Running guide for beginners

Hey there,


I want to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start….), and talk about running for absolute beginners.

running guide for beginners

Get off to a flying start


If you’re an experienced runner, you might well remember back to those first runs you did, how much you enjoyed them, and how free you felt knowing what your body could do.


If you’re a beginner, you might be feeling nervous:


Is this gonna hurt? Will I look silly? Will my clothes be comfortable? Will I injure myself?


These are some of the questions that are probably going through your mind. I remember they certainly went through mine when I returned to running as an adult (who wishes they were a carefree kid again?)


I’ve put this article together just for you: this is my running guide for beginners.


What do I need to do first?

  • Choose a nice day. You’ll get used to running in the rain later, don’t struggle through it on your first run.


  • Decide what you’re going to wear. Don’t let the paralysis that can come with not having an outfit stop you going for your first run! I’d recommend: a sports bra (non-negotiable, you gotta minimize that bounce as much as possible), loose fitting top (something breathable, if you haven’t got a fancy sports top, a cotton tee shirt should do fine), running tights (I recommend these over shorts because you’re less likely to chafe), ankle socks, and a good pair of running shoes. Shoes need a whole article of their own, so all I’ll say here is that it’s important to find the right pair for you.
    • Bonus tip: don’t wear grey. If you sweat, grey will show this the most.



  • Make a date of it. If you’re not sure you’ll push yourself out that front door, ask a friend to go with you. Too embarrassed to run with other people yet? Borrow someones dog (the dog will love you, your friend will love you, it’s a win-win).


  • Tie your hair up properly. If your hair is anything like the frizzy disaster mine is, you’ll end up looking like you’ve had an electric shock if you don’t tie your hair up well! I go for a plaited pony, or even easier, just put a cap on (gives you sun protection too, another win-win).


  • Put your iPod away. You might learn to run with it later, but to start with you’re going to need to be really aware of your surroundings. You don’t want to get caught up in the moment then get run over on your very first run!


 I’m ready to run….

Awesome. Let’s go!


Most trainers would recommend a mixture of walking and running for beginners.


That might look something like the plan below (please check with your health professionals first if you have any concerns at all).


With a plan like this, you want to do the workout 3-4 times per week, with rest days in between. Thirty minutes is a great initial goal.


30 min

You will love some of your runs, and struggle through others, so be prepared for a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Stick with it as best you can: it takes at least three weeks to form a habit, and we’ve given you a bit of wriggle room with a four week plan here.


Get out there, try it, then come back and tell us how it went!


Your running buddy,




image by Oscar Rethwill, CC 2.0,



  • Hi Emily! Very well explained. The plan is manageable and achievable. I was once wanted to participate in running during our sports day at my college but didn’t pursue it simply because I didn’t have the right sports bra and worried about ‘bouncing’ it too much haha.. I’ve tried searching for the right and suitable bra but couldn’t find the comfortable one. I didn’t even wear sports bra when we have the volleyball match between houses during my university sports day. Thank goodness it didn’t bounce too much haha.. I look forward to your Gear Reviews updates. Bookmarking your page!

    • Thanks Meina! Yes, a good sports bra can be the thing that makes or breaks whether you enjoy running or not. It’s something I’ve struggled with too, so look out for a post on the best sports bras to reduce bouncing soon 🙂

  • I appreciate the approach in your post running guide for beginners. I see so many people who are severely out of shape, decide I am going to start getting in shape, and the launch off on this hard core jog, and run, and literally hurt themselves. I like your chart of Walk 1 min, and then jog for 3. I think if I were to start it would be to just walk for a week or 2 then start where you suggest starting.. But then I am 50 and over 300lbs! 🙂 Any way good post and ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the comment Vic 🙂
      Yes, walking for a week or two (or three) before even considering adding in any running is a great way for many to begin their relationship with running.
      One of my favorite things about running is that it can unify women of all ages and and sizes. It can strengthen the sisterhood!
      If you’re looking for some weight loss tips, make sure to check out our sister site:

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