HC's Beginner's Guide to Running

School’s out, and the weather is finally nice, which makes it tempting to abandon our trusty elliptical to venture outdoors for a more scenic way to burn our cals.  Running is an incredible total body workout, and we've got the urge to say, “I just went for a run!"  But before you lace up those running shoes and hit the road, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re doing so you don’t get injured, embarrassed, or discouraged after the first week.  Read on for HC’s beginner’s guide to running!
 
1. Set goals — and stick to them!
Just because your New Year’s resolution falls through every year doesn’t mean you should give up on goal-setting altogether. After all, the best goals are challenging but realistic, and how realistic is it to give up chocolate for a year? Jessica Len, UC Davis’s Campus Correspondent and a new runner herself, says that setting goals is vital to maintaining consistent exercise. “Mental goals are huge,” she explained. “I think about what I will feel like once I am done with a run. I feel lighter and accomplished.”
You can motivate yourself like Jessica does by signing up for a 5K (roughly 3 miles) a few weeks ahead of time. Runner’s World has a great Race Finder that can help you find upcoming races in your area.
Whether you’re training for a race or simply challenging yourself to run 3 days a week every week, goal-setting puts you in the right mindset to start running regularly and to make each workout count.  You can keep track of your progress towards your goals by marking down your runs in a calendar and crossing them off once you complete them!

2. Create a regular running regimen.
Keep track of how much you’re running each day, and increase your distance and/or speed at a reasonable rate. If you’re just getting started, nobody is expecting you to run a marathon right off the bat! Founder of Rockstar Fitness Melissa Sherwood suggests starting small by mapping out a 2-mile distance and making your first goal simply to travel that far, no matter how long it takes. “As long as you are active for that distance, you’re on the right track,” she says.
The most important thing is to keep moving! Warm up with a walk or a light jog and gradually build up to a faster pace. Runner’s World recommends this 10-week schedule:
 
Week 1: 2 minutes running/4 minutes walking
Week 2: 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking
Week 3: 4 minutes running/2 minutes walking
Week 4: 5 minutes running/3 minutes walking
Week 5: 7 minutes running/3 minutes walking
Week 6: 8 minutes running/2 minutes walking
Week 7: 9 minutes running/1 minute walking
Week 8: 13 minutes running/1 minute walking
Week 9: 14 minutes running/1 minute walking
Week 10: Run the whole 15 minutes!