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How to Start Running: The Absolute Beginners Guide

GymPlus Team

August 2, 2022

How to Start Running: The Absolute Beginners Guide

How to start running: the absolute beginners’ guide will teach you how to start your running journey. Running seems simple; all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other, but it is much more than that. The number one pitfall all beginners fall into is doing too much too fast, which is why this Absolute beginners guide will show you how to start running in an enjoyable way while keeping you motivated. 

How should a beginner start  

Below are the first steps to take before you start running as a beginner that will have you running 5 & 10k in no time. 

Get Motivated 

Getting the motivation to start running can be overwhelming. Having the right mind frame is just as important as having a good pair of runners for running. If you go in with a negative mindset, you’ll never have the motivation to go. Sometimes motivation is just a simple reward after getting out. So why not start with something easy? Every time you go out, reward yourself with something small such as a sports drink or a coffee. 

Remember, action leads to motivation, not the other way around. Getting out and feeling great after will help your motivation for the next time. Set realistic expectations, so you don’t lose that motivation.

Get Moving 

The saying you need to walk before you run is there for a reason. Like any workout, you need to build yourself up to running by walking first. Not a leisurely walk, though, a brisk walk. If you can’t get out for a walk each evening, using a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer at your local gym helps set the foundations for running. The aim here is to be consistent and keep it to an average of three times a week. 

Get Ready 

Getting ready, in this case, means investing in a good pair of runners and stretching before you you start running. A good pair of runners go a long way as they will minimise the chance of injury while improving your performance. 

Don’t forget to stretch, either. Cramping up is a real possibility, and having tight calves can have you feeling unnecessary pain. 

See below our walking calendar to get you started. 

how to run Walking calendar breakdown

How long should a beginner run for

How to start running and how long I should run is the age-old question many people ask. The answer is generally anywhere between 15 minutes to a half hour. Of course, this is all dependent on your fitness level and how long you have prepped your body for running. The most important thing is to start slow and don’t get too obsessed with your times. 

The run/walk method 

This method is as it says. Where you alternate between running and walking. Many of the couch to 5k apps use this method, which is a great way of building endurance at a manageable level. 

To do this, all you have to do is start by alternating one-minute intervals of running with one-minute intervals of walking, then slowly increase the running each session while reducing the walking.

Short runs 

Another popular way is to start off with short runs and build your endurance. Set the goals of running for 15 minutes at a slow pace, non-stop and slowly increasing each session. 


Using a treadmill will help you learn the pace you are comfortable at while you set it up so that you don’t go more than is manageable. If you are looking to enter races, this way is good for training, but be sure to do some running outside, as running outdoors and on the treadmill are very different experiences. 

Quick Tips for beginners 

Here are some quick-fire tips that will help your run as a beginner.

  • Find a running group or buddy. This will help with accountability and support when running.
  • Use a running app. An app will help you track your progress.
  • Run earlier. Going as early as possible means you will have more energy rather than trying to go in the evening when you are tired.
  • Eat light before running. Bananas, yoghurts, smoothies, and bagels are all good options before a run.
  • Don’t run right after eating. Let the food digest before you start running; otherwise, you will be sure to get a stitch. 

Find an event

The best way to start running is the enter a running event and go from there. With a clear goal in mind, you will put more time and energy into it. There are many virtual and in-person events that you can attend. All of these events can be seen on the running calendar, which includes 5k & 10K fun runs, half marathons, and ironmans. 


If you’re new to running, there’s no point in rushing to get it done. Slow and easy will help build endurance and keep you running for years to come. Remember, proper food, hydration, and the right amount of recovery will help you see the benefits of running in no time. We hope this How to Start Run: The absolute beginners’ guide helps you at the start of your journey. 

GymPlus Team

August 2, 2022

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