Beginners running training – and they’re off

Jul 11, 2019 | Jenni Ashford

Getting started with anything new is always tricky…other ‘commitments’ seem determined to get in the way and before you know it, a week or two slips by and your four month running training plan, becomes three. With 14 weeks until Exeter’s Great West Run, it’s time to put the excuses to one side.

Our beginner runners have stepped up to the start line, ready and raring to go, with diets adjusted, new running shoes box-fresh and laced to race, and training plans concocted to fit busy routines of family, work and other sports. There’s trepidation in the air but a positive buzz of enthusiasm gets the 14 week plan off to a flying start…here’s how our beginners are getting started for Exeter’s Great West Run.

Beginners training plan

Week 1 – 3: Aim for 3 x 2/3 mile runs + 1 x 4 mile + 1 x strength + stretch

Tap the photos for a second pic!


Food and Beverage Manager

Literally, zero to hero, this week. Just back from holiday; it’s time for the hard work. Knocked the mid-week beers, sugar and snacks on the head, pounded the treadmill, then got out on the road.
Run 1 and 2:  3-5 miles | 11 pace
“First outside run was along the sea front, happy to reach 3 mile marker but one too many walks but kept going. Run 2, I reached 5 miles, wasn’t about time or distance, just keeping a steady pace. Got to mile 3, felt fine, so kept going. Tough towards the end but happy with that!”
PT Tips: Rich has broken his ankle in the past so needs to build steadily to avoid injury. Advice on evening snacking – healthy eating in the day, overcome post-dinner temptations by drinking…water, water, water!
Ask our PT about the running nutrition


General Manager

Don’t panic, the ambulance wasn’t for him…a pedestrian and car collision interrupted Chris’ second run – a great excuse for a breather!
Run 1 – 3: 3 to 6 miles | Pace 10 – 12
“By run 3, I managed to push past 5 miles for the first time ever! I don’t enjoy the runs, but this time I was interested to see the difference my new trainers would make. My investment in a pair of Sauconys seems to have paid off as felt a bit easier than the last two until after mile 3, when a niggling hamstring pain reared up again.  After a stretch, I ran at a slower pace with a shorter stride, as it was painful.  I am hoping to get to 6 miles this weekend.”
PT Tips: Hamstring stretches are vital, but especially when you’re new to running. With Chris’ badminton playing, his hamstrings need careful stretching to avoid overuse and injury. Ask our PT about the hamstring stretches



Forget couch to 5K…Tom sprinted way past the 5K finish line, and straight to 10!
Run 3: 6.35 miles | Pace 10.32
“With a 3 miler and 4 miler, under my belt, it was time to aim for to 10K milestone! I wanted to push myself to see if I could do it and it felt amazing when I did! Took me an hour and five. Wasn’t easy, I hit “the wall” at 7k but I got thought it and was such a good feeling. The backs of my legs kept getting tight as I was running. I think I need to stretch more before and after. James suggested I get some compression socks to help with the tightness of my legs. I need to start running up hills or run some routes with some hills in. But I’m happy with how it’s going so far.”
PT Tips: Tom mountain bikes a lot, using different muscles, plus forefront striking is pushing his calf muscles…foam rolling, stretching and compression socks should help.
Ask our PT about calf issues when running


IT and Systems Manager

From 0 to 50 mph, Martyn has thrown himself into this running challenge. A steady build over the last two weeks, progressing from 2 to 5 miles, he has already added in a hill session and interval sprint training.
Run: 5 miles | Pace 10.53
Interval training: 3 miles | Pace 8.18
“I have ran with other ‘team runners’ and a few times with my sister – it definitely helps to keep you going when it gets tough. I’ve got a regular run from home to work and vice versa which works well – although I found out the hard way that an evening run, followed by a morning run, without a good meal in between, is knackering! I’m getting used to running at steady pace so I added a hill session to help build strength (that was HARD) and this week, ran with Jenni for an interval sprint session, reducing my pace by over 2 mins a mile – it was a killer but I’m up for it again!
PT Tip: Rest and fuel are important. When you’re starting out, allow recovery time for your legs, while you build stamina through longer runs. Eating the right carbs, vegetables and protein is vital, along with hydration and cutting back on caffeine.
Ask our PT about building stamina for running


Bar and Waiting Assistant

Mo Farah in the making, Cory has nailed his first outside 5K in a staggering time of 27 mins.
Run:  3.11 miles | 8.38 pace
Having ran a couple of times in the Team ExeterGCC group sessions, with regular visits to the gym…and pub…it seems Cory is a natural and we’re all eager to see him progress over the next few months.
Next update will include a pic!

Free Personal Training Session

Buy 5 personal training sessions, and we’ll give you a 6th one free!

You can choose one of four trainers depending on what you what to achieve and the style of training you like best: Lee Cooke – Gym Manager, Nick Rose – Assistant Gym Manager, James Wetherell – Personal Trainer and Becki Drew – Personal Trainer.


£26 fitness members
£28 club members
£30 non members

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