Basic Intermediate Runner's

Training Program

Great Strides 2007 Shelly Florence Glover


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Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10


Week 1: Getting Started

run walk Complete Sequence Total Run Time
10 minute 1.5minutes 2 20

Runner's Handbook Recommended Reading

  • Basic Intermediate Training page 114
  • Warm-up and Cool-down Run: Chapter 7, pages 63-67
  • Running Shoes: Chapter 16, pages 196-220
  • How to Choose Your Shoe: page 200
  • Stretching Routine: Chapter 37, page 598

You'll Need

  • A stopwatch or runner's digital watch.
  • Good running shoes. - Regular sneakers and cross trainers are okay for the first few weeks, but they can quickly lead to unnecessary aches, pain and injuries.
  • Comfortable clothing.

    Curriculum Textbook

General Basic Intermediate Guidelines

  • Run at least 3 days per week, but take off at least 1 or 2 days per week.
  • Run slow enough for conversation and fast enough for perspiration. Run slow with fast walking breaks.
  • Save hills and other terrain challenges for later. If you have to include hills, walk them until you are strong enough to run them.
  • Run for minutes, not miles. Your first goal is to build up to running 30 minutes non-stop. You can do this in 10 weeks by sticking to our program.
  • Warm-up with a 5-10 minute brisk walk. Cool-down with a 5-10 minute slow walk.
  • Flexibility is an important health and fitness component as well as part of a good running program. Stretch when you are well warmed-up.

Basic Form

Running is simple, left foot then right foot, left foot and right foot and so on. Here are a few form cues to make your running adventures more comfortable and successful.

  • Hands are cupped loosely. Relax and slightly curl the fingers. Try placing your thumb on the first joint of the index finger.
  • Arms are loose and carried with the elbow bent at about 90 degrees near waist level.
  • Runner's posture is tall with shoulders down and relaxed.
  • Eyes focus forward about 10-15 feet in front on the ground.
  • Land lightly on the heel, rolling gently forward, pushing off with the front of the foot.
  • Breathing through the mouth is easiest. Aim to inhale every two steps or four footstrikes. Remember to exhale.

More Thoughts

You'll probably have sore muscles for a few days after your first workouts. Its normal - it's okay. A warm bath or shower may help you loosen up the day after a run and before workouts.

If you can't keep up with the schedule, don't give up. Stay at the level you can handle until you feel confident enough to move on. So what if it takes you 12 or 16 weeks to complete the program? Don't worry. Don't hurry. Remember it took you awhile to get out of shape and its going to take you some time to get fit. Your goal is to run non-stop for 30 minutes - smiling and talking all the way. It doesn't matter if it takes you four weeks or four months to reach that goal.

Stay With It

You may be motivated to run for any of the usual reasons: to lose weight, look better, feel better or improve your health.

Many people drop out on the way to getting fast and fit, or get in shape only to give up. Be patient. It's going to take a while to get into good shape. Lasting results mean a lasting commitment. Be persistent. Be consistent.

A Little More

Running Coach Shelly Glover has a master's degree in exercise physiology from Columbia University. She co-authored The Runner's Handbook and The Competitive Runner’s Handbook, is a veteran road runner and marathoner. She also coaches The Greater New York Racing Team is available for private coaching. Coaching Services