This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
I’ve recently been writing a lot of Seattle Marathon training plans and a common theme has been coming up, especially for beginning runners or those who have been out of running for a while. The most important first step isn’t some magic bullet, it’s building basic fitness.
A lot of these plans I’ve been writing haven’t been all that exciting. Some involve workouts only once every two weeks, if at all. Most involve fairly conservative volume progressions. The most elaborate aspect of these plans often is the fact that I’m asking the runner to consistently get a run in 3-4 times a week.
It might seem that the people paying for these plans aren’t getting what they are paying for. However, as I explain in the emails I’m sending them, they are getting just what they need.
When you’re new to running or you’re getting started after a layoff, you need a good foundation to start. There are no shortcuts. There is no magic bullet. There is simply basic work that needs to be done.
Once you build that foundation, you can do more extravagant things. Until that foundation is in place, though, those things are a greater risk than benefit.
So, if you’re new to running or newly returning, make sure you start with the basics. It may not be exciting but it’s the safest and best way to get to where you want to be.