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N16351D Posts: 2,349
6/7/13 3:35 P

After running/jogging for forty years, and having been diagnosed with asthma at age 35, then Bronchiectitis at age 54, I have a lot to say and advise about jogging and running.

I ran for 15 years before Nike and New Balance existed. Adidas sold tennis apparel, but no running shoes at the time. I started running in Keds ( do they exist anymore?) with no support for runners. And I did just fine. I didn't start paying big bucks for running shoes until I had an unrelated knee problem (torn miniscus from twisting my knee) at about age 40.

First advice: you don't need to spend much money on gear to start running. You do need good, supportive shoes, and the running shoes they have available now are wonderful. Suggest that you don't spend $100 on your first pair, instead get a good walking shoe for less money. After 1 1/2 years of 400 miles (whichever comes first) then spend money on your good running shoes.

I have two pair of shoes- one for dry days and one for rain or wet days. Once the rubber in the shoes gets wet, they are less supportive. Take an older pair and allow them to get ruined, and keep the good, newest pair dry. (Living in the Pacific NW, I often run in the rain!)

Next tip- Use your inhalers for asthma as directed by your doctors. Do not skip. I'll forgo my bad experiences thinking I didn't need my inhalers. I can run with them, I get sick without them.

Next tip- get yourself visible so that traffic can see you. Don't get yourself killed because a driver did not know you were on the road. I purchased reflector tape at a local hardware store for $2 and stuck it onto an old sweatshirt. (It will ruin the shirt, but might save your life). If you feel you can spend the money, get a reflector vest at a contracter's store or running store (cheaper at contracter's store), I got mine 20 years ago for $3. Now they cost more.
Wear bright and/or white colored clothing. Green, brown, and black are hard to see both day and night.

Next tip- If you run on roads with traffic, keep your headsets out of your ears. You MUST be able to hear traffic to be certain that you are not in their way. I know a kid who was killed by a drunk driver. Had the headsets not been in his ears, he might have heard the car coming. This tip won't matter if you jog in city parks or country parks. Know where your traffic is, know when it is coming, and get out of their way. Do not assume traffic will get out of your way.

One man, age 19, was standing on a street corner in Anchorage, AK. He was hit by a logging truck that went onto the sidewalk. He was playing baseball in college. Since that accident, he has been in a wheelchair in a nursing home, unable to communicate well. I cannot emphasis enough the importance of keeping away from cars. I have safely jogged on the road for 40 years, and almost was hit twice at intersections after I stopped to check for traffic! Don't presume all cars will drive legally, nor will they see you. STAY SAFE and away from moving vehicles.

Next tip - The best part of running is that you can run anywhere, anytime, any place, day or night. You can run on your travels ( I have run in 9 different counties and innumerable cities!) It goes with you in parks, mountain trails, rural or city areas. You can do it solo, or with a friend, dog, or with groups. It is about the most versatile sport of which I am aware. You can run in sun, hot, cold, wind, rain, snow, but I would go on a treadmill for icy conditions or severe weather such as thunderstorms or worse.

Next tip- The Couch to 5 KM program is a great guide for beginners. You can find it online with a Google search at Cto5K. It starts you as a walker, then gradually brings you to running.

Next tip- a goal of a marathon is not unrealistic for anyone of any age, but the qualifier is your overall health. Bad knees or hips? Find another sport. Are you age 60-70? You can still run a marathon, but it will take more years to prepare than a person in their twenties or thirties. Are you a smoker? Then a marathon might be a great challenge, but not impossible. I know a guy who, at age 65 quit smoking, and started running. He ran his first marathon at age 75.

Next tip- set short term, and long term goals. Your long term is already noted. You need gradual guidance to get there. Start with the couch to 5km. Join fun runs. They are all around the nation in most towns and cities. They get you connected with other runners so you can pick their brains and learn how to move onto the next step. I like reading "Runners" magazine. I have learned much which has been helpful.

Next tip- Lift weights. If your focus is on running ( as mine had been for decades) other parts of your body will not get the workout the muscles need. Alternate upper body with lower body on alternate days. Do it at home, or a fitness gym, or YMCA, with or without a friend, class or group. You can get it so that it takes only 15-20 minutes a day for good benefit.
Your upper body will be neglected in running. Take care of it, anyway. Running uses some muscles in your legs to a great extent, others not so much. Do exercises for the lower body to target all four parts of the quadracept muscles (abductors, add-ductors, and more). See books (i.e. "Body for Life") or fitness trainer, or SP videos to get you started. You will have more success as a runner if some of your workout is working with some weight. Resistance Bands are a perfectly good way to start.

Next tip- Stretch. Do it all day, everyday, throughout the day, at work, at home, do it in front of the television while viewing, and anywhere you are. Don't miss it. Stretch upper and lower body. Stretch 5-10 minutes both before and after your runs. Stretch those hamstrings, quadracepts, calves, and IT band muscles after jogging, if you miss other muscle areas. See SP videos or Anderson's book, "Stretching" for examples to get you started.

Next tip- Keep starting over and over every single day. Be your own best coach and motivator. See SP message boards for tips to get motivated when it is early (or late) , dark, cold, rainy, and you don't feel like going out. Get out anyway. Move when you don't feel like it. If you don't feel like your scheduled walk or jog or run, get out and do part of it, maybe only 15-25 minutes. Do SOMETHING. Move every single day. Our legs were make for walking, we can all stretch our legs and arms, and anyone can do that every single day.

Next tip- Rest when you are sick. Don't run if you have a cold, flu, bronchitis or something else. Instead, walk gently, slowly as far as energy allows, and stretch. Take it easy when sick until you are healthy. I have one friend who ran with bronchitis. It turned to pneumonia. She was hospitalized and died from pneumonia at age 37. That could have been avoided if she would have rested when sick.

Next tip- Use Yak Traks for snow and/or icy roads. But don't run in hail, sleet, or freezing rain.

Next tip- Wear garmets that are loose, move easily with you. Have a wind/rain resistant jacket, (preferably brightly colored), and raincoat as needed. I like using ski jackets for jogging in cold rain and snow.

Next tip- layer clothing for cold weather. That way you can take it off as you need. Base layers by Patagonia or other sporting goods companies are fantastic. I like wool for around freezing or below.

Next tip- carry a water bottle if you run in high temperatures. Get out early in the day for coolest temperatures in summer.

If you have money to spend, have fun with things like lights for night ( I use a cheap flashlight), heart rate monitors, pedometers, expensive running pants ( can get up to $80 - $100). This stuff is fun, but not necessary. I ran for over 30 years before I spent money on "running gear."

There is much more I could write, but this is long enough!


KURS10B Posts: 5,106
6/7/13 11:11 A

If you have a park with walking trails, see if they have anything going there. My park has a summer walking program, so if you tend to go out there at the same time every day you will see the same people. Even from year to year I see many of the same folks. Even if you arent "with" them, you are almost always within a minute or so of someone else. I figure if I collapse someone will take pity and help me out. Take your phone with in in case of emergency, and you can buy little tabs that tie to your shoe that you can put your emergency info on.

TERESAMUS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 300
6/6/13 5:16 P

Great information. I have wanted to start running also, and am glad I came across this post.

LUVDAYSYS SparkPoints: (639)
Fitness Minutes: (90)
Posts: 5
6/6/13 1:32 P

Thank you so much for the advice. First and foremost, I will contact my doctor and discuss with her about my goals. I will have to see if I have a good running shoe store near me. Thanks so much. emoticon

Edited by: LUVDAYSYS at: 6/6/2013 (14:53)
JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
6/6/13 1:15 P

I think the other posters have given you great advice. As far as finding a running partner goes, I would start talking about your goals with everyone you know. First of all, you'll be more likely to stick with your goals if others know about them. Second of all, maybe one of them will like to join you or knows someone who would.

Personally, I like to run by myself. I go at my own pace (which is VERY slow as I'm a beginner) and I like to use that time to think. Sometimes my (fit) husband joins me and while he doesn't push me too hard, he does help give me just the little push I need to go faster. I think a balance of both worlds is great. I also have super fit friends who are accomplished runners. I don't run with them (yet).

TORIAMAE Posts: 1,080
6/6/13 1:08 P

My local running store (Fleet Feet in my case) has been my best local resource! They have classes and workouts organized. They have connected me to all the gear I could use and people working on the same goals as me!

See if you have a running store near you and give it a try. Generally, the people there are obsessed with their sport and eager to help.

As for the asthma, that is a place to also consult a doctor and/or PT.
Good luck!

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
6/6/13 1:03 P

Congrats! Based on what you've posted I think there are 2 places you should go:
1) the doctor's office to check in and see if she/he has any guidelines you should follow based on your past medical history.

2) Your local running store. They will have the experts there to fit you properly for shoes (the best shoes are the ones that fit your feet IMO) and answer any other equipment questions you have. You don't have to buy the shoes there (you can search online for the best price) but it is important that you get the right type of shoe for your feet and stride. Most running stores also host 'fun runs' where runners of all levels get together and run a set route together. At my running store, we introduce ourselves beforehand and say what pace we want to go and people group together that way. Its also a great way to meet people.

Also strength training is important for running as well. It keeps us in proper form as we run and strengthens the muscles and joints we use so I highly suggest you start a strength training program as well.

Best of luck and have fun!!

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
6/6/13 12:59 P

Hi! I've recently fallen in love with running too (after almost a year of trying and thinking "how can anyone enjoy this?!?", LOL). My first advice would be to visit with your doctor. I know a few people with asthma that are runners, but they also have an inhaler that they use either before exercise or as needed. A big part of running is breathing, so that's important!

Next advice - do you currently walk quite a bit? If not, start walking! We can't walk until we crawl, and we can't run until we walk! Once you're able to walk a good distance (some say up to 5k), you can start a Couch to 5k program, which starts you jogging in slowly increasing intervals, to get you used to the movements of it. My biggest advice - jog sloooow. Slower than you think. You can work on pace later, but it's easy to get exhausted after a short period of time if you're running too fast.

Gear! Get fitted for shoes at a running store. Everyone's feet, stride, running style is different, and a proper running shoe store will know which shoe you should be wearing. If you're quite chesty (I'd say C cup or up), I really like Moving Comfort bras, specifically the "Fiona" style. It hooks in the back (so you don't have to wrestle yourself in to it) and it keeps everything securely in place. My husband says he hates it (LOL).

FINALLY (I know, I'm writing a lot!) if your goal is to lose weight, that starts in the kitchen. You can't out-exercise a bad diet. If you're not doing so already, track your calories in. The running will just be an added bonus of good fitness and good health.

Hope that helps!

LUVDAYSYS SparkPoints: (639)
Fitness Minutes: (90)
Posts: 5
6/6/13 12:46 P


I am new to this board, but I have a question or two. I have been thinking for quite sometime that I want to become a runner/jogger. I want to get into shape, lose weight and just get healthy. I have even thought about if I can do this, that maybe I might be able to run a marathon someday. It is on my bucket list. I am a beginner and really don't know where to start. I have a short list of health issues and one of them is asthma. I have been asthmatic pretty much all of my life. When I use to run in school, I would feel very short of breath and it made it difficult to breathe and actually enjoy my run. One of my questions is that I want to find a running/jogging buddy near where I live. How do I find a running/jogging buddy? I want a person to run not only for motivation reasons, but also to be there if something happens due to my asthma. I don't feel comfortable being by myself. I have heard that running isn't necessary a good exercise for asthmatics, but it is an easy exercise with great results. You don't really need equipment except for a good pair of running shoes and a good supporting sports bra especially if you are big chested. Of course clothing that keeps you cool and water water water. I use to play tennis when I was in school too and felt that out of breath sensation too. Do you have any recommendations for me since I have asthma? Anything to help me to become a runner/jogger on a regular basis since I have asthma and I am a beginner. I just want to get into shape and lose weight and become stronger and overall a healthy person mentally, physically, and emotionally. Also, this is something I can do for myself and I have for myself. So to speak. It would be good for me to take time for myself and think and even meet a great friend too.

Thank you for the advice and if you have any pointers on what kind of gear such as shoes, sports bra, clothing, etc that would be great too.

-Laurie :)

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