Simple running program for beginners

Getting started running doesn’t have to be difficult. The very act of running is a super simple concept to wrap your head around. Put one foot in front of the other. Nothing to it. People tend to make running more complicated than it has to be. Continue reading and you’ll get a running program for beginners that is super simple.

Anyone can run. Running has a very low barrier to entry when you compare it to other sports. You don’t need expensive equipment and you can do it almost anywhere, any time. 

Before you start a running program for beginners

If you’re new to running or getting back into it after a hiatus, it’s important to start out easy and build up gradually to avoid injury. Here are some tips to get you started.

Talk to your doctor

This is the disclaimer section. Always chat with your doctor before you start any new physical activity just to make sure you’re good to go on the inside. Your doctor will probably support any new exercise routine you do, but they may give some advice and precautions.

If you’ve had an injury, if you take meds, or have a medical condition, ask your doc if there are special guidelines you should follow. For example, people who take certain blood pressure medications may need to find other ways to monitor heart rate intensity.

Good shoes are a vital piece of a running program for beginners

Go to a specialty running store to find a good pair of shoes. They have trained staff to help you get the right shoe for your foot and running style. Going to a discount shoe store or a sporting goods store will not cut it. You’ll want to wear a pair of running shoes that fit comfortably and are the right type of shoes for you. You may have to shell out some cash, but if you’re truly committed to running it is the best investment you’ll make. 

Get the right gear for you

While you are at the running store check out the socks, shorts, shirts, hats, and outerwear that are made out of lightweight wicking fibers. While these garments aren’t a must for running, they help you to stay dry and comfortable when you work out and prevent injuries like nipple chafing.

Warm up

Preparation is important to prevent injury. Starting slow is also important in preventing injury. This includes stretching and walking.



Stretching is important to do even before you start walking. If you’re brand new to running, stretching will get you limber and ready to go. Stretch your legs especially, but stretching every muscle group will improve your performance and experience.  

Walk before you can run

To start running you must first walk. You may think that you can just sprint right away, but believe me, starting with a walk will help you in the long term. 

Start with an easy walk for 5 to 10 minutes, before increasing your speed and intensity. Listen to your body, if you feel like you can take it up a notch, go for it. If you don’t feel ready, don’t push it.

Safety measures for a running program for beginners

Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind as you start your running program.

  • Walk/run against traffic when on roads, so that you can see cars and they can see you.
  • Carry an ID when you run so that you can be identified quickly in the unlikely event of an accident.

Starting the simple running program for beginners

After you’ve prepped yourself, the next step is to just do it. For many new runners, the easiest way to build endurance with less stress on the joints is to start slowly with walking.

The program

It’s pretty simple, start with a 10-minute combination, move to 20 minutes, and then on to 30 minutes.

  • 5 minute jog/run
  • 5 minute walk

Next, increase the running intervals as you become more comfortable and make the switch to all running.

  • 10 minute run
  • 10 minute walk

Now take it to the next level and go to 30 minutes.

  • 20 minute run
  • 10 minute walk

Make it work for you

The key is to make the plan work for you. Your running might be challenging in the beginning, but not so difficult that you never want to run again. During each workout, keep a comfortable and conversational pace. If you can’t talk while you’re running, slow your pace.

After each run, cool down with easy jogging or walking and finish with stretching to avoid injury. 

Be consistent in your running plan rather than trying to add more speed or distance. Establish a weekly running schedule to get into a regular running habit.

Final thoughts

When you’re just starting, don’t worry about how many miles you’re running. Keep your focus on minutes instead. Over time, your speed will increase and you’ll begin to cover more ground in the same amount of time. At that point you can increase the duration of your workout.