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How to build your own Running Program

Many people say they want to be able to run but don’t know where to start? I believe that everyone has the ability to run it all comes down to practice, preparation and patience.

Most importantly if you want to be a better runner you have to run. Don’t delude yourself into thinking just because you do a few circuit or yoga classes a week you are going to be able to run 15km straight.

The key is to start your preparation early and slowly progress your running distance.

I get all my first time runners to start with running 1.5km on a weekend then add 0.5-1km every week until they are running full race distance.

However often it can be difficult to find the time and motivation to train. Research shows that you can significantly increase your fitness with 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training. Dr Izumi Tabata a conducted an experiment where he compared one hour of moderate aerobic exercise 5 days a week (like most people do when they go to the gym), and a 20 second maximal work with a 10 seconds rest with 8 repeats 4 days a week. Dr Tabata surprising found that the 20s work to 10s rest protocol gave a 28% increase in fitness compared to the one hour protocol. So for a total of around 15 minutes of high intensity exercise a week you get 28% better results than if you do 300 minutes a week of moderate exercise.

The key if you want to improve your running performance with HIIT is to run at a high intensity for a short period of time.

Some great options are:

  • hill sprints
  • stairs
  • treadmill intervals

Having a heart rate monitor is a great option to make sure you are working at the right intensity.

Suggested Program: 1-2 Long Runs and 1-2 HIIT Sessions

Once you've got into a rhythm, how do you keep going? Check out my post on How to keep Running When the Going Gets Tough.

Want more great tips and advice join our FREE Running Challenge ‘My Better is Better’

Greg Stark - Fitness Expert

Greg has made it his fight to bring professionalism back to exercise. With a university degree in Human Movement and working with elite level athletes, Greg’s knowledge and experience is leading the way. Greg is the founder of Better Being, Australia’s only team of university qualified personal trainers delivering health solutions that suit your busy corporate life. Today, Greg continues to support the health and wellbeing of corporate executives and celebrities. He also educates trainers and regularly contributes to national publications and TV shows including Men’s Health, Sky Business and The Morning Show. Greg was awarded the 2011 Australian Exercise Professional of the Year finalist and is a proud ambassador for lululemon athletica. Greg’s passion is to create ways to inspire, educate and motivate people to build a happy and healthy life.

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