Also getting started!

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08/08/2002 at 15:04

Just like Cath I am new to the forum, RW and running in general.

I am 30 and a complete beginner, I am about 1 1/2 stone overweight and have slightly high blood pressure (137/91 last reading).

I want to run to get in shape, lose weight, and de-stress. In addition to this, I am really hoping it will help to bring my blood pressure down as I don't want to have to take medication if I can possibly avoid it! I have been given to understand running can be very effective as a way to lower blood pressure, has anyone else had the same problem and found it helpful?

I went for my first run/walk on Tuesday this week and really enjoyed it! I plan to follow your eight week beginner programme to get me up to running for 30 mins non-stop. From that point I would like to train to do a 5k race, then 10k, hoping to do a half marathon next year and possibly a marathon in 2004.

Would it be realistic to aim for a 5K in say mid to late October, and then perhaps a 10K in Jan/Feb next year? I aim to run three to four times a week once I have completed the beginners programme and then build up speed (which is non-existent at the moment!) and distance by following tips on this site.

All advice/suggestions gratefully received - and here's to all beginners making a start, good for you!

08/08/2002 at 15:30
Hi Fiona welcome to the world of running. You BP may be a little high, was it taken by a doctor or at the gym? Has it been taken more than once? you can get false reading in doctors surgeries due to the stressful envirnoment.
Training for a 5k in October sounds very achievable, aim to finish and not for a time and go for that PB in a 5k. Good luck with the training and don't forget everyone on this site was a beginner like you at one time.
08/08/2002 at 17:03
JaneM is right, we were all beginners once.You've made the start now so keep at it. Like most things in life you will find that there will be peaks and troughs. I'm in a trough at the moment !! but you will only ever get encouragement from this site and what a feeling you will have when you complete your first 5k !!

Good luck and let us know how you progress.
09/08/2002 at 15:13
Wonder if 30mins continuous within 8 weeks is a bit hasty. From my years of experience at failing to become a runner, the most important thing in the early days is the need to stay injury free.
I ran in my teens, but over last 30 years have mainly cycled, building a good aerobic engine in a crap chassis; whenever I tried running (which I loved) I'd do too much too quickly and get knee and Achilles problems. Eventually swallowed pride and tried a beginner's walk/run programme from Bob Glover's Runners Handbook and halved the dose - instead of building to 20 mins in the 10 weeks of his programme I've done it in 20 weeks (4 days one week, 3 the next and then move up a level) and plan to move up to 30 mins in the next 10 weeks.
Maybe I've been too conservative, but I haven't had a twinge and I wait hungrily for the day of the next run to come. In the past, injury has dented the enthusiasm within 6 weeks at most.
As it is, I'm totally pleased with myself for being able to keep going since April. (Did a few sums earlier this week and discovered I've run as far since April as Paula Radcliffe runs in a week......)
I run early in the morning and usually sleep badly the night before a running morning - just excitement at the prospect of doing something I've failed at so often in the past.
Go for it Fiona, but what's the hurry? Build and enjoy, but take those days off and if you feel even a hint of strain, please don't be afraid to repeat a week, or even go back a week or two. There'll be plenty of time for races next year! Plug away patiently this year and look forward to lovely long runs next spring.
Of course, I'm 20+ years older than you so maybe I need to be hypercautious. You young sprites can probably afford to take risks burning up the pavements. On the other hand you've got 20+ years more time to enjoy running than I have so you can afford to be patient!

Enjoy it however you do it!
10/08/2002 at 21:03
Hi Fiona
The best thing is that you enjoyed your 1st run, it's always easier to do something you like.
You didn't say how long your run was, but 5k should be ok in 8-10 weeks.
Like JaneM says, don't aim too high for the 1st go, it has to be a PB no matter what the time.
In your taining, make sure you listen to your body, it will soon tell you if you are doing too much. Also have at least 1 rest day between runs at the beginning.
Good luck, and who knows, we may see go in next year's Great North Run.

10/08/2002 at 21:23
Hi Fiona,
Just wanted to add my bit of encouragement.. well done for starting running. I'm no expert, but you seem to be doing just fine.. don't take on too much too soon and, like everyone else says, don't worry about the finishing time for your 5k - just get round steady and then you can try to beat it at your next 5k - that's what I did anyway! Good luck and keep up the good work.
10/08/2002 at 21:35
Go for it girl, last August i could only run for five hundred yards before breathlessness took hold! On april 14th i completed the London Marathon in 5 hours and 20 minutes,if an old git like me can do it, you can too!
12/08/2002 at 10:51
Hi Fiona, can I just repeat what someone has said previously and make sure you get multiple readings of your BP. From my own experience "white coat hypertension", can make a big difference to the readings - everytime I got near a doctor I got paranoid and my BP would shoot up. Eventually I got measured by a very cool doctor who put me at ease and lo and behold, my BP was normal.

As for running, if you are worried about doing too much too soon, speak to your doctor again, that's what they are there for :) He or she will probably put your mind at rest. Like most things in life, just don't too go crazy too quickly, gradually increase both your distances and times, and don't be embarassed to stop and rest (or walk) several times if you have to. I started running in April and yesterday morning I completed my first 5 mile run. It wasn't very quick at 53 minutes, but I'm very pleased with myself. I've entered into a 10k in January and my aimis to complete that in less than 60 minutes, which I think is realistically attainable without too much pushing.

As for losing weight, it's a bit strange, I eat quite healthily I think, and I am now running 3/4 times a week, but the weight is not coming off me (5'11", 16 stone), i think it might be moving a round a bit though :) I think you just have to be patient in expecting weight to go, it seems to vary a lot from person to person as far as I can see.

happy running!
12/08/2002 at 14:13
All good advice and like the rest I wish you luck - keep posting to tell us how you are doing.

The issues with weight loss when beginning is that you put on muscle which weighs more per inch, and you do not exercise long enough to get full benefit - BUT that is a must as too much running will injure you.

I lost my first stone while slowly increasing my running to no more than 1 hour a week - but I also did 2 weights sessions and another 2 hours of biking and other non-impact aerobics. This will also help keep you injury free.

I have now lost 2 stone and run 15 miles a week with some shin problems which require lots of stretching - but mostly I'm running injury free.

So good luck and mix it up.
12/08/2002 at 15:44
Hi Fiona,

12 years ago I had elevated BP around the same asd yours, however I was only 25. I was 18 stone of lard and could hardly hold a conversation without panting for air. i dabbled with diets weights and swimming etc. My weight dropped to 16 stone (Oh I'm 6 ft 3inches as well). I discovered running 2.5 years ago and could barely run a 100 yds then, now I run 4 times a week approx 20 to 30 miles i total (I used the 1 min run 1 min walk theory it works a treat, took about 1 months to go from 100yds to a mile run). My BP is 120 over 80 and my Resting heart rate is 44. I put the fitness down to running and the weight loss down to a mixture of the lot. I'm still 16 stone and probably 20lbs too heavy but I'm bloody fit!!. However I am committed to drop the weight to see what I am capable of before the big 40.

16/08/2002 at 18:39
Totally screwed up Wife left me stating that he no loner love’s me lost my Children, lost the reason to live.
Took up road running, first race Reading ½ Marathon in March this year, ran a further 7 since then (16-Aug-02). Life is hard but beginning to look forward. Now plan my 1st Marathon 20th Oct at Abingdon. Looking for running partners that are running ½ marathons around 02:00:00 If female so much the better!
All I can add it not to aim too high, but on the other hand go for it! !
I lost 4.5 Stones since Feb this year and have gone bonkers on running, no spring chicking.... Tony H
01/08/2004 at 18:27
Hi all,

I'm a complete novice and this is my first time to this site. It's given me motivation and reduced my sense of isolation already. I was 3 stone overwieght and am still
1 1/2 stone overwieght. I'm also a self confessed couch potato for the last 25 years. Until two months ago I had no muscle strength and no aeorobic stamina, with my first time on the treadmill resulting in 10 min walking at 5 km/h and a near collapse at the end. Solwly with a walk/jog programme I'm now able to sustain 8km/h pace for 6 mins with 2 min walking 6km/h to recover and can do this for 25 mins. I'm doing weights three times a week and run three times a week.
I plan to do a 5k in second week of September, and hope that I can make it under 40 mins. Is this over-ambitious.
I've been sick for four days and haven't run for five days. I feel panicky about getting back out there tommorrow in case I've lost any stamina. Seejay
01/08/2004 at 19:03
Hi Catherine,

I have just read your message. I started running in November 2002 and could run for about 1 minute without collapsing on the treadmill when I started. By June 2003 i successfully completed a 5k race in 31 minutes so I was very pleased and felt great afterwards. The atmosphere was great and the crowd really carried all the runners through. Since then I have continued running but also started to enjoy other forms of exercise (step, yoga, gym etc) which I was not capable of before. Recently I have considered entering for another race to spur myself along and am thinking about a 10k in September - maybe a little ambitious but I have the summer holidays to prepare. Let me know how you get on. AnneM
01/08/2004 at 19:03
just a quick note on the blood pressure, your reading is certainly not extraordinarily high, and you should take a number of readings to average it out a little, as pointed out some people find certain situations stressful, you may have rushed to get to your appointment etc etc, so if that was your only measurement dont worry too much. also, with weight loss and an improvement in your cardiovascular fitness, it will naturally come down anyway
02/08/2004 at 08:10
Hi Fiona, Welcome! I am too a beginner and started running in late May on a beginners programme, at the beginning of July I did a race for life 5k and acheived my goal of running the whole distance and getting a good time! Now I am aiming to do a 10 k in October so all you are aiming for is achievable. I too am trying to lose a stone, but so far haven't lost anything but have toned up a great deal, so try not to get to down hearted if you don't lose straight away as it seems quite common not to lose straight away. Don't know much about Blood Pressure but starting running can only do good in my eyes! Good luck! Pinkfairy :)
24/01/2011 at 14:23
hi there im 20 years old and about a stone or so over weight. i really struggle with running but i really want to join the army at the moment i need to be running a mile and a half in 10:30 or less, and tips on reaching this goal.
04/02/2011 at 21:47
Hi folks. I'm 45 in May and type I diabetic and just about to take my first steps into the wonderful world of running after speed walking for a few weeks. My aim is basically to get myself back to the fitness I had in my late 20's/early 30's (before the pancreas packed up !) and lose some weight. Side effect should be that I'll be able to reduce my insulin doses. If there's anyone out there who has any tips for the diabetic dabbler let me know. Cheers.
26/02/2011 at 20:26

Hi there, 

loving reading all your comments, currently on week 2 of running and feeling like its never ending!!!! But thanks to all your stories ive got a bit of hope back!x 

26/04/2011 at 23:49

hi there i am a 37 yr old engineer with dodgy knees and a bad back lol i have been running a bit in the gym (yes on a treadmill ) i know this doesnt really help me get a feel but i REALLY want to be able to do the london marathon in 2012 i have applied and fingers crossed ....anyway heres my point should i start traing on cross country just to build up my stamina and distance with less chance of getting run over ! or should i start as i mean to go on and train just on road surfaces ?? as the london marathon is all road i was just wondering 


ps all your previous answers have made good reading  

03/11/2011 at 12:47

HI Tony,

As you know already that you have "dodgy knees", I'd make sure that you combine regular running with lots of strengthening work for the core, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calfs. The stronger you can get to protect those knees, the better!

On top of regular strengthening work, try to spend some time focusing on your technique before you start increasing the miles significanlty.

I found a good running strengthening and technique program here:

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