Q&A How Do I Start Running

Q: “Total newbie here… I am almost 54 years young. I joined the gym two months ago after a few months of walking at least 5km per day. I want to start running and need advice on getting started. I want to do this but am scared I won’t be able to. Thank You.”


You can absolutely do it! I began running at 54 yr of age and will be 60 in a couple of weeks and am still running! Take it slow. I started out trying to run and didn’t make it very far. I learned thru time to start slow and your body will tell you what to do. I also had to learn to breathe and not huff and puff! Don’t get me wrong I still huff and puff but, a little differently. I love it!! Good Luck you can do it!

Couch to 5K is a great choice. Just move and keep adding on either with speed or distance. The rest will come. Sign up for a race so you have a goal! Good luck and good for you!!!!

Start out by running 1 or 2 minutes then walk 1 or 2 mins, after a week or two try running 3 or 4 mins walk 1 or 2 mins after two more weeks increase running another couple minutes.

I did the telephone pole (run to one telephone pole one day, then to the next one the next time, etc…baby steps) until I could work up to running 1 minute, walking 1 minute, then running 2 minutes, walking 1 minute…you get the picture! Jeff Galloway is awesome, too!

I started running at 53..I am now 58.When I started I ran to a telephone pole then walked to the next..since then I have run 6 marathons around 15 half marathons and endless 5 and 10 k ..please have fu,n go slow, smile and enjoy !!! I am slow but love every run I do.

I will tell you what helped me. I signed up for a fun run right away that occurred 2 months after I started walking and another every other month to keep me going. I have runs paid for through November.

Check out running clubs in your area. They’re a great way to meet and get support from others going through the same fears you’ve got. I started at age 53 like you. After 9 months of increasing my distance to 5-8 miles, I ran my first 5k, and have been hooked ever since. Have fun and enjoy your fitness and new friendships!

Start with run walk and build from there. It’s easier on the morale, joints, etc. and you’re less likely to get discouraged. If you have a Fleet Feet Sports near you, check out their No Boundaries 5k training program.

I started when I was 53. I used the couch to 5K app. It was easy to use and not intimidating at all. Don’t be afraid to stay on a week until you can comfortably complete it. I restarted 4 times before I was able to get all the way through. Now I’m training for a 10K.

You can have a free gait analysis done at a running store.. Wearing the right running shoes is very important.

Go to a running store and get fitted for shoes!! SO important. And the rest will just follow.

I am 56 and I just started running in June. I’m in a learn to run program through a national chain running store. Get good shoes and get good support! The running community is awesomely welcoming and nurturing. Find a mentor and go enjoy the journey!

Decide how far you want to run and how long. Then run even if your run is slower than your walking keep it up for the time or distance. Every time you accomplish one thing it will be awesome.

A couple things see if there is a running group in your area. Get fitted with the proper running shoe very important. Try a run/walk program, I recommend walk for 5 minutes then run for 3 minutes walk for 2 minutes do this for a total of 30 minutes a couple days a week. Gradually increase your running never to exceed more then 10% of running per week. Good luck, have fun, you got this.

Road runner in California San Diego is amazing with clearance store which may have same shoes for less with last yr colors. Find a shoe you like the search for them cheaper if needed.

I’m on week 6 of C25K. What a difference I see in myself. Another word of advice, don’t save money on the sneakers. Make an investment and you’ll love yourself for it. (Speaking from experience. Lol)

I started last year at 57 with the couch to 5k program. I finished a half marathon in April and am training for my second in Oct. Take it slow. Listen to your body and have fun. Good luck.

Ditto to what everyone else said. C25k, Jeff Galloway, and good shoes. I’m 58 and have been running for a couple years and have run a couple dozen 5ks, a coup,e 10ks and two 1/2 marathons. Don’t worry about your pace, speed will come after you build some endurance.

I ran my first half marathon at 50. Started walking then gradually adding in periods of running. Start slow! Enjoy your training. Good shoes are a must! You CAN do this!!

I will be 57 in 5 days. I started running again in Dec 2014. I’m now doing a step up from the couch to 5k – our goal run is a 5K in Sept. And I’m already planning to do the 10K program this winter. You can do it!

I started running at the age of 50 doing intervals. 30 second run/ 30 second walk When you first start you may walk through a few run intervals and that’s ok. I did my first half that year doing intervals and I still do intervals today.

Started when I was 54. Was also an avid walker. Have done several 5k’s, 10k and a 10 mile (which I swore I would never do. Training for my 1st 1/2 in Nov. Good Luck🏃

Enjoy the scenery, enjoy the journey. Run with your heart and the finish line will be there before you know it.

I’m 21 and started at a very young age. All you got to do is have commitment and patience, you’ll get there. Start of by jogging less then a mile and gradually increasing your distance!! You’ll get there!

You can do it. One step at a time, one day at a time. Before you realize it, you’ll be running. Just make sure you invest in good quality shoes that suit YOU!

You can do it!!! I’m 52, have ran 2-4 miles for the last few years.. Just ran my first 1/2 marathon! Best thing I have ever done! Get fitted for good shoes and inserts. Take care of your feet. Stay determine and I just bet your going to surprise yourself! Just do it! You’ll be so glad you did!!! Best of luck! God bless your journey.

I am 56 … never ran a day in my life… I started a year ago, barely able to manage one lap around the track at our local YMCA. Today I am still plodding along! I am able to run/jog for about half a mile, at a pretty slow pace, before I have to walk to catch my breath! Then I run some more. You can do this, just do it at your own pace and walk if you need to.

When I first started running, I ran light pole to light pole. When that got easier, it was two light poles to one, and so on… I actually listen to military cadences. I also use RockMyRun. You can choose music mixes by their bpm (beats per minute). Good shoes and socks are a must. Good luck!

Start off running for a minute, walking for a minute. Then run 2 minutes, walk one minute. Or which ever interval suits you best. But remember no matter if it’s a 6:00 mile or 16:00 mile, it’s still a mile. Stride on! 🏃

You CAN do. I started at 53 and never had run a mile in my entire life. I started by running from telephone pole to telephone pole and walking until rested enough to do it again. I’m 56 now and just ran 6 miles this AM (and am 60 lbs lighter than when I began.)

Don’t think or get technical. Just do it! Just feel it! Run and stop, and walk. Then run again when you can, and stop, and run again. Think and feel you are running for “something personal” like all the children and adults with leukemia or lymphoma that cannot run. Just run! Don’t worry about time or competing. Just run! One step at a time! Running never takes back what it give! Just run!

You can do this! I headed to the gym for the 1st time 5 years ago when I was 56 and knew I had to get in better shape. After a few months I started running as well. I would run 3 days a week and do strength training 2-3 days a week, which really helped my running. At first I couldn’t even run a 1/2 mile, but I just made myself push a little bit further every time. I ran an 8K 5 months later and my 1st 1/2 6 months later. Running is my sanity now. I’ve had injuries and set-backs, but thankfully I can still get back on the trail.

Chi running….I am not small or a Kenyan. I now run pain free and love it!! Check it out! Well worth it getting the dvd and book!!

Start slow, walk a way, run a ways, increase the distance over time. You have lived many (?) years without running, you don’t have to go out and set a record now, approach it slowly. If it isn’t fun, you wont keep at it…

If you are motivated and put your mind to it you can do it, running is very mental. I run 7 miles but it took me challenging myself for years and still do every time I run out that door, because I want a healthy lifestyle.Just to add once you do it it’s very addicting, that’s my fix when I run.

I’m 56, started running when I was 52. Never ever ran before that. Always did a power walk… A runner friend encouraged me to run when they tried keeping up with me during a walk. Tried it and loved the challenge. I still do a walk/run but challenge myself to lengthen the running times. Jeff Galloway has a good interval walk/run program. You can do it, just set your own goals and compete with no one but yourself.

Just do it. Don’t be scared. I started running at 435 lbs. My max weight was 485 lbs. Then I started running, if you want to call it that. Now down to 335lbs, with a bunch of 5ks, 10ks, a Tough Mudder, a Half Marathon under my belt. Not to mention I got 17 miles this my first attempt at LA Marathon 26.2 miles. I’ll get that 26.2 next year.

I’m 57 next month. Last September I started running. 30 secs at first, on my treadmill, then a whole minute. Then 5 mins. Nearly a year later, I’m up to 8 km, and am aiming for 10km. Takes me ages, but I do the distance. I’m very proud of myself. I call myself a runner. I was thrilled when I got my first passing nod from another younger fitter runner DOH Just Do It. You’ll love it.

I started running at 44, probably 100 lbs overweight When I was a child, I had a nervous stomach (I threw up every tin I ran) and the doctor told me I had motion sickness and could never run. He even gave me excuses from gym class. I started with couch to 5k. It’s awesome. If I can do it, anyone can! Give it a try.

I’m not gonna say it is easy, but it is worth it. not gonna tell you it won’t hurt, cause it probably will. Also not gonna tell you you won’t want to quit, because you probably will want to, but DO NOT QUIT! I’ve always loved running, but these days I power walk. Knee surgeries, knee replacement, foot surgery, back surgery, major internal surgeries ( yes, with an “s”) ~ your mind will will quit way before your body, so be sure and exercise it daily so you stop yourself from quitting. I can’t wait to see you go the distance!

Good job. The first step is the biggest step and how you start running is just putting one foot in front of the other.

They say it takes about 30 days for something to become a habit.

Here are some pointers for you to make running a habit:

Start slow and steady, alternating walking and EASY jogging. Don’t try to start running right off the bat, as you’ll do one of two things: You’ll either hurt yourself or you will become so disappointed that you will stop. So start slow. Gradually extend the time you jog compared to the time you walk. Set a realistic distance goal- one mile to start is good for a couple weeks. Then start adding distance. Keep it comfortable and realistic.

Some of the things that will keep you going:

Gear makes all the difference in the world. You can walk in running shoes, but you can’t run in walking shoes. Go to a good sports store and have shoes fitted correctly. Right size and right kind for your feet- normal, over- or under-pronation. Clothes make a huge difference as well. Sweats will just burn you out. Always dress like it is 20 degrees warmer than it is. I’m not a female, but I understand that a good sports bra REALLY helps. Keep your toenails trimmed and remember that BODYGLIDE (or a similar product) IS YOUR FRIEND!

Hydrate. Fuel. Both will make the difference in your performance AS WELL AS your recovery.

Breathing- try a two/two rythym. Breath in for two steps and out for two steps.

Think posture. Concentrate on keeping your back striaght. don’t let you head hang (chin towards chest), as it’ll impair your breathing. Keep the neck straight, chin tucked in a little- think a turkey looking over a log. Keep your shoulders and hands relaxed. NO FISTS. Forearms parallel with the ground and an easy swing, a couple inches front and rear (unless you’re really pumping in the last little bit of distance towards the finish line of your first race- regardless of the distance).

To stretch or not to stretch? Going to be your call. If you do, pre- or post-run is going to be your call as well. Having said that, I did for the first couple of years- about a good 15 minute routine after every run with crunches and pushups and it really improved my core, which really improved my running. I don’t now, though, but that’s just me.

When you hurt yourself (and notice I didn’t say “IF”)- STOP. Do a little reasearch and let yourself heal. Don’t try to restart too soon. Nothing sucks more than being sidelined with an injury.

Music, no music? Running partners or solo? You are the only one that will be able to answer that. I’ve been called a running snob- I don’t run with people. I don’t run with music. That’s just me.

Do things to keep your runs interesting. I’ve run in 43 states. I’ve made trips just to get a run in a state. I use running apps and draw out things or spell things for theme runs- SANTA around Christmas, etc..

Run safe. Know where you are running, when you are running. Lights, flashers and reflective material at night. Carry ID AND A PHONE WITH YOU ON EVERY RUN. On plus of a smart phone is that it also has maps. Good thing if you tend to just take off. If you have a medical condition, make sure that you carry that info with you as well.

You can do it. Slow and steady wins the race! Keep track of it. Nothing is more inspiring to me that seeing my slowest day today was once my fastest day and all that I’ve done along the way. When I first trained for my first marathon id gag the whole first mile (real attractive!), mile 2 came and I was a new gal. I did it- ran the race and continue to train. Enjoy it!!!!

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