New to running, need some advice. :) (Read 1014 times)

    Hello All-


    A little background on me:

    I'm 31, and I'm pretty much new to running. In the past, I would go jogging daily (around 1-1.5m) for a couple weeks before a kung fu belt test, just to make sure I could deal with the "Jog a mile" part at the beginning of the test, but I was never able to keep motivation for continuing afterwards, despite maintaining a mild dissatisfaction about my general cardiovascular fitness. However, I happened to stumble across an awesome looking 5k race/obstacle course/zombie-evasion run this summer that I decided I will do (as well as some others that I found along similar veins), so now I finally have some motivation to run on a (almost) daily basis.


    Yesterday was my first day @ the gym, and I managed to get 2 miles in 25:30 at an incline of 4.0, alternating between jogging @6mph and walking  @4-4.5mph. Obviously I have a ways to go, but it's a start. Smile


    So, the races that I'm using for goals are:


    6/16: Spartan Race - 5k - race/obstacle course

    8/4: Run For Your Lives - 5k race/obstacle course + zombie evasion Smile

    10/6: Race the Reaper - 10k race/obstacle course



    Now, with the above background, the questions:


    1. What's the best way to formulate a training plan that will get me to 5k by June, and 10k by October? I threw together an initial training plan on the site here yesterday, based on my initial baseline on the treadmill, but I have no idea how realistic/appropriate it is.


    2. What's the best *way* to train for the kind of 5/10k's that I'll be doing - since they are more than a straightforward race, and also involve various types of obstacles, uphills/downhills, and, in the RFYL zombie case, random events of sprinting/dodging/general panic. Smile


    3. What kind of shoes/other gear should I get for running? I want something that will be compatible with the treadmill at the gym, but for the actual races, there's going to be mud, water, and a bunch of other things - is there a good "balanced" shoe that will work for both environments, or should I get one pair for indoors, and one pair for outdoors/mud/etc? I don't even know what I should look for/feel for in going to buy a pair of shoes for running. Smile



    Thanks in advance!



    2014 goals:

    1. Run a minimum of 1.5 miles every single day of the year

    2. Run 1500 miles in 2014

    3. Get my weekly mileage above 40

    4. Brown belt in Shaolin Kempo

    5. First Half (Oregon Wine Country HM?)

    6. PRs: Sub-21 5k, Sub-45 10k, Sub-45 Spartan Sprint, Sub 1:55 HM (Oregon Wine Country HM)


    CPT Curmudgeon

      1) Google "C25K", or Barry P's running program.  Those should help get you started in terms of figuring out a training plan.


      2) There is no good way.  You could try using one of those fitness circuits (or make one up), but I don't think there's any good way to train for an obstacle course short of doing an obstacle course.  In the military, we got better at crawling by spending a lot of time crawling.


      3) Go to a store that sells running shoes.  Ask to see the neutral ones.  Try on several pair, walking around or even doing a short jog around the store in the shoes.  If the shoe feels tight, loose, pokes you in a spot on your foot, or uncomfortable at all in any way, keep trying on shoes.  Those shoes should be fine for an obstacle course as well (I have run through mud and water in my regular running shoes without too much issue).  However, if you want to get fancy, you can get a pair of trail running shoes.  These tend to have a chunkier, stiffer sole.


        Welcome. Good luck with those races. I have always wanted to try one, but can't gather up enough friends to do it with me! They are either strictly runners or hate running. 


        Start slow and walk/run if you have to in the beginning. Read through the training threads here, there are some really great runners on here with lots of good advice. Mostly, start out slow and steady and build from there. Don't worry about your times @ first, the more miles you add, the faster you will naturally become.


        As for the races my advice to you would be to get off the treadmill when the weather is nice as much as possible and get onto some trails. That's going to be your best bet as far as training for the run part. Running while looking down at your feet for roots, sticks, rocks, etc. takes some getting used to. From some people I know who have done those types of races, Cross Fit type workouts seem to be the best way to prepare for the obstacles and challenges out on the course.


        Have fun running and be sure to give us a full report after the races Smile

          Awesome - thanks for the info Scout7 & vegefrog. Smile

          2014 goals:

          1. Run a minimum of 1.5 miles every single day of the year

          2. Run 1500 miles in 2014

          3. Get my weekly mileage above 40

          4. Brown belt in Shaolin Kempo

          5. First Half (Oregon Wine Country HM?)

          6. PRs: Sub-21 5k, Sub-45 10k, Sub-45 Spartan Sprint, Sub 1:55 HM (Oregon Wine Country HM)


            I think the best advice that can be given to a new runner is stay open minded.  Even the most seasoned runners are still seeking ways to improve and many times that will come from advice.  Take in as much as you can and try as many things that you feel will fit you.  What works for one doesn't work for all.  Sure would be nice if it worked that way.  There are many, many couch to 5k programs to choose from.  It's completely acceptable to pick from each of those to create your own.


            You are at the right place to get advice.  Some other ideas.....


            www.runnersworld.com (The Loop)

            www.dailymile.com (like facebook)

            Many running related facebook pages 

            An endless number of running blogs with plenty of things to get you going


            Good luck and keep us posted on your progress








            Options,Account, Forums

              An important note is that running isn't like weightlifting -- you don't have to push to the failure point for each workout. You can push to that point certainly, sometimes, but you don't want to do that too often. I think you can get pretty good return on training from doing comfortable runs on some days, alternated with harder runs on other days -- and you don't need to push to the failure point even on the harder days. You could do a time trial (which means, racing it -- which is where you "push to the point of failure") once every couple weeks, to make a nice graph to see if your performance is improving.


              Disclaimer: I'm no coach. I'm just an entirely amateur hobbyjogger.

              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.