Advice for Beginner

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26/02/2008 at 08:49

If that is all that you can do Tash, then I suppose that you will have to do it if you want to improve.  But it really is better if you can rest after each run, or only do two consecutive days.

I would try hard on the first run of the three and take the other two a little easier so that you aren't putting too much strain on your legs.  If you get any unusual pain or niggles then that might be a sign that you need to rest more between each run, so maybe then you should cut back to two runs a week.

26/02/2008 at 08:59

Hi Tash,

I know I may sound a bit like your dad but I would say that 3days consecutive running is too much - just have a rest day or, if you must, maybe do your DVD on the day in between each run day?

As I've said before, I am also fairly new to this running thing but all the advice I have been given about having rest days does actually work. I run 3 or four days a week, long distances outside and shorter ones on a treadmill combined with other gym exercises. However, I always make sure that I have a rest day in between every exercise day.

Keep up the good work - I'm sure you'll get there! I'll remind you again (as I always have to remind myself) this is supposed to be fun

26/02/2008 at 11:49
Supercaz - Thanks so much for the advice, Mondays is usually a definate day for running for me, and I really put in the time 75 mins running total (2 hrs inc. walking). Whilst I've been following the run/walk schedule, I'll tailor it to suit me and my capability, instead of repeating 4 times, I'll do 8 or more. I must say that my left knee was a abit achy yesterday, and legs felt heavy, but I've just put that down to my weight!! You said that if I get niggles, I should cut back, I was worried that wouldn't improve my running, as not running so often?? I've also come down with a cold, not long recovered from my last one, what is with that? Once again thanks for your much needed advice! Tashx

Doug2 - Awwwww, you can be my 'running dad' anytime! It really helps to get advice and support here, as most of the time I'll be off in my own little world, doing my own thing!! Last week I did feel a bit despondent and very nearly gave up, as while I'm still on the run/walk schedule, really cannot see beyond that, and feel doomed to a slow, slow jog (inc walks) at snails pace!!! However, being a beginner, do realise that being sensible with my training, and food is very important. I did my dvd yesterday aswell, and was going to do it today, then run and dvd again tomorrow, but feel maybe if I do exercise today, will leave me tired for Wednesday? As for the food, I'm not a big brekkie/morning eater when I tend to do my jog, but now will eat a couple of 'nanas and have some water. It must sound as if I'm being strict with myself, I've never been so into getting fit, as much as I have now, and feel if I get too complacent, I'll just jack it in, and then feel even worse, but I really am enjoying it, as I've toned up and lost weight. Anyway, enough rambling thanks once again for all your advice too! Tashx
26/02/2008 at 12:51

Tash, it's a fine line that we have to follow.  Too much exercise leads to injury (I know at my cost) but not enough means that it will be harder to improve.  There are no hard and fast rules which will guarentee that you will improve while not over training.  You just need to find out for yourself what suits you as we all are different.  Some people can run every day, but most of us can't.

My method at the moment is to try and follow a plan and push myself as far as I can within it, but if I get any sign of an injury I have an extra rest day.  Listening to your body is difficult.  It can be hard to distinguish between worked muscles and the start of stiffness or pain that could be an injury.  I have learnt to be a little on the cautious side rather than to miss weeks of running and having the cost of massage or physio, but I still sometimes miss the signs.  Maybe I don't improve as quickly as I would like, but I am still running and enjoying it, even if I am a little slow.

Sorry I can't be more specific.  When I was starting out I wanted blank and white answers, but unfortunatly there often aren't any.

26/02/2008 at 13:03

Hi everyone!

I hope you don't mind me intruding. I am a very new beginner. I am following the begginers run/walk plan and I am on week 2 where I run for 5 mins, Walk 2mins and repeat 6 times. I ran on a treadmill about 7-8 years ago when I was 21 and hadn't done any running since.

I need some advice please as I feel like I am really struggling. I'm fairly fit as I dance regular and really like walking and ice-skating. My company are doing the 1/2 marathon in September so I signed up to join in as I thought it would be an ideal goal to improve my fitness and tone up/lose a bit of weight.

The first week of running was ok, I ran for 3mins, walked for 1min and repeated 6x. My lungs struggled, but that wore off. My problem is my legs! I manage the 2 sets of run 5min and walk2mins but after that my calfs are a nightmare. It feels like my legs turn to stone. My calfs are quite painful in a dull cramp type of ache. The only way to get relief is to stop completely and it does wear off after 5 mins and doesn't leave me with any sign of it after an hour or so.

I warm up for a few minutes, then do a good stretch routine and I also stretch after each run. I've tried 2 types of trainers and both give me the same problem. I am going to go to a speacialist running shop to get shoe advice.

Is there anything obvious I am missing here as I really do want to continue, it's just so difficult

26/02/2008 at 13:24

I had a similar problem when I started Mary-Lou.  I think it is just your legs getting used to it.  You say that you are quite fit because of dancing etc, but running is another type of fitness.  With dancing your legs are doing a wide range of movements so you work all of the mucles a little.  With running you are using only one movement, so you are using less muscles a lot.

Getting your shoes checked is a good idea.  The only other advice that I have is to stretch whenever your legs feel tight between exercise, whether that is at work, in the evening or at any other time.  Gentle stretching (don't over do it when the muscles are cold) will help your legs recover between runs.

I had to repeat some weeks of my plan several times until the legs got used to it and I could increase the distance.  Also, try slowing down a little and see whether that helps.

26/02/2008 at 13:37

Mary Lou

 how are u - welcome

dancing is not continual running

it's going to take time, enjoy the fresh air, make sure you have proper trainers on your feet, get some water down you.. and keep walking and running- changing the routes etc

 it will all fall together like a jigsaw, but not over night

 gently, relaxing, slowly do it, and it'll come together and as you feel fitter, you'll go faster and further

10/03/2008 at 11:39

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I was last on here....however I am still plodding along, and enjoying it! OK, I hate to ask.....again, but I need some advice. I'm now doing alternate 12/15mins run/1-2mins walk break, I repeat this about 6-8 times, and altogether clock up between 1hr 10 and 1hr 40mins each session, and did this 3 times last week, and yesterday did 3 x 15mins (my husband wanted to get back for his roast!). Today is my rest day, and good job really as we are feeling the wind over here in the Dutch lands! (No excuse I know!). This week I will repeat the 15mins several times, as I feel my breathing is not as controlled as I would like, if that makes sense.

My question is after this week where do I go next? Do I run continuously for as long as possible, at a steady pace? Or, do I try to go faster? I know this might sound like a stupid question, but I really don't have a clue! For the last few weeks, I've actually been really enjoying it, and have gained confidence knowing that I have and will continue to improve, albeit slowly, but at a steady, relaxing and more importantly enjoyable pace! And to think I nearly jacked it in! Thanks again! Tashx

adbru    pirate
10/03/2008 at 22:30

Hiya Tash,

I would say to continue slowly until you can drop the walking breaks.
The speed will come, its the distance thats the hard bit !!

On my first run last august I struggled to do a mile (including some walking), I did an 18 mile run yesterday !!
I am nothing special, just stubborn and followed a training plan which built up slowly.

I will never trouble the front runners but am happy to always try to beat "me" (if that makes sense ??)

take care and run safe


11/03/2008 at 10:54

It depends on what your goals are, Tash.

If you are running to keep fit and lose a bit of weight then you can do some speed and some distance work.  If you are aiming for a specific race, then you are probably better off running a little bit further than the race distance and then introduce some speed sessions too.  If you are running because you enjoy it, then do whatever feel right on the day.

As a general rule, if you have no specific goals, but want to improve, then I would increase the distance and try to cut out the walking breaks.

11/03/2008 at 11:35
Hiya Adbru and Supercaz,

I've just come back I did 5 x 18mins with 1-2min walking breaks, and it was hard, against the wind! My knee and ankle are feeling achy again, but that usually subsides by the next day.

Generally, yes I want to get fit and shift the pounds, however the main goal for me now, is to build up my distances greatly. Once I improve on that, then the speed and who knows maybe running a 5k...but I'm a very long way off that! At the moment I'm just concentrating on maintaining a steady pace, and controlling my breathing without hyperventilating!! I must say though I'm only jogging, and not running by any means. I do sprinkle in a few fast spurts of running for 20-30 seconds here and there, not sure if that helps!!?

Anyway, thanks again for the advice and really does help! Tashx

19/03/2008 at 20:49

Oh dear....I need some advice...or at least some comfort as I have injured myself!

Well, since the last time I was here, I continued with the 5x18mins 3 times a week, and this week thought, I am now ready to increase my time. So, I have progressed to 2 x 40mins and done this Mon/Wed, however that 'niggling' pain in my ankle has now got worse. I did put it down to it just being abit achy after a run, and the pain would subside by the next day. These last few runs, I did however think I could run through it. I have now learnt, due to my stubborness, that I should not have ignored this. I have been going a bit slower due to the pain, the inner left ankle on the bone is slightly bruised, and ever so slightly swollen, and  it 'stings' a little occasionally? However I have been putting ice on it for a few minutes at a time. Can anyone shed some light as to what it could be? I really hope this is nothing to worry about, as I'm planning on another run on Sunday! Please help! Tashx

20/03/2008 at 09:34

Hi Tash,

Firstly - Well done on the running, sounds like you really are coming along great

Secondly - I don't really know what the problem with your ankle is but please don't ignore this pain. I have learnt from very recent experience that what are initially niggles can quickly develop in to something much worse. I got a "niggle" in one of my knees about 7K in to a 12K training 2 weeks ago but decided to run through it. The niggle went after a couple of days but came back every time I ran. Then (how stupid can I be ?) I did a 10K race this Sunday, ending up not being able to walk at all for 2days afterwards.

I'm sure that there will be someone with specific knowledege about your type of injury but my advice is to rest for at least a week, continue with the ice, and work back into it slowly. I know for sure that is what I will do - I did originally plan on another 10K half way thru April but have decided that it's too soon

25/03/2008 at 10:58
Could be a sprain?  But then I'm not an expert.  If rest and ice doesn't cure it then see a sports physio.
25/03/2008 at 19:28
Well, I've had a break from running for a week, and got an ankle support...seemed to do the trick! Decided to go out today, did an hour....and had to stop, couldn't do anymore, so have decided to give it a proper rest. I understand that aggravating it more, is not going to do me any favours, but I really feel so helpless not getting out there, as I thought I was really making progress

Question (for after I've recovered!); Does it matter that I'm jogging slow but increasing my distance? Also, after about 1hour, I feel tired, but still chug along!

Anyway, thanks again Doug2 and Supercaz....I'll just have to be patient!! Hope your running is going well for you both! Tashx

26/03/2008 at 08:45

Jogging slowly is fine.  I've been running for four years and I still jog slowly.  Speed isn't natural to me.  I think that it is best to concentrate on either increasing distance or speed, but not to try and do both at the same time.  To a certain extent, speed will come as you increase the distance.  What I mean is that when you can run 13 miles, it is easier to run faster over 5 miles because you have trained your body to have enough energy in the reserves.  But if you want to get really fast tehn you do need to do specific speed training.

If you are getting tired after about an hour it could be that you either aren't fueling your body enough before the run, or that you need to start taking energy drinks during your runs.  I tend to take energy drinks for any run over an hour, although this is a very individual thing and you might need it earlier, or even later.

I assume by tired that you mean excessive tiredness rather than just general tiredness that we all get when we run.

26/03/2008 at 13:37

It's a bit difficult to determine what exactly is causing the tiredness. For example the first day last week, that I increased to 40/40 when I got back, had a shower then fell asleep! But, on the next run felt more of a physical tiredness, ie; knees stiffened, but was still able to do usual stuff after. Again, as we've discussed before, I think it's what I'm eating...or rather the lack of! Normally I tend not to eat too much during the day, as that makes me want to take a nap!!!

Since I increased my distance, I don't tend to bring a drink with me, I try to drink before, and after but after about 40-ish minutes, I notice that I feel sluggish, but realise that is due to the increase, and my body needs to get used to it, and also not eating the right food before...but I will have to change that, and see how I feel in myself!

As for the ankle, when I move it around, I have a slight 'pull' on the back of the ankle, whicn I think is a tendon/muscle tear or strain? Hope it's not serious?

26/03/2008 at 15:43


I really think that you should see somebody to get a proper diagnosis.  It's hard to decide on the best treatment when you don't know what's wrong.

21/04/2008 at 12:21
Hi everyone, hope you are all well! Firstly, I wanted to say CONGRATS! to all those that ran the FLM, I too was out in the p***ing rain on my 40/40 run, although didn't do as much as all of you!

Well, I haven't been on the RWF for a while, as my parents came to visit, had a lovely time, and still stuck to my twice weekly jogs at 40/40 (all I could fit in). BUT, I am still having problems with my foot. My last run was Tuesday, and on strict instructions from DH, to rest it. I am absolutely itching to get out there, the sun is out, and it's a lovely day, but realise this prob won't help!

I have been wearing an ankle support each time I run, which I think helps. I try to do as many stretches as possible after a run. I have noticed lately though, in the mornings when I get up, I cannot stand firmly on the left foot at first. I walk on the outside of the foot, then try to do some stretches (palms firmly on wall, arms straight, stretch back calves) and find this usually helps. However, I am at a loss as to what this is, and was hoping someone could shed some light on this, and give me some advice??

This has made me rather despondent, as I thought I was doing so well. I really do believe, that this is going to make it harder for me to get back to my running, as I was doing so well...or so I thought! I'm also completely, completely bored with my aerobics dvd (not done it for 3 weeks) although I must say, for the first 2 months of doing it, felt toned, and lost weight.....although this could be why I'm feeling 'fat'! I've enjoyed the running, so much more, and it IS hard, but I feel more satisfied from it. (Does that make sense?)

Anyway, enough waffle from me....any help would be greatly appreciated!! Tashx
adbru    pirate
21/04/2008 at 21:55

Hiya Nat,

First thing i'll say (as you might expect) is to go and get the injury checked properly !!

It obviously needs looking at and treated appropriately, I got an injury straight after my first half marathon in November and didnt run for 7 weeks , as a newbie that only started in august i was gutted.
But it was the right decision as I was "almost" injury free when i started again at christmas.

Motivation is a hard thing to get back if you lose it, you just have to remember how hard it was first time round and realise it will be easier if you have to stop to recover and then start. 

Lecture over

I am very guilty for not stretching as much as i should,i know i should......i tell other people to stretch....... but there we go .

Anyway, go and get checked and come back and be stronger/faster/toned-er  

Take care


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