Exercise! - A New Runner With Some Questions =]

07-23-2012, 04:02 PM
Hello all!

My weight loss journey began exactly a month ago today! I decided that enough was enough, and joined Weight Watchers.

From previous weight loss experience, I know that just dieting by itself is not enough for me. When I began WW, I also began a fitness regimen.

I've been alternating between two different types of workout, and I make them fit in when I can. I decided that my two goals were to increase my overall fitness, and also to be able to run (steadily) a 5k by the beginning of October.

Currently, I follow two programs. For one, I go to my local gym for full hour Zumba classes (high intensity), to work on increasing my ability to withstand high impact. As another form of exercise (on the days there's no Zumba), I run on the elliptical, following the WW 'Train to run a 5k' plan, which is similar to C to 5k. I sprinkle in some yoga and toning here and there as well, just to get in something else.

The combination of these two has helped me already lose quite a few lbs, as well as increase my energy, reduce my anxiety, and definitely increase my cardiovascular fitness. However, I'm starting to get concerned about my actual 5k training.

Anyway, my plan is to continue doing what I'm doing, to lose a little more weight. Right now, it's hard for me to do impact stuff because of my right ankle which I broke in early 2011. The ankle is fine now, but I need to have my joint cleared out at some point. Impact is a little hard on my knees as well with carrying so much weight. Additionally, I still have a long way to go with my fitness in general.

Then, my next plan was that about 8 weeks before the first 5k, I would begin doing the WW Couch to 5k again (which is a 6 week program), but this time running outside only. That way, I have the cardiovascular fitness to back it up, and I can work on harder impact training by running outdoors.

It will be my first running event ever, so I want to be sure that I'm doing it right. I'm hoping for a time of a 10-11 minute mile, which is plenty for me at this time. My bigger goal is to just be able to consistently jog the entire race, without walking or feeling like I'm going to keel over. The runs that I have picked out are fun runs, with times coming in anywhere between 17 minutes and 1.5 hours and hundreds of runners. I figured these would be the best beginning runs because speed isn't an issue. They are mostly for local causes and foundations.

Sorry for the book! I figured you would need some background.

My overall question is, does this seem like a reasonable plan, or should I be doing something else to train for this 5k? Is it imperative that I run outside now, even if for one day?

Other suggestions?

Thank you = ]

07-23-2012, 05:58 PM
I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused by your post - have you ever run or are you doing the elliptical because they are very different.

If you are trying to do a run in two months you should definitely set up a c25k or similar program soon, not an elliptical program. It doesn't have to be outside though right away.

Hope that helps - I'm a bit confused by what you wrote- sorry.

Good luck.

07-23-2012, 06:29 PM
m3k - I do not know that you need to run outside now, but when you transition to training outside be prepared for it to be a lot different, and having additional muscles that are sore! The muscles you use jogging on the road / sidewalk /trail are not all used while on exercise equipment.

The time you are aiming for is just not practical for me right now! I was training for a 1/2 marathon 1 year after doing c25k and I think my best time was something above 13 min per mile. I was training for endurance not speed then. I am just starting to try and increase my speed, but I am not sure I can get down to 10 - 11 min miles this year.

07-23-2012, 06:42 PM
Two months is fast to train for a 5K from nothing, and 10-11 minute miles is very ambitious for a new runner.

To train to run, you need to run--not elliptical. Cardiovascular capacity builds a lot faster than musculoskeletal--you need the running itself, including the impact, if you want to be running 3 miles at a time less than 3 months from now.

07-23-2012, 07:02 PM
lm I have run before (probably about two years ago), but my workout of choice is the elliptical for now because of my ankle and knees... and the fact that its been a while. I'm trying to work on impact through Zumba, with jumping and dancing and whatnot. I used to do a lot of elliptical training in college as well.

envelope That's sort of what I was referring to. From what I've read, it doesn't make much difference at first how I work out, as long as it is cardiovascular exercise. However, I was then reading that I should make sure to run outside in the weeks coming up to the race because of it being a totally different group of muscles, and the added impact.

Maria That's fair. I'm only going off of what I used to be able to run. I could do a 10-11 minute mile 2-3 years ago, but I wasn't in the best of shape and wouldn't have been able to keep up the pace for 3 miles. I can certainly back that off. I'm definitely more concerned about being able to actually run the entire race, and not have to walk. Speed isn't important.

The races I'm looking at are the last week of October and the first or second week of November, so I feel like I do have a reasonable amount of time.

The C25k program that I'm doing now is 6 weeks. I am able to work out more than what the program entails, which is why I supplement it with other exercises. Also, I high tail it when I'm on the elliptical and going when I should be running, to make up for the fact that outdoor running is majorly different.

Some people say elliptical and other cross training is great for runners, because it greatly reduces injury. Others disagree. That's why I was looking here.

At this point, my knees and ankle are feeling a lot better since I've lost a bunch of weight, so running outside shouldn't be too much of a problem. I can do it. I just didn't know if it was necessary yet.

Hopefully that helps.

07-23-2012, 08:57 PM
I agree that you ought to get out on the road ASAP! Although I do think that improving your cardiovascular fitness is a huge part of running, running is running, and there is nothing quite like it (even the elliptical uses TOTALLY different muscle groups)

I've noticed that even RUNNING on the treadmill isn't enough to get me ready for a race. I've got to be out pounding the pavement or else it'll be really hard to finish/get a good time.

Even if you just get out on the road 2-3 times a week, I think that'll be enough. Good luck! :)

07-23-2012, 09:55 PM

I decided to take it outside today to give it a try, and you're right... totally different! It was hard, in a completely different way. I made it though through the first day of this new C25K, despite the protest from my legs. Even when I ran before, it was either a treadmill or a track.

I feel pretty good about it, although I decided to run locally. We have some significant hills and pretty terrible sidewalks. Next time, I'm going to run on the trails.

westcoast rosa
07-24-2012, 12:01 AM
I am training for a run in October as well and I highly suggest sticking with outdoor running (rain or shine). It is so different from the treadmill. I can run much faster and farther on the treadmill, but that isn't going to help me come race day when I hit the road.

07-24-2012, 10:10 AM
I think you have enough time but only if you get off the elliptical NOW and start jogging/walking/running.

As you said you have run before, you must know the elliptical is NOTHING like running... That matters WAY more than if you run on a treadmill or outside. The elliptical can be a good workout for runners - but not IN PLACE of running but rather in addition to it - on alternating cross train days. So is biking.

Because of your injuries, only you will be able to know if you are ready for a 5k, if you are still unable to run because of your injury as you mentioned above, you might be cutting it close by signing up for a race in October but it is definitely doable.

I would focus on just getting out there & building endurance way before you worry about time.

07-24-2012, 01:13 PM
Sounds good. I plan on continuing the 9 week C25K out on the trails. It's doable. That gives me some time before the end of October as well. I'll do the elliptical or classes on off days.