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Advice on starting running



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ALPHAEVE
SparkPoints: (17,288)
Fitness Minutes: (13,734)
Posts: 598
7/5/13 12:52 A

I agree with everyone on the interval programs, but I actually like this program: www.runnersworld.com/getting-started/the-w
orlds-simplest-learn-to-run-program
much better than Couch to 5K or even the Spark 5K Your Way program. I think that learning to listen to my body has been critical, and I also don't get discouraged because I can't do a particular week. Instead, I progress as my fitness allows me to!



HOWELLSARAH93
SparkPoints: (3,507)
Fitness Minutes: (1,007)
Posts: 27
7/4/13 12:50 A

Running interval programs are always helpful. I'm doing a 10k training program right now, and I'm almost to the 5k goal (about half way through) a good way to do it is either get a stop watch and print out a plan, or to download an app if you have a smartphone. If you feel like it's too much, repeat a week. I have done this a few times for the weeks that seem to difficult, another thing I will do is to repeat the last day of the week until I feel comfortable, and then move forward. Good luck.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 14,101
7/3/13 8:22 P

Blessedmama,

If you are feeling the running intervals are too much for you, slow down your running pace. At this stage it is more important to get used to the motion of running, rather than worrying about the speed.

Also, don't be afraid to repeat a week of C25K if you feel you need to - this isn't a sign of failure, it is giving your body more time to adapt to the stresses of running, and that's just smart.

M@L



CZARINA_TV
SparkPoints: (71,232)
Fitness Minutes: (118,449)
Posts: 261
7/3/13 3:39 P

I used C25K to learn to run too. I used an app on my phone (there are several free ones out there) that timed my intervals and kept me on a schedule. It would vibrate and talk to me when it was time to start running or start walking. Since you're totally new to this, try one out and just go slow and be nice to your body. Feel free to jog slowly, repeat workouts... Whatever it takes to keep you from hating it and quitting.

There are people who love running and people who just put up with it and I'm definitely in the latter category. You should still give it a try. My endurance has picked up since I started running, which is really cool.



BLESSEDMAMA0317
Posts: 18
7/3/13 3:22 P

I started SP's walking to running plan yesterday, and I too thought I was going to die during those four one-minute intervals! I was also staring at my IPhone willing the minute to be over with ha ha!!! But, I got through it and I'm proud of myself that I finally started because it's been something I've wanted to do for a long time. Right now I have no idea how I will be able to go longer than a minute at a time but I'll push through it! Right now I weigh 260 lbs and I have a long way to go, but I hope this program helps!



SINGERA9
SparkPoints: (4,246)
Fitness Minutes: (8,081)
Posts: 105
7/3/13 3:21 P

I totally agree with the other posters who've suggested interval training to get started. Interval training is not only a good way to get running, but it trains your heart and your lungs as well, and you will find that you don't get winded as easily. Prepare yourself mentally for some tough workouts ahead. Our bodies are capable of doing so much more than we *think* they are. Set goals (walk 3 mins, jog/run 30 seconds or whatever) and stick to it. Persistence is the key. Even if you have to stop jogging halfway through the interval, do it again when it's time. You're training your body.

I would also suggest good music - anything with a good beat (60 beats per minute or more) that makes you want to move. You'd be amazed how much easier it is to move when you want to!

Good luck to you! emoticon

Edited by: SINGERA9 at: 7/3/2013 (15:22)

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MOMMYOF2RN
Posts: 566
7/3/13 3:09 P

I NEVER thought I would like to run, but I do now. I started running when I was a little over 200 pounds when a girl at the gym said running was helping her get over her plateau. First I started walking for 1 minute and "running" (it looked more like jogging lol) for 15 seconds, then increased the "running" time each week. I aimed for at least 2 miles per day. Eventually I decreased the walk time and now can run a solid mile without stopping, then I usually fast walk for 3-5 minutes and start again. I usually settle for nothing less than 3.1 miles and I try to do this 3 times per week. It's fun to listen to music while doing it and I have a free app Map my Run on my phone to tell me the distance and pace. Good Luck!

You may also want to check your library for free fitness DVD checkouts



NANLEYKW
SparkPoints: (53,949)
Fitness Minutes: (27,270)
Posts: 837
7/3/13 1:16 P

I always hated running--or thought I did. Then my husband did C25K (the Coolrunning version mentioned previously) and the weight just started falling off him. I was looking for something cheap and easy to do, so I (reluctantly!) decided to give it a try.

The first week, the running intervals are 60 seconds. I thought I was going to die. By 45 seconds in, I was practically staring at my phone, willing it to hurry up and get to 60 seconds. But I stuck with it and progressed, week by week.

I started at the end of May last year. Now my long runs are 7 miles (without walking intervals) and I'm training for my first half-marathon and thinking about going for a marathon next year. I've lost just over 70 lbs (obviously, my diet played a huge part in that, too, but running certainly helped). I am fitter than I've ever been in my life, including before I gained weight. I feel strong and happy and proud.

Needless to say, I'm glad I started running!



WADINGMOOSE
Posts: 1,044
7/3/13 12:05 P

you could also check out the Jeff Galloway program. His is a lot less structured and more along the lines of "run a bit, then walk a bit, repeat." You can find that on his website. He's also a big proponent of the walk/run method which is how I finished a half marathon a couple of years ago.



LISS741
SparkPoints: (27,095)
Fitness Minutes: (18,978)
Posts: 337
7/3/13 11:55 A

I have recently in the past two months gotten really into running. I asked someone who runs that I work with and they gave me the advice of just doing as much as I can. Everyday just push yourself a little further. Obviously don't push yourself to the point of hurting yourself, but chances are that you can do more than you think. I have done the Couch to 5k app and it was really good, but I really feel like running is a mental thing. Once you take the mental block away of "I can't do this," you will be able to do so much more than you ever thought!

And of course don't forget to stretch and stay hydrated :)



MSFATAL
Posts: 474
7/3/13 11:35 A

Thanks for all the help! I will check out that couch to 5k program and start that :) The spot I walk at is half forest half out in the open around a pond and exactly one mile for 1 loop..my thought was to maybe start running in forest and walk around the pond..ill see how it goes!



WADINGMOOSE
Posts: 1,044
7/3/13 11:05 A

I also forgot to mention stretching and cross training. Do both.

I found a great restorative yoga class that was doing wonders for me until it was canceled for the summer. If you go to the fitness tab here, you can find good information on stretches for runners. Always always always stretch after a run.

Cross training is also important. I find that the C25K is easier to advance through when I'm also doing other cardio during the week. I typically bike or use the elliptical as well as taking the dog for walks. When I belonged to the Y, I also swam which was a wonderful zero impact workout - something I needed when learning to run at this size. If I skip my cross training in a week, I find that that week's running doesn't progress quite as nicely as the weeks when I cross train.



WADINGMOOSE
Posts: 1,044
7/3/13 10:30 A

I'm currently on week 6 of my c25k program - second time through because I took a break.

There are many programs out there, Spark has a good one that I used before, but I did struggle with it around week 5. This time, I'm using the cool running c25k and it's been going really well. I even downloaded an app for my phone so I don't have to actually think about how long I've been running. The app I downloaded was free (zenlabs, I think). I also have a GPS watch (Mr. Moose bought it for me for Christmas one year) that will do timing and let me set up the intervals on it as well as just a New Balance sports watch that I bought on sale way back when I got started. If you have a smartphone, I recommend the app because it's free and there are apps for both iPhone and Android. If you like running you can start buying the other toys.

Take it slow. If you struggle with a week in the plan, do that week a second time before moving on to the next week.

If you haven't been fitted at a running store for shoes, try running in the shoes you have. If you experience foot pain or shin splits or anything like that, it might not hurt to go in to a running store (I have an independent one that I love) with your current shoes and ask them for advice. Tell them what hurts and see what they suggest. I had to go to a men's shoe to get what I wanted and I haven't regretted it at all.

Take it slow. Speed isn't necessarily your friend at the start. Like another poster said, it's all about getting your body used to the impact. I run slow, but I am getting faster. I sometimes push myself a little harder than I maybe should, but I always finish with energy left.

I run on an empty stomach or a snack no less than 1.5 hours before my run. Anything closer to the run, I find that I get cramps and struggle with my run. This is something you'll have to figure out for yourself. Some people can't run on an empty stomach - I seem to do better.

Have fun with it. I love running. A lot. I would run every day if my body let me. My husband did a 5k before and he hated it. Every run hurt and he just didn't enjoy it. Honestly? If that was me, I wouldn't have continued. He's talking about starting running again as I've got some 1/2 marathons planned, but if he hates it, what's the point?




WILLOWYGIRL
SparkPoints: (5,361)
Fitness Minutes: (16,538)
Posts: 103
7/3/13 4:26 A

Well I really like Hal Higdon. He has running programs (free) for people who don't run, all the way up to people with experience with marathons. He has several books you could look at in the library or you could go to his website. I think the begining program is similar to C25k, but I'm not completely positive.

Lung capacity and heart rate will improve as you continue exercising. Before you know it, you won't be getting winded as often. :-) I usually go as far as I can until I need a break (I don't often need them anymore) and then walk till I have my breath back and my heart rate is feeling better, and then start running again.



SATTVA
Posts: 599
7/3/13 1:43 A

I'd like to share what worked for me when starting to run after having been totally deconditioned from an accident.

Like you, I started by walking. When I was ready to begin running, what worked best for me was to pick a spot close to the end of every block to run a few steps. For instance, I would walk to the last house on the block, then run to the curb.

After a couple of weeks I could walk to the second-to-last house, then run to the curb. Then I progressed to alternating walking two blocks, with running one block.

I think it's really important to start very slowly to take care of knees and lower back.

Another thing that worked for me, was to get a one-week free trial membership to a gym, and structure a one-week "health retreat" around that freebie.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes for your running practice. I know you can do it. If I could, you can! emoticon



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 14,101
7/3/13 1:35 A

The first step towards running is to build up a solid base of walking first. And it sounds like you are well on the way to that already.

When it comes to transitioning to running, the best way is through a Couch to 5K program. Rather than running continuously, these programs work through progressively increasing intervals of running and walking. This not only builds your fitness, but also gives your leg muscles and tendons the time to gradually adapt to the impact and stresses of running. www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
les.asp?id=598


The other thing is to keep your running pace down. At this stage it is more important to get used to the motion of running, rather than worrying about speed. You can always work on your pace once you are running comfortably.

A C25K program definitely got me running.

M@L

Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 7/3/2013 (01:36)


MSFATAL
Posts: 474
7/2/13 10:55 P

I know there are plenty of articles online on how to ease into running but I really would love some first hand advice. I am currently 215 and trying to lose weight without a gym. Due to financial problems I am trying to coordinate a workout thats free! I have been walking a few miles everyday and want to kick it up a notch. Ive heard such amazing things about running both physically and mentally but I have never had the stamina for it. I was always the last kid in school to finish the mile..i get winded very quickly. Any advice from someone who never ever thought running was for them but they proved themselves wrong and did it? How did you start?



 
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