so so new (Read 1302 times)

    What's more bummer is when you get to the start line of the race only to find out you forgot to change the clock and, as you pull in to the park, you see runners taking off... I'm from Japan and we don't have day-light-saving time so when I first came to the US, I tend to forget... Happened to me twice! For a couple of specific quesitons: I think your knee pain behind your knee (if I'm guessing the location correctly) is probably from "kicking" your back-leg. If your leg is not used to this type of action, you'll feel it right behind your knee (where you almost feel a bit of a "bump"). Many people who had only been "plodding" try to do Lydiard's hill bounding, this is where they almost always feel because bounding will extend your back-leg so much more. Although 6 months (since you've started running) seems long enough for the initial shock to subside; maybe you're still feeling it??? As someone else stated, the pain easing as you keep on running is a good sign. There are generally two kinds of pain: one is the pain that eases as you're warmed up; the other is the pain that gets worse as you keep on running! For the former, just take it easy but keep on running. The latter, stop! Icing after the run always helps. Fill a paper cup with water and feeze it. Peel off about a half an ince from the top when you use it (this way, you can actually hold it with your fingers without freezing your fingers off!). With a gentle circular motion, "ice massage" the sore area. This is always good. Other time, keep the area warm. I always suggest to cut off the arm part of the old sweats and wear that during the day (unless you wear skirt). In regards to your running form, so your brother told you that you "run heavy"... So what is he, a coach or something? Take this into consideration--he's your BROTHER! ;o) Now, seriously, listen to your own "inner coach". Do you actually land hard on your feet (heel) and you can "hear" your footsteps? I don't like the idea of heel-to-toe particularly for beginners because they tend to "land hard on their heel". I do like, as someone else already mentioned, landing mid-foot. Tip-toe might cause other problem (which I'd address later). I like to think of your leg action being a "circular motion". Think of drawing a circle with your leg... Now, technically, your leg will never be going to draw a circule; but you get the idea--you lift your knees high and, instead of sticking your lower leg (below the knee) way out in the front (to land on your heel), just drop your lower leg from the highest point of your knee lift. In actuality, you will swing your lower leg somewhat in the front but by the time your foot touches the ground, you want the "paw-back" or backward swing in process so you won't get any braking action. This may sound awefully complicated but if you stand on one leg and "circle" around the other leg, you'll get the idea. Swinging your leg like a pendulum is a slow stride and it also creats too much braking action upon landing on your heel. Get the image of a smooth circular action. In regards to your arm action, I would worry more about your general "feel" than one-shot photo. I have a picture of the Olympic champion (2000), Naoko Takahashi. She has this "girly" arm swing (sorry!); she carries her arms rather high and she only swings lower part of the arm almost side-ways (not really...). There are others, like Australian marathon great, Rob de Castella, who swings his arms rather low. Almost a text book arm swing, as I consider it, is Ryan Hall who swings his arms almost like a sprinter--straight back and forth. But in distance running, I can't really say if it's good or better or otherwise. I think, in the distance running, whatever you feel most comfortable and natural and you don't waste any extra energy by doing so is good. While tensing up your shoulders and/or excessive side-way swing should be avoided, some sway could be just a simple compensation of your other parts of the body to balance the action. With the arm swing, and also proper leg action as well, I personally like to see even beginner (actually, particularly beginners) to go on to a local track or flat road and do some nice easy strides; anywhere from 120m to 200m (half a lap around the local track). Think about the best sprinter in the world, or someone like Alison Felix; get up on your toes and with smooth circular leg action and straight arm swing, go through the distance, not necessarily FAST; but smooth and strongly... Think about the arrow shooting straight (besides the curve...). Make sure you don't look down--if you look down, you tend to bend your spine forward and this would restrict a good knee lift. Look up, as if to see the top of the near-by tree; open up your chest to get more air in your lungs; pull your shoulders back to stick your chest out in front. Do this like 3 times at first until you get more used to it. Concentrate on a good form; NEVER tense up. Always relaxed and smooth. Take at least 3 minutes recovery jog/walk in between—take longer if necessary. You don’t want to be fatigued when you do the next one—NEVER out of breath. I like Jimmy’s schedule in general. I mean, simple and clean. I haven’t checked Hal Higdon’s schedule for a while but I felt his was a bit too demanding for beginners at least 7~8 years ago. Higdon was a very good runner when he was younger and I felt he simply watered it (the pattern that worked for him) down for others. He seems to have modified it a bit (if he actually didn’t, then I’m just making this all up!). If your goal is to finish (to complete) a half marathon, I don’t know how much it is necessary to do tempo runs and reps and all… You need to learn to stay on your feet for a long time; that’s pretty much it. At the stage of starting out running, all the other elements, if not done correctly, only invites more change to get hurt. If you want to do it, I’d do it once every other week instead of every week. What’s important is to learn to listen to your body and identify certain signs instead of simply following a schedule (any schedule) blindly. The best way to do that, as far as I’m concerned, is to train by time. Heart rate monitor would be fine but, to me, definitely NOT one of those Garmin to tell you exactly how far you’re running. Go out and run how you feel. How did you determine running 9:30 or 10:55? If I were you, if you feel perfectly happy at 9:30 pace, I wouldn’t necessarily slow it down (unless you’re feeling pressure); certainly not way down to 10:55! (it seems you’re already having some adjustment issue???) When I go on treadmill, the pace fluctuates anywhere from 5MPH to 9.5MPH and I don’t care. Some days I just don’t have it; other days I’m on. Go by how you feel. This would help you so much later on—that you’d be so much more in-tuned with yourself. So half marathon in August? Absolutely!
      Sorry to hijack, Tolleyrose, but Nobby I am very glad to see you here! I am sure we all greatly value your expert advice; i have enjoyed reading and thinking about what you have written elsewhere, and look forward to seeing your posts in the future. Simon.

      PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                          10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.


        'Nother question for anyone who made it this far....Now that I'm going to be slowing down my training runs....how long will it take before I start seeing improvement in my time? Do I test it (how fast I can go) out every once in a while? Or....? I guess where I am confused is...if I'm slowing down...how will I know when I'm ready to speed it up a little?
        How long it takes to see aerobic improvements varies from person to person, but here's what happened to me: I started running in August '07, mostly between 8 and 9 minute pace on all runs. After a month or two of that I read a bunch of stuff and came to the conclusion that perhaps I would get more benefits if I ran slower. I slowed down to 11:30 ish per mile starting in September. I ran using a heart rate monitor to make sure I was staying comfortable, and the pace I ran at steadily dropped. Now I'm running around 9 minute miles again, but they are MUCH easier, and I can put together up to ten of them instead of only three or four. I think you could do this without a heart rate monitor, simply by picking an effort level that is easy and sticking with it. If at the end of a run you feel good, like you could go two more miles easily, or something like that. Another way to pay attention is to see how many steps you take per breath. The heart rate I've targeted keeps me breathing at about a rate of four steps per breath (in-2-3-4, out-2-3-4). You'll find that over a month or two of running slow you'll still feel the same but you'll be running faster. Have fun!


        Imminent Catastrophe

          'Nother question for anyone who made it this far....Now that I'm going to be slowing down my training runs....how long will it take before I start seeing improvement in my time? Do I test it (how fast I can go) out every once in a while? Or....? I guess where I am confused is...if I'm slowing down...how will I know when I'm ready to speed it up a little? ...
          The consensus seems to be, look for improvement after around 300 miles or so. It depends on how much you're running per week, but consistency will help. When to speed up? Run at a constant effort (a heart rate monitor will really help) and you will speed up naturally. Sorry about the cancellation. That's pretty unusual.

          "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

           "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

          "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.


          √ Javelina Jundred Jalloween 2015

          Cruel Jewel 50 mile May 2016

          Western States 100 June 2016

          that's what she said

            Nobby-Thanks for taking the time to give me so much helpful info. I think the pain I have is the first you described...and maybe the reason I still have it after 6 months of running is because I increased my distance without lowering my speed..now that I've been running a bit slower it doesn't seem to hurt like it used to. I'd definitely describe my arm swing as a 'girly swing', but hey, now that I know an Olympic champion has it...I don't feel so bad about it Cool...serisouly, I'm working on it. Thanks for the info about the tempo runs...I was glad to hear you didn't think I would need to do them...I really don't feel like I'm at that level yet...so I'll continue to do the weekly short runs and the one long run on weekend. Maybe after I've done my first 1/2 I'll want to have a better time and introduce tempo runs at that point. By the way, my mother in law is from Japan Smile, we're hoping to go visit this year. Sean-THanks too...I'll have to try that breathing technique to monitor my pace...I've slowed down from 9:30 to about 10:50ish and I feel so much better---don't feel super tired after running and I feel like I can go longer...I'm wondering though, as my training comes along and I get into running 8-10 miles will I have to slow down even more?? Guess we'll see Smile. Thanks again PerfesserR!
              Tolleyrose: Now I'm assuming you're traiing to finish the half marathon in August. So if you run it at around 9-minute pace, it'll be around 2 hours...??? Here's what you'd need to do; You have almost 30 weeks (depending on when exactly the half is). Personally, I don't like to have too many more weeks than 15 weeks for "organized" program simply because of the psychological reason. Let's say you choose to have 20 weeks to prepare. You take first month or so to get your body used to a long running. You need to get used to running for a long period of time; it seems that you have already gone beyond 60 minutes??? At this point, it really doesn't matter how slow you're moving--the time spent on your feet is of prime importance. Once you feel very comfortable with running over an hour; you'll start putting more calculated program. I like to take 3 weeks or so for your taper before the race. For half marathon, even 2 might be long enough. This is when you actually cut back your running to refresh your body. Let's say you feel comfortable with 3 weeks taper; so you take 3 weeks from the race day and you put down the longest run of the program. You may want to pick anywhere between 2 to 2:30 for your longest run and take that as your dress rehearsal. You still don't worry too much about your pace because, once you refresh your body with the taper, your speed will come back some more. Each week, you put a long run on the weekend (you have most likely the least time constraints). Let's say you'll start with flat course for 1:15. So you get out and run 1:15 at whatever the pace you feel comfortable (initially, go slow). Next week, you actually go a bit shorter, say, an hour. Then the week later, you'll do 1:15 over hilly course. Then next you can either go shorter again for recovery; or go straight into a bit longer run of, say, 1:30... So on and so forth. So you'll put it all together leading up to your longest run. You'll alternate a new long run to shorter run for recovery and already run long run duration but over a hilly course. So that would be your long weekend run. One other day for the week, you'll have at least one specific run. I'd say you'll alternate hill training (strength work) and strides/fartlek (technique work) each week. You don't need to run hills fast. But focus on good running posture and technique and just run up the hill of about 200m or so strongly--not fast but hard. This would strengthen your legs and helps you go the distance. So now with these, you'll have two quality workouts a week. Now you just fill in with one or two days of easy recovery days. I wouldn't worry too much about what you do on those days--some program, like Higdon's, seems to increase the long run AS WELL AS other days but I'd say just stay easy days for something like 30 minutes jog unless you feel that's not enough at all. From where you are, 20+ weeks should be more than enough to get you up to 2+ hours of running, hense half marathon. Just as a suggestion; this would be how I would have you prepared for the half marathon. Now, I guess I never “addressed” problems with tip-toe running??? You said that you slowed way down from 9:30 to 10:55 and now your calves felt strained. It sounds like your running form now is crunched up. Instead of reaching out with your lower leg and braking on your heel (which is not a good thing but I’m not particularly suggesting you do this because I don’t know); now you’re braking on your toes (or, more correctly, fore foot). While hard heel running shoots up the landing shock to your knees through your quads, landing on your “toes” would put a lot of undue strain on your calves for braking action. Now, calved do work as a brake; but not in a way that your foot is still moving forward as you land. This would put your toes (foot) sliding forward and jammed into the toe box of the shoes; more likely to cause problems like black toe nails or, believe it or not, blisters on your heel (this is because your foot would get jammed in the front and extra gap will be created on your heel, making it easier to almost slip off from the shoes, in other words, creating rubbing action on your heel area…am I making sense???). I have a picture of Frank Shorter, about a half an inch above the ground, almost landing, from 1971 Fukuoka marathon. He’s landing on the ball of his foot and his lower leg (below his knee) is almost perpendicular to the ground. This is almost ideal position for landing; by the time his foot actually touches the ground, his Center of Gravity would be just about traveling over it, causing minimum braking action if any at all. This may seem tip-toe landing but this is quite different simply because the rate at which his body mass is moving over the landing spot is very much faster and won’t be causing almost any friction inside the shoe at all. It is when you’re actually landing ahead of your Center of Gravity on tip-toe you’d be creating all these problems. I've been lucky I've been able to go back to Japan almost every year for my work (my side business) in the past 10 years. It's a fun place to visit (but to live???). My daughter, who's 15, has been to Japan about 5 times now! It's been a great experience for her. Give my best regards to your mom-in-law! ;o)