In order to start step 3, I’m going to ask you to decide what your running goal is.

 

I don’t care how far I run, I just want to be able to run for ___ minutes at a time.

Welcome to Team Right Foot!

I don’t care how long it takes me, I just want to be able to run ___ miles without stopping.

Welcome to Team Left Foot!

I invite you to skip to your team's section of this page and move on to step 4 when you are finished.

Team Right Foot - Focus on time, not distance

 

While doing research on running for my THING, I came across a whole bunch of really accomplished runners who argue that the Team Right Foot approach is the best way to start your running habit. Here’s Casey Neistat (multiple ironman triathlon finisher and YouTuber) and Roberto Mandje (Olympic runner) giving advice for complete beginners:

 

Casey: “Focus on time, and time alone. Can you run for 2 full minutes without stopping? If you can do 2, can you get to 4?  Once you get to 10 minutes without stopping, get to 20. Do that until you hit an hour. That took me like, 4 months when I started running."

Roberto: “Spot on. Just a gradual start. Everyone starts from a different place, but give yourself somewhere to build up from.”

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Casey Neistat and Roberto Mandje

Here are three training programs that take that approach. They’re all a little different, so find one that works for you.

 

1. Run Eat Repeat

Monica Olivas is a total boss. In 10 years, she’s finished 30+ full marathons and 50+ half marathons.  She’s also a RRCA Running Coach. She developed a 5k training plan for new runners that focuses strictly on time, not distance.  

 

Week 1 is super approachable. Alternate 1 minute of running and 2 minutes of walking five times, three times a week. By week 10 she has you running a 5K. If you stick with this plan you’ll be able to knock those 5 K’s out like it's nothing.

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Monica Olivas

2. Hal Higdon

Which sounds more difficult to you, qualifying for the Olympic Trials 8 times and setting multiple world running records (some of which still stand today) or writing 34 books? Well, Hal Higdon has done them both. I know what you’re thinking.  Hal WHO? And he did WHAT?

 

I didn't get too far into my running research before I started running into the name Hal Higdon over and over. Hal has dedicated his entire life to running and writing about running, and he has been awarded a career achievement award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors for his efforts. My runner friends (and 2.5 million others annually) use his programs to train for everything from 5Ks to full marathons. 

 

The thing that I really appreciate about Higdon’s training programs is that they are tailored for novice, intermediate, and advanced runners.  Most of his training programs focus on distance, but his program for absolute beginners is all about time.  If you’re Team Right Foot, the 30/30 plan might be just what you’re looking for.  It takes 30 minutes, you have to walk the first 10 minutes.  Then you alternate jogging and walking for 30 seconds each to finish out the run.

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Hal Higdon (athlete edition)

Hal Higdon (strong sweater game edition)

3. Couch to 5K

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service developed the massively popular Couch to 5k Program which focuses on slowly building the length of time you run at one time from 1 minute to 30 minutes in 9 weeks. This program utilizes interval training, which means you run sometimes and walk sometimes, and the program has you run three times per week.

 

During Your Run

 

Team Right Foot isn’t all about distance.  But if you’re curious about how far you’re going, here are a few apps that you can use.

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My favorite habit tracker app is Strides. You can use it for any of your THINGS, but I’ve found it especially helpful to keep me on track with my running habit.

 

Once you have a running plan, you’re almost ready to get out there. Move on to Step 4 for recommendations on nutrition, hydration, recovery, and sleep. Then it’s time to lace up the shoes and do this THING.

 

Team Left Foot - Focus on distance, not time

 

Which sounds more difficult to you, qualifying for the Olympic Trials 8 times and setting multiple world running records (some of which still stand today) or writing 34 books?  Well, Hal Higdon has done them both. I know what you’re thinking.  Hal WHO? And he did WHAT??

 

I didn't get too far into my running research before I started running into the name Hal Higdon over and over.  Hal has dedicated his entire life to running and writing about running, and he has been awarded a career achievement award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors for his efforts. My runner friends (and 2.5 million others annually) use his programs to train for everything from 5Ks to full marathons. 

 

The thing that I really appreciate about Higdon’s training programs is that they are tailored for novice, intermediate, and advanced runners.  The programs all focus on incrementally increasing your distance, so if you’re Team Left Foot, these are for you.

Hal Higdon’s training programs:

Hal Higdon (athlete edition)

Hal Higdon (strong sweater game edition)

There are certainly other training plans out there that focus on distance.  Many of my runner friends (beginners and marathon finishers) use the Nike Run Club app and Nike Running Club training plans. The Nike Run Club app has a cool feature where you can input some data about your running experience and goals and get personalized “coaching".

 

Track Run Distances

 

Since distance is the goal, you have to be able to keep track of how far you’re running. Here are some apps that can help.

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My favorite habit tracker app is Strides. You can use it for any of your THINGS, but I’ve found it especially helpful to keep me on track with running.

 

Once you have a running plan, you’re almost ready to get out there. Move on to Step 4 for recommendations on nutrition, hydration, recovery, and sleep. Then it’s time to lace up the shoes and do this THING.