Creating a regular run schedule helps build momentum when training for a race.

Why You Need a Running Routine

When you have a regular, predictable plan, it’s easier to fit running into your schedule. That’s why as captain of Kaiser Permanente’s half marathon and 5K team, I always tell our runners that it’s a good idea to get a routine into place when you start training for a 5K or half marathon.

If you already run regularly, then it’s just a case of ramping up gradually to prepare you for the race;  this training plan may help. If you’re new to running, start by running a mile or two several times a week and work up from there.

I run four to five days a week, and try to do 3 to 5 miles each time. On weekdays, I usually stick to 3-mile runs and go during my lunch break or after work with a co-worker or the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco running group. Since I can only fit in shorter runs during the week, I try to do one or two longer runs on the weekends.

If you have friends who also run, think about forming a running group. Better yet, train together for the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon and 5K!

You can also join the regular Fun Runs held at Sports Basement. Runs leave from the Presidio and Bryant Street stores on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. The Sports Basement stores in Redwood City, Berkeley and elsewhere also host fun runs.

One good way to increase your motivation is to run another 5K between now and late January. A good one is the low-key Crissy Field Park Run, held every Saturday at 9 a.m. I love running 5Ks because they’re only three miles long and even if you’re a beginner, you can walk the race. Finishing a race will give you a feeling of accomplishment and exhilaration that will carry over into your training.

Veteran marathon runner Jodi Thirtyacre works for Kaiser Permanente as the manager of the Department of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at the San Francisco Medical Center. Jodi began running when she was only nine and ran track in high school. She kept up her regimen in college and ran her first marathon at 21. Jodi is the captain of Kaiser Permanente's teams for the Half Marathon and 5K.