Where to start as a returning beginner.

Ok history is I got into running couple of years ago, best 5k time 26mins and best 10k time was 57mins so just slow and steady. I've since had a baby and 5 months post-birth I want to get back to running. I currently walk 20miles a week with pram at a 15/16.5min mile pace for up to 6 miles at a time and also do some aerobic classes at the gym so my fitness level is average rather than none existent. I'd be looking to run 3 times a week and continue with some x-training/strength sessions as well as the all important rest day of course. I want to do Manchester 10km on 26 May which is 16 weeks away. I'm trying to find a training plan but beginners is too easy and intermediate too hard. Beginners are saying walk/jog total 10 minutes 3 times a week for first few weeks, that is too easy for me but I'm not able to run for 30 minutes like the intermediate plans require. Do I start further along the beginners plan at a level I feel is right for me or should I really start from week 1 even though it feels like I'm going backwards? Really want to set a plan to keep me focused and to push myself a little but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as to what to do for the best!! All help appreciated thanks! Xx


  • I was in a similar position to you when I started again a few months ago after a 6 year 'rest'.

    First day I went out and found I could manage a mile so I started doing that every other day and then once I felt ready (after a week or so) I moved up to 1.5, then 2 etc. just as I felt like it.

    I never had a plan as such just aimed to run every other day, run at a slow pace (where I would be comfortable talking) and not increase run length by more then a mile at a time (mostly increased by half a mile).

    I've carried on like that and am up to 2x3 milers in the week and a 6 miler on the weekend. It's taken me about 3/4 months to get to that point (was set back a bit as I was ill in November).


  • Thanks Jo, I feel lost without a plan written down but will see how I get on with my first run tomorrow x
  • I know what you mean - I did sit down with Excel and work out that I had long enough before my 10k to build up to 6 miles even if I had to build up really slowly. And I always have a vague plan for the next week or so in my head.

    I think when you're just starting out (again) it's more important to listen to your body and if you feel like you should be running because the plan says you should then you may be tempted to push too much.

    One thing I have found useful is logging my runs on Fetch - it keeps a tally of how many miles total you've run and watching the graphs etc build up is quite motivating.

    Good luck with the first run - hope this wind dies down so you're not running into a gale!


  • Elizabeth, I'm like you, i love a plan written down so i can tick it off! I'd recommend the training plans in this book by Bruce Tulloh. (obviously pick one of the used versions)

    Ignore the fact that its called 'running over 40' if you are not, my daughter has successfully used it too, and she's 22!

  • There are couch to 5k plans aplenty on the web or this site links to a novice 10k plan
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