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To Run or Not to Run

To Run or Not to Run

Stew Smith, CSCS

Running injury free requires near perfect technique, great shoes, possibly the addition of orthotics / insoles, and a gradual build-up after long periods of no running or beginning a running plan. Last week’s article concerning women’s running and training plan caused me to re-think my advice as the intensity of the article was not perfectly directed toward a novice exerciser. In fact, thanks to some feedback from readers, it inspired me to reach back into my archives of how I used to personally train beginners as opposed to how I personally re-started a running program after a year of not running in the past. It now is clear that the words “beginner running program” is relative. For me, the plan I placed on last week’s article was what I used to get back into running after taking a year off due to a serious injury to my femur.

To avoid or deal with running injuries:

One of my sayings is, “If it hurts to run, stop running. If it hurts to walk, do not run. If it hurts doing nothing/walking, go to a doctor.” For more information on running injuries see www.drpribut.com or www.runnersrescue.com for some great ideas and explanations on the long list of training plans and injuries occurring from them.

Beginner Running Chart for people seeking to start an exercise plan and need to lose 20+ lbs: (always start run workout with a quick 5:00 walk / light leg stretch)

Each Run Workout is to be done THREE times a week

Week 1: Walk 20-30 minutes / stretching entire body daily (monitor weight loss)

- if you are losing 2-3 lbs this week by simply adding walking / stretching and more water to your life – keep it up until weight loss slows to under 1 lb per week.

Week 2: Run 1:00 / Walk 1-2:00 for 20-30 minutes

Week 3: Run 1:00 / Walk 1:00 for 30 minutes (listen body as injuries occur this week)

• - Typically injuries occur during running programs the 3rd week IF too aggressive with initial training

Week 4: 3 Sets of Run 1:30 / Walk 1:30 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 1:00

Week 5: 3 Sets of Run 2:30 / Walk 1:00 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 30 seconds

Week 6: 4 Sets of Run 3:00 / Walk 1:30

Week 7: Run 1 mile / try non-stop / walk 1 mile fast

Week 8: Run / walk combo 2.5 miles (from weeks 8-10 – try to run as much as you can)

Week 9: Run / walk combo 2.75 miles

Week 10: Run / walk combo 3 miles

Running When Overweight – The human body is built for survival and is quite resilient to most of the stresses we can throw at it; however, the knee is not designed to take too much excess weight even through a pain free running program. Usually meniscus and articular cartilage will wear away exposing bone on bone and premature arthritis. This takes years though. So, if you are over 40 lbs overweight replace walking/running everyday with some days of non impact aerobics like biking, swimming, rowing or elliptical gliding.

Beginning running programs for folks who do not exercise are not the same as beginning running programs for recently injured or young athletes. In hindsight, I realize I made that mistake in the previous Women’s Fitness article and wanted to differentiate the two programs.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He specializes in military and law enforcement fitness, particularly Special Operations units. Please feel free to email him at Stew@stewsmith.com with any comments or questions.


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  • Erase_max50

    bribit99

    about 6 years ago

    204 Comments

    I have a weird question. I've been running, but I get bored. Physically, I can run forever. But I know in my head that i have to run to that tree down there, or the other end of town, or I have ten songs until I'm done running. This is what unmotivates me. I like running but my head keeps saying you have "this much more". When I run indefinatley, without and end point, its the same. I know its a bit confusing, so PM me if you are confused. I have an ipod, i've run with my boyfriend, nothing!

  • Kemper_max50

    kemperpj

    about 6 years ago

    26 Comments

    tank1512, i was the same way, i dreaded running but i knew i had to do it. what helped me was getting an ipod so i could listen to my music, and running in the woods or a park, someplae with scenery and things to look at instead of watching the wall in your basement in front of the treadmill. or another thing is to join a gym, the gym i go to has cable tv on every treadmill and a room with a big screen tv that plays new movies every week so you can watch your favorite shows and movies as you run. hope this helps.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 6 years ago

    You don't always have to run long distances to build up you stamina and endurance. Running for a 1/4 mile then working in some kettle bell swings or some burpee's, then repeat is a great way to get your heart rate up. I only run at the most 2 miles at a time. I keep my speed up and use an incline to make the run harder.

  • 2004feb004_max50

    sandmike

    over 6 years ago

    354 Comments

    Getting, and staying motivated can be daunting. Running with a partner can keep you on track, but this can be tough with shift work and matching up schedules. I have found that a Garmin Runner's GPS is a great motivator because it gives you a virtual partner and can keep track of your runs so that you can see improvements and declines. Go to www.garmin.com, or https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=142. There are a lot of choices and prices to choose from. It's kept me on track for the past year (and 500 miles of running). Good luck Tank1512.

  • Tommy_max50

    tank1512

    almost 7 years ago

    42 Comments

    does anybody have any tips on how to get motivated to run, with out a partner cause i have a hard time tryin to find one to run in the mornings i really need to get it started !

  • Superman_max50

    jskinner_2033

    almost 7 years ago

    154 Comments

    Running is always a good thing on your days off. Me and the K-9 do it every morning.

  • Ar15_max50

    jcormier1

    almost 7 years ago

    94 Comments

    Good stuff, I have been running for years and for someone who is starting this is a good way to start. Setting a goal is what is needed to progress. I started with a goal of running five miles and now my goal is twenty five. Then the next goal will be a marathon run. keep moving forward and just when you think you are not progressing, this is actually when you are benefiting the most.

  • Onebadcat_normal_max50

    libidibibo

    almost 7 years ago

    510 Comments

    EITHER WAY, RUNING IS ONLY DAMAGING TO YOUR BODY.... PRACTICE STRENGHT TRAINIG AND INCORPORATE INTERVAL CARDIO AFTER THE STRENGTH TRAININ.G

  • Onebadcat_normal_max50

    libidibibo

    almost 7 years ago

    510 Comments

    EITHER WAY, RUNING IS ONLY DAMAGING TO YOUR BODY.... PRACTICE STRENGHT TRAINIG AND INCORPORATE INTERVAL CARDIO AFTER THE STRENGTH TRAININ.G

  • Onebadcat_normal_max50

    libidibibo

    almost 7 years ago

    510 Comments

    EITHER WAY, RUNING IS ONLY DAMAGING TO YOUR BODY.... PRACTICE STRENGHT TRAINIG AND INCORPORATE INTERVAL CARDIO AFTER THE STRENGTH TRAININ.G

  • Onebadcat_normal_max50

    libidibibo

    almost 7 years ago

    510 Comments

    EITHER WAY, RUNING IS ONLY DAMAGING TO YOUR BODY.... PRACTICE STRENGHT TRAINIG AND INCORPORATE INTERVAL CARDIO AFTER THE STRENGTH TRAININ.G

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rgibbs1

    almost 7 years ago

    6 Comments

    Good artical; just need something for those in between stages. Most of us already exercise some so if we could get an artical on a running routine and building strength and endurance.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rgibbs1

    almost 7 years ago

    6 Comments

    Good artical; just need something for those in between stages. Most of us already exercise some so if we could get an artical on a running routine and building strength and endurance.

  • 10-1-2007-03_max50

    jendmurray5

    almost 8 years ago

    72 Comments

    Thanks!!!!

  • Thomaslennon_reno911_240_max50

    jawirt

    almost 8 years ago

    54 Comments

    Thanks Stew - another great article.

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