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getting back into the swing of it (general questions) (Read 180 times)

    I am 43, 6', 225 lbs, formerly a good athlete but natural weight is around 215, so a little heavy. I was a fullback/linebacker not a runner in high school so not only do I not compete, I am also aware that due to my build, a six minute mile is not going to happen. But I do love running and certainly in my late twenties, was easily doing 7, 7-minute miles. True, I was a little lighter. I have in the last 5 years started and stopped running programs so the muscle memory is definitely still there. Two weeks ago, I got back on the treadmill, having in my head to take it easy for the first couple of weeks, to shed a few pounds and want to work back into a 20-25 mile week. An eight minute mile is my short term goal but I'm hoping for some nice distance gains as well.

     

    Currently, I seem to have really good "wind", that is, I can do 4-5 miles, fast-walking the first two miles- from 4.2 to 4.5-and then working up to 6+ for the final half mile without ever getting winded; I am currently burning about 550-600 calories per 50-55 minute workout.

     

    My questions  would be, for how long should I warm-up and cool-down? I've seen this expressed as a % of the total miles but as I'm just starting out, it's a little hard to say-with my workout evolving/growing pretty much every day. I'm trying hard to go gradually but it's hard, I just want to keep pushing it.

     

    What kind of workouts are good for someone of my build, age, goals?

     

    Thank you much,

    D.

      I'm not an expert by any means, but somewhat similar in size, age and build.  I started running 3 years ago just to get into some kind of shape besides round and have gotten into it a lot more than I ever expected.

       

      I would suggest just starting off running easy miles and not trying to run too hard.  From what I've seen, one of the most common things that happens when people start out running is that they push themselves too far too fast and end up injured.

       

      Some hear don't like heart rate monitors, but I found mine to be about the only thing that kept me actually running easy miles starting out.  I was always pushing it too hard and was very lucky to not get injured or burned out.

       

      I'm still not fast, but went from a goal of simply running 6 miles in an hour when I first started trying to get in shape to then running a half marathon in under 2 hours, then a marathon in under 4 hours and now am training for my first trail 50K.

       

      Good luck, my advice is to just take it easy while you are getting started.  No need to worry about warming up and cooling down if you are just going out for an easy run.  Maybe in a few months you will want to actually start incorporating true workouts in, but for now just easy running will benefit you the most in my opinion.

       

      Again, I'm not an expert, but started running 3 years ago at 43 years old, 6'2" tall and 250ish lbs.

       

      Good luck.  Nathan

      Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

        Thanks Nathan for encouraging words. Nice times in your races, some inspiration for me.

         

        I'm up to 4 miles @ 45 min, with some fuel in the tank. Gradual ratcheting up on the mph, looking to take it outside first week of May. Treadmill I have to say is incredibly tedious but gets us through the long winters here in the Northeast.

         

        Are you currently 195 lbs?

         

        How have your knees fared in the last three years? I imagine taking the weight off has helped immeasurably.

         

        Cheers,

        Gadus

          I'm not very different either but I guess I had a little bit of running background from a long time ago.  I am also getting back into it after 2 years off, mostly due to injury and somewhat due to lazy/busy.

           

          When you say 8 minute mile short term goal I assume you mean for a single mile and not an 8 minute pace.

           

          If you want to run an 8 minute mile I guarantee you that it would not require hard workouts.   You easily have the speed to do that.  What you lack is the endurance.  If you just did easy runs (putting in a short walk break even if you need to for a while) until you were running 4x a week for a total of 20 miles... you be able to do a single 8 minute mile easy.

           

          I personally never do a warm-up cool-down as frankly almost all my runs are easy jogs and there ain't a damn thing to warm up to or cool down from.  Meaning I could hold a conversation while jogging.

           

          If it helps any, at age 38 I was 235 lbs and my first 5k was 28 minutes.  2 years later I was ~200 lbs. and ran a 5k under 20:00, and ran a mile in 5:52.  The only secret was staying healthy and just getting out there.  75% of the improvement was from all easy runs.  The last 25% of the improvement required real workouts.  I would not worry about real workouts until you are running 4x a week and 20 miles a week.  The only thing I'd do this spring/summer in terms of running faster is once or twice a week in your last mile run a few strides. (over a distance of 50-90 meters you speed up to maybe 90% effort and then slow down... it just gets the legs used to moving quicker).

           

          It may sound boring but it's true, just running easy will get you what you want.  At your current fitness level and age (and to some degree size) trying to do hard workouts might do almost as much harm as good.  6 months from now you'd get a different answer from me.

           

          Good luck.

          In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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            As others have stated, don't worry about the speed, work on your distance, speed will naturally come all by itself, at least to a certain extent (see below).

             

            A year ago I was 56 years old, 70-90 pounds overweight (I'm 5'8" and was somewhere north of 250 pounds).  I started running in mid-April, and determined to practice the LSD (Long Slow Distance) school of thought for at least a year before adding speed work into my routine.  Now, a year later I'm down over 60 pounds, have logged nearly 2,400 (mostly slow) miles, and am probably faster than my fastest 5K from last year (which was in the mid-23s).  I say probably because I've only run two races so far this year, a 1-Miler (5:50) on New Year's day, and a 2-Miler (13:49 in spite of going slow due to a sore hip) the last weekend of March.

             

            Funny thing about my "plan"; given how fast I've gotten by sticking to my LSD plan, I'm toying with the idea of doing a second year of nothing but LSD training.  The most significant differences between a training run today versus one from a year ago are distance and speed; last year I was doing two to three miles at a pace between eleven and twelve minutes per mile, today I do more like ten to fifteen miles at a pace between nine and ten minutes per mile (still long and slow, just longer and not quite as slow).

              based on the 5k and 2-mile time you listed Shippo I'm guessing that was either a short 1-mile course or you meant 6:50.  Because 5:50 at age 56 or 57 would be damn fast.

              In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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                based on the 5k and 2-mile time you listed Shippo I'm guessing that was either a short 1-mile course or you meant 6:50.  Because 5:50 at age 56 or 57 would be damn fast.

                 

                Nope, 5:50 flat; all of the races put on by this particular outfit are accurately measured.  That said it did seem to be a fast course as the winners were under 4:10; given that it was a point-to-point, it may have had slightly more down than up, but I doubt that was to any great degree.  As for my 5K time, that was last September and I've since lost some more weight and logged something like 1,400 miles; I'm hoping to break 22:00 in my next 5K in early May.  As for the 2-Miler, I had a very sore left hip at the time, so I took my first mile pretty easy (I negative splitted by almost 20 seconds); the results have me finishing 105th out of nearly 2,700 runners and, if I recall correctly, 7th in the 50-59 age group.  The only runner in the entire race older than me who finished in front of me was a 65 year old guy (I'm damned impressed).  Smile

                  I'm not even two (full) weeks back running so I can't really speak of any routine yet. I've tried to run every day, but on those slack days maybe my body is telling me to cool it . It does seem like after a day off the next run is phenomenal. I have a very hard time taking it easy but even so, my wind seems to be good; so, pretty much every time I run it's been about 4 miles, inclusive of first mile which is a very brisk walk. So, anywhere from 20 to 28 mile weeks thus far. I never really ran a warm up in years past either but at least for now it seems to do me some good, in teaching myself to be more gradual. One more week of treadmill and it's back to outside running, mostly dirt roads and trails.

                   

                  I just threw the 8 minute mile out there...I'd like first to run one 8 minute mile without killing myself and then a string of 8 minute miles. Yesterday I kicked it into high gear for a little while at a 9 minute pace and it felt good; I can't imagine doing any talking at that pace. Really, it's just nice to be moving again-and to feel the athleticism return. 

                    For the initial months of getting back into shape, keeping things slow pays huge dividends down the road in the form of injury prevention.  I've been coaching off and on for decades now, and my mantra for runners (especially runners older than say thirty-five to forty) in their first six months or so of a return to running (or even an initial entry into running) is, "If you feel frisky on any given day, go further, not faster."

                      I hear you Shipo and really want to do it right this time around, as I near my 44th birthday. What is difficult for me to fathom-and perhaps you can help me-is what exactly does taking it easy mean? For instance, a 10 minute mile for me at this juncture is relatively easy; I can do about 3 of them without much huffing and puffing, with treadmill inclined 2.5-3. So this begs the question, do I simply stay at this pace for six months and increase the distance by 5-10% a week? Even if, in that time, a 9 minute mile becomes as easy as a 10 minute mile? If so, in two months time, we're talking about a much longer workout and given my finite free time, this becomes problematic. Suggestions?

                       

                      Thanks again.

                        can you speak in a complete sentence while jogging?  If not, you're not really running easy.

                        In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

                        http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white&fb_source=message

                         

                         

                         

                        NHLA


                          Like everybody said so far, build up your base first then start working on speed.

                          Being able to run 5 miles without walking was a big step for me. After that running long got easier.

                          Just add one mile to your long run every week. Later you will need to add more miles to your daily runs.

                          I walk one mile warm up and cool down for daily running.

                          I warm up 15 min before a 5k with some strides in there.

                          TJN


                          S Army Kettle run...

                            This one sticks with me:

                            The conversational pace rule ... If you can't carry on a conversation, you're going to fast ... If you can sing a song, you're going to slow.

                             

                            can you speak in a complete sentence while jogging?  If not, you're not really running easy.

                            Tim 

                            TripleBock


                              Kind of happy to see this, part of my morning routine was a song and it bugged me it was hard to do well ... it was only a 20-30 second thing to start meditation while running.

                               

                               

                               

                              This one sticks with me:

                              The conversational pace rule ... If you can't carry on a conversation, you're going to fast ... If you can sing a song, you're going to slow.

                               

                              I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock

                                A failing treadmill keyboard at the end of yesterday's run got me out of the house a little earlier in the season than I had planned on. Today's  5-mile run in the rain was simply put, exhilarating, as many first runs are (to my memory). I forgot cold hands and wet head and just focused on the joy of running. Got off to a blistering pace but could not slow myself down until a hill at the two-mile mark finally did. At mid point, I was somewhere in the 8 minute range. At that point, the body said, "Okay, mister, it's time to slow the f**k down."  and threw a few more hills in my way. The second half took about 10 minutes longer, with 7-8 walking breaks, for a total time of 50 minutes.

                                 

                                Thanks to wiser senior and junior heads here who emphasized "easy". It dawned on me quite early in the run that "huff" and "puff" cannot be considered part of normal conversation, even with one's self. Needless to say, there was no singing, except internally.

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