How to create your own running program.

So you want to run (and I love running), but like most new runners you wonder where to get started. The first place to start is with a great pair of shoes purchased from a running store. Don’t drag those cross trainers out of your closet. If you are a woman I would also highly recommend a great sports bra.

For beginners I would suggest you start with no more than 3 times a week, we ask our beginners to run/walk 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week. Utilizing one minute walk breaks and gradually increasing your run time, they start at one minute of walking and one minute of running and gradually increase to 10 minutes of running and one minute of walking, over 10 weeks. Some days you may get runners high and want to run farther but we recommend holding yourself back, as the risk of injury increases the more you push yourself. A beginner runner should be able to talk while they run, this indicates you are not going too fast, so drag along a friend and chat about your day.

The next stage I will call advanced beginner, you can start decreasing your walk breaks as you increase your mileage, never increase your mileage more that 10% a week, start at about 4k and gradually increase your long run to the 8k range, with 2 shorter midweek (4 to 5k) runs. Always run your longer run slower than your weekly runs as you are increasing your mileage, in the running works this is called your LSD (long slow distance) and is a great way to increase your distance without injury. Again resist the urge to push as really you only have been running a short time.

Tune into your body, if an injury happens or you feel burnt out, rest, check injuries out with your chiropractor.

Are you ready for more? The 10k distance or ½ marathon distance, asks you to run 5 times a week, these are great goals and I encourage you to try them.

At this stage I would recommend group training for sure. Those 20k runs can be lonely, and it’s great to share this accomplishment with a friend. I was running for about a year, had done 3  x  5k races and 2 x 10k races when I signed up for a ½ marathon clinic. I am sure running with a group was what got me through those long slow winter runs.

There are many training plans to be found online there are also some great apps for training, as well as running groups and stores that offer training. If you find you want the group motivation, and want to meeting new people. Join a group. Group running is easier running.

 Sheree Nicholson is the founder of the Brooklin Run Club. She has been running for 15 years, began leading clinics at the Running Room in Pickering before moving to Brooklin. She has run numerous short distance races as well as 7 ½ marathons and 26k trail race. She is currently training for an ultra trail marathon (50k) she can be reached for questions at

Blog brought to you by The Brooklin Run Club,, Sheree Nicholson