Begin the full running practice by running in terms of time rather than in terms of distance. Run every other day to begin and no more than five days a week thereafter. Plan and follow rest days.
Start with 10 to 15 minutes of quick but not fast running on a low impact surface like grass or loose sand. It is important from the outset to protect the ankles, the knees, and the hips. A low impact surface helps develop good running form and continues the strengthening that began in the conditioning phase by forcing the runner to lift the legs and the knees with each step. Add no more than three minutes of time to the run every seven days.
Once the run is 30 minutes long for at least two weeks, begin to consider the run in terms of distance and increase the distance run in 30 minutes by no more than a half mile every seven days. Plan at least two rest days per week.
After each run, do the following:
- Butt kicks (50 with 25 on each leg)
- Straight leg heel walk (100 meters or 50 with 25 on each leg)
- Straight leg toe touches (50 with 25 on each leg)
- Backwards run (100 to 200 meters)
- High knees (50 with 25 on each leg)
- Elegant Carioca (4 sets of 100 meters)
- Dynamic ‘limbering’ exercises – swings, gentle pulls, and kicks – for the arms and legs about a 30 seconds each
- Forward lunges (3 sets of 20 with 10 on each leg)
- Backward lunges (3 sets of 20 with 10 on each leg)
- Jump squats (3 sets of 10)
- Dropped ankle calf raises (2 sets of 10)
- Lower leg stretches (up to 20 seconds each side, leg, or stretch)
- Toe lifts (20 big toe lifts and 20 four toe lifts on each foot)
- Right-over-left/left-over-right stretches (up to 20 seconds each side)
- Downward facing dog to push up crawl (5 total)