It is generally recommended that rookie runners (ie. anyone with less than 6 months running experience under their belt) run only 3 days per week.
The impact of running is hard on the body, and it is important that you take time off from running to allow your body to recover from that impact. It is fine to cross-train on your non-running days with some lower-impact cardio, although it is generally recommended that you take a genuine rest day once a week or so.
Fitness Minutes: (81,585)
1,966 5/18/13 3:20 A
I run early in the morning. I meet with my running partner 4.45 and off for a 7.6 miles twice a week. On weekend i do around 9-11.7 miles ( depending how i feel. On my lazy days i would do only 9 miles, this morning i decided to push myself a little - so i did 11.7 miles)
The best thing i did - its starting to train with my friend. Sometimes when i don't feel like doing anything - i still have to get up because i know Anita is waiting for me around corner.
It takes a while (several weeks) for your body to adjust to the impact of running - trying to do too much too soon can increase your risk of injury. Running the entire 5K is probably a bit ambitious for June 2nd, but you should be able to run/walk it.
The simplest warm up is just walking for a few minutes. Recent research has come out strongly against stretching cold muscles, so keep stretching until afterwards.
My advice at this stage would be to keep your running pace down - it is more important to get used to the motion and impact of running, and less speed = less impact. The minutes will naturally come down as you increase the proportion of running, and decrease the walking.
Fitness Minutes: (29,299)
847 5/16/13 12:51 P
I second the recommendation for a C25K program. It will help ease you back into the pace and minutes you're looking for at a level that will allow you to recover.
To answer your questions:
I mostly run in my neighborhood, as it's just easier. I head out the door and am ready to go. I have a few different routes in the neighborhood, depending on how far I'm planning to run that day.
I am anything but a morning person, but I really like to run in the early morning. (I'm out the door by about 5:45am.) It helps make sure nothing "comes up" later in the day to interfere with my running plans and it's also much better weather as we're moving into summer (at least here in the U.S.).
I almost always run alone, again because of the convenience factor, but I do enjoy those times I have the opportunity to run with a friend.
I don't do stretches before I run; stretching cold muscles can injure them. I do a 5-minute warm-up walk and a 5- or 10-minute cool-down walk at the end. After my run, I do several stretches (hamstrings, quads, "pigeon fold" yoga pose, and shoulders).
As for advice? Get fitted for good shoes at a running store. Don't push too hard too soon, lest you re-injure yourself. Go slower than you think you can. And have fun with it!
Fitness Minutes: (164,835)
11,061 5/16/13 12:06 P
Here's an SP video that is 10 minutes and gives great stretches for runners. Stretching should be done after running or a good warm-up. (Never stretch cold muscles.)
My advice to you is to try the couch to 5k plan. With an injury, it makes sense, you do a walk run. You will likely find it easy, but I think it would be very helpful in easing you back to the 5k!
Fitness Minutes: (15)
18 5/16/13 10:53 A
I want to be a better runner...
I want to run a 5km road race on June 2. I am practicing. I have done road races in the past but it has been a while and I am recovering from a gastrocnemius (left inner calf) injury. I went for a 25 minute walk this morning and plan on upping my pace and minutes, leading into running again.
What are your favorite areas to run? What time of day do you most like to run? Do you like to run with a partner/group/alone? What warm-ups/stretches do you do? What advice do you have?
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