Start Yourself

This is the program I stuck to like glue to get me off the couch and out of my illness spiral.  I loved it first because it set the bar so low that even from the couch I was like,"well, those first three weeks are a no-brainer", and second because it tracks time and not distance.  Even now I struggle to put a positive spin on those mile-markers going by in races; somehow I always manage to think "what do you mean that's only 9 miles?!" as opposed to "mile 9, yay, only 4 to go!".  I don't know why I'm that way.  Maybe you are too.  If so, you'll like this like I do.  When I know all I have to do is stay out here, doing what I'm doing, for x more minutes, I can adjust my pace and music and thoughts and just ride it out rather than feeling like I'm in some Escher drawing where the next streetlight is forever receding.


The following running schedule was created by Budd Coates, Health Promotions Manager at Rodale Inc., who instructs a corporate beginning running program. Coates has taken nonrunners and, in 10 weeks, helped them reach their goal of running the 3.5-mile Chase Corporate Challenge.

Before you start with this schedule, get your legs ready with eight days of walking: walk for 20 minutes a day for the first four days, then increase to 30 minutes a day for four more days. Now you're ready to begin with week 1.

Each week of the program, do your run/walk workouts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and take Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday off.

Week 1: Run 2 minutes,walk 4 minutes.Repeat 5 times.

Week 2: Run 3 minutes,walk 3 minutes.Repeat five times.

Week 3: Run 5 minutes,walk 2.5 minutes.Repeat four times.

Week 4: Run 7 minutes,walk 3 minutes.Repeat three times.

Week 5: Run 8 minutes,walk 2 minutes.Repeat three times.

Week 6: Run 9 minutes,walk 2 minutes.Repeat twice, thenrun 8 minutes.

Week 7: Run 9 minutes,walk 1 minute.Repeat three times

Week 8: Run 13 minutes,walk 2 minutes.Repeat twice.

Week 9: Run 14 minutes,walk 1 minute.Repeat twice.

Week 10: Run 30 minutes.Note: After completing week 9, if you feel tired, repeat this week of training before moving on to week 10.,7120,s6-380-381--678-2-1X2X4X5X6-6,00.html ("first steps")