With running being a popular sport and quickly gaining newcomers every year, it is essential to know where to start. Assuming that you are running a 5k or just running for fun, it is best to start your running career in a specific way.
Choose when you want to be at your lifetime best. The best of the best start this when they are beginning high school and choose to peak when they are in their late 20s or early 30s. Once you have that figured out, it sets the time frame for your training program.
Step 2: Deciding how much to run
The decision of how much to run starts out at whatever you are physically able to run. No matter where you start, you will see improvements. If you are looking to run 5k races then I would recommend starting at about 15 miles a week.
Step 3: Mileage
This is the process where you rack up mileage through a month or more. You do this process until your season is about to begin or you feel like you are in solid physical condition. This is called building your running base.
It helps to run your mileage at a pace where you can comfortably talk. After you figure out that pace after a week or so, then it is best to try to keep each mile of every workout at a certain mile pace. After that becomes easier, to the point where you can talk, but not easily talk, then you need to speed your mileage up by about 10-15 seconds per mile.
Personally, I am running 3 to 5 miles a day at an 8:30 mile pace, but this Monday was my first day since my season ended over three months ago. I am expecting to be in prime physical shape by April, or about three months from now. Once either April comes around, or I feel ready for it, I will begin the next step myself.
Step 4: Speed
This is where you begin your speed workouts. Speed workouts should be brought in gradually and run at almost full speed. Read this article to help build your speed aspect of your running program.
The speed workouts will help you get quick time drops that will allow you to be more of a competitor during your season. The base that you worked on in the previous step, helps make the races easier, and also almost guarantees that you will run at least your normal practice pace.
Step 5: The Season
This step is the actual racing season. You should have gained endurance from the base building step, a competitive drive from timing your miles later on in step 3, and speed from step 4. This program is pretty much a guarantee since both Prefontaine and Galen Rupp, along with every other famous runner ever, started out this way.
The time limit of each step is completely up to you! Be aware that you will hit a season peak close to the end of your season, which makes me want to recommend that you don’t start your speed portion of training too early. Once it gets close to the end, you should be cutting back on your mileage and focusing strictly on speed.