How to Start Running

It’s intimidating.
You see runners on Instagram or in your neighborhood, maybe your friends are, and they’re racking up more mileage than you put on your car.

You think:

“I can’t run a block, let alone a mile”

I hated the idea of running. I had every excuse for why I didn’t try running but it was mostly my own uncertainty that kept me on the sidelines. I was that person. That is until this year when I ran my first 15k and realized what all the hype was about. Running is an amazing experience that connects you to others and gives you a high that is difficult to describe.

I started from never having run before to running a 15k in three months. This is how I got there.



1.   Running isn’t sprinting

When you start it’s more like a slow jog. Pace yourself: move in a running motion at a speed that allows you to breathe and if you had to, carry on a conversation with someone. Runners often call this ‘sexy pace’. You’ll be slow at first but that’s okay — you’re really focusing on getting your heart and lungs used to this kind of activity.

2.   Forget miles, think time

Miles are scary at first, or at least they were for me and I often gave up before I even got out the door when I was faced with running a mile. After some advice from a friend, I decided to go running for 20 minutes instead. When I felt comfortable with 20 minutes at a slow pace, I increased to 30 mins. Before I knew it I was running for an hour without trouble.

3.   Set a schedule

Pick the same time of day to run and try stick to it. A regular schedule helps and it’s a great way to wake up in the morning or de-stress in the evening!

4.   Get the right shoe for you

Having the right shoe is a pretty big deal. Head to your local Nike or Roadrunner store and get gait tested, they will recommend one based on your stride and a number of other factors that will help prevent injury.

5.   Ice, ice baby

Ice is your best friend. Use it liberally, even if you’re not crazy sore it will help.

6.   Stretch after your run

Stretching is really great for recovery, keeps you loose and helps prevent injury. There’s a ton of websites out there with great stretching routines so hit up google when you’re ready.



Here’s the exact schedule I used to get from non-runner to 15k. All paces are at comfortable, ‘sexy pace’ unless otherwise noted.

Week 1-4

  • Run for 25 mins (3-5x, week 1)
  • Increase to 30 mins (3-5x, week 2)
  • Increase to 35 mins (3-5x, week 3)
  • Increase to 40 mins (3-5x, week 4)

Week 5: (Run 3-5 days a week, cut the shorter runs not the long one ;P)

  • 45 minutes
  • 40 minutes (try to run a bit faster!)
  • 50 minutes
  • 40 minutes (try to run a bit faster!)
  • 60 minutes (your long run for the week, run as comfortable as possible)

Week 6: (3-5 days a week)

  • 50
  • 40 (faster)
  • 50
  • 40 (faster)
  • 65 (long)

Week 7: (4-5 days a week)

  • 55
  • 45 (faster)
  • 55
  • 45 (faster)
  • 70 (long)

Week 8: (4-5 days a week)

  • 60
  • 40 (faster)
  • 60
  • 40 (faster)
  • 75 (long)

Week 9:(4-5 days a week)

  • 55
  • 40  (faster)
  • 55
  • 40  (faster)
  • xx (Race test. You can attempt to run the full 15k distance. Remember to carb up the night before and bring energy snacks for the run. If it’s still difficult, modify and work up to it again)


The first step towards being a runner is when you step out the door and do it. Feel free to comment here and we’ll provide any support, tips or advice we can.

I believe in you, I believe you can do this.


Photos by Riley Jamison and John Jefferson.
*Disclaimer:* I am not a certified professional trainer, I am just a girl who wants to see others succeed. Make sure to check with your doctor before starting any physical activity that might impact your health and consult them if you’re ever injured. 

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