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Taking up Running

  • 12-08-2021 9:12am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭

    Hi all. Looking for a bit of advice from people in the know..

    i'd like to start running/jogging!

    How did you guys start training? did you open the door one day and just bolt!!? or is there a standard beginners regime to follow..

    im 42. 84Kg. 6ft. reasonably fit, non smoker/drinker. loads of time. i'm motivated, but i need to start the process the right way.

    also i need shoes! thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,132 ✭✭✭rom

    Couch to 5k is a good way to start. The thing is that when you run you need to have your effort level low so a little more effort than a fast walk. If you do it that way you will improve quick. If you run every run that you need water and find it very hard then you are less likely to improve or stick with it. There is scientific reasons why running slower at the start will make you improve faster so you can run more comfortably. 9/10 people read this and think they know better. Getting a watch or having a watch that has a HR monitor can also help you understand what effort level is. Like you will have good days where you are tired and days that you are not. Learning what an easy effort level in running, some say it is conversational pace (pace you could have a full conversation still) is a key for a beginner. If you did this a few times a week like 3 times each week after about 6-8 weeks you would see a huge improvement. It is also good to track what you are running say with strava or similar so you can look back and see your progress when you are finding it hard to go out for a run. The weather is nice now but in Jan not so much. Best of luck. Re shoes, just google a few youtube videos on how to get shoes for running. A shop that specialises in running shoes is important and not your sports wear shop.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,098 ✭✭✭daragh_

    My wife and I did a Couch to 5k over the winter and found this really helpful.

    Big variation in fitness between us so having a structure really helped. I found the first few weeks a bit frustrating as I spend half my life on a bike and the pace was pretty slow. Of course as soon as I picked up the pace I started pulling muscles! Going slow and easy, and sticking to the plan works :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,166 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    There are a couple of podcasts or similar out there that will talk you through a training program that works towards getting you to run 5k non-stop. I used one from the Guardian newspaper, but if you plug "couch to 5k" or similar into your podcast manager search bar you'll be offered a selection. They are mostly set up so that you listen to them as you run; they guide you through timed exercises and the like, building up your performance over time. Worth investing in some earbuds or headphones that won't fall out when you are (a) sweaty and (b) running.

    I also bought a book, which was a useful resource because it covered things like stretches, what you need in a pair of shoes, medical issues that might arise and what to do about them, problems, suggestions and a bit of background on the benefits of running.

    Strava (or a similar app) is good. It's very affirming to see your performance charted and to observe your improvement over time (which, in the early weeks, will be rapid).

    Make a commitment to yourself to pursue it regularly for at least 4 weeks, and during that time don't treat it as something that only happens if time makes itself available. Time never does that. So, commit to (say) a 30-min running session on Tuesday evening and Thursday evening when you get home from work (and dinner will have to wait) and on Sunday morning before breakfast. You can reschedule any of those within 24 hours either way if you need to, but you don't let them go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,228 ✭✭✭The Mighty Quinn

    Going to hijack this thread.

    I've a romantic idea about getting 'back' into a bit of running. I did some running in my late 20s. I was about 108kg at the time and got down to 93kg. I signed up for a half marathon and collected money for charity, that was what made me stick to it and just do it - I'd collected money and told people, I couldn't back out!

    I gave myself 12 weeks from being out of breath walking up a stairs to doing the 21km. I came home from work every evening hail rain or shine, straight into the shorts and out the door. First few weeks were torture and I was only going 1km at first before needing CPR 😂 I got up to about 14km the week before the run. On the day I got as far as 17km and my calf muscle went into torturous spasm and I limped home the last 4km. Took me about 40mins for the last 4km...

    While a liberating experience to push myself to (almost) do it, it was surely a bad bad way to train. I tried running again for a Gaelforce event in 2018, while training for it my calf muscle went on me again. I don't know what I did wrong that time, if anybody has any advice on why a calf muscle would 'go' like that? It couldn't have been dehydration at the time, but suppose it could have been poor warm ups or stretching or whatever. I've very very inflexible achilles tendons/heels/ankles (was deadlifting at a gym before and a trainer asked me if i'd broken my ankles... I hadn't).

    I might try C25K and pace myself right.

    Does anybody have advice on shoes for the burly gentleman 😁 I'm about 115kg 😆😏

  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭longrunn

    One mistake that I made when starting out a few years ago was thinking that if I'm not completely out of breath and unable to run another step by the time I'm finished my run then I didn't work hard enough and wouldn't progress. Having done a lot of lifting before, when I started running I had the progressive overload mindset where you need to train to failure in order to get gains -- which is applicable for weight lifting but definitely not applicable for beginning running. I was doing that for quite a while and got frustrated at not making progress, I couldn't run past 3-4km and I couldn't do those km any faster. By running slower at a pace where I'd always be able to have a conversation my distance and speed increased naturally.

    With regard to shoes, there's a huge amount of resources online to help you find the right ones. It'll take quite a bit of work to study your foot strike, pronation, etc, and then find the right shoes though. You'll often find people will recommend going to a specialist running shop for a gait analysis but in my experience was a disaster, but YMMV. Upon recommendation from a lot of runners and a coach that I know I was told to go to a specific very well known shop that seems to have a great reputation. The guy asked me to take off my shoes and stand one one leg. Then he used a gel pressure thing to check the shape of my foot, and based on all that he recommended me a certain type of shoe. I ran in them, got injured. Went back and tried a different brand of a similar shoe. Got injured again. Went back for another gait analysis, got the same recommendation, got injured again. Started doing my own shoe research, saw that the type of shoes I was given multiple times are for people who heel strike on the outside and then roll inwards and push off the inside toes area. When running I studied my own strike and realised that when I strike my foot is facing directly forward instead of pointing outwards, and I first hit the ground with the front of my foot around the ball area just slightly before my heel touches the ground. When I push off the weight is distributed across all my toes. This means I need neutral runners with a very flexible sole, instead of the other runners which were forcing me to strike in a way that's unnatural to me. Since I bought runners that actually suit my style I haven't had a calf or knee injury since and the ITB tightness that I used to frequently get hasn't been seen in ages.

    See above for my thoughts on shoes. Your calf injury might be related to shoes, or it could also be lack of conditioning. Squats, lunges, and calf raises (start with two leg and progress to single leg) might help. Also maybe doing a run on grass every so often as there's a slight difference in stability that can help with conditioning.

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