Tiny steps from being sedentary to running

Rajnish Goswami

There is almost nothing in this world that can take runners to places than running. They find their thoughts and peace. They come up with the best ideas and solve the toughest problems. They get the Runners High. It is a transformation.

They tend to encourage others to run but they still don’t know how to.

My advise as an intermediate runner, not an expert on how to go from sedentary to being a runner won’t be easy but it is definitely worth a try. It won’t be easy in the beginning but will get easier and even fun in a few weeks.

Before starting I will advise you to get checked out by your doctor if you have any health risks etc.

You should be able to start running if you can walk for 20-30 minutes.

Start Walking—Start out by walking just a couple of times (3-4) in the first week for about 25-30 minutes.

Increase the number of days to about 5 days the next week and then increase the time to about 40 minutes.

If you’re comfortable doing this, you could go up to the next stage or if you want you might want to continue this for another week.

If you stay longer walk 5 times the 3rd week for about 45 minutes.

Start walking/running.

This is done very slowly adding just a little more each time.

Walk/warm up for about 10 minutes Run slowly for a minute then walk for 2minutes.

Repeat this run/walk 7-8 times. and then cool down by walking for 10 minutes.

Do this for at least two weeks 5 days a week.

Lengthen the running.

Once you’re comfortable running one minute straight for at least 7-8 intervals then you’re ready for the next level.

Increase the length of the runs to 1.30 minutes with the same amount of walking for 2 minutes.

The warm up and cool down times remain the same.

Do this a couple of times and then slowly alternate between the length of the runs an that of walking i.e you start running for 2 minutes and walk for 1.30 secs.

If any of this feels hard please go back to the previous run/walk times.

Idea is to be comfortable.

The warm ups and cool down times remain the same.

Do not rush things and do this for 2-3 weeks.

Follow the 10% increase rule.

This means you increase distance and time by 10% every two weeks till you are able to achieve  atleast 9 run/walk intervals at a session.

DO this a couple of times. It might seem difficult but once you do it you are basically running with short walk intervals.

The first 9 running workouts might seem difficult but do not quit.

It eventually gets better and more enjoyable.

After this try running with  frequent walk breaks.

Take your running to the next level.

You are a runner and there is nothing wrong with a couple of walking breaks.

Many runners run marathons doing a few walk breaks, running 2 kms then walking 100 mtrs.

Eventually you will not need the walk breaks.

Try to increase your running upto 30 minutes continuously 3-4 times a week.

Start with a warm up walk for 10 minutes.

Then run 30 minutes.

Cool down walking 10 minutes.

Do this 3-4 times a day.

Gradually increase time/ distance by doing some longer run/ walk sets for e.g

Warm up—10 minutes.

Run 20 minutes walk 3 minutes.

Repeat twice.

Cool down 10 minutes.

Remember not to overdo anything but just increase times by 10% every 2 weeks.

This builds endurance and once this is built you can add strength by adding hills.

You can build speed by adding a few short 30 second sprints towards the end of every session.

Run with a group or run alone. Mix the runs.

Find new routes – Try running on a track on a different neighbourhood or on a treadmill.

Sign up for a 10k run then a half marathon.

Finally sign up for a full marathon. Do it one step at a time.

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself.

Rajnish Goswami, obese till 2015, successfully completed multiple Marathons and Ironman half distance and full distance races. He is a fitness enthusiast and an avid reader of sports science