Another newbie question, I mean really new. (Read 330 times)



     I am brand new to running, actually new to getting fit in general. I'm 45, 6'2", 215 lbs. I quit smoking a year ago, I've lost 54lbs in the last 7 months (About 15 more to go). I've basically been changing what I eat to healthier things versus dieting, and also been using the elliptical for about  an hour a day. I started lifting some weights about a week ago, so I cut back the elliptical to about 20 minutes on the 4 days a week I lift weights. In those 20 minutes I do a low level interval program (I'm going to increase that to 30 minutes this week). When I was going for an hour I did it with basically no resistance, just going at about a 5.5 mph speed.

       I plan to start the couch to 2k program in about a month when it warms up enough around here. My daughter wants us to run a 5k together this summer or fall. I'm wondering if when I start the couch to 2k program if I should start at the beginning or a couple weeks ahead in the program because of my elliptical work? I'm not looking to take any shortcuts to get out of working. I also don't want to waste time on any unnecessary steps. I don't know if my elliptical work matters when it comes to running or not? I assume running is more demanding because the elliptical uses a certain amount of momentum to help keep you going.


    Any advice is appreciated, Thank you,


    day after day sameness

      The elliptical work you're doing will give you a 'head start" on the aerobic fitness, but not on the muscle and joint strengthening aspects of running. I'd have you follow the C25K as it's structured early on to help get your body started on the stresses of running. Your lungs may be ahead of the program, but your legs aren't.

      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless


        i was in nearly the exact same circumstances about 18 months ago.  Similar age, weight loss, stopped smoking.  After 6 weeks of near-daily elliptical time, I decided to try running.  In my case, my lungs got my body into trouble.  I did too much because I had the aerobic endurance, and my feet and ankles paid for it.



          since you also just started lifting 4x/week I would definitely start the c25k at the beginning.   even at low levels of intensity it may be too much to start both a strength training & running program at the same time for most people.  could be a recipe for injury, burnout or overall fatigue/tiredness.  you can always adjust either program as you go along.  no need to hurry.   good luck & have fun.

          A Saucy Wench

            Agree, start at the beginning.   You are actually at MORE risk for a newbie injury than a true couchpotato because you have other fitness.  You will be able to finish without wheezing and puffing and you wont notice the impact strain until you've done too much.  Cardivascular improvements happen about twice as fast as muscle/tendon/ etc. conditioning for the workload.

            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


              Thank you for the info guys it all makes a lot of sense. I never thought of my lungs being ahead of my legs. I definitely   want to go slow, I don't want to end up hurt and losing my progress. I will start from the beginning in a month, by then I should be on my way with the weightlifting and hopefully will be ok to start the c25k. I hope that by next fall I will be a little more conditioned to run in colder weather. When I was smoking, if I was working outside or doing an outside activity when it was cold and was sweating, I would almost certainly end up with bronchitis or walking pneumonia. When I start in a month my plan is to do the c25k on Mon, Wed and Fri and lift weights and elliptical on Tues, Thurs, and Sat. Does that sound reasonable?

                very reasonable.  you may want to back off abit on the lifting for at least the first week.  keep the 3  days of lifting but just back off on the weight alittle & see how you respond.


                  “Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” 
                  ― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland


                  First of all, congrats on the progress!


                  As has been mentioned by milktruck, don't skip any of the steps because transitioning from elliptical to running is not so easy.  Running does take its toll physically so the program is just as much about physical adaptation as it is about aerobic adaptation.


                    Best wishes, Daren99!


                    I have to say....  I quit smoking about 15 years ago, and running is awesome for keeping me a quitter.


                          I'm really looking forward to getting going, I get more excited reading through the old pages here. Thanks again for all the great info! I will do the slow and steady approach. Just to show you how new and clueless I really am, I was talking to my daughter last night. She informed me a 5k is about 3.1 miles, I was thinking it was 6.2 miles. So I told her, we'll maybe we'll shoot for the 10k this fall then. Lol


                        Welcome to the board, Daren. Congrats on manifesting a new life. I suggest getting yourself a heart-rate monitor and using it to keep yourself  at a low enough effort, so your body can ease into running. Doing so might necessitate doing some walking to keep your heart rate low enough. Not a bad thing. There are many ways to go about it. If you're interested you can message me or visit the heart-rate training user group. Good luck with everything. Keep going! 

                        Log    PRs

                        The Irreverent Reverand

                          Great work, Darren. I wasn't a smoker, but very overweight and got back into running four years ago using the Couch to 5K program. It was fantastic. I did the program, and even repeated an early week or two when I struggled, and got on path to run my first 5K. It was fantastic. I've kept running now and I am so grateful.


                          Hoping for the best for you! Keep up the good work!

                          Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. National Guardsman. Runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.


                          Goals for 2014:

                          Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

                          PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run


                            Thanks for all the encouragement. It really helps with the motivation to hear other experiences. I will check out the heart rate method too.

                              I think someone here mentioned once that there is aerobic fitness, muscle fitness and joint fitness- they take different times to build up. Seemed reasonable.

                                Chuck:  You are correct sir & in that order.  different adaptations take different length of times.