Beginners Running Plan + Training Guide To Kick-Start Your Running Journey

The fact that you want to begin to run is very exciting news! The running community has grown at an alarming rate over the past years, accepting all new members with open arms. According to Run Repeat, running has grown globally 57% in popularity over the last decade!

New people to talk running with, yes, please! 

Beginning to run can be a bit overwhelming when you start to think about the new terminology to learn, gear to get familiar with, and of course, how to actually begin to train.

In this guide, we will help answer all of those questions complete with a beginners running plan to get you started on your running journey whenever you are ready, or even better, today! 

More specifically, we will discuss: 

  • Running Gear to Start Your Beginners Running Plan
  • Important Terms to Know For Your Beginners Running Plan
  • Beginners Running Plan Scheduling 
  • 2 Month Beginners Running Plan 
  • Final Tips For Success

Ready? 

Let’s get running! 

Running Gear to Start Your Beginners Running Plan 

What will you need to start up your beginners running plan? 

The following is a ranked list of ideal items to have, so you can pace yourself if necessary with the purchases. Of course, most of us enjoy picking up some bright shiny new things when starting a new hobby, don’t we?

#1: Running Shoes 

The most essential item you will need to start your beginners running plan is a pair of comfortable running shoes that are appropriate for your foot type. 

Upon entering a sports specialty store you may feel overwhelmed with the walls and walls of running shoes, but fear not. We have handy-dandy guides to help you get your first pair of perfectly-fitting running shoes.

A person tying their running shoe.

#2: Running-Specific Clothing 

An outfit or two of running-specific clothing to start your beginners running plan is an excellent addition to your gear. Depending on the weather you will be running in, this list will vary, but overall, you will need: 

  • Running shirts: sleeveless, short-sleeved, or long-sleeved
  • Sports bra 

If you will be running in the evening, think about bright-colored or neon clothing so you are easily spotted. 

Sure, you can run in a cotton tee shirt and shorts if you would like to. However, nowadays there are specialty fabrics that are fast-drying and keep your temperature regulated, either warm or cool depending on your needs. 

There are various options on cuts and fit, depending on your body type, needs, likes, and dislikes. As you try on each item, you want to ask yourself questions such as, does this clothing bunch up anywhere where I could chafe while running? Or, do I feel any stitching that could begin to bother my skin? 

No matter what you choose, the clothing must feel incredibly comfortable while moving around. When you try it on, jog a tad in place to ensure you have sufficient mobility. 

A person looking at their gps watch.

#3: A GPS App or Device 

A great way to track your progress is to use a GPS device when you train.

Most experienced runners have GPS watches that measure everything from their heart rate, distance, speed, and elevation gain, to predict race times, calculate blood oxygen level, and load playlists. The features are endless these days. 

Here, you can go one of two ways.

You can download a GPS app that you can use on your phone to start, such as Strava, to follow and track your workouts. Or, you can bite the bullet and buy a GPS running watch

Either way, you will want something that measures time and distance to begin, so you can efficiently perform your workout and track your performance. 

Important Terms to Know For Your Beginners Running Plan

In your beginners running plan, you will see terminology you may not be familiar with. Before digging into the plan, let’s get prepared for what you will encounter: 

Walk/Run: A plan where there are intervals of walking and jogging. As the plan evolves, the walking intervals become shorter, and the running intervals become longer. Ultimately, you will no longer be walking but running for the entirety of your training sessions.

Long Runs: Your longest run of the week. It is usually planned on weekends for time’s sake. 

Cross Training: Low or no-impact cardio such as swimming, cycling, elliptical, or rowing

Strength Training: Complimentary training to strengthen muscles tho provide extra support to your body during this drastic change. Strength training exercises include squats, lunges, planks, deadlifts, glute bridges, push-ups, and rows. 

Rest Day: A day of complete rest from exercise that will give your muscles and connective tissues time to recover for your next session. 

A person doing a bodyweight squat.

Beginners Running Plan Scheduling 

For our beginners runner plan, you will need:

  • 3 days a week for walk/run intervals 
  • 2 days a week for strength training 

The training sessions will vary, but you should carve out between 30-45 minutes for sessions during the week. Then long runs will progress to more extended periods, perhaps up to an hour, depending on how fast you walk and run.

2 Month Beginners Running Plan

This plan is put together like a jigsaw puzzle; the order of the workouts matters.

As you will see, there is always a day or two between running sessions to allow your body to recuperate and not overload it with too much consecutive running. Your body will take some time to adapt to the impact of running. Therefore, this gradual plan will help you get started safely, minimizing discomfort and avoiding injury

Week MonTuesWedThursFriSatSun
1Repeat
7 times:

Run 1 min 
Walk 2 min
Strength Train Repeat
8 times: 

Run 1 min 
Walk 1.5 min
Strength Train Cross Train or RestLong Run:
Repeat 10 times:
Run 1 min 
Walk 2 min 
Rest
2Repeat
5 times: 

Run 2 min 
Walk 2 min
Strength Train Repeat
4 times:

Run 3 min 
Walk 2 min
Strength Train Cross Train or RestLong Run:
Repeat
6 times: 

Run 3 min 
Walk 2 min
Rest
3Repeat
4 times: 

Run 4 min 
Walk 2 min
Strength Train Repeat
5 times: 

Run 4 min 
Walk 1.5 min
Strength Train Cross Train or RestLong Run:
Repeat
4 times: 
Run 5 min 
Walk 2 min
Rest
4Repeat
3 times:
 
Run 6 min 
Walk 2 min
Strength Train Repeat
3 times: 

Run 7 min 
Walk 2 min
Strength Train Cross Train or RestLong Run:
Repeat
4 times:

Run 7 min 
Walk 1 min
Rest
5Repeat
3 times:

Run 8 min 
Walk 1 min
Strength Train Repeat
3 times:

Run 9 min 
Walk 1 min
Strength Train Cross Train or RestLong Run:
Repeat
3 times: 

Run 10 min 
Walk 2 min
Rest
6Run 12 min 
Walk 3 min
Run 12 min 
Walk 3 min
Strength Train Run 13 min 
Walk 3 min
Run 13 min
Walk 3 min
Strength Train Cross Train or RestLong Run:
Run 15 min 
Walk 5 min
Run 15 min
Rest
7Run 17 min 
Walk 5 min 
Run 8 min 
Strength Train Run 18 min 
Walk 5 min 
Run 10 min
Strength Train Cross Train or RestLong Run:
Run 20 min 
Walk 5 min 
Run 10 min
Rest
8Run 15 min 
Walk 3 min
Run 10 min 
Walk 3
Run 5 min
Strength Train Run 12 min 
Walk 3 min
Run 12 min 
Walk 3 min
Cross Train or RestRestRun 30 min!  Rest
A person running down the road following a beginners running plan.

Final Tips For Success

#1: Don’t Worry About Pace

It doesn’t matter how fast you are walking and running. Try and stay in a comfortable zone where you can carry on a conversation and will be able to complete the workouts. There’s plenty of time to worry about pace later. 

#2: Respect Rest Days 

Give your body the time it needs to recuperate by taking rest days. If you feel tired or sore from workouts, don’t feel bad about taking an extra day off here and there.

Make sure you don’t double up on workouts because you missed one. There is no shame in repeating weeks if necessary. You’ll get there! 

#3: Run With A Friend

One of the best ways to finish this plan successfully is by deciding to do it with a friend or family member. Not only will you feel more committed, but it will also be more fun. 

Two people running up stairs and laughing.

#4: Sign Up For A Race 

If you have a goal race on your calendar, it will keep you highly committed to your journey. Sign up for a local 3k or 5k for the end of the training program. The race atmosphere is invigorating and inspirational. It’s a great way to enjoy your accomplishments. 

#5: Take Care of Yourself 

If you have never run before, your body may resent you just a bit. Muscles will be sore, and you may feel more tired throughout the day in the beginning. 

Don’t forget to:

  • See a physical therapist if you experience pain to ensure it’s just the DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, and not something more serious. 

#6: Don’t Skip The Warm Up and Cool Down 

The warm-up and cool-down are the first things people skip when training. The warm-up is crucial to prime your body and mind for the workout, and stretching will help reduce muscle soreness. 

Good luck! 

If you already run a bit on your own, but are looking for guidance and a training plan, check out our training resources here

People finishing a race, hands in the air.
Photo of author
Katelyn is an experienced ultra-marathoner and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the trails. In the running community she is known for her ear to ear smile even under the toughest race conditions. She loves sharing her knowledge and experience with everyone and has a great desire to motivate others to hit the trails alongside her. Run for fun!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.