Want to run? Here's how to start

Training for a run can sometimes be a daunting feeling for beginners. Whether you’re training for a 5 km run or a marathon, the key is to have a plan and stick to it. We want to provide first time runners with an easy to follow guide to help with the preparation that goes into long distance running. This guide (with added tips from Ultramarathon Runner and Breathwork specialist Rory Warnock) will help take the stress out of training and inspire you to reach your goals however big or small they are: 

 Having a goal will help give you the motivation to start your training and to stay on track. These goals could include choosing your race, the distance you’d like to run and the time you plan to run it in. Providing yourself with these 3 goals will help you take that first step into your training.

Rory says, “It’s great to have a goal, but remember, you won’t always feel motivated. By having a goal, this will also help you stay disciplined. Make sure the goals are realistic. If you’ve never run, don’t try to run a marathon in 4 weeks.”  


Using your goals as a guideline, you can start to put together a weekly training plan. This plan can include how often you’ll train each week, your running distance and the intensity of your runs. Keeping it simple is a great way to start your training and increase your motivation. A basic training plan might look like the following:

Train 3 days a week
Run/Walk 20 to 30 minutes, 2 days a week
Take a longer run/walk, on the weekend
Incorporating Pilates/Yoga/Meditation 1 day a week
Rest on your days off  

“Be specific with your training. For example, if you’re looking to increase your speed, work on your anaerobic system. If you’re looking to build a base, build your aerobic system,” he says.


Once you have your training plan established it’s important you don’t push yourself too much too soon. Starting off with shorter distances and lower intensity runs will help slowly increase your strength and speed over time without burning out. Gradually increasing your intensity throughout your plan will improve your running skill and allow you to achieve your goals.

Rory explains that starting too quickly is a common mistake when people undertake running, “People often think that they have to run hard and fast in training, this is incorrect. The best way to build your capacity is by training slowly. Run slow to get fast. For example, run 5km at a 150 bpm heart rate. At the start of your plan, this may take you 30 mins. Then as you become fitter, you’ll be able to run at the same heart rate, 150 bpm, but your speed will increase. This is Zone 2 training. I train here for about 80-90% of my runs. Low intensity Zone 2 training is also a great time to practice nasal breathing. Keep the  mouth closed and only breathe through your nose,”