New to Running?
Start Out Right for Success
By Gabe Mirkin,
If you think you
would enjoy jogging or running, here's how to get started.
First, check with your doctor and get a good pair of running
shoes. Start out by jogging slowly until your legs feel
heavy or hurt or you feel tired. Then stop for the day, even
if you have taken only a few steps. Do this every day or
every other day. You should be able to work up to the point
where you can jog slowly for at least 20 minutes. If you're
happy with this program, you don't have to go any further.
However, if you want to improve, follow the training methods
that competitive runners use.
On one day, start out slowly and gradually pick up the pace.
When you start to feel uncomfortable, slow down. When you
recover, pick the pace up again. On the next day, if your
legs feel stiff, don't try to run. If your legs feel fresh,
run very slowly. Try to do these gradual pickup workouts
every other day. Never do them when your legs are stiff or
After a few months of alternating days of pickups and slow
runs, you are ready to take the next step: intervals and
longer runs. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, run faster. On
Tuesday, try to run 220 yards fast (half a track length),
rest and then repeat the 220-yard runs until your legs start
to feel stiff. On Thursday, try to run two to five miles
fairly fast, and on Sunday, try to increase your distance so
you can run for at least one hour. On the other days, either
run slowly, or if your legs feel stiff, take the day off.
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Dr. Gabe Mirkin
has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing
physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in
four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen
to hundreds of his fitness and health reports -- and the
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