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Some Newbie Questions (Read 2203 times)

chrissyb


    Hi, I have a ton of questions, so I am going to start asking them!  So, right now a few basics.  I have been running for about 3 months, and did my first 5K last weekend in 43:15.  I am super slow, and pleased with that result, but want to get faster!  I have been reading a lot over the last 2 weeks about training plans.  And from what I can gather, most plans reccomend you be running regularly for at least 6 months before starting any speed work etc.  I am hopefull that just by continueing to run 4 times a week my times will naturally improve.  And loosing the extra 30 lbs probably wouldn't hurt my times either.  So, thats my plan.  So questions.

     

    1.  Any suggestions on how to pace yourself?  I find when I plug in my times on training calculators most are reccomending my easy and long runs should be done around a pace of 14-15 min/miles.  I find it very hard to go at that pace, it feels too slow.  I feel like no matter how hard I try my slowest I can go is 13-13:30min/ mile.  But then I run out of steam and take walk breaks.  I have a feeling if I could regulate my pace a little better I wouldn't need the walk breaks on shorter runs.   I tried running without music today, and I think that helped some as I wasn't unconciously trying to keep up with a beat.  But it was still a struggle! 

     

    2.  Any good books you would reccomend for a newbie?  I find books and reading a great source of info for me.  I am a total type B personality, and the thought of joining a running group sends me running the other way!  One of the things I like best about running is being alone with my thoughts.   So I need some print or online resources that are good.

     

    I guess thats it for now, unless you have a tidbit of advice you want to share, I would be happy to have it!

      Steven Covey once said... "Begin with the end in mind..."

       

      "If you realize you can't do what you set out to do, then set out to do what you can do".

       

      Chrissy, I suggest that you start with patience.  Before you reach for speed, reach for consistency and passion.  When you find those two (if you haven't already), the "lifestyle" will naturally lead to speed.  And don't be discouraged along the journey, just make adjustments.

       

      But, for what it's worth....

      When I first got back into running about 12 years ago (after a 10 year break from all physical activity)....

       

      1. I viewed it as a lifestyle change, not a race.  I had no goal of running in a race

      2. I went to a local track, and had marks on the track that guided me when to start running, and when to stop running.  I changed my marks as I became stronger up to the point where I just ran without a run/walk strategy.  The interval training helped me slowly get better without pushing beyond my capabilities as I knew that I'd need to do "12 laps" or "16 laps".

      3. I measured everything as it related to training (other than weight).  I had a good stop watch that I hit the lap timer when I finished each lap.  By doing so, I ensured a consistent pace for each lap.  When I was finished with my run, I'd log it (similar to the ability to log here on runningahead.com), so that I could "see" the improvement by the numbers.  At the beginning, my goal may have been a 3:00 lap (12 minute mile).  Later, I would change it to a 2:55, then a 2:52, ....  In logging the training, I'd write something like "12x0.25mile @ 2:52/lap = 11:28/mile"

      4. I wrote down the training in my calendar a week or two in advance so that I didn't make a decision on a given day saying "I think I'm going to run today".  I knew before I woke up that I was going to do it.  My wife knew my calendar, and we were on the same page without any surprises.

      5. After I enjoyed it, I got hooked! 

       

      After all 5 of these items were ingrained in my being, I chose other goals (ie. be as fast as President Bush in a 5k, do a 1/2 marathon, do a triathlon, etc.).  But that has all been within the past 3 or 4 years.  Overall, my lifestyle change from 1999 lives today, eventhough it transitioned over the years.

       

      I know there are many alternate ways to do this.  This worked for me, and I don't think I'd change it.

      Cheers,
      Brian

      2014 Goals:

      #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

      #2: 365 Hours training

       

        Congratulations on your first 5K!  I get excited when I see another one hooked!  I must be a pusher!

         

        I think running is much more enjoyable if you run by feel.  Don't put a lot of emphasis on achieving artificial numeric goals; just run for the joy of it.  Keep timing yourself, though, and next month you'll probably be a little faster than you were this month.

         

        Races can be benchmarks of your progress, but you're really running just for yourself (and maybe for the people who love you).  Enjoy that!

        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

        chrissyb


          Thanks for the replies!

           

          Brian, I do think it has slowly become a lifestyle change, which I plan to continue.  Part of the draw for me is the races though, because it gives me a goal.  I have no interest in competing against other people, but like competing against myself.   I have written out on my calender for the next month my 4 days a week, and the distance goals I want to make.  I have a garmin watch coming and that will be fun to play with as well =)

           

          LedLincoln, I do definatly need to be careful not to focus on numbers!  I do find it difficult though, because I know in order to endure the distance, I need to slow down a little and I am not sure how to do that.  I guess for now I will just sprinkle in the walk breaks as I need them, and maybe once I build up some more endurance it will come together. 

           

          I guess you both said what I think I already know.  Just focus on getting out there and doing it, and the rest will fall in place!  I would still like a good book though, if anyone has a reccomendation?

            I am probably in the minority, but I find "the numbers" to be highly motivating. I am a goal-oriented person, and I like to set myself little targets and check each one off over time.

             

            I started by using some very basic numbers; run 5km, run 5km four times a week, run 100km in a calendar month etc. As I marked each of these things off I felt a real sense of achievement, which motivated me to push myself further. 5km runs became 8km runs. 100km per month became 150km per month. And so on.

             

            I also find numbers motivating whilst on the course. If I am in a 10km race and feel tired, I like to know that there is only 2km left to go - "I can run 2km, that's easy".

             

            From my humble beginnings I have slowly grown to the point where I regularly run ultra marathons. I still use numbers to motivate me - "60km down, 40km to go, that's easy because I've already done more than that".  


            Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

              I like numbers myself, but suggest that a newbie run by time and forget about mileage. That will come. Run slow, run often, run slow and you'll avoid injury. As a non active newbie 3 years ago I tried traditional training plans and had injury after injury pop up. Switching to Galloway run/walk/run approach and using time instead of miles allowed me to run w/o injury. I then transitioned to low heart rate training by time and other than the effect of moving to a very hilly neighborhood on my calves have avoided any serious injury.

               

              btw: you are not slow, but I am! LOL with increasing heat many can walk faster than I can jog... hate to call it running! Most runs these days are 15 pace +/- depending on how sluggish the humidity makes me. 

              bob e v
              2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

              Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

              Break the 1000 mi barrier!

              History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.


              Fat butt on couch

                 

                 

                1.  Any suggestions on how to pace yourself?  I find when I plug in my times on training calculators most are reccomending my easy and long runs should be done around a pace of 14-15 min/miles.  I find it very hard to go at that pace, it feels too slow.  I feel like no matter how hard I try my slowest I can go is 13-13:30min/ mile.  But then I run out of steam and take walk breaks.  I have a feeling if I could regulate my pace a little better I wouldn't need the walk breaks on shorter runs.   I tried running without music today, and I think that helped some as I wasn't unconciously trying to keep up with a beat.  But it was still a struggle! 

                 

                2.  Any good books you would reccomend for a newbie?  I find books and reading a great source of info for me.  I am a total type B personality, and the thought of joining a running group sends me running the other way!  One of the things I like best about running is being alone with my thoughts.   So I need some print or online resources that are good.

                 

                 

                 

                1.  Your internal pace calculator is mis-calibrated.  It feels too easy, but if you speed up a little you run out of steam and need to take walk breaks?  So obviously what feels too easy is really not too easy.  An easy run should be just that...easy.  When you finish you should feel about  as good or better than you did when you started.

                 

                2.  Pfitzinger, Daniels.  Not Noakes.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                 

                ilp


                  1.  Your internal pace calculator is mis-calibrated.  It feels too easy, but if you speed up a little you run out of steam and need to take walk breaks?  So obviously what feels too easy is really not too easy.  An easy run should be just that...easy.  When you finish you should feel about  as good or better than you did when you started.

                   

                  Quoted for truth!

                   

                  Easy is REALLY STUPID EASY. Like, you don't beileve that anyone would call themselves a runner while running this slow. It's also really difficult to run that slow, especially early on. Force yourself to run EVEN SLOWER, maybe 16 min/mile, for two minutes, then speed up to 14:30 min miles and see if you can maintain that easier.

                   

                  Is your form OK? Make sure you mid-foot strike and don't heel-strike. I found that heel-striking and running slow is even more difficult.

                   

                  Try doing long runs once a week, say, on Sundays. Do it at 15 min miles and do it for 45 minutes, non-stop. I bet it will be really hard. Work your way up to it. Then do it for 5 minutes longer every week. Work your way up to 2 hr runs at that super-slow speed. This will pay huge dividends.

                   

                  Running by TIME and effort is the best way to train, unless you need to run far enough to prepare for a longer distance. So since you're doing 5Ks or so, that means forget distance and do time. Tell yourself to do 3 hours of running a week (4 hours if you can swing the time). If you keep up 4 hours of running a week for a few months, you'd be surprised how far you'll come AND you'll still feel good about yourself putting in good amount of running time.

                   

                  I went from running out of breath in 90 seconds of running too fast to barely finishing a 10:30 min/mile 3-miler, then to running a 26:38 5K and this past weekend I ran a 23:14 5K. So you can do it too!

                  chrissyb


                    Quoted for truth!

                     

                    Easy is REALLY STUPID EASY. Like, you don't beileve that anyone would call themselves a runner while running this slow. It's also really difficult to run that slow, especially early on. Force yourself to run EVEN SLOWER, maybe 16 min/mile, for two minutes, then speed up to 14:30 min miles and see if you can maintain that easier.

                     

                    Is your form OK? Make sure you mid-foot strike and don't heel-strike. I found that heel-striking and running slow is even more difficult.

                     

                     

                    I guess I feel like I can't run any slower without walking, but I will try!

                     

                    Form, my foot strike is good, but I do think I have some form trouble.  I have been watching videoes the last couple of days to see if I can modify a bit.  When I go slow I feel shuffle-y, like i don't get my leg behind me at all.  Does that make sense?  I don't bob or sway, my forwad leg seems to come down in the right spot.  When I speed up a bit I feel like I keep a better stride, does that make sense? 

                     

                    If I train for time instead of distance, how long is an easy run?  And my long runs are sat, starting at 3 miles, working up to 4 by the end of the month.  Thanks again, this is all helpful!

                      I am probably in the minority, but I find "the numbers" to be highly motivating. I am a goal-oriented person, and I like to set myself little targets and check each one off over time.

                       

                      I started by using some very basic numbers; run 5km, run 5km four times a week, run 100km in a calendar month etc. As I marked each of these things off I felt a real sense of achievement, which motivated me to push myself further. 5km runs became 8km runs. 100km per month became 150km per month. And so on.

                       

                      I also find numbers motivating whilst on the course. If I am in a 10km race and feel tired, I like to know that there is only 2km left to go - "I can run 2km, that's easy".

                       

                      From my humble beginnings I have slowly grown to the point where I regularly run ultra marathons. I still use numbers to motivate me - "60km down, 40km to go, that's easy because I've already done more than that".  

                       

                      The trouble with numbers is that they can't tell you how your body is doing.  The heart rate monitor is okay, but in my opinion, still inferior to learning to use your internal instrumentation.  I like numbers as much as the next guy, but avoid them until after the run.  You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table...

                      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                        The heart rate monitor is okay, ....  I like numbers as much as the next guy, but avoid them until after the runYou never count your money when you're sittin' at the table...

                         

                        I tend to disagree, but I'm likely wrong Smile

                        I live by the HR monitor, and have learned to guess my HR based on my effort.  But, I do watch and ensure that I'm pacing right and feeling right.  Afterward, I do read the results on the computer, but I don't have many (any) surprises when I do view them.

                         

                        For a "newbie", I think that since they're so "new", they may not understand what "normal" is, or what "easy" is, and the measurement tool (that's ingrained in your head as well as mine) may not be established in their head yet.  The HR monitor will remind them and keep them within themselves and hopefully prevent them from injury.

                         

                        Chrissy, on another note,...

                        The beauty of running is that we're ALWAYS competing against ourselves.  Yes, they have races, but a big race has many runners and 1 winner.  Only a handful of runners think that they have what it takes to win the race.  The rest of us are racing against ourselves.  That challenge is comforting, but may seem daunting.  WIthin my runner friend community, my "fast" runner friends are super fast, and my "slow" runner friends are much slower.  But, we all do well in optimizing our ability.  Don't get caught up in competing against your friends, even if, by nature, you think that is natural and normal. 

                        Cheers,
                        Brian

                        2014 Goals:

                        #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                        #2: 365 Hours training

                         

                          2.  Pfitzinger, Daniels now.  Noakes in a few years.

                          It should be mathematical, but it's not.


                          Prince of Fatness

                            Your internal pace calculator is mis-calibrated.  It feels too easy, but if you speed up a little you run out of steam and need to take walk breaks?  So obviously what feels too easy is really not too easy.  An easy run should be just that...easy.  When you finish you should feel about  as good or better than you did when you started.

                             

                            I agree with this 100%.  Spaniel has forgotten more about running than I will ever know.  However, I would like to throw a different approach out there.

                             

                            Why not take the walk breaks?  Instead of trying to run the whole time work in some walk breaks.  I would work in the walk breaks at a point well before you get to the point where you need to walk.  As you get more fit then add time to the running and / or shorten the walk breaks.  Eventually it will be all running.

                             

                            This is just another option.  Do be afraid to experiment a little to find what works for you.

                             

                            Good luck.

                            Semi-retired.

                              I agree with this 100%.  Spaniel has forgotten more about running than I will ever know.  However, I would like to throw a different approach out there.

                               

                              Why not take the walk breaks?  Instead of trying to run the whole time work in some walk breaks.  I would work in the walk breaks at a point well before you get to the point where you need to walk.  As you get more fit then add time to the running and / or shorten the walk breaks.  Eventually it will be all running.

                               

                              This is just another option.  Do be afraid to experiment a little to find what works for you.

                               

                              Good luck.

                               

                              I was going to suggest this as well. If you don't feel like you can possiqbly slow down without walking, schedule in a walk break, say, one minute for very three to five minutes of running. That will slow your pace down without you having to feel like youre pretending to run in slow motion or something.

                               

                              chrissyb


                                Thanks for all the advice!  I got my Garmin 110 yesterday, and itching to try it!  I am sidelined for a few days with back issues (which has been ongoing for 10 years, not new from running!).  Probably another few days before I can get out and run.  Going to walk tomorrow morning instead of my long run (which amazingly dissapoints me!)  and I will try the garmin out.  I have found I pace better without music, and really I don't miss not having it.   I think what it comes down to is I just need to go, and be patient with my body until I learn to calibrate my internal pacer, and move more efficiantly!  I think it will help to have the HR monitor to learn to calibrate myself though. 

                                 

                                MrPHinNJ you are right about adding in walk breaks as well.  I have this mental block, thinking if I take walk breaks I am not really running.  Which I know it totally silly.  At this point I find I need the walk breaks during or just after the big hills (all of my routes have hills, and its the big ones that get me).  I can do 2 miles with multiple small hills at a good pace without needing to walk.  But when I do one of the routes that have 2 big hills (just under 1/4 mile each) I either find I need to walk at the end of the hill, or part way up.  I think thats ok, and I am going to start just adding the walk breaks as part of my plan on thouse routes, so I don't feel like I failed when I walked. 

                                 

                                Thanks everyone!

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