Running is a great activity to begin a fitness journey with because everyone and anyone can run. It doesn’t matter speed or distance, just get outside or hop on a treadmill and get moving. But there are specific running workouts that beginners should be aware of.
There are many benefits to changing out your running workout.
Varied workouts help to keep running fresh and you free from boredom. It helps develop the muscle strength needed to build a stronger body as well as the stamina to be able to start running faster and longer.
There are all types of runs to do, from treadmill workouts to hitting the hills. Here’s what you need to know.
Running For Beginners
New runners should start slowly to prevent overtraining injuries like shin splints. This means not running every day. Instead, go for a run three days out of the week.
Start with a dynamic warm-up with front lunges, squats, and jumping jackets. Then start your watch with a brisk walk to a jog and then take things to a conversational pace.
Don’t worry about miles in the beginning. Run or do a run/walk combo for 20- to 30-minutes. Then once that base is there, the beginner runner can start focusing on getting to mile 2 or 3, or longer.
The treadmill is a great way for beginners to start running. And it doesn’t need to be boring. Treadmill workouts are a great way to control the pace, know the exact time of a workout without needing a watch and is an alternative to running outside in bad weather.
30-Minute Treadmill Run
Warm-up at a 3.0 speed for 3 minutes. Then start with a jog for 5-minutes.
Now it’s time to run. Aim to be anywhere between a 5.0 and 6.0 speed. Hold this for only one minute. Then bring it back down to a brisk walk for 3-minutes.
Turn speed up to 4.0 and jog for 3 minutes. Then run for another minute, this time between a speed of 6.0 and 7.0. Then back down to a jog at 4.0 for 2-minutes, and another run at 6.0 for 1-minute, with finally another jog at 4.0 for 2-minutes.
With a few minutes left in the workout, walk for 3-minutes, jog for 3-minutes then one last run at 6.0 for 1-minute. End with a 3-minute cool-down walk.
Read related: 30-Minute Treadmill Running Tips When You Have A Baby
Start with a warm-up. Then a jog at about 4.0 for 3-minutes. Then run for 2-minutes at 5.0, followed for a 1-minute run at 6.0.
Challenge yourself to then go right into 30-seconds at 7.0, followed by another 30-seconds at 6.0. Recover for a minute at 5.0. Then repeat the intervals. End with a 3-minute cool down at 4.0.
The treadmill is a great place to get started on hill work using the incline. Start with a warm-up at a 1% incline. Then start the run at a 2% incline for 5-minutes. Increase to 3% for the next 6- to 9-minutes. Then up to 4% for the next 9- to 11-minutes. Increase by 1% every two minutes until 29 minutes.
End with a five minute cool down.
Best Running Workouts: The Track
Don’t fear the track! Tracks are the perfect place to work on speed. And you don’t even have to know the distance or do the math to get a good workout in.
Just follow the course. Warm-up then run the straight sections of the track. When you get to the curve, walk. Then run the next stretch. Start with two loops, and each loop try to run faster on the straights.
Run The Track x 3
Another good track workout is just running loops. Start with a warm-up then run the entirety of the track. Do so three times, but each loop run a few seconds faster. This helps to build endurance and speed.
Intervals are another strategy for increasing speed for beginners. This track workout includes a warm-up and jogging the first loop of the track. Then sprint 100 meters followed by 100 meters of recovery, which means back to a jog or slower pace.
Then sprint for 200 meters, recover for 200 meters. Next comes the hardest part. Push the pace for the entirety of the track, 400 meters. Then take a recovery lap.
End the workout there or then work back down to 200 meters, 100 meters, then one more recovery lap.
Hills are one of the best ways to build endurance and speed. But it doesn’t mean needing to sprint up to the top or holding a faster pace when going up the incline. It’s best to slow down on the uphill and make up for time on the downhill.
Start with a warm-up on flat land. Then tackle a hill. Run up as fast as possible and use control to come immediately down. Then run 1/ mile flat and back to the hill. Run the hill and back down again. Run 1/2 mile.
Repeat for 30- to 45-minutes then cool down.
Steady Rolling Hills
Find a park, trail or neighborhood that has gently rolling hills. Start with a dynamic warm-up and run at a steady, conversational pace throughout the course that includes multiple inclines.
This is a good opportunity to use for the long run where distance is more important than pace. However, since you will be climbing, properly train on these hills so that mileage is increased slowly each time you hit this course.
This running workout is exactly what it sounds like—sprinting up a hill.
Warm-up and go for an easy run at a conversational pace. At the end of the race, run as fast as you can up the hill then recover for one minute. Repeat.