I’ll be honest, using a guided running program has made all the difference for me at the beginning. It’s as essential for success as a good mentor, induction program or great boss when you start working at a new company.
It’s essential for sticking with running until you reach the point when you fall in love with it. This is a critical time, I promise you, once you get to the point where you can run without walking intervals for 30 minutes – it will turn into fun, something you can’t do without.
The important part is that it’s an audio guide that you can listen to during your run, who tells you when to walk and when to run, because during a run you simply can’t read through a plan or stop your intervals on a timer while also running and watching where you are going, the traffic, and so on.
Here are two suggestions for the “Couchpotato Level“, when you did no kind of sports before:
Both offer the download of the audio guide during your run. All you need to do is listen to the instructions and – very important – watch your heart rate on your tracker. If it goes up too much for too long into the anaerobic zone, you need to slow down – no matter what the program guide says.
In that case, if you don’t manage a run according to the guide – don’t be discouraged. It happened to me too. You can then either do a previous workout again, or keep doing the same for a while until you manage it, but most importantly, give your body some rest and some love (a massage maybe or some Yoga/Pilates). Once you managed to follow one workout, go to the next on the plan.
If that takes longer than the time set in the plan – who cares? Our bodies don’t listen to plans. Sometimes they gear up faster, sometimes they take longer. Listen to your body.
Here are two suggestions for the Beginner Level, when you start running, but have done another sport before:
- Runtastic’s “5k in 30 minutes” – This is part of the premium membership. It’s the one I used, because I used Runtastic before I switched. I didn’t switch because Runtastic is bad, it’s great, I just needed Strava (Segments) and the Garmin Tracker (accuracy) more. You can listen to your own playlist – the audio guide will mute it when it gives you directions.
- Aaptiv’s 5 k program with trainer Meg Takacs – This is my recommendation, I wish I had used this one, but back then I didn’t know of Aaptiv.com. I have used Meg in my ear as a trainer though for my Marathon preparation and it’s simply amazing and extremely motivating and it comes with a cool playlist (so you can’t use your own playlist).