How to start a running routine

Written by Jason Howland of the Mayo Clinic News Network on July 30, 2021

September 1, 2021

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Running is one of the easiest ways to work out and stay fit. But for beginners, how do you get started?

Here’s Jason Howland with your Mayo Clinic Minute.

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“I think the best part about running is that it’s a very simple exercise. All you really need is a pair of shoes and the motivation,” says Dr. Chad Asplund, a Mayo Clinic sports medicine physician.

But he says it’s important to start a running routine the right way.

“Take a step back and sort of do a self-assessment on your fitness level. How long it’s been since you’ve exercised previously? And whether you have any underlying medical conditions that may become an issue if you start a vigorous exercise program,” says Dr. Asplund.

Once you have the all-clear, don’t overdo it right out of the gate. Instead, begin with a walk-to-run program.

“Where you start with a mix of walk/run, then gradually build up to a smaller amount of running. And then you increase that running until you get to your goal,” he says.

And for runners, the most important piece of sports equipment is on their feet.

“What the research has supported is the best shoe is one that’s comfortable and fits well,” says Dr. Asplund.

Using these tips, you’ll be a regular runner within a few weeks.

“I think most people over the course of a month could go from zero running to 3 miles of running with an adequate progression,” says Dr. Asplund.

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For the safety of its patients, staff, and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Originally posted on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

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