Never trained before?
Starting Over?
Can't run 15 minutes comfortably?
Not sure?

Take this simple test: Go outside and jog. Time yourself. How long can you go without stopping? If you can't run for fifteen minutes without having to stop and catch your breath, then ... Stepping Out is for you!


     Stepping Out's
Training Schedule
is designed to safely take you from ZERO to a minimum of 15-20 minutes of continuous running in 8 weeks without getting injured or worn out.
Stepping Out is for those in reasonably good health who wish to follow a simple, sound program. Lydiard™ has stood the test of time with hundreds of thousands of people of all ages shapes and sizes. This training method is the most effective, easiest and safest way of getting in shape, long-term, bar none!
Utilizing training methods developed by the greatest long distance coach of the 20th century, Arthur Lydiard, Stepping Out's basic running principles are the same as those used by Olympic endurance athletes the world over. This same program inspired the Running Revolution that took America by storm in the 1970's, and set the whole world running.
Students are taken through an easy progression of "walk/ jog/run". Using the classic cycle of aerobic Intervals, this unique training method alternates running and walking with rest/recovery days, to balance the program's workout week. This way, each individual progresses easily and comfortably at their own pace.

FIRST THINGS FIRST
Start where you're at and build from there.
All training is an Experiment of One − so respect your unique self.
What may take one person 4 weeks may take less or more for another.
Congratulate yourself daily on your initiative and commitment to yourself.
Realize that this is a journey of reinventing yourself to a new fitter you.
Training works in waves with ups and downs.
Choose to be a good surfer.

The most important thing to understand
is your own unique physiology
Many of today's programs are geared towards enabling beginners to finish a marathon on minimal conditioning. To achieve this, lots of walking breaks are included, and/or the weekly long runs are often increased linearly without consideration to one's response.

Most beginners can "survive" the marathon in 5 to 7 hours after 3 or 4 months of training using a walk/ run approach. However, without systematically building a base of both cardiovascular and neuromuscular developments, the chance of getting injured, fatigued, or mentally burnt out is greatly increased.

Training does not have to be HARD, nor do you have to beat yourself into shape or always be pushing the envelope. Stepping Out safely guides the individual to gently develop their aerobic and muscular infrastructures through the initial period. You will be using your own inner guidance to take on enough of a training stimulus to advance you to the next level of effortless, continuous running. Following these guidelines you will set yourself up for a lifetime of improvement and enjoyable running.

First Steps is a long-term approach that has proven to be more
enjoyable, safer, and ultimately yields superior results.




As long as you follow the ...  5 Lydiard™ Principles

and adjust your running schedule according to how you are responding you will improve your fitness.

These principles are

1  Maximize Your Aerobic Capacity − First and foremost, teach your body to utilize oxygen and produce energy at its optimal level. This is called Building Your Base. Slow and easy does it!

2  Feeling−Based Activity − Learn to tune into your body signals and become proficient at reading your optimal effort at any time. Body rapport is essential for good training.

3 Response−Regulated Recovery − Recovery is the equal partner of activity. It is during the recuperative phase, not the activity, that your body makes its adaptations and gets fitter.

4 Sequential Development of Energy Systems − Endurance, strength, anaerobic development, pace and speed are developed in sequence. Each phase of training builds upon the one before. When the endurance base is insufficiently developed, your pace will ultimately suffer.

5 Correct Timing − There is an optimal time for each work-out. What might seem to be a silver bullet workout, done at the wrong time can have a completely opposite effect of that which you are seeking.


The Pattern

Space your workouts over the week

Begin by running 3 days a week.

These training days can be any day of the week. However, make certain to include a recovery day(s) after a workout day to ensure your body has adapted and recovered from the previous workout. Day 3 is designed to be a slightly longer workout, so it is usually a good idea to plan it for a weekend day, Saturday or Sunday.

It is recommended, though not essential, that Day 1 and Day 2 be followed by a rest day and Day 3 be followed by two rest days.

Recommended Workout Day
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. Avoid stringing all your workout days together.

Recovery Days
Rest or engage in easy aerobic activity that does NOT require recovery. e.g. yoga, recreational biking or swimming, walking etc.


The Workouts

3 Times A Week

Warm−up 3 to 5 minutes

Jog 1 to 4 min. & Walk 1 to 4 min
Repeat Jog/Walk 3x each workout


Cool down 3 to 5 minutes

That's it! Your first workouts are only 15 minutes in length.

Always begin with a quick, brisk walk warm-up (3 to 5 minutes), and always finish with a cool−down brisk walk of the same length (3 to 5 minutes).

As the weeks go by, you will gradually lengthen the jogging segment from 1 minute to 4 minutes while decreasing the length of the walking segment by the same amount.

Each new week, you will go back to the easy workout, usually on Day 2, to give your body a chance to recover from the increased workload.

On Day 3 you get to gradually stretch the envelope by increasing the distance.



WEEK Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
1 WARM-UP                         with a brisk Walk for 3-min                                 WORK-OUT                  
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                              COOL-DOWN               with a brisk walk for 3-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                with a brisk Walk for 3-min                         WORK-OUT             
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                       COOL-DOWN             with a brisk walk for 3-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                  with a brisk Walk for 3-min                          WORK-OUT                    
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                               COOL-DOWN            
with a brisk walk for 3-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY
2 WARM-UP                    with a brisk Walk for 4-min                            WORK-OUT                 
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                       COOL-DOWN               with a brisk walk for 4-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                 with a brisk Walk for 4-min                        WORK-OUT           
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3xs for a total of 15-min              
COOL-DOWN
             with a brisk walk for 4-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                  with a brisk Walk for 4-min                          WORK-OUT                 
Jog 3-min Walk 2-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                       COOL-DOWN              with a brisk walk for 4-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY
3 WARM-UP                    with a brisk Walk for 3-min                            WORK-OUT           
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                       COOL-DOWN               with a brisk walk for 3-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                with a brisk Walk for 5-min                  
WORK-OUT
    
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                         COOL-DOWN            with a brisk walk for 5-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                  with a brisk Walk for 3-min                          WORK-OUT               
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                         COOL-DOWN              with a brisk walk for 3-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY
4 WARM-UP                    with a brisk Walk for 5-min.                           WORK-OUT                
Jog 3-min Walk 2-min
Repeat 3x  for a total of 15-min                       COOL-DOWN               with a brisk walk for 5-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                 with a brisk Walk for 5 min.                       WORK-OUT         
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                         COOL-DOWN            with a brisk walk for 5-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                  with a brisk Walk for 5-min                          WORK-OUT                
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                      COOL-DOWN              with a brisk walk for 5-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY
5 WARM-UP                   with a brisk Walk for 3-min                            WORK-OUT          
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Repeat 4x for a total of 20-min                        COOL-DOWN                with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                 with a brisk Walk for 3-min                        WORK-OUT          
Jog 3-min Walk 2-min
Repeat 4x for a total of 20-min                    COOL-DOWN             with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                  with a brisk Walk for 3-min                          WORK-OUT               
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Followed by 10-min Jog Walk 1-min Jog 4-min    total of 20-min        COOL-DOWN               with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY
6 WARM-UP with a brisk Walk for 3 min.         WORK-OUT                 
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Repeat 4 times for a total of 20-min                  COOL-DOWN                    with a brisk walk for 2 min.
RECOVERY WARM-UP                with a brisk Walk for 3-min                        WORK-OUT           
Jog 3-min Walk 2-min
Repeat 4x for a total of 20-min                 
COOL-DOWN
                with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                  with a brisk Walk for 3-min                 
WORK-OUT                  
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Followed by 15-min Jog COOL-DOWN              with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY
7 WARM-UP                    with a brisk Walk for 3-min                            WORK-OUT          
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Followed by 10-min jog Walk 1-min Jog 4-min  total of 20-min         COOL-DOWN               with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                      with a brisk Walk for 3-min                        WORK-OUT           
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Repeat 4x for a total of 20-min                    COOL-DOWN             with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                  with a brisk Walk for 3-min                          WORK-OUT               
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Followed by 10-min jog Take 1-min walk break Followed by 10-min jog Walk 1-min Jog 4-min Total of 31-min             COOL-DOWN              with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY
8 WARM-UP                    with a brisk Walk for 3-min                            WORK-OUT                 
Jog 4-min Walk 1-min
Followed by 10-15 min Jog total of 20-25 min      COOL-DOWN               with a brisk walk for 2-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP                with a brisk Walk for 3-min                        WORK-OUT            
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                    COOL-DOWN                with a brisk walk for 3-min
RECOVERY WARM-UP with a brisk Walk for 3-min         WORK-OUT               
Jog 2-min Walk 3-min
Repeat 3x for a total of 15-min                      COOL-DOWN              with a brisk walk for 3-min
RECOVERY RECOVERY




Common FAQ for All Beginning Runners
  • Q: How Often Do I Need to Exercise? Three times a week is the recommended minimum amount of exercise to improve fitness for a beginner. It is best to start conservatively when establishing a new fitness routine.

  • Q: I Have Started Exercise Programs Before But Didn't Last. How Do I Stick To It? It has been said that the hardest part of any running program is turning the doorknob. It takes a minimum of 3 weeks for a new habit to form and for your physiology to kick in. When this happens, your body will not only expect−it but it will relish it. The first 4 weeks of this program are designed to be gentle, allowing the process to take place. But no one can do it for you, it is up to you to make the commitment to yourself. A few suggestions to strengthen your resolve: invest in a new pair of sneakers, a heart-rate monitor, or a running outfit of your liking. Find a running group, a training buddy, or a coach to cheer you on. Then take it one step at a time.

  • Q: Can I Do More Than The Schedule Says? If after four weeks, you start to feel antsy and would like to do more, we recommend adding another day to the weekly schedule by repeating the easiest workout day on one of your rest days. Make sure, however, that you space your runs so that you FOLLOW YOUR INCREASED WORKOUT DAY WITH A REST DAY. The golden rule is: take as much recovery as needed to get the full benefit from your last workout. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO DO LESS MORE OFTEN, than do too much at once. Avoid being a weekend warrior and overloading the body in one session. Let your pace come naturally.

  • Q: Can I Add Cross-Training On My Recovery Days? It is okay to substitute these easy extra days with other forms of cross-training. However, if improving your running is the goal, it is advisable to run rather than to do cross-training. Running is unique in that you are pushing your entire body weight off the ground against gravity; unlike cycling or swimming where your body weight is supported. Not that these other activities are not good, but there are certain adaptations that you may not be able to achieve by doing other substitute activities. The truth of the fact is, you will recover more quickly if you include an extra easy day or two of running during the week.

  • Q: I'm Not Ready For Stage II – Can I Repeat Stage I? Absolutely! If at any stage you feel like the schedule is pushing you along too quickly, DO NOT hesitate to repeat the previous week. There is not time limit on this program. Many beginners may benefit by repeating each week twice, making this a 2-month program. There is no shame in progressing slowly. You may take twice as long to get to the same fitness level as somebody else, but you WILL eventually get there safely. If you force it, you will end up delaying your own progress by getting discouraged or injured. Stay the course at your own pace. Do whatever it takes for you.

  • Q: Should I use a Heart-Rate Monitor? Heart−rate monitors are a useful feedback tool for beginners, especially for those runners who tend to do too much, too fast. By all means use your monitor, but treat it as you would training wheels on a bicycle – use it until you become proficient at reading your own body signals. The long-term success of your training program depends on your ability to be able to tune in to your physiology and gauge your effort so that it is exactly right for you.




The Heart Matters
Heart Rate is probably one of the most generally used methods to gauge fitness level improvement as well as the intensity of workload.
Heart Rate as a Fitness Improvement Indicator:
  • Our heart is a muscle, just like any other muscles in our body. As you get fitter, your heart becomes bigger and stronger and, as the result, your Resting Heart Rate will decrease, pumping more blood with each stroke as well as total flow per minute.
  • In order to compare, it should be recorded under the same condition at the same time of the day



Your Target Heart Rate

The old and simple way to calculate "Target Heart Rate" is: 220 minus your age. However, as we all know, some very fit old people can be in better shape than unfit youngsters. Therefore, your training background and your current state of fitness level should be factored into the formula. This new formula takes your current fitness level (Resting Heart Rate) into account: (220 - Age in Years – Resting Heart Rate) x 70% + Resting Heart Rate = The Heart Rate (Women add 3) Five beats above and below gives your range, e.g.: Hanna is 30 and has a Resting Heart Rate of 70. 220 - 30 - 70 x 70% + 70 = 154 + 3 +157 Hanna's training HR range is between 152 -162. Remember this is only a guideline. Heart Rate is probably one of the most generally used methods to gauge fitness level improvement as well as the intensity of workload.
Heart Rate as a Fitness Improvement Indicator:

  • Our heart is a muscle, just like any other muscles in our body. As you get fitter, your heart becomes bigger and stronger and, as the result, your Resting Heart Rate will decrease, pumping more blood with each stroke as well as total flow per minute.

  • In order to compare, it should be recorded under the same condition at the same time of the day

  • How to check your Resting Heart Rate
    • Turn hand palm side up.
    • Place two fingers from your opposite hand in the groove between mid-wrist and the bone running along the thumb−side of your forearm.
    • Lightly feel for your pulse from the radial artery.
    • Count the "pulses" you feel in 60 seconds.
    • If you are checking the pulse during the exercise, count the "pulses" you feel in 15 seconds immediately after you stop the exercise and multiple that number by four.
    • This is "roughly" your heart rate in beats per minute
    • Q: How hard should I run to improve my fitness?

      For the time being, take the word "hard" out of your vocabulary. The goal of the Lydiard™ Program is to get you started and to establish a fun, healthy routine. The "no pain, no gain" mentality has derailed more beginners than anything else. Go easy and your body will naturally improve by the mere fact that you are moving. First and foremost, it is important to learn to run the distance continuously and comfortably without strain. Although it may not be immediately evident, many physiological changes are happening after just your first run. The cardiovasular system develops much more quickly than your muscular system. While you may feel you are capable of running faster, the muscles, and particularly the joints and ligaments (which have lesser blood supply), need time to strengthen. This program develops your entire body at a rate that minimizes the risk of injury, and sets you up to progress to faster paces for many years of enjoyable running and racing.

    • Q: I feel great when I start out my run, but quickly fizzle. What should I do? "Slow down you move too fast." Practice starting out slowly. When you go from the warmup/walk to the run, do so gently. The secret to endurance is to go slowly at the beginning. Even if you feel that you can go faster, don't.

    • Q: What You Can Expect As You Progress? As you get fitter, you should see the following: 1. You will be running further within the same duration of running time, 2. You will be coming to the same turn−around point in less time, or 3. You are reaching the turn−around point in the same time with a lower pulse-rate 4. You will be running faster (1 and 2) with the same pulse So as you perform this simple test, you should look for these signs. If you don't see any of them; particularly if your pulse rate is elevated, it indicates that you are actually over−working − or trying too hard to meet the goal. Back off and take it easy. LET THE PACE COME TO YOU! You cannot, and should not, squeeze it out of yours

    Golden Rules
    • Train, don't strain!
    • You can NEVER run too slowly. It's not the distance (duration) that stops you but the speed. If in doubt, do less.
    • It is always safer to progress slowly than to push for quick results.
    • If you feel you're struggling, repeat the previous week's schedule.
    • Always listen to your body; not the predetermined schedule.
    • Know that what you do today is laying a solid foundation for tomorrow.



    Congratulations
    Now that you are running continuously for approximately 20 minutes−3 times a week, you have completed the hardest part of the program and reached the base of the Lydiard™ Training Pyramid. From this point on, the fun begins as you build up to an hour of continuous running and make your first Ascent to Peak Fitness.

    At
    RunningWizard.com specifically tailored Lydiard™ Running Program to continue your journey, whether your desire is to participate in long distance and marathon events, or to just maintain your personal fitness goals.

    NO cookie−cutter training plans! All Running Wizard Plans are formulated to provide you with a personalized program detailing daily workouts that are specific to your goals, age, fitness level, and training preferences.

    Choose Your Running Wizard Program:
    • 1. UP & RUNNING PLANS take you to an hour of continuous running.
    • 2. UP & RACING PLANS not only take you to an hour of continuous running, they support your first 5k or 10k race training.
    • 3. BUCKET LIST PLANS take you to your first half marathon or full marathon


    STAGE 1 Stepping Out
    Follow First 4 WEEKS from Workout Table Below/font>

    STAGE 2 Striding Out...
    Follow Second 4 WEEKS from Workout Table Below

    Continuous Running
    Your goal during this stage is to increase the length of CONTINUOUS RUNNING within the span of a 20~30 minutes period. The continuous running is increased while the walking breaks are decreased. A 10 minute continuous run is introduced on Day 3 and by the end of the month you will be running 20 minutes without stopping. Do not be daunted, your aerobic system is very quickly responsive and you will find that once you run the distance a few times it will quickly become a piece of cake.

    Phasing Out Walking Breaks
    Taking walking breaks is a great way to cover greater distance/duration than you've ever done before, physically as well as mentally. However, it is the continued effort that brings about cardiac pressure to develop your aerobic capacity and your general fitness level. It is surprising how quickly your heart rate comes down during your walking break. What is more surprising is how quickly you become conditioned making the walking breaks less and less physically necessary. Do not allow the walking breaks to be a mental crutch − the sooner you do away with them, the faster you will progress. Once you have given up walking breaks they will quickly become an annoyance if for some reason you have to walk during your run!

    Time on Your Feet
    Pay close attention to your pacing. If you are slowing down toward the end of the continuous run, SLOW DOWN THE OVERALL PACE.

    It is important to increase the total duration of time spent on your feet. By running faster than your level of fitness can handle, you may jeopardize fulfilling this purpose. Don’t let anybody fool you that you can be better off doing faster for less time.


The Lydiard Foundation
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