Posts tagged Questions
Any tips for someone wanting to start/try running with no actual experience doing it properly? I’m also accepting running pals. @p60m
Ms. Faith forwarded your question to me and I’ll use this blog to answer your questions.
I used the Couch to 5K program. Which is available here. It is a free program. You can easily print out the schedule and then check them off as you run through the program. There is also an app if you have access to a smartphone. But if you do not own one or are not interested in such a thing, all you need is a stopwatch and a pen.
The beauty of the program is that it’s a RUN/WALK method. It’s all about the slow-build-up. You run three times a week for a half hour.
Week 1, Day 1 - Five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. (Lather, Rinse, Repeat).
It sounds simple enough but if you’re anything like me when I started out, you’re probably out of shape and those 60 seconds of jogging are going to seem like an eternity. But if you stick with it, if you do it honestly: after 5 weeks you’ll stop caring about those walking intervals and find yourself looking forward to the running.
I didn’t have a smart phone when I started, so I just wrote the RUN/WALK schedule in pen on my wrist and carried a stop watch.
When I first started the program, I would run late in the afternoon behind my house at a seldom used baseball diamond. I was embarrassed about what I would look like while running. Images of a chubby guy sweating, huffing, & puffing. But, I quickly realized that no one really gives a crap about stuff like that, especially other runners/joggers you may encounter. There’s a sense of joy and wonder that is shared between other runners. It’s a kind of society that you feel proud to be a part of. We eagerly welcome anyone who is interested.
I apologize if this is overly long and rant-like but I get excited when I find out people are interested in this sport.
What’s important at the start is to be patient. You’re going to feel like you’re not really going anywhere. I felt very silly running and then walking with a stopwatch but it does pay off. You’re training your body, building stamina, learning how to breathe. It takes time, so don’t give up if you have a set-back or feel like you need to repeat a week. I repeated a few of the early weeks because I felt I wasn’t ready to step up into the longer running intervals.
And if you want a running buddy, hit me up. I’d be happy to go out for a light run/jog/walk with you.
Good luck and stay strong.
Every time I run (every other day) my knees/shins hurt. Help! ~ Alison
Something this persistent is definitely worth a visit to the doctor. I know going to the doctor sucks but you want to make sure it’s something that CAN be fixed. It’s a big fear that runners have but it’s worth checking out. You can always ask for a specialist, a physician that focuses on athletics/running. Physio might be something you have to deal with, but you won’t know unless you make that appointment.
It could be a variety of things:
1. Shoes, gear, etc. What condition are your shoes in? Are they in relatively good shape? They make all the difference. I’ve burned through two pair in just under a year and I’m already shopping for my next. The miles add up and they wear down the quality of shoe significantly if you run much.
2. Foot type. Pronation? Neutral, under, over? Do you turn your feet inwards or outwards? You might need more stability or maybe you need something more minimalist and light weight.
3. You may be pushing yourself too hard. Are you running too quickly or too far? I know the joy of wanting to run constantly and for longer distances but maybe you should cut back on the length of your runs and see if that takes away some of your pain.
4. Have you ever recorded yourself running? Get a friend to do this and the best way is to run to the end of the street and tell your friend to start recording. From behind, front, & side. Look at your form, it’s usually easy to tell if you’re doing it wrong.
In related news, kindly read this recent blog posting by my friend Jacqueline Valencia made. She was told by a doctor one thing and after some struggling has discovered what the problem was, she looks to be back on schedule with running as a passion.
Anonymous asked: I don’t know how you stay so motivated all the time. Don’t you ever just want to say to hell with it all?
This was asked a while back and I thought that I would save it for some time when I felt it was appropriate. After the run I had last night…
To answer your question, of course there are days I want to say ‘to hell with it all’. I have many of those days. I work some fairly ridiculous work hours: 12+ hour shifts and I do this about 6 times a week with only two days off every week. It’s not an ideal situation. I get home most days around a 6-7pm and I’m like everyone else in the world. I want to sit on the couch, eat some food, watch some television, & decompress. But, I force myself out there at least 3 times a week.
The days that you feel at your absolute worst, those days where you want to scream and throw your equipment across the room, those are the days that you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO RUN.
My run was terrible last night. My mind, my heart, my body, just wasn’t in the game. I was about two minutes slower than where I normally pace myself and I found myself shuffling through most of that run with the worst form.
I didn’t feel that much better after my run, probably a little crankier but this morning I woke up happy that I had forced myself out there. There’s just something in you that nags at you and forces you to get out there.
I’ve given the following advice in the past on this blog, but I’ll share it again for new followers.
Ways to stay motivated on days you feel like quitting it all:
- Dress the part. - Put on your running gear, shorts, shirt, shoes. Now stand in the door. If you turn around, you’re kind of a dumbass. I mean, why go through the motions, why spend all this effort dressing up and then not take a step out of the door, you could be on the couch. But seeing as you’re already dressed and ready to go, you might as well get on out there.
- Break it up. - Run to end of your drive way. Now to the end of your street. Now run the next four houses. Now run until you hit that street lamp that is bent weird, etc. Run small bits and pieces. Run for a small and easily achievable distance, run for 10 minutes, now run for 10 more.
- Talk about it. - Tell someone you’re going for a run. It’s one reason why I tweet/blog about my running so much. It makes you accountable. If you say you’re running to stay fit and you’re not. People will know. They’ll see that you’re out of shape or that you’re gaining back some of the weight you lost. That just makes you a lazy lying asshole. No one wants to be that.
Good luck, enjoy the pavement.
Anonymous asked: about runnings ultimate test ... I beg to disagree. There's so many ultras right now that quite a few are harder than the marathon des sables. What about the Barkley? Or the Tor des Geants (330km with 24.000D+ in under 150 hours) ... it's just that there are a few hyped ones that get the attention (UTMB et al), and a lot of novices that are out there to prove how tough they are ... the other races are much more enjoyable thanks to the small scale which fosters familiarity under the runners.
Thanks for the information. I was mostly pulling from an article at the NY Times, so I apologize for the excessive hyperbolism. To a amateur such as myself, the world of ultra-marathons is still an out of reach dream. But, good on those few elites who push the limit and challenge themselves. Cheers.