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Running is a great way to get in shape, both physically and mentally. Some people find it difficult to get motivated to start running, some people want a challenge from walking, and some people just can’t wait to start running. Whichever category you fall into, it’s best to set a goal for yourself so you have something to work toward. Organized races are fun because they are challenging, and it’s fun to run with other people. So whether you run on your own, with a friend, or in a group, there are a few things you should remember.
It’s important to avoid injury when running. This type of weight-bearing activity can be very hard on the joints, such as the knees and hips. To minimize your chance of injury, you should always warm up before you run, whether it’s a few light calisthenics, some stretches, or walking for a few minutes. It is also important to wear the right gear—both clothes and shoes. Contrary to popular belief, cotton is not the best material to run in because it absorbs perspiration. And believe me, nothing is more uncomfortable than running in a sweat-soaked shirt. That can add five pounds to the weight you’re carrying in a race and minimize your chances for getting a good time. The best fabric to wear is a synthetic called Stay Cool. It allows the sweat to run straight down your body rather than cling to your clothes. You’re still going to sweat, especially if it’s hot out, but at least you won’t be dragging that sweat around with you. Women should also wear a good-fitting sports bra. Perhaps the most important piece of gear you could have is a good pair of shoes. You need a pair of shoes that properly fit your foot type, which can be determined by a running professional. Most injuries that are likely to occur can be prevented or minimized by wearing the correct running shoe.
Ok, so you have your gear and your ready to go. Where do you start? It’s a good idea to start out training for a 5K, which is approximately 3.1 miles. These types of races are very commonly found anywhere in the country and it’s fairly easy to get into shape to run this distance. Anything longer will take several months to prepare for, depending on what kind of physical shape you’re in to begin with. Start out easy; you should never feel pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. If you do, you are pushing yourself too hard and need to slow down. If these symptoms continue, you should consult your health care provider. And if you have had any kind of health problems in the past, you should consult your health care provider before you start running.
The schedule shown here is just a guide. You can rest on any day you choose; it doesn’t have to be Friday. You can rest two days if you like. But you will get optimal results in 8 weeks if you run six days each week. The pace you set is up to you. You will probably want to start out slowly, then pick up the pace when your muscles, bones, and lungs get stronger. You should be able to carry on a conversation while you run; if you can’t then you need to slow down until you get into better shape. Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 4 x run 4/walk 3 or run 20 minutes

Friday, Monday: Rest
Sunday: 4x 4run/walk 2 or Run 25 minutes

Tues.,Wed., Thurs., & Sat.: 4 x run4/ walk 2 or run 25 minutes

Fri & Mon: Rest
Sun: 5xrun4/walk 3 or run 30 minutes

Tues.,Wed., Thurs., & Sat.: 5xrun4/walk 3 or run 30 minutes
Fri & Mon: Rest
Sun: 5xrun4/walk 2 or run 40 minutes

Tues. & Thurs.: 4xrun6/walk 2 or run 35 minutes
Wed. & Sat: run/walk 4x run 6/walk 3 or run 35 minutes
Fri & Mon: Rest
Sun.: 3x run 10/ walk 3 or run 40 minutes

Tues. Optional Rest—you deserve a break!!
Wed., Thurs., & Sat.: 3x run 10/walk 3 or run 40 minutes
Sun.: 3x run 12/walk 3 or run 45 minutes
Fri & Mon: Rest

Tues., Thurs.:4x run 10/walk 2 or run 45 minutes
Wed. & Sat.: 4x run 10/walk 3 or run 45 minutes
Fri & Mon: Rest

Tues.,Wed., & Thurs.: 4x run 12/walk 2 or run 50 minutes
Fri & Mon: Rest
Sat.: 2x run 15/walk 2 or run 60 minutes

Tues., & Wed., : 2x run 15/walk 2 or run 60 minutes
Thursday: rest
Friday: Easy run
Sat: Race Day!