Follow these workouts and you'll go from this:
4 things you need to know before you get started:
1. The running workouts listed below are listed in order from least challenging to most.
2. Brand-new runners should build a base of fitness before tackling the harder workouts. Coach Hamilton recommends jumping into the harder workouts as written once you're "consistently running three to five times per week for 30 minutes at a time and are injury-free." That means that if you're not a runner at all right now, start with the first few running workouts on this list until you're doing them consistently multiple days a week. Another thing: Each one of these workouts can be modified so that they're less intense or shorter, "but listen to your body and don't beat yourself up," Hamilton says.
3. You should always warm up before and cool down after. Each workout includes instructions for both.
4. We're using a scale from 1 to 10 of rate of perceived exertion (RPE), rather than telling you what treadmill setting to use, which would differ from person to person and doesn't apply to outdoor running. According to our RPE scale, 0 is no exertion, 1 is a light walk, 10 is all-out sprinting as fast as you can go, and 5 is running but at a moderate-intensity pace — you can still carry on a conversation easily. This is a much healthier and smarter way to calculate your intensity than dialing up the treadmill.
For each workout, we prescribe an RPE and a length of time that you should keep it up. For example "5 minutes: 5 RPE" would mean that you should run for five minutes at a moderate pace that would allow you to comfortably hold a conversation with a running buddy. For RPE 2 or 3 (easy and fairly easy), that can mean a brisk walk or a light jog, depending on your own fitness level and what feels right to you. Typically RPE 2 or 3 applies to rest periods or cooldowns, so whatever you need at that moment is good — use your judgment and pay attention to your own body.
The scale is based on the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion and simplified by coach Honerkamp, who says that it's not an exact science and will get easier to use as you continue running.