This is the best advice I’ve ever gotten when it comes to exercising. People usually look at me like they don’t understand, because it sounds wrong. We’ve been taught to go as hard and as fast as possible and then more so. No! Wrong! I tried that. I tried it lots of times and it resulted in never wanting to do it again, as long as I live. Running has got to be the world’s worst form of exercise. Until it starts to feel like the best exercise. But that takes a very long time.

I never liked running and I never thought I would ever BE a runner, but then I got a design job at Runner’s World and then I ended up with a book, the Complete Book of Running and in that book was a running plan designed by the almighty Budd Coates who is completely responsible for my being a runner. Thanks, Budd.

Here is a plan to follow if you want to try it:

The following running schedule was created by Budd Coates, Health Promotions Manager at Rodale Press, who instructs a corporate beginning running program. Coates has taken non-runners and, in 10 weeks, helped them reach their goal of running the 3.5-mile Chemical Bank Corporate Challenge.

Before you start with this schedule, get your legs ready with eight days of walking; walk for 20 minutes a day for the first four days, then increase to 30 minutes a day for four more days. Now you’re ready to begin with week 1.

Each week of the program, do your run/walk workouts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and take Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday off.

Week 1
Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Week 6
Run 9 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat twice, then run 8 minutes.
Week 2
Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Week 7
Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
Week 3
Run 5 minutes; walk 2.5 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Week 8
Run 13 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
Week 4
Run 7 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Week 9
Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 2 times.
Week 5
Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Week 10
Run 30 minutes.