The Long Mile – A Beginners Running Guide

running

One mile is 5280 feet.  This distance seems trivial when in a car or train, but it often appears daunting to new runners desiring to hit this distance.  Running your first mile is an attainable goal, that can become a building block in your fitness journey.  Below are some steps to prepare to run the mile, and enjoy the process along the way.

Time – don’t worry about how long it takes to run the mile, says Gaurav Mohindra.  Your focus should be on improving your conditioning to be able to run the mile non-stop, without walking.  Your running times will improve over time.

Patience – is key.  Like anything else, have realistic expectations.  If you have never been able to run a mile – don’t expect to do so after one or two days of training.  This will simply frustrate you and may cause injury.  So – give yourself at least 4 weeks or regular training – and start with short distances that gradually increase over time, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Pre-workout Prep – prior to running, take a few measures to ensure you’re prepared for the distance.  Make sure you’re hydrated and have had something to eat.   It’s often suggested to eat a balanced small snack one hour before training.  A snack may be a balance of carbs and protein, like peanut butter spread over bread, or a yogurt parfait.  You don’t want to eat too much, but you want enough to fuel your run.  Make sure you have comfortable running shoes.  Most athletic shoe stores can fit you to ensure you’re getting a properly sized shoe for your foot.  And, keep some music.  Running to music is a great way to forget about the run and have fun.

Now that we’ve covered the basics – below is a 4-week running program to help you gradually hit the one-mile mark.

Week 1

Day 1: Run 1/16 mile, walk 3/16 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 1/16 mile, walk 3/16 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 1/16 mile, walk 3/16 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest​

Week 2

Day 1: Run 1/8 mile, walk 1/8 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 1/8 mile, walk 1/8 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 1/8 mile, walk 1/8 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest​

Week 3

Day 1: Run 3/16 mile, walk 1/16 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 3/16 mile, walk 1/16 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 3/16 mile, walk 1/16 mile; repeat 4 times
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest​

Week 4

Day 1: Run 1 mile
Day 2: Rest or cross-train
Day 3: Run 1 mile
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 1 mile
Day 6: Rest or cross-train
Day 7: Rest

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