Running: Welcome to the Well Guide

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Friday, April 14, 2017

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Welcome to the Well Guide for Runners
As an on-again, off-again runner myself, I can relate to the challenge of starting a new running program. It's tough to get started, but the payoff — feeling great, meeting other runners and taking part in the festive atmosphere of road races — makes it all worthwhile.

And the Well Guide is here to support you every step of the way. Each week we'll offer you new running tips and insights, along with some of our most useful New York Times fitness articles to keep you motivated.

How do you start running? Slow and easy is best. Run just two or three days a week, and remember that rest every other day is an important part of training. Start every run with a five- or 10-minute walk to warm up, followed by a 20- to 30-minute run.

And remember, walking is O.K., too. The distance coach Jeff Galloway, a member of the 1972 Olympic team, suggests the Run-Walk Method. Contrary to what you might think, this technique doesn’t mean walking when you are tired; it means taking scheduled, brief walking breaks when you are not. (Some runners don’t like the walk-break method because they believe a race should be run from start to finish, without stopping. If that’s your goal, go for it! )

Beginning runners can try the Run-Walk Method by running for 30 seconds or a minute, and then walking for a minute, continuing this pattern for the length of their run. A more experienced runner might incorporate a one-minute walk break for every mile of running.

"The mission is to finish the distance without huffing, puffing or puking," says Coach Galloway. "A slow pace will bestow the same endurance as a faster pace, with low risk of aches and pains. New runners or those making a comeback should feel free to walk most or all of the distance."

Thanks, Coach Galloway! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for advice about nutrition, choosing your race goal, training tips and much, much more.

Keep reading and Run Well!

Tara Parker-Pope
Editor, Well
How to Start Running

Choosing the Right Running Shoes


A new review of research helpfully concludes that there is a reliable, scientifically valid way for each of us to pick the right running shoes, but it’s so simple that most of us ignore it.

Editor’s Picks

Learning a New Sport May Be Good for the Brain


Learning in midlife to juggle, swim, snowboard or ride a bicycle could strengthen the brain in ways that practicing other familiar pursuits such as crossword puzzles or marathon training will not.


Better Running Through Walking


Walk breaks, it turns out, may speed a marathon.


Ask Well: Making Exercise a Habit


A reader asks: What’s the best way to create a habit of exercising?


Getting Into Your Exercise Groove


A series of recent studies involving runners, walkers, metronomes and virtual reality curtains suggests that while the tug of physiological laziness is strong, it can be controlled, or at least tweaked, with some conscious effort — and perhaps your iPhone playlist.

Well Guide

How to Start Running


Running is a great way to get fit, feel better and even form new relationships with other runners. Starting a new running habit doesn’t have to be hard — all it takes is a comfortable pair of shoes and a willingness to move a little or a lot, all at your own pace.


A Teachable Moment on the Need for Colon Cancer Screening


Traditional colonoscopy is best at finding cancer. Less invasive screenings are not as definitive, but they’re better than nothing.

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