HELP! Need running/workout advice!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I have this strange fascination with running and it's a new one for me. I had thought about running to kick my workouts up a notch. I have heard running burns mega calories but is hard on your joints. Hmmmm. There's a lot to consider when choosing a running workout. Such a simple and basic function of the human body is actually quite complicated.
So here's my problem. I love the idea of being a runner. I subscribed to Runner's World magazine and I just LOVE it! I pour through every page and read every word and think about what it would be like to run the races that are described in the magazine. This latest issue had an ad in it for Ragnar Relay (which I had never heard of) and I looked it up to discover that one of the relays will be right where I am! It is a 210 mile 2 day (overnight) run from Saratoga Springs, NY to Lake Placid, NY! Uphill. In September. In the Adirondack Mountains. Overnight. 210 miles. Did I mention uphill in the mountains at night? Yikes! And I want to enter this relay with every fiber of my being.
But I HATE to run! Whenever I am running, I am in physical and mental torture. Now, I run on a treadmill, because running outside right now is not really possible (weather) and I am just starting out and trying to get used to it all. I have great running shoes and access to a beautiful treadmill. But I find myself ticking off the seconds and the tenths of a mile. I watch those numbers like crazy and I hate it. Maybe it would be different if I were outside? Not sure. Also, I can only run 1 mile at a time before I have to stop and walk. Typically, I warm up for 1/4 mile, run a mile, walk for a couple of tenths, run another mile and then either cool down or walk a few minutes and then run another 1/2 mile. I am only up to 2- 2.5 miles. And I can only run 5 miles per hour. I'm just starting, so I'm not beating myself up for crappy times and having to walk.
But my question is this: If I abhor running so much will I ever learn to love running? How did you get started and how did you feel at first? Is there hope for me? :)
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I was never a runner, but although out injured at the moment I can't wait to get back in to it. Try a programme like C25K to build up the runs gently, you don't have to start at wek 1, just where you feel you are. Also music, I love having music as I run now and also I prefer running outdoors when the weather permits. More variation, more scenery more people towatch.
2123 days ago
I just started running in May and did the Spark Begin to Run program (the longer one, not the couch to 5k). All the run programs include a forum where you can ask questions and get help. I would HIGHLY recommend starting there...when you get done, try a 5K. Maybe keep training for another 5K and try for a PR (personal record) if you like that, train for a 10K.
Every person is different, but I would be extremely leary of 210 miles in 2 days. What is your goal? Simply surviving it? It sounds like one of those Extreme races that would be incredibly difficult to train for...thus being able to say "Been there, done that" is the only real goal and your injury risk would be incredibly high. People train a long time just to run a marathon and that is only 26.2 miles. I would forgo the 210 for a realistic goal you can set and actually enjoy training for. The journey is really the best part of the experience.
Let me tell you the rest of my story. After beginning to run in May with Spark, I joing a local beginner run group. I ran a 5k in August and another in Sept. I was starting to really like running and I NEVER thought I would. I only did the running because I plan to do a sprint triathlon in 2012. I joined a more advanced group that focused on slightly increased mileage and a move to change my running style to something more efficient (increased cadence...aka...more turnover of your feet...and thus more pounding). I ended up getting injured from overuse. I have been in physical therapy since Oct. and finally got approved for an MRI on Christmas Eve of all days!
Will this happen to you? Maybe...maybe not. But most of the coaches I had in my 2 programs started with a 5K and then went on to a 10K...then graduated to a half-marathon and then some have moved on to marathons. I would recommend that route and if you enjoy it, then try the 210 in a few years.
There is a big difference between what you can force your body to do...and what you can gradually train your body to do safely and without injury. That's why the Spark program gradually builds you up. While you can handle it aerobically, it is your body that needs time to adjust to the pounding.
That being said...yes, even if you HATE the idea of running, you may find that through your training and your own personal journey, that you come to love running. You'll only know if you try.
For me, I MISS running so much and cannot wait to be injury free so I can run again. Good luck with yout journey.
2126 days ago
I would just focus on starting out slow. Keep doing the intervals, and gradually build that up. That's the advice I can give, I'm still not much for running, but I do intervals (2 min walk/3 min jog) every MWF. Listen to your body and it will get you to where you want to go!
2127 days ago
All my buddies will tell you how much I said I wasn't a runner when I started running. I just ran my first HM a few weeks ago. I'm a very slow runner, too 5 mph is a really good pace for me!
The first yr, around nov, I stopped running outside. I live in Albany. The next I ran outside all winter - altho I used my treadmill a lot, too - remember how hard last winter was? All that snow?
For me it is NEVER easy, but it gets easier. And it gets under your skin.
2127 days ago
I can only speak from personal experience, but one of my first posts on this site was about how ten minutes of running made me cry. Literally. It hurt, my body ached, I was out of breath and exhausted. I hated it so much, but I was so jealous of all those race reports I read from people. I'd all but written myself off as a non-runner, and just wanted to get to the point where I could last fifteen minutes on the treadmill without dying.
And tonight I just popped back on Spark after trying to decide which marathon I'm going to sign up for.
Again, this won't be the same for everyone, especially if you have joint issues, but it really did get easier. I went the C25K route and slowly built myself up from that. There was literally one day when I realized that my body wanted to run. It took time and a few very achy mornings, but I got to that point. And then it actually started being fun. Now I miss it when I go for more than a few days without a good run, and it just feels like natural movement. I don't think I'm a natural runner, but at the same time I think you can condition your body to make it work.
As for indoor/outdoor, I started outdoor running after about four months on the treadmill, and it was... different. More difficult in some ways, but also a lot more freeing. I like setting my own pace and listening to my body, but I also like the discipline the treadmill offers when I'm trying to bump up my performance. I do a mix of indoor and out, and I find they both fill a spot in my training.
One last point - equipment matters. Getting fitted for proper shoes opened up a whole new world for me, and was worth every penny. I make sure that anything next to my skin is good quality, because I've learned that lesson the hard way. I dress properly for the weather, because that can make a huge difference too. Finally, don't underestimate how much difference a few pounds will make. I remember picking up a 40 pound tub of cat litter once and being amazed that I was carrying that much extra weight when I started. You might not be able to run the Ragnar yet, but you're only going to improve as you continue to train. You're going about it the right way - start slow and build.
Good luck with it!
2127 days ago
At least you are moving and you have a dream!
Try the Couch to 5K training programs. You can start with the walking, or the walk/run, or the rookie running. Once you complete the 2 months, you will find you probably have a new love for running and more confidence - at the very least, you won't hate running because you will have accomplished a worthwhile goal and know you can do mmore.
Running on a treadmill is easier than running on the road or trails, so even though you are getting fitter, don't be surprised if the first time you try a race (like a 5K charity event) it takes more effort or a little longer than what you are able to do on the treadmill.
And don't forget to vary your workouts on the 'mill by increasing the incline on occasion - 0% incline is sort of like running downhill.
Most of all, and best wishes!!!
2127 days ago
Heh. I just read the other comments on your blog. Looks like we all said similar things. Oh well, I didn't think I was unique and having checked out what the other two folks said, I now feel inspired. Thanks to all!
2127 days ago
You are doing everything right! Oh I loathe the mill! Running outside when you can is ideal! Increase slowly and to heck with your pace! Keep runnin friend!
2127 days ago
I hate running and I signed up for a Marathon Makeover program beginning in January. SO I too am baffled by my body mind torture with the desire to enjoy and conquer. A friend of mine utilized the Galloway method to get through a marathon. I've heard good things about it. Let me know if you find a magic pill or anything that works for you. All the best in your running endeavors!
2127 days ago
I was never a runner until this year. Not even a mile for me. Nope. Never. And then I decided that I would learn to run Jan. 1, 2011. Let me just say, the first couple months were hard. Probably one of the hardest things I ever did. And I started out on a treadmill, too.
I found that the Couch 2 5K plan really helped. What you're doing--walk/run/walk/run--is actually how the program starts out, so I think you're doing GREAT! I think the walking breaks help break up the monotony. Now, however, since I'm trying to best my time and give up walking breaks, I do sprints and then jogs (I believe they are called farleks). This also helps the monotony. And like GETSTRONGRRR suggested, the running swag helps too.
And here's my confession: I LOATHED running when I started it and told myself that I was crazy for even wanting to do it. But I kept pushing myself and now I am practically addicted to it. I have a feeling you will be too if you stick with it.
2127 days ago
I went from pack a day smoker, couch potato, to running 100 yds at the track huffing and puffing in my late 40s. After 4 months, I ran 3 miles on my own without stopping. Five months after that I ran my first marathon.
Like you, I have always hated running, but I was determined to conquer it. I subscribed to Runner's World, ordered up tons of books on Amazon (get Jeff Galloway's book called Running), even ordered up some DVDs (see if you can rent a copy of "Spirit of the Marathon", it would always inspire me to run when I didn't feel like it.)
I also splurged on swag; Garmin GPS tracker, heart rate monitor, headphones.
I could go on all day...bottom line, I learned to love it and the confidence you get from progressively increasing your distance (or decreasing your time) is something you can always be proud of!
Keep at it!
2127 days ago
Comment edited on: 12/21/2011 10:28:59 PM
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