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Question
Posted by: Suzie | 2009/11/03

Learning to run

Hi doc,
As a person who' s never been crazy about exercise, I' ve decided to start running - I want to learn to hit the road and just run. Driving past runners they always look so fit and healthy and free. Where do I begin and how? I am a member at a gym and will start there working on my fitness levels first.
And another thing, what would you suggest as a fat-burning programme? My body fat % is too high.

Kind regards

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Suzie

good for you! I think it's great. Working on your fitness is a start, and if you're at the gym already, that's a good place to begin.

If you get into it, then don't worry about a fat-burning programme, because running already is that. You just have to do it consistently enough.

The key is to build up a level of fitness that will allow you to enjoy it. I won't lie to you - it can be really tough when you're unfit, but that's the challenge, and the reward is bigger when you overcome it!

My advice is to get onto a 5km programme, and have as your goal to finish 5 km in say 8 weeks. There's a programme on the Fitness page of this site, under Programmes on the left. You will see a host of programmes, and really any will do, but I'd start low and if you find that it's easy, then you just increase the difficulty a bit more quickly. I think a programme is important to provide stability and direction to your enthusiasm.

Once you hit that goal, then you move on to 10km and so forth. Small steps, small goals.

One other word of advice is to get some people around you, same fitness level, some fitter, some less fit, and then 'use' them for motivation, encouragement, a challenge. It really helps enormously to be in a joint effort, so now is the time to rope some friends in and get them fit as well!

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2009/11/09

Hi Suzie

good for you! I think it's great. Working on your fitness is a start, and if you're at the gym already, that's a good place to begin.

If you get into it, then don't worry about a fat-burning programme, because running already is that. You just have to do it consistently enough.

The key is to build up a level of fitness that will allow you to enjoy it. I won't lie to you - it can be really tough when you're unfit, but that's the challenge, and the reward is bigger when you overcome it!

My advice is to get onto a 5km programme, and have as your goal to finish 5 km in say 8 weeks. There's a programme on the Fitness page of this site, under Programmes on the left. You will see a host of programmes, and really any will do, but I'd start low and if you find that it's easy, then you just increase the difficulty a bit more quickly. I think a programme is important to provide stability and direction to your enthusiasm.

Once you hit that goal, then you move on to 10km and so forth. Small steps, small goals.

One other word of advice is to get some people around you, same fitness level, some fitter, some less fit, and then 'use' them for motivation, encouragement, a challenge. It really helps enormously to be in a joint effort, so now is the time to rope some friends in and get them fit as well!

Good luck

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