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running challenged - seeking advice

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Old 07-11-2005, 08:46 PM   #1
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Hi Everybody,

I'm thinking of introducing running to my exercise schedule, as I know it can be a great workout. I'm not a good runner and don't really have the endurance, so I'm thinking starting small would be best. Especially because I'm self-conscious running outside and because I hate the treadmill! Still, I'd like to try both.

If I were to use the treadmill - What do you think would be a good distance or time to start, and at what speed? How often to do it? I tried the treadmill about 2 weeks ago, and could only do 15 minutes. Would starting at 10 minutes and adding 30 or 60 seconds each time be a good idea?

Eventualy I'd like to move outside - ideally, I'd like to replace a morning commute to the gym with a run in the park on days when I don't need to go downtown. How comfortable do I need to be on the treadmill before moving outdoors - i.e. how long/far should I be able to run?

Or, shall I forget the treadmill and just start running outside? What would be the best preparation? I was thinking of maybe doing a mix of running & brisk walking, with gradually increasing the time spent running.
There is a nice park very close to where I live, it's rather long and I could get a nice workout without it resembling laps. But I have no idea what the distance is.

Another thing - I know some people run there every morning (I've seen them on my way to the bus), and they all seem advanced, so I'm feeling a bit self-conscious about going out there one morning and nearly passing out after 10 minutes or so....

Sorry that it's so many questions...
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Old 07-11-2005, 09:36 PM   #2
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Hey Sushi,

I just started running, and i was self consious too. I started out with a buddy and soon realised that other runners don't even notice you so i wouldn't worry about that. Since you're just starting out you should try following a training program for beginners don't make my mistake and push yourself too far too fast. 10 minutes is more than a decent time to be able to run as a beginner check out these two sites which I've found very helpful as a new runner.

www.running4women.com and www.coolrunning.com
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:06 PM   #3
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Hi Sushi, you're smart to ask for advice before starting a running program. It's so much easier when you follow a sensible program. Here's how I started years ago. Each run should be a total of about 20 minutes:

week 1: alternate 1 min walking, 1min running
week 2: alternate 1 min walking and 2 min running
week 3: alternate 1 min walking and 3 min running

...and so on until you get up to 20 min non-stop in week 10. You should try to run 3 or 4 times a week as long as your feet and knees etc. are okay. Never increase your running distance by more than 10% per week.

There is no reason to train on the t.mill before running outside, unless the weather is too hot or humid. I have always found running outdoors more pleasant and less boring, and it actually makes winter feel wonderful. Try to avoid running on cement, asphalt isn't quite so bad, dirt, gravel or training track are best but not always available or as scenic. Run at a speed that is comfortable for you: you should be able to talk as you run, no matter how slow that is. Don't forget to take water if you're running outside! (You don't need gatorade unless you're going to be exercising for more than an hour - or was that 2 hours?)

Sorry if this answer is too long, but the above program helped a friend of mine complete the running portion of a mini-triathlon recently!

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Old 07-11-2005, 10:09 PM   #4
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Sushi -- When I started running I would warm up with a walk for 5 minutes then jog for a minute then brisk walk for a minute, I would do this for as long as I could say 20 minutes or so then cool down for 5 minutes... If you want to go out and exercise for 45 minutes let's say, warm-up do the jog/walk thing then just brisk walk the rest of the way then do your cool-down for 5 minutes... Don't push yourself to run 10 full straight minutes on your first times out you will get shin splints, sore ankles, etc. etc... My other recommendation is to go to a reputable running store and get a decent pair of running shoes that fit your foot properly. The sales person will look at you walk, or some stores even have treadmills to look at your running gait, then they will recommend the proper fitting shoe. This will be the best investment by far for your body... OH and another recommendation don't worry about other runners, they will admire you for being out there doing your thang ....
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:12 PM   #5
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Hi Carla we posted at the same time ... That running program was very well explained and is exactly what I meant...
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:16 PM   #6
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Sushi, I forgot to mention that to run you really do need to take in some carbs for energy. The rice in sushi is ideal. And remember not to be too disappointed if the weight doesn't "just drop off": whether walking or running, you'll burn about 100 calories a mile. But of course while you're out there, you won't be eating, which is good.

Ilene's post is right: you need good shoes, and it is a good idea to do a longer warm-up and cool-down. You're young and not very heavy, so you should be able to walk fairly long distances with no trouble. And don't forget to stretch after your session.

If you live in a largish city you should be able to find a Learn to Run program at a local running store. They're a good way to start, and you get a weekly talk on various running-related topics.
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:19 PM   #7
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Yes Ilene, I'm a Running Room veteran living in Ottawa. Not running right now because of a bad bout of PF, but would so love to be back out there. I love to run in the winter. The air is so clean, the snow so white, the runners all smiling and wearing bright colours... I've really got to have that foot seen to!

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Old 07-11-2005, 10:24 PM   #8
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Carla, you're in Ottawa I'm in Cornwall .... I go to Ottawa several times/week lately to take my dad to General Hospital for radation treatment ...
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:31 PM   #9
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Oh I also wanted to add that I have Morton's Neuroma and orthotics have worked WONDERS for my feet... My g/f has PF and she loves her orthotics too and has been getting ultra sound treatments and her feet are much better...
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:35 PM   #10
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Well, Ilene, you're right next door! I used to work occasionally at the training centre in Cornwall. I'm going to be away from tomorrow until late on the 22nd, but if you're still coming to Ottawa after that, we should get together for coffee (and maybe a very little run). I don't live too far from the General. Just let me know.

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Old 07-11-2005, 10:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for the invitation but I always have my Dad with me and he's usually looking forward to getting home after a treatment... but maybe in August when his treatments are done I could go up for lunch or something, I'm getting to the point that going to Ottawa is nothing....
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:12 AM   #12
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I think everyone's covered the basics: warm up, alternate running and walking, gradually increase run time, get good shoes, etc.

If you want to run outside, get out there and run. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you are, other runners won't judge you negatively for being out there and therefore moving faster than 90% of the population. When I'm out running, I see people walking, biking, roller blading and running. No one's laughed at my slowness, and I've never laughed at anyone as I pass them either.

To start, it's best to run every other day to give your body a chance to adjust to the new stresses. And speed does not matter when you're starting out. Your "run" speed might not be much faster than your "walk" speed. That's fine, speed will come over time.
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Me

If you want to run outside, get out there and run. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you are, other runners won't judge you negatively for being out there and therefore moving faster than 90% of the population. When I'm out running, I see people walking, biking, roller blading and running. No one's laughed at my slowness, and I've never laughed at anyone as I pass them either.
I have exeperienced the same thing as I have been running outside (truth in advertising - moving slightly faster than a walk). Not only don't the experienced runners laugh or jeer, they are actually encouraging. I asked one of the trainers at my gym why that is, and she told me that runners are a special breed - they all know how good it feels and like to share the love! How cool is that?
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:25 PM   #14
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I agree with everyone's comments! Most runners are so happy to see a newbie out joining running they wouldn't think about laughing. I recently read a book called No Need For Speed written by a guy who calls himself The Penguin (because his run is more of a waddle) and he talks a bit about how he felt the same when he first started running and how welcoming everyone was.

I think a lot of people who "run" started to lose weight and were once in the same spot as a beginner so they have a lot more understanding then we think.

Where ever you end up running, good luck and I hope you enjoy it!
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:29 PM   #15
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Thank you very much for all the responses, they're greatly appreciated!

I'll definitely give running outside a try, but not until the weather gets a bit cooler or at least less humid. In the mean time, I'll try working on the treadmill. It should be a good introduction.
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