Building A Running Routine

We know that the first step is always the hardest, especially when it comes to running!

Getting Started

"You have to walk before you run" is more than just a saying. If you haven’t been training, don’t start out by running. Go for some walks, find some hills, and build-up your leg strength and endurance. Then start with some light jogging for a few days. In the early stages of running, some may feel like they should push themselves to go further than they should. Then, they have awful soreness for days that discourages them from getting back on the road. In the early stages, it’s better to finish a training day wanting more rather than finish thinking you never want to do that again. Once you start running, don't go too fast or too hard in the beginning. Start with very short runs (about 15 minutes), not running two days in a row and using the 10% rule when increasing mileage.Incorporating stretching and drills into your new running routines.
10% rule: You should never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% over the previous week.

Once you develop more endurance and strength, add in different kinds of runs to keep your routine from getting too boring. 

Endurance Runs

Whether it be a short or a long run, keep the pace in a zone where the aerobic system is working effectively.


Swedish for Speedplay, Fartleks are a great way to introduce speed safely to a runner's schedule or to just jazz things up a bit in a workout. You can start out with eight 1-minute intervals at a higher pace and progress from there. Or you can use your running route and use signs or other land objects to guide your length of play.

Tempo/SS runs

These workouts use longer intervals to focus on a higher threshold or race pace efforts. Start with a 3x5 (3 intervals of 5 minutes) tempo or 3x10 medium and progresses from there.

Hill Runs

Incorporating hills are a must in every runner's schedule. Hill runs teach good mechanics, strength and allow runners to work in higher zones without all of the poundings. A beginner could start with eight 30-second hill intervals. Hills do not need to be steep. In fact, a 4-6% grade can be much more effective.


These runs are an effective way to introduce speed into a runner's schedule. As running progresses, incorporate strides into almost every run, usually towards the end, to snap out of the mindless slog which long distance runners can fall. 20 minutes at an easy pace, 4 x strides as 30", and eventually increasing to 5k pace/45", then coasting back down to medium pace.

Track Runs

These are very specific workouts at specific distances at specific paces. These are your 12x400m with a 200m recovery, all the way up to 5x1 mile with 400m recovery.

As a runner, what’s your typical running routine?


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