How Long Does It Take to Get Used to Running: Racing to Success


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It typically takes around 1 to 2 months for your body to adapt to the demands of running and for you to start feeling comfortable with the activity. Getting used to running is a gradual process that varies from person to person. Several factors come into play, including your fitness level, prior running experience, overall health, and commitment to consistent training.

Running is a fantastic form of exercise that offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. In this article, we will clearly answer the question “How long does it take to get used to running?” provide a realistic timeline, and offer some valuable tips to help you along the way.

Benefits of Running

Running is not only an excellent way to stay physically fit but also a powerful tool for improving mental well-being. However, if you’re new to running or have taken a break from it, you may wonder how long it will take for your body to adapt and for running to become a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. While the journey to becoming a seasoned runner varies for each individual, there are some general guidelines and stages to keep in mind.

Regular running can improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, aid in weight management, boost mood and mental clarity, enhance sleep quality, and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. With such a wide array of advantages, it’s no wonder many people aspire to incorporate running into their lives.

Factors Affecting the Adaptation Period

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to Running

Fitness Level: Your current fitness level plays a crucial role in how quickly you adapt to running. If you are already physically active and engage in cardiovascular exercises, such as cycling or swimming, it may take less time for your body to adjust to the impact of running. On the other hand, if you have a sedentary lifestyle, it may take a bit longer for your body to adapt.

#1. Prior Running Experience

If you have engaged in running activities in the past, even if sporadically, your body may have some muscle memory and cardiovascular conditioning, which can expedite the adaptation process. However, if you are entirely new to running, your body will require more time to adjust to the new activity.

#2. Health and Age

Your overall health and age can influence how long it takes to get used to running. Generally, younger individuals tend to adapt more quickly due to their higher metabolic rate and generally better physical condition. However, regardless of age, with proper training and consistency, anyone can adapt to running over time.

#3. Consistency and Training

Consistency is key when it comes to adapting to running. Regular training, gradually increasing your mileage and intensity, allows your body to adjust and build endurance. It’s important to listen to your body, avoid overexertion, and follow a structured training plan to prevent injuries and optimize your progress.

Starting Out: Setting Realistic Expectations

As with any new endeavor, setting realistic expectations is crucial when beginning a running journey. It’s important to understand that adaptation takes time and patience. Your body needs time to adjust to the new demands placed upon it. Avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on your own progress. This mindset will help you stay motivated and committed to your running routine.

#Phase 1: Getting into a Routine

The first phase of getting used to running revolves around establishing a routine. Consistency is key during this stage. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Step #1. Establishing a Schedule

Set a schedule that works best for your lifestyle. Aim for at least three to four running sessions per week, allowing for rest and recovery days in between. Consistency in training will help your body adapt more quickly.

Step #2. Gradual Increase in Duration and Intensity

Start with a combination of walking and running, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your running segments. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard too soon. The goal is to build a foundation and avoid overuse injuries.

Step #3. Listening to Your Body

Pay attention to any discomfort or pain during your runs. It’s normal to experience muscle soreness and fatigue, but sharp or persistent pain should not be ignored. If needed, consult with a healthcare professional or a running coach for guidance.

#Phase 2: Building Endurance and Stamina

Once you have established a consistent running routine, it’s time to focus on building endurance and stamina. This phase involves increasing the duration and intensity of your runs. Here are some key strategies:

#1. Incorporating Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating between periods of higher intensity and lower intensity. This approach challenges your cardiovascular system and helps improve endurance. Start with shorter intervals and gradually increase the length and intensity over time.

#2. Increasing Mileage

Gradually increase your weekly mileage by adding a little distance to your runs each week. The 10% rule is a good guideline to follow – avoid increasing your mileage by more than 10% each week to prevent overuse injuries.

#3. Cross-Training for Overall Fitness

Incorporate cross-training activities like swimming, cycling, or strength training into your routine. These activities will help improve overall fitness, strengthen supporting muscles, and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

#Phase 3: Improving Speed and Performance

Once you have built a solid foundation of endurance and stamina, you can focus on improving your speed and performance. This phase involves incorporating specific training techniques. Here are some methods to consider:

Fartlek Training

Fartlek, a Swedish term for “speed play,” involves alternating between periods of fast running and slower recovery periods. It’s a fun and versatile training method that can be easily customized to your preferences and fitness level.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs involve running at a comfortably hard pace for an extended period. This type of training improves your lactate threshold, allowing you to maintain a faster pace for a longer time. Start with shorter tempo runs and gradually increase the duration.

Hill Repeats

Running uphill challenges your muscles, cardiovascular system, and mental resilience. Incorporate hill repeats into your training to build strength and power. Start with shorter uphill segments and gradually increase the number and length of repeats.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to Running

During your journey of getting used to running, you may encounter some challenges. Here are a few common ones and tips to overcome them:

#1. Lack of Motivation

Set realistic goals, find a running buddy, join a local running group, or vary your routes to keep yourself motivated and engaged.
Injuries: Listen to your body, incorporate proper warm-up and cool-down routines, wear appropriate footwear, and seek professional help if needed.

#2. Plateaus

If you reach a point where your progress stalls, try changing your training routine, incorporating cross-training activities, or seeking guidance from a running coach.


Getting used to running is a personal journey that varies from individual to individual. It takes time, consistency, and patience to adapt to the demands of running. By following a structured approach, setting realistic expectations, and listening to your body, you can gradually improve your running performance and make it a sustainable part of your lifestyle.

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to Running: FAQs with Answers

Will my body get used to running?

Yes, your body has an amazing ability to adapt and get used to the demands of running. With consistent training and proper progression, your muscles, cardiovascular system, and overall fitness will improve over time.

How long does it take for your lungs to get used to running?

It varies from person to person. Generally, it takes a few weeks for your lungs to adapt to the increased demand for oxygen during running. As you build endurance and stamina through consistent training, your lungs become more efficient at supplying oxygen to your working muscles.

How quickly can I get good at running?

The speed at which you improve in running depends on various factors, including your starting fitness level, training consistency, genetics, and goals. It’s important to set realistic expectations and focus on gradual progress. With dedication and smart training, significant improvements can be seen within a few months to a year.

How many runs until it gets easier?

The time it takes for running to feel easier can vary. Some individuals may experience improvements within a few weeks of consistent training, while others may take longer. It’s important to remember that every run contributes to your progress, and with time, your body will adapt, making running feel more comfortable.