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Running for Beginners...

Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:59 am

As i no longer cycle to work (it's to close to bother, i walk instead) i've lost my main source of exercise, so have decided to give running/jogging a go - especially since i work next to a park that's nice to run around, it has lots of paths and many water fountains, i've also found someone else from work who's about as terrible as i am.

I was hoping someone would be able to give me some advice - as a complete beginner who is quite unfit i see that i have two options for when i go running/jogging
- going slow enough for myself to be able to keep going for a long time and slowly try and increase the speed i'm going at
- going at a reasonable speed for bursts of 100m or so (as far as i can go at that speed) then 'walking it off' until i feel like i can go faster again.

Which is the better tactic to choose?

Also, any other general advice/stories?

Re: Running for Beginners...

Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:43 pm

I'm somewhat in the same boat! I've wanted to start running, and have been doing it on and off for a bit now.

Here's a site that I found was very helpful in getting me started:

It's very easy to follow week by week plan to help you start out slowly to reach your goal.

Re: Running for Beginners...

Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:05 am

It actually depends on what you aim to gain, I think. If you'd like to work on endurance, you could try the first option you mentioned, Rachel. To give it some cardio kick, you can sprinkle in some option two, perhaps a bit faster than what you'd normally run at. Two different muscle fibers at work (fast-twitch and slow-twitch).

I remember reading/hearing somewhere that jogging at your normal speed, then sprinting for a small distance, then returning to your normal job is "good" for you...but I can't remember the specifics or the source. :(

...and that's about all I can remember from the Exercise Physiology class I took a few years back.

Re: Running for Beginners...

Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:52 pm

I'm not a fan of the walk-run method, personally. If you're going for longer distances try to be consistent, and then maybe work some sprints into your running routine (i.e. a couple of shuttle runs) at the end for speedwork.

I am hoping to start running again and I used to be a sprinter, but now I'm trying to be able to do 5k at a decent speed. It isn't going to be easy and I'm going to have to be really careful with my back. My friend's husband is running the London Marathon next year so I'm going to run with him on his short training runs.

Re: Running for Beginners...

Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:23 am

I picked up running this summer! I love it, and I know what it's like to be a new runner.

Consistency is the best. The bulk of your runs should be at a pace that is comfortable, but not too slow. That's the key to building your endurance. There's no problem with stopping now and then, but you don't want to repeatedly have to stop because you've taken it out too hard.

Once you get that endurance base, you can do something like option 2. This is good for speed. Even though it's supposed to be fast, you still don't want to do these in full sprints. A good speed workout might be repetitions of 400m with rests in between. Usually for these you'd have a goal pace to stick to. The key is sticking to that, because not only will you get faster, but you can also discipline yourself to stay on a pace even when tired.

As you run more and start to get more comfortable, you can start to put numbers to it if you'd like. Once you run a race, you can then figure out a goal pace for these. As a rough estimation, your long runs should probably be about 1:30 per mile slower than race pace. Your speed work should be about 30 seconds faster per mile. So, for example, I run a 5k at about a 6:20 pace. I aim to run long runs at 7:50/mile and my speed work at about 5:50/mile (about a 1:25/400m.)

Re: Running for Beginners...

Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:46 pm

Yeah, I took up running amongst my other activities last year - running around the local dam with my dog. It's a 3 mile run and can get really muddy.

My advice for anyone running is to make sure that your shoes are in good condition and made for how you run. I wore the wrong type of trainers - that were also battered and it gave me shin splints.

Re: Running for Beginners...

Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:51 pm

If you're running around a track, I'd recommend changing directions every few runs or so - going in one direction all the time, clockwise or anti-clockwise, can strain your leg (though I'm not too sure if it's the 'inner' or 'outer' one). It also hurts your knee, in the long run - my friend injured her knee running 10k runs around a 400m track, in one direction all the time.
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