Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club


WITH the Solas Run For Life walk and run having been on only recently, all be it virtually, it has inspired me to write this week about getting you started, going from walking to running up to 5km.

I am going to get you started with a 1-5k beginner program to running. 5k is 3.1 miles in total and eventually as you get good at running, and your fitness levels improve, 5k should take 30-40 minutes to complete, but this is only when we get our few weeks of practice and training in.

Whether you want to start running to get fit, lose weight, sign up for a charity run or just to try something new, follow my five-step beginner program to get you off to a strong, healthy and safe start.

A beginner running program is actually not so much running but a mixture of walking and jogging at the start, with a lot of active recovery intervals (rest breaks while moving). You may find that your fitness is picking up half way through the program but do not skip ahead, as this may cause injury or fatigue.


My best advice would be to begin with walking. Try get outside and get used to the road, the surfaces, different weather conditions and the traffic, and also get the legs used to it. Spend about 20 minutes walking, trying to get a further distance each time. When you have completed a few walks and you’re feeling the benefit we can begin our running program.


Plan your week. We want to try get in 3, 20 minutes sessions a week so spread them out, giving yourself a day between each to recover and rest the body. For example, exercise on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and rest on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Always, Always, Always stretch before you do any sort of exercise. Start with stretching the legs, quads, hamstrings, calves, hips and hold each stretch for about 10-15 seconds, and 20-30 second holds after exercise. Then move onto the upper body, stretching out the arms, neck, shoulders and lower back.


Warm up, starting with a brisk walk, for about 5-7 minutes. This warms up the muscles and gets the heart rate elevated and the blood pumping around the body. To monitor heart rate without any equipment, find your pulse, count your pulse beats for 10 seconds, then multiply your answer by six and that will give you your heart rate at the beginning (resting heart rate), then do it again after the warm up and you should see an increase in your pulse rate, the beats should be faster.


Week 1 x 3 sessions

Keeping jog time low and recovery time high

Alternate jogging for 1 minute and walking for 1:30 minutes and keep this up for 20 minutes.

Week 2 x 3 sessions

Increasing jogging and recovery time

Alternate jogging for 1:30 minute and walking for 2 minutes and keep this up for 20 minutes

Week 3 x 3 sessions

Lowering jogging AND recovery time

Try jogging 200 metres then walk 200 metres, so now we are keeping jog and walk at the same distance. Later in the week try upping jog and walk to 400 metres.

Week 4 x 3 sessions

Increasing jog but lowering recovery

We are getting fitter!


Jog 3 minutes and walk for 1:30 minutes.

(a 3 min jog is approx quarter mile)

Week 5 x 3 sessions

Jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes

(a 5 min jog is approx half mile)

Week 6 x 3 sessions

Mix in 2 x 5 minute jogs and 1 x 8 minute jog,

with 3 minute walks in between to recover. Do the 8 minute jog either at the start or last, whichever you feel stronger for.

Week 7 x 3 sessions

Increasing time this week and continuous jog

You are ready to jog it all!

Try get out for 25 minutes today and jog it all, aiming for 2.5 miles (we are at 4k yay)

Week 8 x 3 sessions

Hoping to increase speed this week from a jog to a run.

This week lets get out for 28 minutes jog/run (picking up speed at this stage as we are getting stronger and we are most definitely fitter) now at 2.75 miles or…4.4k ALMOST THERE!

Week 9 x 3 sessions

5K 5K 5K 5K 5K 5K

30 minute run, 3.1 miles = 5K

We did it, you’re there, enjoy it.

Don’t forget your water. It is so important and so easily forgotten to keep hydrated when running, so get a handy hand held flask, fill it up, and off you go.

Remember to follow my program properly and insure you have no injuries before you start running i.e. bad knees, lower back pain, asthma, or any breathing difficulties. If so, consult your doctor before starting. Good luck.

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By Jacqui Watson
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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