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Florida Department of Health in Broward County

Florida-Department-of-HealtFlorida Department of Health in Broward County

By Bob LaMendola

Walking is a great way to get the 150 minutes of moderate exercise we all need every week for good health, but if you want to raise the bar, consider jogging.

Yes, you can.

If you’ve never run before, here’s how to work up into 5K readiness in nine weeks, courtesy of the British National Health Service. (Consult your doctor first, of course.)

You can repeat a week until you feel physically ready to move on to the next. There are many apps and websites to help with this project.

You’ll do three walk/runs each week. Start each one with a brisk 5 minute walk. After your walk:

Week one

Do blocks of 1 minute of running and 1.5 minutes of walking. Total: 20 minutes each time.

Week two

Do blocks of 1.5 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. Total: 20 minutes each time.

Week three

Two repetitions of 1.5 minutes of running and 1.5 minutes of walking, then 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking. Total: 23 minutes each time.

Week four

3 minutes of running, 1.5 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 2.5 minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running, 1.5 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running. Total: 26.5 minutes each time.

Week 5

Run one: Two repetitions of 5 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking, then 5 minutes of running. Total: 26 minutes.

Run two: 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking and 8 minutes of running. Total: 26 minutes.

Run three: 20 minutes of running. Total 25 minutes.

Week six

Run one: 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running. Total: 29 minutes.

Run two: 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running. Total: 28 minutes.

Run three: 25 minutes of running. Total: 30 minutes.

Week seven

25 minutes of running.

Total: 30 minutes each time.

Week eight

28 minutes of running.

Total: 33 minutes each time.

Week nine

30 minutes of running.                             Total: 35 minutes each time.

You are there! The program is designed for beginners to gradually build up to run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) without stopping.

Structure greatly helps motivation, so choose certain days of the week for runs and stick to them. Be sure to have a rest day between each run to reduce your chance of injury.  On the off days, you could do strength and flexibility exercises.

Some new runners may experience sore calves or shins, often caused by running on hard surfaces or wearing shoes without enough support. Don’t worry if some runs don’t go well. Just move on to the next one. Even a bad run is good for you.

Find a 5K:

www.runsignup.com or  www.active.com

 

 

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