So, this is my first time attempting to run any kind of distance I am a 50+ yo healthy male who has never enjoyed running long distance, I am an avid walker with a 14 min mile pace and just recently began to run a full mile without walking, (I have never been able to run even 1 full mile without slowing to a walk to stop cramping or shortness of breath). The toughest part is that my legs feel tired and heavy quickly upon starting and then it messes with my breathing, I just started to listen to music while running and that really seems to help (I guess it distracts me from thinking about my legs and breathing). I have decided to train for a 5K race set in October and plan to train using the couch to 5k program. Any advise on how to keep my legs feeling fresh would be appreciated. Thanks.
I'm amased because despite the fact that you are 50+ but still able to run. I can only advice you to do basic stretching before starting to run. Then, you also mentioned listening to music while you are running help you somehow. It is because your mind is focus on music and not on worrying that your legs might get tired. Its mind over body. Try not to worry about your leg when you are running.
I started running at 52, so I am very empathetic and like you, I found it very difficult. I couldn't run 1/4 mile with out running out of breath, that's how badly out of condition I was.
So what I did was set up a series of goals and steps, starting with running to a certain point, like a power pole or fire hydrant, then walking for a bit, and then running again to another marker, and so on. On subsequent runs, my goal was to run a little bit further each time, even it was just 10 or 20 feet. I started out with a mile and a half loop near my house and then graduated to a 3 mile loop. It was painfully embarrassing - I sucked at running. I felt so awkward that whenever I saw a car or another runner/walker coming, I would pull out my phone and pretend to be doing email or something....
But the good news is that I got better, and was eventually able to run the entire 3 mile loop. And approximately 2 years after I started running, I ran my first marathon. The bottom line is that it is always a series of steps that takes us to our goal. You just have to define what those steps are and be persistent. I will share that I did not consider running a marathon until about 8 months before the event itself. Up to that point, all I was trying to do was improve my cardio/vascular health and burn off a few pounds.
Keep it up - if you need encouragement, just post that you need some and you will get it!
best of luck!
Unfortunately, walking and running are different exercises, and one doesn't really prepare you for the other. Basically, your legs aren't used to running. Doing a program like C25K will give them time to adapt and work up to running a mile or more without stopping. Something like justamaniac did using his own plan. Stretching before your exercise is probably not a good idea, but a dynamic warmup may have your legs more prepared before you start your run. Check this article: http://www.runnersworld.com/the-starting-line/should-i-stretch-before-or-after-my-runs.
Thanks for the info about "NOT" stretching, I started day 1 week 1 today. I began with a 5 minute warmup walk before stretching then did about 15 minutes of light stretch mostly wall pushes and heel to butt. After stretching I then did another 5 min brisk walk for warmup to the day 1 routine 60 sec run 90 walk intervals for 20 minutes. I felt strong up till about the 17 min mark but pushed through with ease, however, my hamstring started to feel a slight burn at the last full interval, I'm thinking it was the stretching, and will take your advice going forward. Recently I have been running a full mile without ever stretching and had never experienced and burning or pain. Am I supposed to put heat or cold on the hamstring? Thanks for your reply.
Ice, if anything, for the first 24 hours. You might be better off using a foam roller or something like "the stick" or maybe massage it with your fingers. Here's an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WErpKRJFQ3A
Thanks for sharing your insight, today I did day 2 of week 1, c25k program, 60 sec run 90 sec walk for 20 minute routine and felt good. I calculated my distance and time and ran just under 2 miles at 10:40 pace which I am really excited about.
It seems like I have exactly the same problem, tired heavy legs! I'm 68 and have never been are real runner, more of a short distance type, last September, I went into cardiac arrest and died, my wife did CPR and kept me alive until EMT's shocked me. After recovering, I started Cardiac Rehab and through their assistance, I began running and getting back into shape. They gave me so much support that I decided to do the unheard of, after eight months I enter the Tucson Medical Center (TMC) Meet Me Downtown 5 K Run on June 1. Didn't win, came in around 1200th out of 2500, but I finished. My problem is like yours, can do okay for the first mile then its running and walking the rest of the way. Stamina didn't seem to be a problem, never get exhausted. Still have the same problem, seems like my legs feel like lead weights. Am signed up for another 5 K in October and would like to at least jog or run the whole way.
I am a 55 yo female and I had the same problem when I started but strength training has helped me sooo much!
I do squats and lunges plus other excercises on my off run days. Don't try to do strength training on run days you won't have the energy to do your run.
Have you considered Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk/Run program? I'm 54 and have run several marathons and half marathons in the past 3 years using it. The idea is that you take periodic walk breaks that conserve your strength from the beginning of the run to the end. The beauty of it is that you can actually run faster (when you are running) and have an overall faster pace than you would otherwise. I did the Rock 'n Roll Half here in Dallas this year using a 3:1, and finished in a little over 2 hours. If you're an older runner, it also has the benefit of putting less stress on your cardiac system.
Galloway also has a book "Running until your 100", which has lots of good advice.
Lenzlaw is absolutely right, don't stretch prior to running, but warmup for 5-10 minutes and do things like squats, lunges and leg lifts.
Thanks for the insight, I have been doing the c25k program and finished day2 w3 tonite and am splitting jog and walk as outlined in the program, and doing very well with it. Thanks to lenzlaw's advise I stopped doing the stretching routine, as I had mentioned in an earlier post the first day of the c25k I stretched as suggested and felt my hammy pull slightly, since then no stretching and no pulling.
Well I completed day1 of wk 4 yesterday with no problem, my legs still feel tired and heavy but have been improving as I warm up. The only problem I seem to have now is that the front of my knee feels a little weird. I'm supposed to do day 2 tomorrow but wonder if I shouldnt stress my knee. Because I've never been a runner I'm not sure of what I should work through and what should side line me. FYI, I have been running on a track which I thought would be better on the joints, and after each workout I add 2- 100m runs and 2 sets of bleachers. Should I take another day off to rest knee or push through? Thanks
One thing you should do on a track, if you can, is switch directions periodically (every couple laps) so you're not always turning left. Not sure if this will help the funny felling in your knee. On the other hand, the 2 sets of bleachers (I assume you mean steps) are probably giving your knees quite a workout, and could be the reason for the feeling.
I knew I could count on you for information. Just so happens it is my left knee, the area seems to be at the top of the knee. I plan to do day2 wk 4 tomorow, if I can without making my knee feel worse. I am taking my son to an ortho on Monday and will talk to him about my knee as well.