The hardest thing for those who venture for the first time into the running world is in creating time to train. It’s easy to find half an hour or even an hour for a brisk walk outside. But becoming methodical in lacing up your running shoes and going outside week after week, that’s a different story. That famous "lifestyle" change needs to happen so that it not only feels natural to go for run, but becomes a necessity. Time to go out and run needs to be created and not “found”. And don’t tell me that you have less time than others because we all have the same twenty-four hours available. You just need to establish your priorities and decide how to organise those hours.

To make sure that everything goes just as you’ve been daydreaming, you need to have a simple plan that you can put into practice to organise your workouts. Let’s start from a concept that few people take into consideration: calculate how much time you’ll be dedicating to training every week. In this first phase every training session will last, approximately, forty-five minutes each of the three workouts. That’s a total of two hours and fifteen minutes to fit into seven days: easy!

Now follow these first three steps:
1. Take out your calendar or agenda with your weekly schedule.
2. Deleted the your working hours and other scheduled commitments.
3. Take a look at the weather forecast.
In summer it’s handy to have a sunrise and sunset schedule (with amazing runs at dawn!)

You should be able to clearly identify three slots in your calendar when you can train. If you can, leave a rest day in between training sessions. Example: Tuesday/Thursday /Saturday or Wednesday/Friday/Sunday. If time is tight during the week you can consider a Wednesday/Saturday/Sunday solution. In any case, mark them on the agenda or calendar, now you’re committed!
Once you get used to creating your training schedule at the start of each week it’ll be easier to later stretch into the 10km (sixty minutes for three workouts) and, then, the marathon (a total time of 5 hours per week). You can already see how complicated things are for anyone skipping straight to the marathon!
Next week: Running shoes!
Julia Jones is online at
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