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I'm compiling best training practices that real runners like you have done or experience which have greatly helped your running performance. Maybe you are still in your early days just like me or have been running for a while now and you have discovered effective running training method or technique along the way that you'd be prepare to share?
Thank you all very much.
Just one piece of advice to a newbie? Assuming we're talking about a true newbie (i.e., couch potato looking to get into running): Don't equate running with going fast.
Trying to go fast is the surest way to get demoralized and possibly injured when you're first starting out. It takes a fair bit of time for your body to adapt to the new stresses that you're placing on it. As you log more time-on-feet going slowly, you'll find that you'll be able to go faster over shorter distances. After you've built a nice endurance base (ability to run about 20 miles per week), then you can start thinking about speed.
If I were to give one piece of advice to a newbie starting out with the Couch to 5k program: Don't aim for 5k in 30 minutes. The plan is built to get you to 5k OR 30 minutes of non-stop running. Not a lot of folks who start on the couch are able to pull off a 9:39 average pace.
Okay, that's two pieces of advice. Sorry.
2012 Race Schedule
Providence Marathon (4:48:55)
Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)
Chicago Marathon (October 7)
+1 to Slow Down. Too much, too fast, too soon is almost a sure route to injury. Work up slowly, build a good base. Speed will come.
I was lucky as a beginner, because my focus was on getting in better shape for other sports. So speed and long distance didn't matter until I had been running for a couple years.
Awesome thread!!!!! Thanks so much for creating it, as a newbie I'd like to the first to say, that I APPRECIATE the advice, and APPRECIATE all you experienced runners taking the time to share it with us!
Keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!
"The Greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do." - Walter Bagehot
I agree with the advice so far. The C25K is based on time, not distance, and certainly not speed. Just keep moving, no matter how slow, that is what is important. When I started, I couldn't jog for a minute without being out of breath. It wasn't until I learned to slow down that I started to be able to run longer times. I just finished C25K yesterday and feeling great, and if I can do it, so can you. I'm not at a 30 minute 5K yet, but yesterday I did a 32 minute 5K, so that's a start. Good luck to all.
2011 Fun Fourth 2.2 Mile Run : (22:08)
Beat The Heat 5K : (33:14) "The Bar Is Set"
Upcoming Tentative Plans:
No Race plans. Just running for now.
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Run with friends, for an added motivational boost.
Learn how to run faster - http://www.runfaster360.com
Agree with previous posts and I'll add a couple more thoughts -
Running is a patient sport demanding patience. Yes you have to run slow first before you run fast, but it is more than that. You have to realize improvement sometimes takes awhile. You need to take the rest days so your body can rest and adjust to the new activities you ask of it.
The biggest challenge for a new runner is learning how to listen to your body. There is comfortable and that is where you want to be - running comfortably and slow enough so that you can hold a conversation while running. Now this is not possible for most folks in the firs 4-6 weeks of the program because simply running is extremely stressful, but that is a place you want to get to as soon as you can. It is when running gets to be fun.
Maybe the biggest challenge to new runners is learning how to listen to their bodies. This is important. Sometimes there is discomfort and even some transient pain. This is normal and insignificant, simply the body complaining about you putting it through unaccustomed work - like a teenager complaining about having to clean her room. You have to recognize this and push through. Other times the pain is enough to cause you to change the way you run - favoring a different part of the body. This is serious and means you need to stop running, take care of the problem. Runners need to listen to their body and learn when they can push it, and when they need to ease off.
Learn RICE - you are an athlete now and sometimes athletes get little nicks and pains. - REST, ICE, COMPRESSION and ELEVATION will cure many problems IF you use it promptly. Push through the wrong pains without treating the problem and you'll end up really injured and in a doctor's office, your running career derailed before it begins.
Finally you've done the first thing right - ask lots of questions. But realize your body is yours and what works for me may not work for you. One program may work for others and not for you. A runner needs to develop the confidence to sift through programs and advice, to experiment, to use what works and discard what doesn't.
Good luck - and have fun!
OVER 50 PRs
5K - 31:50 5K La Joya 2011 - Aug 2011
10K - 1:14:30 at Guayaquil Half Marathon - Jul 2011
Half - 2:32:22 at Guayaquil Marathon - Oct 2011
InterAmerican Family Fun Run (5k) 36:04 (Previous Year 39:22)
Emelec 5K 33:16
15 June - 5K Ciudad Celeste
22 June 5K por los Ninos
1 July - Guayaquil Half Marathon
5 August - 5K La Joya
2 September - 30K Milagro
7 October - Guayaquil Marathon
18 November - 5K Villa Club
2 December - 5K DM3
I agree with all the things people have been saying so far. The only other thing I can think to add is this.....Give yourself daily affirmations as you run. Tell yourself you're a runner, tell yourself it's just one foot in front of the other, and tell yourself you'll always make it to the finish.
I've found that doing this (especially the first one) more often helps your mental training which in turn helps you get through the physical training. If you truly believe you're a runner than it's sometimes even a bad run doesn't seem so bad because you believe in yourself as an athlete and you believe you'll make it through.
I'm over 50, overweight, a newbie and a penguin and I have to agree with everything said so far. I also have to add...don't compare yourself to others...espeically if you tend to be self critical.
First I couldn't breathe...until I learned to slow down.
Next I figured out that the 30 minutes for the C25K program didn't get me a complete 5K...what a shock!!!
Finally I learned that sometimes reading forums I tend to compare my times to other newbies or over 50's etc...and I want to quit. What makes me THINK I am a runner?!?!?!
Now I run at a comfortable pace...for me. I can run and carry on a conversation at the same time. I can also do a complete 5K (and lots more)...at a much faster pace than sitting on a couch. I am by no means fast, but I listen to those that are and try new things at my pace, within my financial range. I have learned how to dress appropriately, run at the best time of the day, accept that I run in the middle of the pack, and make positive changes. I have also learned that I LIKE TO RUN.
So...my newbie advice is to never make it so competative or all consuming that you lose the feeling of LIKE TO RUN. Good luck and many miles to you.
Run4Sue, very well said! Thanks for that excellent reminder.
"The Greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do." - Walter Bagehot
I am *very new* to all of this, just completed W #3, and I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU!!!! To all of you who have posted in this thread. Last night I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and discouraged and I came into this thread to see what wisdom I could glean from you all. This morning I woke up and went out to do W3D3 and I kept the great tips in mind. I focused hard on my breathing (after using Lamaze breathing to birth 3 three babies, it kind of made sense to me!) And you know, it worked great! I tried to find a tempo with my stride and my breathing and I was able to stop thinking about my legs being tired or my next set of running. Now I know I have ways to go, but I feel like I have a strategy now. I also liked hearing that it may be 4-6 weeks before my body gets used to what I'm doing. I was just feeling so bad, like maybe I was actually *too* out of shape to run. Maybe there is no such thing as that. Thank you all again, you are the Pro's!!
Keep Pushing, Always.
My #1 piece of advice would be that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best YOU can do. Especially if you run with others, and even more so if you race.
And one more...SMILE. If you don't enjoy running, the odds are very high that you will not stick with it for the long haul.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44
Proper running shoes really helped me out.
When I first started running, I thought I was too flatfooted for neutral shoes so I bought a pair of motion control. I determined that that was the reason behind my aching feet after every run. So I went to my local running shoe store, Skinny Raven in Anchorage at the time, and they worked with me to determine I can actually go to a stability shoe and they worked fine. Since then I have lost about 20 lbs and have worked my way into neutral shoes. Thanks to the guys at the Red Rock Running Co. In Las Vegas for that.
So my piece of advice is to get the right shoes. And slow down!
July 16, 2011 Mount Charleston 4 Mile Notch Run, Nevada - 55:56
October 1, 2011 Capital City 5K Montgomery, AL - 28:19
October 23, 2011 Myrtle Beach Mini-Marathon Myrtle Beach, SC - 2:11:23
Here it is. Ready?
GO SEE COACH BARRY ROSS and DO HIS SYSTEM. Featured in NY Times Best Seller '4-Hour Body' and H.S. Coach of Allyson Felix (fastest woman in the world), Coach Ross is in close collaboration with the best locomotion researchers in the world and it shows. His only U.S. appearance this year is in Washington DC this coming weekend, August 18-21. Get the details on the weekend of lectures and clinics at http://www.safetyandhealthfoundation.org . Good Luck!