Shall we start running?

In the previous article on how to start running, I told you about two fundamental concepts that must accompany you in these first weeks: awareness and gradualness. In other words: knowing what you are doing and knowing the right times to do it, without straining your physique.
If you start running immediately without respite, you risk asking too much of your body. How do you think it reacts when from total inactivity you force it to do unprecedented effort? The key is to get him used to it gradually, alternating between running and walking.
Also consider that if you overdo it, you will only achieve the result of exhausting yourself, demoralizing yourself or even, unfortunately, injuring yourself. If you feel that walking is a defeat, think that until recently you were not even doing that. Now you run and walk, what more do you want? Repeat to yourself as a mantra “A little at a time” and focus on the progress you will make with each new workout.
But let’s proceed with some things to do, starting with:


“How? Don’t I have to put on shoes, don’t I finally have to wear that beautiful suit I bought?” Not yet and not always. I’m actually telling you something a little different, and that is: walk as much as you can and when you can. Start doing the trips you’ve always made by car (going to work, to the grocery store, to the post office) on foot, all the time. If you happen to be on the phone a lot, do it by hanging around the place where you do it: walk in circles, going back and forth. You will go much farther than you imagine without almost moving.

Walking is a wonderful activity (we have extensively praised it here) and most importantly, it makes practical sense: you walk to get around, so it is perfectly integrated into your daily life. Out of curiosity, I checked how much I walk on average: in the past year I have walked almost 12 km every day, on average and between running and walking. Which means I ran or walked about 360 km per month. Not all running, in fact, percentageally more walking than running. Why am I telling you this? Because you should never underestimate the physical contribution a healthy walk can give you.

Bruci più calorie correndo o camminando?

And now let’s start running

The best way to alternate running and walking is to follow the Runlovers method, which will get you running from 0 to 10 km in 10 weeks. Starting, not surprisingly, with alternating running and walking. Here are the first three weeks with the related program, to be performed at least 3 times a week, alternating activity day with rest day:

Week Program
1 minute of light running + 2 minutes of walking x 9 times (total 27 minutes)
2 minutes of light running + 3 minutes of walking x 6 times (total 30 minutes)

4 minutes of light running + 3 minutes of walking x 5 times (total 35 minutes)

Continued here…

Find your rhythm

I just advised you not to just run but to alternate running and walking. At first, your pace can then be that of your walk, just a little faster. In the meantime, listen to your body a lot. If you overdo it right away, in addition to possibly injuring yourself, you risk making running an activity that tires you, does not produce immediate results, and may frustrate you. Taking you back to the couch, which is like returning to the starting point without going through the start.

If at first you feel like you are out of shape and not going fast enough, think that this is normal because you are doing something you had never done or had neglected for a long time-it is normal to have modest performance at first.

The good news is that, in the beginning, improvements will be frequent, fast and obvious. And therefore very rewarding.
Speaking of rhythm: the one you will have to pay special attention to is that of your heart. Do you know the difference between resting beats and exertional beats? This article explains it in every detail and helps you not to worry if you feel your heart running like a free horse in the prairie.

Focus on your breath

You may have noticed that as you run, your breathing gets heavier. This is normal: you are under stress and your physique is “eating” as much oxygen as possible to feed the cells in your muscles. However, there is a line you must never cross: that of breathlessness. You must never feel that you can’t take it anymore. In any case, stop early or at least decelerate. In future articles, I will also tell you about how crucial it is to breathe well and how it makes you run better. For now, think about never going into oxygen debt.

Give more weight to durability than miles

We are all used to distances and measuring anything. The problem is that we also often use them to measure ourselves: the more miles someone runs, the more he’s good or a fool to others, depending on the point of view. Try to abandon this perspective right away: it is not about doing more but doing it better, otherwise by this logic an Olympic gold medal in the 5000 meters would be worth less than one in the half-marathon.

Instead, the perspective regarding distance changes: it doesn ‘t matter how far you go but how much you go in the same time interval. In the beginning you are likely to run a few kilometers in an hour, but after a few weeks you will run more mles, until you can do 6 miles in an hour or less. When you have achieved good physical fitness at the same time you will go a lot further than at the beginning. This is quality, this is progress.

It is more important to give yourself a goal, such as “Do 10 km in an hour” or “Run at least 45 minutes every other day.” Increase it gradually, listening to your body’s sensations and evaluating whether you can.

When you lose sight of why you are running, go back to where you started and remember why you started running. Do you remember what I said in the previous installment? Write down on a piece of paper why you are doing this, you will need it someday. That day has come: if you are unmotivated by fatigue and the constant thought of “Who made me do it”, go back and read your own words: they are not just a reminder but more importantly a pact you made with yourself.

At this point you might tell me that I forgot to tell you about one of the most important things about running, and that is shoes.
I have not forgotten about it but I refer you to one of the next articles where I will tell you about it in detail.
And now, let’s go out for a run!

(Main image credits: lzf on


  1. The thing you need to do if it’s your first time running
  2. Shall we start running?
  3. What shoes do you really need for running?
  4. How to always be ready to run
  5. The tricks to make running less strenuous
  6. How to dress for running in all seasons
  7. How to avoid getting hurt by running
  8. Seven tips for always wanting to run
  9. To run well, you need to eat well and rest
  10. Running faster and longer


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