Newbie feeling disheartened already :(

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09/08/2012 at 19:05
Hi there, I'm a regular gym-goer who started running last week, using a 0 to 5k plan from a magazine. I'm not used to endurance so I knew I would find it tough but it's embarrassing that I'm tired after only two minutes of running. I'm currently doing walking/running intervals and am trying to focus on my technique and breathing but I felt like I was wasting my time today when my left ankle and all the way up the side of my lower leg hurt so much that I had to stop for a while. Already frustrated and disheartened! How do I deal with this??
09/08/2012 at 19:18

Hey Vicky,

I've just go back into running (well it's the first time I have trained for it off my own back) and I am finding it hard too.  A work colleague gave me the best advice, 'don't think about what you haven't done, focus on what you have done'.

So if you are running less distance than you thought, or you skip a training session focus on how much you have achieved already.  The fact that you have decided to start running is an achievement in itself.  You will get there, just stick with the walk/jog and don't try to do too much too soon or you will get even more disheartened and possibly risk injury.  I'm sure you'll be posting improvements within days!

09/08/2012 at 19:22
I hope so. I felt good when I first started because I just enjoyed exercising outside for a change but since I've started to worry about technique, etc, it's made it worse. So I think I just need to relax.

Bit concerned about my ankle/leg though because it's still throbbing as we speak and I don't know what the problem is. I don't get it when in the gym so hopefully it's just a sore muscle and nothing serious.
09/08/2012 at 19:25

what shoes are you wearing to run in? If they are not suited to you, or just old gym shoes, then they could be causing the problems. It is worth going to a proper running shop and getting some advice about proper running shoes

stick with it - it is hard to begin with, but if I can do it then anyone can, believe me

09/08/2012 at 19:33
I'm wearing gym trainers which are new-ish but perhaps not right for outdoor running. I do have some older running shoes that I think I'll try too. I know I need to go to a running shop and get some proper advice but money is very tight at the moment so that will have to wait a couple of months. I will try doing more stretches before running next time too, in case that's part of the issue.

Thanks, mathschick - I do feel better when people tell me to just stick with it because it makes me realise that maybe I'm just hard on myself! I do love a challenge so I can't see myself giving up just yet, but I look at the end of my plan when it says "run for 40 minutes" and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The thought of me ever being able to do that is unbelievable!
09/08/2012 at 19:35

That's what I thought but I have now managed 60 mins continuous.  No one was more surprised than me!  If you're stubborn enough you'll do it.

09/08/2012 at 19:38

vicky - I would save the stretches for the end of your run - stretching cold muscles sin't supposed to be good I think. Just stick with the training plan you have and repeat weeks if you need to. You will be able to do it.

09/08/2012 at 19:39
Well done! How long did it take you to get to 5k? Friends have told me to sign up for a 5k run in October as a goal but I'm not convinced I'll be able to do it by then, even though I'm sticking to my schedule. I'm also due to join a running club once I've reached my 5k mark, so I'm hoping they will give me advice on technique, etc. I really need to work out how to breathe properly!
09/08/2012 at 19:41
Mathschick - I read that stretching is best for the end of a run as well, so I'm glad you think the same thing.
09/08/2012 at 19:51

I did a 5k run with no training, which is what inspired me to start training properly.  But then I am stubborn and know I will get round a course no matter how long it takes me.  I entered a 10k with friends and we made a pact to run it together, by the time we got to the finish line they had switched off the music and started packing up!

My first serious attempt at a 5k was in May (two months of training) and I was amazed when I got sub 30 (just) which has now made me want to get faster (it's not happening just yet).  I think October is a reasonable timeline and you'll be fine as long as you treat it as an initial race (I have only competed in two races 'competitively' in my life) and aim to complete it even if that means walking some of it.  The sense of achievement is incredible.  And I did my first 10k without stopping last month! Having a race as a goal should keep you going when it gets a bit tough.  Good luck and get stretching!


09/08/2012 at 19:53

Vicky even if your running 1 minute then walking 2 minutes for 10 minutes thats still 4 minutes more running than you were doing just keep going you will see improvements thats for sure a few month down the line you will be looking back thinking hey these guys were right I can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just stay positive Good Luck 

09/08/2012 at 19:53
Vicky I have just started running again after a 6 year relaps into my old eating habit.
I am just under 20 stone so I know how you feel about progress.
There are many factors about your running which wil come into play.

Ok your running on a running machine yer?
What speed are you starting at and what do you get to?

Although a heavy runner, just lost 5 stone and been back swimming for a couple of months and running for a month. Currently doing around 40 minuites run at 8.5 to 9.5 towards end. Please note I've always been active even at 25 stone.

Trainers, wow I have spent hundreds on trainers in the past. I tend to lean towards New Balance as they do a wide fitting but my current pair were bought from sports direct and are ??30 new balance. There great. I am having some issues with my calf after 30 minuites but I think this is my style.

I do a short stretch to warm up then I do the low impact air running machine for 30 minuites, then a cross trainer for 15 and then into the run. Don't get me wrong I am drenched when I finish.

As in breathing correctly, wow I am a nightmare when I run, I often aware aloud which is not a good thing and I grunt sometimes.

Don't be tempted to go to fast to quick. As for setting goals I do try to but end up just doing my own thing.

The one thing is a must...... Keep it up...... Your cool down stretch should be held a bit longer and is very important.
09/08/2012 at 20:00

the breathing will come, it might be worth running slowly which will make breathing easier. I do remember when I first started running feeling like my chest was on fire with the effort! You should aim to run at a speed at which you would be able to talk. This might seem really slow to start with but speed will come with time

09/08/2012 at 20:01
Craig - you described exactly the run I did today - I did 1.5 miles of walking/running in 22 mins which is half a mile more than Tuesday's run so I did feel good about that

Mat - I'm running outdoors as I feel weird on a treadmill and wanted to do some outdoor exercise for a change. I'm still going to the gym twice a week (once for weight resistance and once for cross training) but am trying to get the hang of the treadmill to help me improve my running overall. I enjoy running outside though and don't want to give it up just yet! Thanks for the advice re trainers - I will have a look at those ones.

And Jennifer - that's a lovely story; it's made me determined to sign up for the 5k and finish the damn thing no matter whether I'm "slow" or partly walking
09/08/2012 at 20:02
It's interesting that a few of you have mentioned speed because I know I'm running too fast and I try hard to slow down but I'm the kind of person that rushes everything in life generally so slowing down is hard!! However, for my next run I'm going to work very hard on slowing right down, even if it feels strange.
09/08/2012 at 20:12
Vicky, on the treadmill you should put the grade up to 1 as this will represent outside.

You should aim for a speed that you can keep up for 20 minuites and be around 80% of your effort.

Lol your just impatient! Control it lol.
Better 20 mins slow to med that to fast for 2 and hurt yourself
09/08/2012 at 20:15

it could be that going too fast is what is hurting your ankle

09/08/2012 at 20:21
Yeah, you're probably right, guys - especially as I love exercising so I'm doing it six times a week and sometimes have to flop into a bath of Radox Muscle Soak of an evening!!

Mat - I will try that on the treadmill and let you know how it goes.

Can I also ask you all how many times you run a week and whether you do any other forms of exercise? I know weight resistance is important for runners (esp core work) but does anyone do cross training too?
09/08/2012 at 20:26

are you running 6 times a week? As a beginner I would say that is too much and you are probably not giving your body chance to adapt and recover. I generally run 4 times a week. Sometimes 5. I also swim and bike, and occasionally go to the gym to do some weights if I have time. The cross training really helps prevent injury and obviously helps with general fitness. Instead of running 6 days a week why not swap some sessions for biking or other cardio stuff in the gym?

09/08/2012 at 20:33
No, no - I'm exercising six times a week but only 4 of those sessions are runs (I'm sticking to my plan, which has 4 runs a week). But instead of resting for the other 3 days, I have one day of complete rest a week and go to the gym for the other two. I do weights for one of those sessions and am trying to cross train for the other one (eg. Cycling machine/rowing machine).
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