I’ve just started running, but am not sure what’s the best way to progress. Should I build time or distance?

I’ve just started running, but am not sure what’s the best way to progress. Should I build time or distance?

Congratulations on becoming a runner! To Begin with, I usually recommend focusing on training time rather than mileage, as this encourages you to ‘make haste slowly’. This will enable you to progress in small steps, rather than trying to do too much, too soon and ending up feeling sore, exhausted or disillusioned. Or all three!When they first start out, many new runners find their feet by mixing walking and running (for example, three minutes’ running followed by two minutes’ walking, repeated four to six times). As running gets easier, you can gradually reduce the amount of time you spend walking and increase the length of the running bouts. You can also use one of the many running apps on the market, such as Couch to 5K (free; nhs.co.uk), which will guide you through this process. Alternatively, simply use a digital watch to keep tabs on the time.

I’ve just started running, but am not sure what’s the best way to progress. Should I build time or distance? Photo Gallery



If you’re already running continuously, that’s great. Your primary aim should be to gradually extend the length of time you can run for, rather than the speed at which you run (that will come later). The secret is to find a place that feels comfortable for you andis sustainable for a meaningful period of time. This is called ‘conversation’ pace – the speed at which you could chat easily to a friend while running: if you can barely utter a couple of words to your jogging buddy, you’re working too hard. If you can yak non-stop, on the other hand, it’s clear that you are taking it a bit too easy. Aim to be getting warm and slightly breathless.As for how much you should progress your training time by, a good guideline is to limit increased to no more than 10 percent per week. For example, if you ran 20 minutes three times in one week (a total of 60 minutes), you could increase this by six minutes the following week,This approach will allow you to progress safely and successfully – and then you can start to think about going further and faster.

I’ve just started running,  but am not sure what’s  the best way to progress.  Should I build time or distance?

NEW KIT

1. OMM ROTOR SMOCK JACKET £135; facewest.co.uk Brrrr! It’s going to be a cold winter. But don’t get caught out in the freeze; bundle up in this PrimaLoft-insulated running top from, OMM. It’s über-light and warm, even when wet. Toasty.

2. RUN LIKE AN ATHLETE £14.99: amazon.co.uk Want to pound the pavements like a pro? Read Run Like an Athlete. From good biomechanics to effective stretching, athletics coach Jay Dicharry reveals how to make running easier on your body.

3. ASICS MOTION MUSCLE SUPPORT From £35; Winter runners love compression kit – it boosts circulation, increasing recovery and body warmth. Try Asics’ Motion Muscle Support with strategically placed compression panels.asics.co.uk

I’ve just started running,  but am not sure what’s  the best way to progress.  Should I build time or distance?

ROCKSOLID RACE 10K, MARCH 15

Lost your racing mojo? Inject a bit of adventure into your running with this 10K in Exeter, Devon. Featuring 46 obstacles, the off-road event is seriously muddy and sure to test your fitness mettle. See rocksolidrace.com

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