This walk-to-run beginners training plan will gradually introduce you to running. The below workouts must be performed on three, non-consecutive days each week. On the days you are not running you can walk, strength train or do any other moderate or low-intensity activities. Ideally, you should also have two non-consecutive rest days per week. If you find a progression too challenging, repeat the previous week’s workout for another week to allow your body time to adapt.
This workout plan can be performed in the gym on a treadmill or outside using a timer if you prefer.
Before you start your workout, spend three to five minutes walking fast to raise your body temperature and prepare your body for more strenuous exercise. Then, spend just a few minutes warming up your joints with some mobilising movements – arm circles, knee bends, and shoulder circles. Warming up before running is necessary to avoid injury and prepare the muscles for training.
|Weeks||Run interval||Walk interval||Times to repeat||Total time|
|1 & 2||30 sec||2 min & 30 sec||8||24 min|
|3 & 4||1 min||3 min||8||32 min|
|5 & 6||1 min & 30 sec||2 min & 30 sec||8||32 min|
|7 & 8||2 min||2 min||8||32 min|
Once you have completed your workout, spend three to five minutes walking slowly to cool down, and then stretch. Stretching at the end of your workout will help improve your flexibility and posture; reduce the risk of muscle strain, joint injuries, and back problems, and help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. It will also help speed your recovery and increase your range of motion. Do the following stretches after your workout, holding each for 30 seconds.
- Hamstring stretch. Place right heel on curb or low bench, keeping leg straight (not locked). With head and chest lifted, slowly lean forward from hips, feeling a stretch behind your right thigh.
- Hip-flexor stretch. Stand with left leg straight behind you, right knee bent, toes pointing forward, and torso upright. Tuck tailbone under, feeling a stretch in the front of left hip at the top of thigh. Switch legs and repeat.
- Calf stretch. Stand with toes and balls of feet on the edge of a step and drop heels, feeling a stretch in calves.
General stretching tips
- Stretch only when you are warm. Stretching a cold muscle risks injury.
- Gradually ease into position, all the time focusing on relaxing the muscle.
- Stretch only as far as is comfortable and then hold that position. As the muscle relaxes, ease further into the stretch.
- Exhale and relax as you go into the stretch and then breathe normally.
- Never go past the point of discomfort or pain. You could pull or tear the muscle/tendon.
- Stretches performed at the end of your workout should be held for 30 seconds or more.
- Release from the stretch slowly.