Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size
A
A
A

You Can Become a Runner

With the right training, even beginning joggers can get ready to go for the gold

Step 8. The long and short of it.

The basics of any training program involve a combination of hard runs, easy runs, and long runs. "Alternate your days with hard runs and easy runs," Bakoulis says. "You can do this by running every other day or by running roughly twice as much on the hard days as the easy days." Don't add miles to implement the hard runs. Instead, figure out how many miles you are doing now and divide them up so that you are running more on the hard days, less on the easy days. Get it?

As the race or marathon gets closer, start gearing up for a long run. "For a marathon, a long-run is 18 miles or more, but a long run is shorter when training for a 5K, 10K or another race," she says.

Before your run, do any type of exercise -- a light jog, calisthenics, a bicycle -- until you break a sweat, says Lewis Maharam. "Muscles are like taffy. When they are warm they stretch, and when they are cold they break." Also stretch out important muscles -- your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and iliotibial band -- before and after your run. "This will not only improve flexibility but prevent injury," he says.

Step 9. Rest your body and your feet.

It's really unnecessary for 99% of runners to run every day of the week. Most people should take at least one, if not three days, off each week," Bakoulis says. "And you don't have to run every day either." Instead, try "non-impact activities such as cycling, swimming, using the elliptical trainer at a gym, or any activity that is not causing you to pound your feet at least once a week," she says.

Step 10. On your mark, get set, go!

Congratulations. You are now on your way to the starting gate and much closer to achieving your goal. Remember, aches and pains can -- and will -- occur during your run. If you feel sore on race day, take acetaminophen (Tylenol). Says Maharan: "The temptation is to take ibuprofen, but it can block prostaglandins and blood flow to the kidneys in race conditions."

1 | 2 | 3
Reviewed on March 26, 2003

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Slideshow
Flat Abs
Slideshow
 
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
Slideshow
woman using ice pack
Quiz
 

man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
Teen girl jogging
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article