min run, 1 min walk, 8 min run

21 minutes


15 min run, 1 min walk, 5 min run

21 minutes


Run 20 minutes continuously

20 minutes

Categories: Exercise

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