There are a couple of things that you want to do before you start running. First of all, you should have a physical to make sure that you are in shape. Also, you want to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Go to a running store and have the salesperson fit you for the proper shoe for your foot type and the correct size. You will also need a running watch so that you can time your walk/run periods. There is no need to buy an expensive watch – any with a timer or chronograph will be fine.
You may be in great shape from your walking, but you need to get used to running gradually. This will help you to start a running program safely and without getting injured. To start this run/walk program, plan on being out there for 30 minutes. And, 3-4 times/week is great.
The week that you want to start running, here is what you want to do. Start out walking for 5 minutes. Then you want to run for 3 minutes. Don’t run too fast – go at a nice pace that you can sustain for 3 minutes. Then, walk for 5 minutes and then run for 3 minutes. Continue doing this run/walk for your 30 minute period.
Then the next week, you want to increase your running time. Start by walking for 3 minutes and then running for 5. Keep alternating 3 minutes walking and 5 minutes running until you complete your 30 minutes workout.
The next week, you increase your running time even more. You want to walk for 1 minute and then run for 4 minutes. Alternate your walking 1 minute and running 4 minutes until 30 minutes are up.
The next week, you should be able to run for the entire 30 minutes. Remember it doesn’t matter how fast you go – that will come later. The plan is to be able to run for 30 minutes.
If you need to take longer to build up, do so. If you need to repeat a week, that’s absolutely fine. You want to build up at a pace that is comfortable to you. This is a guideline – you should listen to your body.
Now that you can run for 30 minutes, you may be ready to sign up for a 5K road race. This is great motivation to keep up your running program – and it will give you a great sense of accomplishment when you get it completed.