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Training Schedule

Training Protocol

This 12-week beginners program is designed for individuals with little or no background in running. The workout starts with walking only and gradually advances to combinations of walking and running. You will progress to running only. If you feel you are a bit more advanced and would like to start with some running, choose your appropriate point in the program to start. Just remember not to start too quickly.

The Workouts

This program includes rest days, walking, and running at an easy pace.

You will monitor and adjust the intensity of these workouts using the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. This scale rates your workouts by how you feel. The ratings range from one (very light), such as sitting and watching TV, to 10 (maximum effort), which is running as fast as you possibly can.

Easy Runs

Easy runs should be completed at a pace that feels comfortable to fairly comfortable, or a rating of three to four on the RPE scale. You should be breathing hard but still able to carry on a conversation. If you are breathing so hard that you cannot talk, you are running too hard. If you can sing, you are running too easily.

Moderate runs should be at a pace that rates 5-6 on the RPE scale.

Fast runs should be at a pace that rates above 6 on the RPE scale.

Warm Up

Warm up before each workout. Your warm up should consist of about 10 minutes of easy walking. After your workout, gently stretch all of your major muscle groups. Do not stretch until your muscles are warmed up.

Rest

Rest is a very important part of any training program. Without proper rest, your muscles and connective tissues will not have an opportunity to recover and strengthen properly. On the days that call for complete rest, do no strenuous activity. Some days call for rest or cross training, which can be any activity other than running. You could walk, swim, bicycle or do nothing. It is up to you.

Stability ball training is encouraged at least two days a week for 15 minutes.

Week 1

Monday – Rest. You will have two rest days per week. If you feel you need more rest days, take them. In these early stages you do not want to do more than your body is ready for.

Tuesday – Walk for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace. Since this is your first workout, take it nice and easy. Walk at a pace that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe heavier than normal, but you should not be out of breath.

Wednesday – Walk for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace.

Thursday – Walk for five minutes and then jog for 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence for a total of 30 minutes. Do not run for more than 30 seconds at a time. Run at a pace that is fairly comfortable.

Friday – Rest. Let your body recover from its first running session.

Saturday – Bike ride for 15 minutes.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes, making a slight increase in the jogging interval. Walk for five minutes, then jog for one minute. You will start making consistent increases in the time of your running intervals.

Weeks 2 and 3

Monday – Rest. Every Monday is a rest day in this program.

Tuesday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for one minute. Keep the pace fairly comfortable.

Wednesday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. This will be an easy day. Walk for five minutes and jog for 30 seconds.

Thursday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for one minute.

Friday – Bike ride for 20 minutes.

Saturday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes, increasing your running interval. Walk for five minutes and jog for two minutes.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for two minutes.

Week 4

Monday – Rest.

Tuesday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for three minutes. Keep the pace nice and easy. If you feel you cannot run for three minutes then take some short (10–15 seconds) walking breaks in your three-minute jogging interval.

Wednesday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for two minutes.

Thursday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for three minutes

Friday – Bike ride for 20 minutes.

Saturday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for four minutes.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for four minutes.

Week 5

Monday – Rest.

Tuesday – Walk for 30 minutes. You eliminate the running portion for this workout because you have made a lot of increases in the last two weeks. This will give your body a little more rest this week. You will be making increases a bit faster after this workout.

Wednesday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for five minutes. You are now jogging as much as you are walking. Remember to keep the pace fairly comfortable.

Thursday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for five minutes and jog for four minutes. You back off a bit today to recover from yesterday's harder workout.

Friday – Bike ride for 30 minutes.

Saturday – Today you will start to decrease the distance of your walking intervals. Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for four minutes and jog for five minutes.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for four minutes and jog for five minutes.

Week 6

Monday – Rest.

Tuesday – Walk/jog for 35 minutes. You will make another decrease in your walking interval today. Walk for three minutes and jog for five minutes.

Wednesday – Walk/jog for 35 minutes. Walk for four minutes and jog for five minutes.

Thursday – Walk/jog for 35 minutes. Walk for three minutes and jog for five minutes.

Friday – Bike ride for 30 minutes.

Saturday – Walk/jog for 35 minutes. Decrease your walking interval to two minutes. Walk for two minutes and jog for five minutes.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 35 minutes. Walk for two minutes and jog for five minutes. Bike ride for 15 minutes.

Week 7

Monday – Rest.

Tuesday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Decrease your walking interval to one minute. Walk for one minute and jog for five minutes. If at any time you feel you are struggling, back off to the prior week or to a point at which you feel more comfortable. Remember, however, that you must push yourself a bit to make improvements.

Wednesday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Walk for two minutes and jog for five minutes.

Thursday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Walk for one minute and jog for five minutes.

Friday – Bike ride for 40 minutes.

Saturday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Today, you will decrease your walking interval to 30 seconds. Walk for 30 seconds and jog for five minutes.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds and jog for five minutes. Bike ride for 15 minutes.

Week 8

Monday – Rest.

Tuesday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Decrease your walking interval to one minute. Walk for one minute and jog for five minutes. If at any time you feel you are struggling, back off to the prior week or to a point at which you feel more comfortable. Remember, however, that you must push yourself a bit to make improvements.

Wednesday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Walk for two minutes and jog for five minutes.

Thursday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Walk for one minute and jog for five minutes.

Friday – Bike ride for 45 minutes.

Saturday – Walk/jog for 30 minutes. Today, you will decrease your walking interval to 30 seconds. Walk for 30 seconds and jog for five minutes.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 40 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds and jog for five minutes. Bike ride for 20 minutes.

Week 9

Monday - Rest.

Tuesday - Today you are going to try something different. Go to a school track or a trail in your area that you have measured. Warm up with vigorous walking for 10 minutes and then jog one mile. Repeat three times. Jog one mile and then walk for five minutes. Then jog another mile. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking.

Wednesday - Walk/jog for 35 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds and jog for five minutes.

Thursday - You will extend the distance of your workout today. After a 10-minute warm up, jog for four miles or 40 minutes. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking. You can run almost anywhere: through your neighborhood, in a park, on a school track, or on a treadmill.

Friday – Warm up for 10 minutes. Jog one mile. Repeat (for a total of two miles). Cool down with 10 minutes of walking.

Saturday – Rest.

Sunday - You will extend your workout again today. Warm up by walking for 10 minutes. Jog for 1.5 miles. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking.

Week 10

Monday - Rest.

Tuesday - Warm up by walking for 10 minutes. Jog one mile. Repeat three times, for a total of four miles. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking. Bike ride for 15 minutes.

Wednesday – Walk/jog for 45 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds and jog for five minutes.

Thursday – Rest.

Friday - Warm up by walking for 10 minutes. Jog for 4.5 miles. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking.

Saturday - You will complete your longest run today. Warm up with 10 minutes of walking. Jog for five miles. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking.

Sunday – Walk/jog for 60 minutes. If you are feeling fatigued from yesterday's run, just run one mile today.

Week 11

Monday - Rest.

Tuesday - Warm up by walking for 10 minutes. Jog one mile. Repeat five times. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking.

Wednesday – Jog for 45 minutes at an easy pace. Bike ride for 20 minutes.

Thursday - Warm up by walking for 10 minutes. Jog 20 minutes at a fast pace. Cool down with 10 minutes of walking.

Friday – Bike ride for 60 minutes.

Saturday – Jog 35 minutes at a moderate pace.

Sunday – Jog/walk for 60 minutes.

Week 12

Monday - Rest.

Tuesday – Jog 30 minutes at an easy pace. Bike ride for 20 minutes at an easy pace.

Wednesday – Run 20 minutes at a fast pace.

Thursday - Warm up by walking for 10 minutes. Run 30 minutes at an easy pace.

Friday - Rest or cross train.

Saturday – Bike ride at an easy pace.

Sunday – Race day!