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How to Start Running: Couch to 5K

If one of your goals for 2009 is to start running and you're at a loss about how to begin, I can point you toward some helpful structure. After lacing your sneakers, check out the Couch to 5K running schedule over at Cool Running.

The program eases you into running three miles by combining intervals of running with walking. This method prevents you from overworking and becoming so sore you never want to run again. Over the course of eight weeks, you condition your cardiovascular system and your legs while slowly increasing your running time, eventually running for 30 minutes straight, which is about the time it takes to run a 5K. It is a great way to start running, and the schedule has you running only three times a week, making it easy to fit into a busy life.

Check it out and try the program. Chances are you will get hooked on running. My only caution is 5Ks are considered a "gateway" race to marathons and triathlons.

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