I just found this 10-week plan in Runner's World that can train a beginner to become a runner, even those with absolutely no experience. I'm usually skeptical about exercise plans, but this actually looks reasonable, because you start at a very easy and basic level and gradually work yourself up. Not only that, but the plan is over a long period of time-it doesn't claim to provide quick results. So I wanted to post this for those who are interested in becoming runners but feel like starting with a 5-mile run is the only way. According to this plan, it's okay to walk...a lot.
So, I'm going to type everything on the card, just b/c most of it's important or interesting information.
"IT'S OKAY TO WALK!"
"If you're just beginning a fitness program, the best way to start is with walking," says Budd Coates, four-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier and running coach of all levels. Coates recommends that a person with absolutely no running background begin with 8 straight days of walking-first, 4 days of 20 mins, then 4 days of 30 mins. Now you're ready to begin the program. Each week of the program, do your run/walk workouts on Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sat., and take Tues, Thurs, and Sun off. Follow the chart below, week by week, to achieve your fitness goals. (As w/ any exercise program, consult a doctor first.)
NOTE: After completing week 9, if you feel tired, repeat this week of training before moving on to week 10.
Week 1: Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Repeat 5 times.
Week 2: Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 5 times.
Week 3: Run 5 mins, walk 2.5 mins. Repeat 4 times.
Week 4: Run 7 minutes, walk 3 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Week 5: Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Week 6: Run 9 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice, then run 8 minutes.
Week 7: Run 9 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat 3 times.
Week 8: Run 13 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice.
Week 9: Run 14 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat twice.
Week 10: Run 30 mins. And congratulate yourself-you are a runner!