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Old 03-27-2008, 10:30 PM
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Make me a Runner!

Okay, I have got to do some working out. It's not that I think I am fat or anything, because that is ridiculous, but I am just so out of shape. I love to bike, but that's hard for me to do because there are no sidewalks in my neighborhood and my car does not easily fit my bike to drive to the lake-plus my parents hate me riding by myself at the lake (there have been women raped in the park over there). So I figured running-I can do it in my neighborhood around a few blocks and that is safe and parent-agreeable. I do not have time to go to the gym (I barely make it home before 10 PM most nights), plus I can't by myself anyway (too young). So make me a runner.

Problem: I am incredibly unathletic. I am what I like to call a 'theatlete' lol. I used to try and run but I would get these horrible muscle cramps in my side and just stop and walk the rest of the way. Is there a way to prevent these cramps or do you just have to push through them? Because I am kind of a wuss when it comes to those.

How should I start out? I honestly have no idea how long my block is but I could easily get a pedometer if that would help. How far should I run, what should I do if my side starts to hurt, etc? I need helpful hints.

Also, I would love for other people to join me in this! I will definitely not stay committed to this unless I have people holding me accountable.

Also, when do most of you run? On Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, andTuesdays I have time to run in the daylight usually, but on Wednesday and Thursday I usually do not make it home before at least 9, when it is starting to get dark. Is it acceptable to not run a few days a week (I'd prefer not to run sundays, too, because I work a double every sunday and I have homework I need to do on my break).

Please, any helpful tips, advice, a running plan lol, are appreciated! I need to do something to help keep myself physically healthy and running seems like a good solution. Plus I love the way runners calves look. I have been "blessed" with chicken legs and would love those shapely legs that runners have. Help me out!!
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:52 AM
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In general, if you run at a pace that you can talk at (i.e. if you have a running buddy to talk to), then you shouldn't be cramping because you're going at a good aerobic rate. You don't need to run hard to be a runner!

And you don't need to run everyday...even when I've trained for half-marathons, I run 3-4x a week. Shorter runs that increase in length through the weekdays and then a long run on the weekend, and other sorts of exercise on other days. It's good to have a specific routine if you can fit it in your schedule.

Depending on what you want to get out of it, you can do a time goal or a distance goal. To start, you might want to go with a time goal (ie. 15 minutes) and build on that after you build up your lungs - don't care too much about your speed. Running on grass is better for your joints than concrete/asphalt, but your neighbours probably wouldn't appreciate you running on their lawns, unless there's a school field nearby.
When I run, I focus a LOT on my breathing by timing it to my stride (something like breathe in for 2 steps/breathe out for 3 steps). It helps me to keep a rhythm. If you use an mp3 player, try to make a playlist that has fairly consistent tempo, unless you have the Nike Shox-iPod! Also, for safety don't blast it so you can still be aware of people and traffic around you, and run on the sidewalk facing traffic if you're staying in your neighbourhood. I might amuse myself by counting certain cars on driveways that are popular in the neighbourhood. Stupid things to focus on. If you get tired and want to slow down, you can but try to create a goal, like you will walk only after you pass the third lamppost, and will start running again when you reach the fifth one, etc.

When I get cramps, I think it's usually because I'm not getting enough oxygen. I slow down, raise the arm of the side with the cramp over my head to stretch it, look dumb, and breathe really deeply. Don't drink tons of water right before you run, because that can contribute to cramps too. Keep well-hydrated throughout the day, and for shorter runs, you should be okay. Once you start doing longer runs and have to plan your day around it, something I do is down water or OJ at least half an hour before I run, and make sure I hydrate myself afterwards.

I stretch by doing yoga before AND after running, usually following the easy "PM" routine from the GAIAM series. It's a super easy routine (after a few tries), and I've had trainers and masseuses comment on my range of motion and ability to take deep-tissue massages because of it! I'd also recommend doing this on days that you don't feel like running, because it's so quick and easy and all you need is a mat. Indoor/outdoor, it's all good!

Here is some further motivation! Welcome to the world of running! I love it, like it and sometimes want nothing to do with it!
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:11 AM
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^ i don't have much to add here - ShanaG has excellent recommendations.

just to reiterate that it is okay to not run every day. and it is okay to walk. in fact, if you allow yourself walking breaks before you tire, then you can usually run further - a little like interval training. pick light posts or some other evenly spaced landmarks....run, then walk, then run. as you advance, make the walk intervals shorter and the run intervals longer.

finally, you don't have to be athletic at all to be a runner!!! and beware of the addiction.
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:57 AM
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I think I have an old article from Weight Watchers on how to train (walking) for a half marathon at your own pace safely and healthily. Not to lose weigh,t but they just have cool motivating articles like that in the magazine from time to time. It's neat! I'll see if I can find it! I believe it's a 48 week self guided "course" that works for everyone. If you want to do it in less time some people have modified it. Some of the larger women wrote in about how wonderful it is. Let me go check!

Here we go:
"The Ultimate Walking Challenge"
http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/a...1&art_id=50661

I know it's not running, but it's a start!
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkySpunkyRae View Post
I think I have an old article from Weight Watchers on how to train (walking) for a half marathon at your own pace safely and healthily. Not to lose weigh,t but they just have cool motivating articles like that in the magazine from time to time. It's neat! I'll see if I can find it! I believe it's a 48 week self guided "course" that works for everyone. If you want to do it in less time some people have modified it. Some of the larger women wrote in about how wonderful it is. Let me go check!

Here we go:
"The Ultimate Walking Challenge"
http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/a...1&art_id=50661

I know it's not running, but it's a start!
I recommend getting a training guide as well. Runner's World has some good ones that are easy. I did one a few years back and went from lazy to running 5K's. It doesn't take long but you can't just "start running." You need a training program.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
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you can't just "start running." You need a training program.
Yep. I've tried that, too.....Didn't work.

I "can't" run...I just get soooo tired! BUT, I find I can do more than I think if I just START OUT SLOW. That's the key for me. If I just stretch, then step out my front door jogging, I don't get very far
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:21 AM
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I'm also a beginning runner. I use the songs on my ipod as a guide.....example: run one song, walk the next, repeat, etc. After you can finish one song running with ease, run for two songs, walk one, repeat, etc.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:50 AM
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Run until you collapse from fatigue. Walk the rest of the way.

You'll find that you run longer the next time or you'll furgeeddaboudit.

All good things were mentioned above so I needed to provide some comic relief.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:47 PM
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Thanks guys! I am going to start tomorrow, because it is FREEZING today omg. It's so cold. I also need to buy some shorts with pockets...for my ipod. I really like the idea of timing it. Thanks you guys for all the great ideas!! I'm really going to try and make this happen.
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:02 PM
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^ please keep us posted on your progress!! we all want you to do well.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:52 PM
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A tip that I think helped me out in the long run was to never walk. Even if you're jogging at basically a walking pace, do it.

For cramps (as mentioned previously), put your hands on your head, it opens up your diaphram is lets you get more air.

Also make sure your running posture is good, a lot of people waste energy by clinching their fists when they run. Little things like that can add up.
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:41 PM
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when i get cramps its usually b/c i have bad form; my old soccer coach would make us do laps/sprints and he would tell us to just slow to a jog and make sure you are flexing your abs, like try to pull your belly button to your spine. that always gets rid of them for me

good for you!!! i need to start running again
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:57 PM
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I don't believe this has been said yet: bananas are amazing for cramps. I eat two bananas and a bowl of cereal before big runs and without it there really is a difference. It is the potassium in it that helps.

Also if you get a cramp mid running, try to run through it and if it's in the stomach then stretch it out (arms up, leaning over) and keep a slow jog. For me, it goes away eventually and there's a good amount of time between initial cramping and tiredness and being ready to stop where I just feel amazing and unstoppable (endorphins?)

And how about considering one of those ipod holders that wrap around your arm?
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:59 PM
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^ agreed, bananas are a good source of potassium (which help cramps)

and just fyi, the reason why the lack of oxygen leads to cramps is because it leads to a buildup of lactic acid in the muscle
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:26 AM
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I'm going to run for 15 minutes in the morning if it is not raining.

yeah, I thought about the ipod armband but I have an old video and I don't think you can't armbands for those.
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:09 AM
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A few things I learned from jumping on the cross country team with no experience whatsoever

1) Don't walk, it makes cramps worse
2) HYDRATE. Not just the day you run but the day before. Drinking right before doesn't help, you need to be drinking a ton of water constantly throughout the day. This made the biggest difference for me
3) Watch your diet, fried foods will kill you. I remeber going out for a 5 mile run after having mozarella sticks for lunch, awful. I didn't know if I was going to make it back

EDIT- Unrelated but get some good running shoes, it makes a big difference. Avoid nike. Saucony, asics, and new balance are all good though. Find a running store and get them to pick out a pair that suits you

Last edited by Phishphood; 03-29-2008 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:18 AM
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I'm going to run for 15 minutes in the morning if it is not raining.

yeah, I thought about the ipod armband but I have an old video and I don't think you can't armbands for those.
Pssf. I use to run with this.
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:19 AM
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If you live in or around the seattle area, i'd recommend a store called "Super Jock n Jill". they are right by Greenlake and they actually look at how you run and will find shoes that match your foot type. Not to mention you get a discount if your a student
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:49 AM
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Pssf. I use to run with this.
oooooolllld schooool
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:24 AM
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Mk......how was it?
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:45 AM
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Pssf. I use to run with this.
Didn't it hurt when you propped it up on your shoulders when a really slammin' tune came on?
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:33 PM
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First - Good luck! I always thought my body just wasn't made for running - but now I enjoy it. Everyone has given really good advice - just wanted to add that its mostly in your mind that keeps you going, your legs wont actually fall off even tho it feels like it I find setting mini-goals really good for this - like others have suggested. e.g. "i'll run for 2 songs then i can have a break", or "i'll sprint to the end of the street, then i can jog"

Also - If you can find a fun-run or something happening in your area and aim to participate in that then it helps (well me at least) to be motivated - or get a dog!
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Old 03-29-2008, 05:56 PM
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I've said it a bunch, but I really highly recommend the couch to 5k program- you can find it on cool running.
it is, by far, best program for newbie runners without a base level of fitness. you'd have to really try to injure yourself or overdo it....
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Old 03-29-2008, 05:58 PM
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I've said it a bunch, but I really highly recommend the couch to 5k program- you can find it on cool running.
it is, by far, best program for newbie runners without a base level of fitness. you'd have to really try to injure yourself or overdo it....
Oo my friend is doing that right now! She loves it.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:03 PM
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I think Shana has great advice for starting out. Here's some more stuff to add to what she already said.

1.) Just take it at your own pace.
2.) I would say don't walk because it makes cramps worse, but for a beginning runner, you will need to.
3.) Each time out push yourself a little bit more. If you think you've hit your wall, run another 100-200m before giving in to walking.
4.) If you decide to do some 5k down the road, have interval days. I will split up my 6 mile run into (6) 1 milers at a fast pace. Then take 2 min breaks in between. Getting something like this into your runs gets you used to running a little faster without killing yourself and your lungs.
5.) Another reason you should start out slow and build up running time over a few weeks is that you may develop shin splints. And when that happens you have to watch that it doesn't develop into stress fractures in your shin. To avoid shin splints, STRETCH!! after your run and also don't go out and run 6 miles on your first day. Just don't push it too hard.
6.) Check out various running programs online to get you going and in the right direction. If it's an enjoyable experience you'll stick with it. If not, you won't give it a big enough chance.
7.) Have fun! Recruit some friends...or use the time to clear your head and think about stuff.

*** This is some advice for people who've been running for a while and really enjoy it. If you are committed and think of the following as an investment, check out the Garmin forerunner watch/gps. It is awesome!! It keeps track of your heart rate, pace, mileage, etc. You can even set an "imaginary running partner" pace and if you go too slow, it lets you know. If you're really into it, you can chart out your runs, and all info it recorded. It's the coolest thing ever and so glad I got it.
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