By Butch Peterson
Running only 30 minutes a day can burn up to 9,000 calories in one month!
Many men sprint into a running regimen thinking they’re on a great start to calorie burning. But the next day, suffering from tender feet, achy knees, tight muscles, sore tendons and irritated ligaments, a lot of guys give up because it seems more like they made a journey into pain instead of fitness. Why continue something that leads to a week of sore muscles? But running does not have to be painful!
How to Start a Running Regimen Painlessly
As you know, running stride after stride consistently on hard pavement is tough on your body if you have not built up the miles. So, the key to starting a running routine is to start small – really small! This slow break-in to a running routine is a new variation of a classic program developed by high school cross-country running coaches who were getting their athletes into form after a long, lazy summer. This low-pain, all-gain routine will lessen the likelihood of shin splints, side stitches and sore muscles.
Your Goal: Painlessly run 30 minutes continuously, one month from today.
The Payoff: Running at six miles per hour will burn approximately 300 calories in three miles! One month of daily running workouts will burn up to 9,000 calories!
The Plan: Find a pleasant route and set aside 30 minutes a day for your running workouts.
Day one: Very easy. Run one minute, walk the next 29.
Day two: Very easy. Run two minutes, walk the next 28.
Day three: Very easy. Run three minutes, walk the next 27 … and so on.
You get the idea. Each day, increase your running time by only one minute. While you may think you’re getting nowhere in the early stages, relax – you are building a solid foundation for a great running routine. After only 10 days you will be running a mile; after 20 days, two miles. Remember, you’re still burning calories during the walking segments!
Halfway: If you run at six miles per hour (10-minute miles), by your 15th day, you will be burning 150 calories with an added 75 calories burned walking. While you may be only halfway to your goal, you are still already burning 225 calories per 30-minute workout!
Burn More Calories! Customize Your Workout!
If you want to add a little spice to the minute-by-minute walk/run buildup, you can divide the running segments into smaller increments that you can plug into your route wherever you want. For example: If there’s a hill that falls in the middle of your route, you may want to break the running segment in two so you run the flats and walk the hill. On the other hand, if you want a greater challenge, you may want to schedule the running segment for the middle of your workout and tackle the hill. Feel free to swap the running efforts from day to day. Just don’t forget to add one minute of running every day.
All the Way
After 30 days you will consistently run approximately three miles and burn about 300 calories per workout. After this month of building a solid running foundation, your mind and your body will be better fit for running even longer distances. As the summer continues and fall approaches, you can add more minutes and more miles to your regimen. As the calories burn away, you might even find that you like running!
Final Tip: Start today!