Road Runners Club of America

Empowering Everyone to Run!

Getting Started

Running is booming and there is no time like the present to improve your health, fitness and lifestyle through running. This section will introduce you to the basics of getting started with your running lifestyle. A new runner who is healthy (with no family history of heart disease), under 50, within 20 percent of their ideal weight, probably does not need to get their doctor’s approval before starting a running program. In fact, some people use their poor health or lack of fitness as an excuse to never getting moving—“I’m too out of shape to run!”

If someone is 20 percent or more above the ideal weight for their height and age, over 50, or if they have any real or possible health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension or joint or bone problems, they should consult their doctor before beginning the running program.

Set Goals

Most beginning runners have a reason to start to run. Often that reason centers around health, ​getting fit, and getting out more.    Read more >>

Make Time

Planning exercise or running time into your schedule is just as important as planning meetings, family time, ​social time, etc.    Read more >>

What to Wear?

One of the best things about running is that it does not cost much. All you need is a good pair of shoes and some suitable clothing.    Read more >>

Take the First Steps

When you first start running you might not be able to run ​very far ​for very long before taking a walking break​. The run-walk method is actually the best way to get started.    Read more >>

10-Week Program

This sample programs outlines how to start running using the run-walk method and progressive load to increase time and distance​.    Read more >>

Aches ​& Pains

When you first start running you may experience some muscle soreness caused by activity of previously underused muscles. ​This soreness is normal.    Read more >>


In normal circumstances, the following information is good for newer runners.  In today's current situation, participating in an organized event is not possible.  But you may consider a virtual run that connects you to an event online using technology such as Strava, Garman, etc.  A virtual option allows you to run a certain distance, on your own near home.  Participating in a virtual race may help the long-term survival of a community-organized race you hope to run in the future.

Participating in an event can help new runners achieve their goals, maintain motivation, and develops a connection with the local running community.  Almost all races in the U.S. encourage first time runners with a base of training to participate in the event.  Read more >>

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