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Proper Runners - can you give an idiot some advice please?

(50 Posts)
ChampagneTastes Tue 25-Aug-15 21:40:09

I'm a very sporadic exerciser; I go through phases of the gym or jogging two or three times a week and then it peeters out. I'm trying to find a way to stop the peetering so I am planning to start running every day - that way it is as much of a part of my daily routine as showering. I can currently do about 3 miles in 30 minutes (I am, I realise, quite slow). Can people who do proper running tell me if my plan is ridiculous and answer some dumb questions?

This is my plan:
Get in a 3 mile run every morning before work (I'm going to have to get up before 6am but I've done it before).
Do a longer run on Saturday (scout out new routes).
Start to add about 10% each week assuming that my time improves.

Is this realistic?

Secondly, I have basic kit (trainers, sports bra, t-shirt, jogging bottoms). What would you count as essentials and what is nice to have? I thought, if I manage this for a month or so, I might treat myself.

Finally, is running every day bad for you? Will I injure myself doing that? And what sort of stretches should I be doing?

All advice gratefully received. I'd quite like to stick to this.

bikeandrun Tue 25-Aug-15 21:55:12

I would be wary about running everyday, especially if you have not run consistently for a while. When I am training ( poorly at the moment) I plan for 6 runs and i am happy with 5. Vary your runs or you will get bored, yes to one longer run but how about some fartlek (basically varying the speed you run at, fast bursts, steady sections etc) or some hills ( walking if necessary)If you want to do something everyday I would consider cross training, gym, bike or just walking.
Stretching- I have run at national level and i confess to doing very little( bad!) the main thing do not stretch before you run, only afterwards.

Lots of great resources on line, runners world, be wary of personal trainers, most of them don't get running, best option join a club but might not fit with your schedule.
Good luck and keep running!

iwantgin Tue 25-Aug-15 21:56:06

I love running - and am pretty slow.

But - I wouldn't run every day.

How about run 3 or 4 days - then on the non-run days do something else, such as a quick DVD - build up strength in other areas of the body.

I've found that it really helps. If I don't do core work, I get a bad back. Running doesn't do enough.

Do you do parkrun? That is a fab way to increase your speed. Plus make it more of a social activity (once a week,anyway).

Also look into booking a race. I get complacent if I have no goal.

Currently need to train up for a 10K in November - and a Half Marathon in Feb!

Kit : Good running trainers make a huge difference. Get a gait analysis done. Clothing - whatever is comfy - for me less is more. Even in winter. Running tights/capris and a sport tshirt is enough - lightweight jacket in cold/wet weather.

ChampagneTastes Tue 25-Aug-15 22:02:30

Okay, so running every day sounds like a no no. That's a shame. Thanks for the tips. Please do keep them coming. I might sign up for something if I manage more than a week without bailing out!

Usernamegone Tue 25-Aug-15 22:03:51

What surface are you going to be running on? I would be concerned that if you go from occasional/sporadic exercise that you would end up with an injury from all the impact on your joints 6 days a week.

Maybe if would be better/kinder for your legs to do a mixture of running and non-high impact exercise?

Could you find a running buddy? Maybe this would make it easier for stick to regular exercise?

I would say a good sports bra is an essential and everything else you can muddle through with for the first month. I buy loads of techy running kit off eBay. It is amazing the pricy kit that people buy never wear and then sell it on eBay (with the tags still on!)

If I was going to treat myself after the first month I would either go and get my gait analysed at a proper running shop and get some new running trainers or I would buy myself a basic running watch so I could measure time/distance accurately.

3 miles in 30 mins is not slow! Have you ever thought about doing a park run?

I always find signing up for a race acts as an incentive for me to keep training!

ChampagneTastes Tue 25-Aug-15 22:34:24

I'm running mainly on roads with occasional muddy tracks. Very stupid question but what is a park run?

I don't really want to run with others, I like plugging in to music and thinking my own thoughts!

lastqueenofscotland Tue 25-Aug-15 22:38:40

Yep with the others. No to every day. And you are unlikely to get much faster just doing a 3 mile run, you might find a 30 min hill/interval session much more beneficial. Base miles are important but important to mix and match. Is there a nearby club you could join? Joining a club took me from an also ran/ plodding to get round to someone whose has two finishes in top ten positions this month!

Also re your kit how good are your trainers? That's important especially if you are running on concrete.

iwantgin Tue 25-Aug-15 22:43:40

Parkrun is a timed 5k run held in parks across the UK.


It is free.

Really good to get to know other runners too.

clary Tue 25-Aug-15 22:44:54

I don't run every day as I am concerned about what it will do to my legs (I am oooold).

SO I do every other day and swim on the alternate days - still aerobic but more supported.

Stretches vital - I do hamstrings, calves, quads and inner thighs, longer and more if anything feels twangy.

I have nice Nike capris and Nike running top that I love. Good running shoes essential.

YY parkrun 5k organised run once a week in a local park is good, also sign up for a local 10k, you'll probably find one coming up in Oct/Nov.

3 miles/30 mins is not bad tho. I am not much faster (my 10k pb last year is 56mins) but consider my self a proper runner - because I do it regularly!

clary Tue 25-Aug-15 22:46:06

x-post Iwantgin

WhatALoadOfOldBollocks Tue 25-Aug-15 23:02:02

Go to a running shop and get your gait analysed. This ensures you are wearing shoes that suit you, which will help prevent injuries.
Rest. It's a very important part of a fitness regime. Be careful of doing too much too soon. I did that and ended up with an overuse injury which put me out of action for a couple of weeks.

Stuff I wouldn't want to be without:
Wicking base layer. So much nicer than wearing a cotton top which gets wet and uncomfortable when you sweat and takes ages to dry. Horrible.
Wind-proof jacket/wind shirt. I get cold in the wind but have run all through the winter wearing just a wollen base layer and a wind-shirt!

Nice to have:
A GPS watch that you can programme intervals or just track your time and location. It's great to keep a diary of where you've been and how fast you've run.

kippersmum Wed 26-Aug-15 00:48:05

Apologies champagne if I quickly hijack your thread. I'm also a novice runner & have found all the info so far very useful.

Question for the experts, I currently walk 1 - 2 hours a day on fells or beaches with my dog. I want to improve my fitness & run instead of walking, what shoes do I wear??

At the moment I use a very good pair of Salomon hiking boots. I badly broke my ankle 2 years ago & they provide the support I need. Can I run in hiking boots? I'm nervous about trainers & something going wrong when I'm in a remote place. TIA

suzannefollowmyvan Wed 26-Aug-15 09:14:54

Many people run every day with no problems, the key is to make gradual increases in frequency and distance.

It may be more helpful to look at it in terms of overall weekly mileage and see what works best for you, eg do you feel better if you do 15 miles a week spread over 3 x 5 miles, or the same distance spread over 5 x 3 miles

Strength training is also very important ‎

suzannefollowmyvan Wed 26-Aug-15 09:26:26

Incidentally I've never had gait analysis, always run alone by choice, no interest in racing, (been running every other day consistently for nearly a year now)

not sure about running in hiking boots, maybe give it a little go but I suspect none too comfortable?

MadFatRunner Wed 26-Aug-15 09:35:38

the vast majority of new runners are absolutely fine in neutral shoes, unless you have truly shocking biomechanics the whole gait analysis and orthotics thing is a bit of a scam when you are just starting

suzannefollowmyvan Wed 26-Aug-15 09:46:02

it's controversial and no mistake Mad grin

bikeandrun Wed 26-Aug-15 09:56:34

Mad is actually right, my friends own a running shop, they do gait analysis, but they virtually never recommend orthotics or shoes that are other than neutral. Its a big con. If your feet are rolling in it is due to lack of core strength rather than something to be corrected by built up shoes.

ChampagneTastes Wed 26-Aug-15 14:15:00

All this "gait analysis" stuff does sound expensive although I worry because I have a tendency to walk on my toes (although I rarely run on my toes unless up a very steep hill). I've got some battered old trainers which certainly don't seem to do me any harm.

I would like to run every working day really - it'd help me get into a routine. I wouldn't increase my distance each day though obviously. I was going to up it by 10% each week. I can still use the gym occasionally though but I wouldn't be able to do it in the morning.

Kippersmum hijack away! I've just been on the Runner's World website and found some 10Ks. There is one mid-October - is that too soon? I did see some Park Runs too and I'll sign up for one of those shortly.

Thanks all for the advice so far. Feel free to add more!

TheHelpfulHiker Wed 26-Aug-15 14:20:38

I also don't think it's a great idea to run everyday. Rest days are vital and help you to improve. I always find that signing up to a run is a great motivator, I also used to use an app (before my phone broke) to track routes and times etc. It's great to have a record of your improvement. Parkrun is amazing for this, I heartily recommend you find your nearest one . I haven't run for a couple of years but am getting back into it thanks to parkrun.

ThursdayLastWeek Wed 26-Aug-15 14:30:27

To me running everyday would make it a chore - and it's not something I ever want to have to do. I prefer to enjoy it! I believe in the power of rest days and variety.

Sometimes having races to train for means I push my limits which is good.

Sometimes it's nice not to have races so you can just go with the flow a bit.

I don't want to commit to a running club, but I do enjoy the camaraderie at races with people I know from parkrun.

I also have never had a gait analysis.

Lottapianos Wed 26-Aug-15 14:40:24

'Mad is actually right, my friends own a running shop, they do gait analysis, but they virtually never recommend orthotics or shoes that are other than neutral. Its a big con'

Very interesting. I've been running for the last few years and do 5-10k 3 times a week. I've had my gait analysed twice in that time and they recommended neutral running shoes both times. My current running shoes have holes in them and I was planning to get my gait analysed again, as I've just recently started running longer distances and am aiming for 10 miles by the end of the year. Last time I needed new shoes, I just bought the same brand and size off the internet for about �50 and they were perfect. Maybe I'll do the same again and not bother with gait analysis?

ThursdayLastWeek Wed 26-Aug-15 14:49:39

That's what I would do Lotta if you have felt comfortable in the shoes you've had.

Lottapianos Wed 26-Aug-15 14:51:41

My current pair of shoes were right as rain from the very beginning and I've had no injuries or anything dodgy so I think I'll just order another pair of the same online. Well thanks all, you may have just saved me about fifty quid or so! grin

suzannefollowmyvan Wed 26-Aug-15 16:09:17

Im not saying gait analysis is (or isnt) a con, btw, just that I've been able to find shoes that work for me without having it done.

Very likely a visit to a running shop would have saved me some trial and error though!

suzannefollowmyvan Wed 26-Aug-15 16:12:34

I find using a GPS watch and HR monitor very motivating, I can download all the data and see the progress over time, be that increased speed, distance or just a reduction in heart rate.

it would feel so weird to run 'naked' grin

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