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Running - am I doing something wrong?

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default Running - am I doing something wrong?

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?

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:14 PM   #2
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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.


I'm guessing you're doing just fine, and if you keep at it, you'll build up your levels soon
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
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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
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:32 PM   #4
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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.
Push on some more!

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Old 12-21-2010, 10:18 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:40 PM   #6
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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!!!
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:41 PM   #7
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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.

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Old 12-22-2010, 12:13 AM   #8
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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!
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:22 AM   #9
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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. 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.
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Last edited by Eliana : 12-22-2010 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:39 AM   #10
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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

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!
I Lost 150lbs in 1yr 11months-maintaining for over 14months now! Calorie Counting taught me portion control - I became a Runner- It was NOT easy- A lot of sweat, blood and tears but now I run Marathons I love Running - and not just what it has done for my body but what it has done for my soul. I online coach new runners and those losing weight with a holistic approaches to healthier living!
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:09 AM   #11
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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!!!
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:02 AM   #12
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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.
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Last edited by Aclai4067 : 12-22-2010 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:11 AM   #13
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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
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:14 AM   #14
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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. 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.

Last edited by tea2 : 12-22-2010 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:22 PM   #15
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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.
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