Exercise! - Running - am I doing something wrong?




CherryPie99
12-21-2010, 08:06 PM
Quick question to the runners here - to say that I have never been a runner is an understatement. I always used to tell people that the only purpose in running is if something that can kill you is chasing you!

At any rate, having started this journey, I have done a variety of exercises, including a lot of Zumba DVDs and this summer I was walking with the dogs. Now with the cold weather hitting I bought a treadmill. I have been trying to work myself up to be able to run.

For the last 3 weeks I have been walking/running at intervals 4 days per week. Basically I walk for 5 minutes (at 3 MPH) and then run for 2 minutes (at 4.5 MPH) and do 4 sets. (Then for 12 minutes at the end, I continue to walk at 3.0 at varying inclines up to 9).

The first 2 minute run, I feel okay but start looking at the timer about about 1 minute in. At the second 2 minute run, I feel like it really sucks at about 45 seconds in. By the 3rd 2 minute run, I think I'm going to die by the time 2 minutes is up. The last one I am just counting the seconds and demanding to myself that I finish.

So to move on to anything more then 2 minutes at a time is completely daunting. I have done this for 3 weeks and expected that it would get easier but it hasn't. Do you think I am doing something wrong or do I just need to be patient?


spixiet
12-21-2010, 08:14 PM
To start off - I am not a runner either, just hoping to be one. Next week, I plan on starting C25K, and that program doesn't hit full two minute runs until week 3 of the program.

http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

I'm guessing you're doing just fine, and if you keep at it, you'll build up your levels soon :)

matt_H
12-21-2010, 08:18 PM
Have you looked at the couch to 5K program? I think maybe starting with 2 full minute runs might have been too much. You could start with 1 minute runs with 2 minute walks and keep alternating that.

I found even that kicked my butt the first week. You do 3 of these sessions that first week and by the third time it felt much easier. The next week you increase it to 1.5 minutes, etc.

I'd recommend shorter run times, but more actual running. Keep it going! You are going to feel awesome :)


krampus
12-21-2010, 08:32 PM
You've got to build gradually - challenge yourself but don't get hurt or push yourself to the point where you want to give up! Teaching your body to run when you're not used to it is extremely difficult and most people never bother to do it, so kudos for taking that step. In my case it took months and months before I could set out and just run for over 20 minutes without walking. I want to say it took a good 4-5 months.

C25k is a good system, walking/running intervals, but you may want to alter the times to suit your needs. Basically what matt_h said - 2 minutes walking quickly starts to feel like too much when you're doing 1 minute runs.

MariaMaria
12-21-2010, 09:18 PM
If two minutes is too long, use shorter intervals.

I suspect that what's happening, though, is you're going too fast for your current level of cardiovascular fitness. Slow down your run intervals and see what happens.

Wildflower
12-21-2010, 09:40 PM
You can try walking slower than 3 mph, and longer than 5 minutes to rest? Or just try running less time but alternating faster as others suggested.

I did C25K last year and it really worked! Give it a try, I finished the program in 8 weeks and then went on to work up to running 5 miles. Like you, I started running at 4.5 - 5 mph but when I finished the program and kept up the running for about a month I was up to running at 6 - 6.5 with ability to do 7 mph for a few minutes at a time. I couldn't believe my progress!!!

reji
12-21-2010, 09:41 PM
I used the C25K program, but I took about three weeks to move from one "week" to the next. My knees are crap, and I want to make sure that I'm used to one level before I increase the running. I highly recommend it; I can now run for 25 minutes at a time, and I'm still improving.

joyfulloser
12-21-2010, 11:13 PM
Everything you describe sounds about right!;) I just started running myself in late September of this year. I started at only being able to run for 30 secs, walk 2 mins and repeat. I now run 3.5 - 4 miles 4 times a week!

Start increasing your run time by 30 secs. each week. The more time you spend actually running, the more your tolerance will build. Don't push it too far and no matter what program you try...always, always listen to your body! Happy trails!:D

Eliana
12-21-2010, 11:22 PM
Ah, I agree totally with Joyful! I love intervals and use them frequently! What you're describing is exactly how I always feel when doing intervals. To me, it isn't realistic to add another interval, but to increase the intervals instead. And maybe you can only run 1:00 that last interval. That's ok. I think that's similar to the muscle fatigue we STRIVE FOR when lifting. I always feel like I did something right if I physically can not push out the last rep. What an awesome feeling!

So I suggest increasing the first interval to 2:30 and try that for each interval. If you find that last interval really sucks, that's ok. The most important thing is that you start it. Set a goal for yourself that you will get through at least 1:00 of that last interval and keep increasing it. And maybe don't increase your walk time. That can remain at 2:00.

And I also second C25K, but take it at your own pace. To actually run 5K as prescribed in the program it assumes you're running at 6.0. :dizzy: That's way too fast to start out in my opinion. I started out at 4.5 and that's the speed I finished the program with. Only now am I starting to run at 6.0.

twinmommaplusone
12-22-2010, 12:39 AM
Oh Honey first lesson about running - and running large ( I wa 265 when I started) is that it DOES SUCK! yes, it all aches, hurts, sweaty, pukey, yuck :dizzy::no:


But it's not how you feel while you do it, it's ALL ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL AFTER! So after you are done and you cleaned up and moved along with your day, how do you feel? Hopefully wonderful....till you do it again, lol.

rest Assure! it will go away and it will get easier, it will take time, but once you work up your stamina and strength you'll achieve so much health and freedom and watch the weight melt off!

Quail
12-22-2010, 03:09 AM
I was 294 when I first started running and OH MY GOODNESS was it awful. Like I thought I has a stress fracture awful.

A few people suggested C25k already and I'd totally give that a shot if I was you. It was the perfect program for me. Even still, it completely kicked my butt the first few weeks.

And if you're looking at the timer, throw a towel over it to hide it. Download a C25k podcast, which will do the timing for you.

Good luck! Just get past this rough patch and you WILL feel better!!!

Aclai4067
12-22-2010, 10:02 AM
Another recommendation for Couch to 5K here! This is my second attempt (hurt my need lifting weights last year, then exacerbated it with running and had to stop). Last time I started out about the same speed as you. This time around I'm lighter and a little more fit, so I walk at 3.7 and run at 5.5 (I'll bump up to 6 on my last interval if I'm not too tired). But I really wouldn't worry about speed too much in the beginning. My goals are all distance based. As someone mentioned, repeat the weeks as much as you need before moving on. There are some free podcasts on itunes that follow the program (I like Robert Ullrey's).

Also, as far as not feeling it's getting easier, I find that I never think I'm ready to move on to the next week. But when I try, I can do it. It isn't until I've pushed myself to do something harder, that what I was doing previously starts to feel easier.

Quail- props for starting running at 294! I could barely run across the street at that weight. I had to lose 40lbs before starting c25k.

ddc
12-22-2010, 10:11 AM
I have another perspective. If you don't enjoy running, why do it?
You can walk on your treadmill, or continue your Zumba dvds.
Exercise has to be something you enjoy, or you won't do it.
I don't enjoy running, so I don't do it. Simple.
The important part is that you do something that gets your heart rate up and you break a sweat.

Good luck :)

tea2
12-22-2010, 10:14 AM
It took me about 6 months to get to 5k when I first started running. That's longer than many people I've heard of, so no worries. :D Take your time. I think C25k assumes some things about a beginner that might not apply to everyone. I still run pretty slowly, and I'm up to 15k. The point is to enjoy it. I will sometimes go out with local running store groups and push myself, but it's never pleasant. I'm always the slowest. What I really enjoy are slower runs listening to books on my ipod.

MariaMaria
12-22-2010, 12:22 PM
I think C25k assumes some things about a beginner that might not apply to everyone.

Like a ten-minute mile? Agreed, that's a ridiculous assumption for most beginning runners especially new runners who are female and/or overweight and/or not already really active.

Aclai4067
12-22-2010, 01:59 PM
I think C25k assumes some things about a beginner that might not apply to everyone.

Like a ten-minute mile? Agreed, that's a ridiculous assumption for most beginning runners especially new runners who are female and/or overweight and/or not already really active.


I don't really care if I'm not making 3 miles yet on the last run, I'll be pumped that I'm running for 30 min! And if I can run for 30 min, I don't think it will be too long before I can run the extra time to get to 3.1 miles

joyfulloser
12-22-2010, 02:38 PM
I did my own version c25k...it's called listening to my body!:p I started out running as far as I could go before I dropped (170 hr), then I'd walk until my heart rate went down to normal aerobic range (135-140) then I'd start back running and repeat.:) I'd keep trying to add 30 secs to my run part.

Once I was able to run 1 mile straight, my mileage increases went alot faster.

I agree that unless you are training for the olympics...time really doesn't matter. You are your only competition. Just try to keep pushing yourself so that your stamina will increase.

CherryPie99
12-22-2010, 05:21 PM
Thanks everyone, I feel much better reading what everyone posted here. It seems that I am not doing anything wrong, just that I'm not going to be able to move on at the pace that some websites recommend.

I have seen a lot of people on here doing the C25K, but I had found this: http: // running.about.com /od / getstartedwithrunning/ ht/ getstarted and it seemed less complicated. But the step after the 5 minute walk/2 minute run is 3 minute walk/4 min run. That is a big jump IMO.

While I feel like I'm dying while doing it, afterwards I feel good. Not "wonderful" twinmommaplusone :D, but good mentally for accomplishing it and physically good. My thighs ache, but it's a good ache if you know what I mean. Luckily, despite my weight I have no problems at all with my knees. It's my thighs and my heart that hate me while running.

So it seems like everyone here is saying to increase the time spent running, first, and worry about the speed later? I'm 5'1" so I don't have a long stride - does 3MPH and 4.5 MPH seem reasonable? I think my next step is going to be to try walking 4 mins 30 second and running 2 mins 30 seconds. So I am slightly decreasing my time spent walking and slightly increasing the running time, and see if I can do that at least 2 of the 4 intervals.

twinmommaplusone
12-23-2010, 01:07 AM
stamina over speed~! You got it. Keep working it !

twinmommaplusone
12-23-2010, 01:10 AM
I have another perspective. If you don't enjoy running, why do it?
You can walk on your treadmill, or continue your Zumba dvds.
Exercise has to be something you enjoy, or you won't do it.
I don't enjoy running, so I don't do it. Simple.
The important part is that you do something that gets your heart rate up and you break a sweat.

Good luck :)


Agreed.

Runnig is hard, its never really comfortable till you are stronger, then it's so good. It took me MONTHS to enjoy it. I promised myself to try it and see if after I could easily run a simple 3 miles, I didnt like it then I would find a different activity. Thankfully I did that and fell in love with Running.
I always tell newbie runners to stick with a goal and reach it before the quit the sport. :)

hatethesweatpants
12-23-2010, 09:16 AM
I didn't start running until I was at/near goal. And then, it was only because my body was screaming "RUN!!!" I don't know what it was, but my body just really wanted to go for it and all I had to do was turn it loose. I lost all of my weight walking, lifting weights, working my core, hiking, zumba, etc. I never thought I would run. But, for example yesterday, I had a busy day. Around 3:30, my body was screaming "RUN!" and I just popped in my ipod, opened the door, and took off until it shut up! :D It's a great feeling if your body is ready for it, not so much if it isn't. So, if you WANT to run, do it. If not, you don't have to! It's not a magic bullet and you may end up injuring yourself if you overdo it.

ubergirl
12-27-2010, 09:36 PM
I think I was one of the WORST beginner runners of all time!!!

You are doing awesome!!! And it WILL get better, but it definitely takes time, although I think most people are much quicker than me.

I also did C25k and it was really and truly unbearable. I counted down the seconds and I sometimes felt like I was going to pass out and/or puke. It was sheer WILL that made me keep going. I had to repeat almost every week, and some weeks I had to repeat two or three times. I was totally pathetic.

But I can also tell you that I am so incredibly proud of myself every single time I run, even now, a year after I started, and I still sometimes look at myself in the gym room mirror and think, "Wow, that's me! Running!"

Stick with it and before you know it you'll be able to run and run and run and you will be so proud of yourself!

luckyme0510
12-27-2010, 09:59 PM
Running is like a sport in itself in my opinion, and not everyone is good at it. With time your stamina will definitely improve, but that doesn't mean that you'll ever actually enjoy running. I used to be in the Army and had to run every other day and it was horrible, I felt like I just wanted to die every time I had to go for a run. The first time I tried running I ran for like 30 seconds and I thought I was going to pass out, and I wasn't even overweight then. Now I can run pretty long distances, but I'm still not very fast. My whole time in the Army, even at the best shape of my life, my fastest time on a physical fitness test was 17 min 50 sec on the two mile. Running on a treadmill is torture for me, with that timer in my face, it doesn't let you daze out. The trick is finding a rhythm when you're running and letting your mind roam, if you're always looking at that timer you're going to discourage yourself. Goodluck!

CherryPie99
01-10-2011, 06:22 PM
Remember this thread? Hope no one minds my little self-indulgence by bringing it back up! While I am still running slow - 4 MPH - today I was able to do walk 3 minutes and run 4 for 4 intervals! :carrot: I am really excited since less then a month ago running 2 was kicking my butt. Today I noticed my body really wanted to go faster, too. But I kept it slow taking everyone's advice of time running being more important then speed.

Cardio wise, I feel good - I'm breathing quickly, but not gasping at all - I think I actually breath harder at the end when I'm walking 3 MPH with a 10 incline.

But, my thighs are what really aches and says "quit now" to me. We are almost done building our workout room, and then we can assemble the Bowflex home gym that I bought. If I start building muscle in my thighs, do you think that will make them stronger for running?

alexandraT
01-11-2011, 07:18 AM
Congats CherryPie on your progress!! I also started running during my weight loss journey and you are doing FANTASTIC! Before I started running a year ago, I couldn't run for more than one minute, and with enough training, I'll have you know I did my first half marathon in November, am currently training to improve my time for my second, and Sunday did a 10 mile run at a 9 minute mile pace..... I don't tell you this to brag or show off, but to show you you can do it - I think before i started training to run, even in high school when i was fairly active, my mile time for PE class around 15 minutes and I remember thinking I wanted to pass out. It's been a long time since something has made me feel as proud and accomplished than running. I always wanted to be a runner, my entire life (I'm 25) and now I am - and SO ARE YOU! You're a runner!


And as far as building muscle goes - I think it will help, but be careful not to go overboard. The training plan for my next race has me doing some weights twice a week, but stress not to overdo it on the legs. Running already does so much for your legs already, but I always try to incorporate weights for my arms and abs and glutes into my regular routine.

Two more tips - when weather allows, try running outside - I promise you'll love it! I started off as a treadmill girl myself after hearing it was easier than running outside, and now I have to tell you it's the opposite - I now call it the dreadmill b/c all I do is stare at the timer on the machine and I feel like going 6.0 mph is sprinting, but when I'm outside and distracted, 6.0 mph seems slow and the time flies by.

final tip - do you ever go to runnersworld.com? It's the website for RunnersWorld Magazine, and it's awesome. So many helpful tips, articles, etc. I HIGHLY recommend it - it's great for motivation too!

cincimom11
01-11-2011, 11:50 AM
I suspect that what's happening, though, is you're going too fast for your current level of cardiovascular fitness. Slow down your run intervals and see what happens.

That's what I was going to say! The slower you go, the longer you'll last. :)

Keep up the hard work!

CherryPie99
01-11-2011, 04:43 PM
Congats CherryPie on your progress!! I also started running during my weight loss journey and you are doing FANTASTIC! Before I started running a year ago, I couldn't run for more than one minute, and with enough training, I'll have you know I did my first half marathon in November, am currently training to improve my time for my second, and Sunday did a 10 mile run at a 9 minute mile pace..... I don't tell you this to brag or show off, but to show you you can do it - I think before i started training to run, even in high school when i was fairly active, my mile time for PE class around 15 minutes and I remember thinking I wanted to pass out. It's been a long time since something has made me feel as proud and accomplished than running. I always wanted to be a runner, my entire life (I'm 25) and now I am - and SO ARE YOU! You're a runner!


And as far as building muscle goes - I think it will help, but be careful not to go overboard. The training plan for my next race has me doing some weights twice a week, but stress not to overdo it on the legs. Running already does so much for your legs already, but I always try to incorporate weights for my arms and abs and glutes into my regular routine.

Two more tips - when weather allows, try running outside - I promise you'll love it! I started off as a treadmill girl myself after hearing it was easier than running outside, and now I have to tell you it's the opposite - I now call it the dreadmill b/c all I do is stare at the timer on the machine and I feel like going 6.0 mph is sprinting, but when I'm outside and distracted, 6.0 mph seems slow and the time flies by.

final tip - do you ever go to runnersworld.com? It's the website for RunnersWorld Magazine, and it's awesome. So many helpful tips, articles, etc. I HIGHLY recommend it - it's great for motivation too!

You are inspiring, alexandra! I cannot even imagine running a 5K let alone a 1/2 marathon! But, I'm at least thinking that maybe, someday, I can run a mile without stopping. 6 months ago I wouldn't be able to even fathom that!

For some reason I'm really scared to try running outside. It's not an issue right now as there's a ton of snow on the ground and it's COLD. But it gives me anxiety to even think about running outside when it gets warmer. I think part of it is fear of people seeing me running. Maybe when spring gets here I won't be so phobic...

I have never been to runnersworld - never even occurred to me, because I suppose I don't consider lumbering along for 4 minutes at a time running. But I'll check it out today.

Thanks for all the advice!

alexandraT
01-11-2011, 09:19 PM
No problem cherrypie! If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

And one thing I want to leave you with - sometimes I still struggle as seeing myself as a runner, as if i'm faking it, and sometimes I'm scared that I'll head out for a run and just not be able to do it, but I always do. I read this book from one of the editors of Runners World magazine, and he said this about so called "runners" - "If you run, even a little bit, even at all, even if it takes you 12 minutes to jog a mile, you are a runner." Don't forget it!

And I can understand where you're coming from about the phobia of running outside - don't do anything you're not comfortable with, and I feel you on the cold and snow - ugh! at the same time, when it comes to people judging you, I say screw em! I think you'll find runners are a bit of a community, and a very supportive one at that, so don't worry about them, and as far as other passersby who are driving or walking by - they're either not paying attention or are thinking they should be doing the same - i know before i started running i always thought that! Even today, when i see someone who is technically considered overweight or even obese, I always think to myself "Good for them!!"