Let's be honest here, most of us, when starting something new, just want to jump right in to training and train hard because we are excited about it or we have a goal in mind. Now neither of those, being excited about training or having a goal you want to meet, are bad in any way, actually quite the opposite. However, what causes problems (burnout, injury, sickness, etc.) and eventually may lead to quitting is jumping into the activity too fast as a beginner.
As a beginner your body is no where near able to handle the amount of stress running puts on your body when running long distances day in and day out. In time, as your body adapts to the stress of running, you will be able to run more frequently and for longer periods of time.
So how does a beginner go about increasing mileage or running duration on a week to week basis? Well, it really depends. How active or non-active have you been in the last 6 months? What does your past exercise experience entail? How much sleep do you get at night? How well do you eat? All of these questions and more should be answered when recommending mileage/duration when starting to run. The general rule of thumb when it comes to increasing mileage/duration from a week to week basis is to increase by no more than 10% from one week to the next. A maximum of 10%. Again, many questions need to be answered to give a more precise increase, as everyone is different.
Lastly, as a beginner, make sure you train gently. What I mean by this is that at least for a while, all of your runs should be done at a comfortable pace. You should be able to hold a converstion with someone (or yourself) during all of your runs. You are building a base in which your future running will rely on. Don't worry, your time will come to run fast. Ease into running, gradually increase, do not get caught up in how fast you are running, and your body will thank you and reward you down the road. <--Literally down the road..did you catch that?
Till next time,