Couch to Marathon: 5 Tips to Get Started With Running

If you saw our IG post yesterday, you already know we're gearing up for a marathon in May: the Marathon of Warriors.

The best part of the Marathon of Warriors is that you don't have to do all 26 miles at once.

*Big sigh of relief.*

But we are challenging you to walk, run or jog a total of 26 miles in May.

We're not runners, but we know cardio is essential. By participating, you'll raise money for charity, get some awesome swag, and have the bragging rights to say you completed a marathon.

Still freaking out? It's okay, we are too. But let's break it down:

  • You can do 1 mile every day for 26 days as a warmup or cool down for your regular workout

  • You can do 2 miles for 13 days as a part of your active recovery plan

  • If you do 3 miles on 9 days, you'll end up with 27 miles

  • You can replace 3 of your regular workouts with an 8-mile jaunt and then throw in an extra two miles somewhere

  • You could do two sets of 13 miles or all 26 at once, but why?

See, it's not so scary when you put it like that, right?

If you still feel trepidation about running, we're here to help get you going.


1. Don't Go Too Hard Too Fast

If you haven't gone for a run since you ran the mile in high school, you probably aren't gonna do 26 miles in one sitting.

Like a child has to crawl before it walks, new runners have to walk before they sprint. Start with shorter intervals at a manageable pace. With each day, you can add more mileage or a little more speed.

We're already discussed the pros and cons of running outside vs. on a treadmill. It's easier to keep track of speed on a treadmill, but you may enjoy being outside more if you're going on longer runs.

You can also use Samantha's treadmill HIIT as a template to run short sprints between extended periods of walking or jogging.


Running involves your whole body, and like all workouts, you need to warm up and cool down.

If you are running for a longer stint, stretch before you begin to loosen up your muscles. Then start by walking or keeping a light jog for the first minute or so.

When you feel warm, pick up the pace and complete the bulk of your run. When you're just about done, slow your pace steadily until you walk and comfortably come to a stop.

And guess what you do next? Stretch again!! You can do simple stretches for your calves and quads, and you can take a step farther by rolling out your muscles with a foam roller.


3. Running Shouldn't Be The Only Thing You Do

Your running regiment should supplement the rest of your workouts. If you only run every day, you risk more significant injury to your joints and spine.

Your running routine should go hand-in-hand with your strength training routine. It's all about balance.

4. Invest in The Right Shoes

Contrary to popular belief, not all sneakers are made the same. So yes, we are encouraging a shopping trip.

If you are doing longer runs (not like hopping on the treadmill for a mile), you should have shoes you use specifically for running.

Ons are probably the most popular brand of running shoes, but they're not the most budget-friendly option. You can explore Brooks, New Balance. Asics-whatever your heart desires. Just make sure they're made for running.

5. Run Smarter, Not Harder

When you run, you should practice good posture by keeping your spine aligned. Your trunk should be engaged the entire time.

Keep your shoulders rolled back and your chest held proudly. Your arms should swing back and forth naturally, and your hands should stay relaxed. If you find yourself tensing your hands, you can always give them a little shake.

When you set your feet on the ground, you should try to land on the middle of your foot and roll through the toes. Landing toes first can lead to shin pain, and landing heels first can waste energy and lead to injury.


And as always, we're gonna tell you to drink water—lots of it.

We look forward to seeing your progress in the Marathon of Warriors! We're here to help you in any way we can.

Be sure to join Team #WeightingForWarriors on the CharityMiles app to track your miler and raise money for a military-related fundraiser of your choice! Challenge a friend to join you!

Happy running, Warriors!

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