Any brand new runners out there?

Hi. Hope it's okay to start a new thread but it's kind of intimidating to join a thread that has a few thousand messages already on there! (Though I know everyone seems really friendly!)

Just wondered if there's anyone out there like me? I've just started jogging 4 weeks ago, determined to get fit and shift some weight. The first week of jogging (well, walking mostly!) I could only do about a minute before I had to walk instead and found it really hard. I got very down the second week; think I was expecting to suddenly be fitter and able to run much more but was unable to and was not improving.

Thankfully, there is some progress happening now and I can run just about half a mile before having to walk again and am really chuffed at my progress. I am in a Womens Running Network beginner's class with a very friendly and knowledgable instructor who is motivating me well. We meet on Sundays and I am going out twice a week in addition.

Anybody else with similar stories? I would love to know I'm not alone. All of the women in my group are ahead of my fitness, but I am catching up on some of them, thank heavens, presumably because I am going out in the week more than they are. I really need some inspiration and support from people with similar experiences.

Over to you ........


  • SezzSezz ✭✭✭
    Welcome Joanne. Of course it's okay to start a thread! Well done for starting, just take it easy and don't rush ahead of yourself.

    I was like you about three years ago - couldn't run to the end of my road (let alone back) but gradually built it up and have just completed my second marathon.

    Mind you, I feel like I'm back to square one now - haven't actually stepped foot outside the front door in my kit since that mara! LOL.
  • Hi started running about a year ago, started with the 8 week runnersworld training guide (run for a minute walk for a minute etc) struggled to increase mileage at first but kept going now doing around 20-25 miles per week 3-4 runs per week. I found the good days when you you reach a target like your first 30 min run or one hour run give you such a buzz and a lift for the day
  • Hi Sezz. Thanks for replying. Well done on your marathons; you obviously progressed quite well after your first non-run to the end of your road! Even if you have now given up!!

    How long did it take to get some improvement when you first started? I can see that I have progressed but I've signed up for my local Run For Life which is in July and I can't actually imagine running it, especially as I hear it's a hilly course. I suppose I'll just run/walk my way round.

    Hope you can get the motivation to get outside this weekend. You know you want to........
  • Hi Thomas2. Thanks also for replying. I'll look forward to my first 30 min run. I know how great I felt after actually doing more running than walking this week so will be on top of the world doing 30 mins worth!!!
  • Hi Joanne

    Im new to running too but making progress, although I'm taking it really slow.

    To start with, I honestly thought I'd be able to run for 3 minutes without a problem, that was a huge eye-opener, I have asthma but I wont blame that, but I still needed about 2 hours to recover! it was dreadful!
    But then I found this website...

    Now, I can run for the 8 mins walk for 2 mins (repeat 3 times) bit of the 8wk programme that Thomas2 above started with. It will take me a lot longer than 8 weeks though.

    I dont care,, Im loving it. When I first stepped on my shiny new treadmill about 4 weeks ago, it was really funny, embarassing, but really funny to feel how much of my body actually wobbled. it doesnt do that now....much :)!

    I still havent done a run outside yet, but I'm hoping to do that once I can do the 10 min run walk for 30 seconds or so....

    Like you, I cant wait to be able to do a 30 minute run!
  • Like Thomas2, i couldn't even run between two lampposts when i first started out and a whole minute's running was my first great acheivement! that was a year ago... i started to do race for life then afterwards stopped altogether and then this year, the R4L bug has got me again! I guess i started again in Jan/Feb, got out on the raod expecting to be able to run as much as last year - boy was I wrong! Had to practically start all over again!

    The positive news for you though is that my longest run to date is 6.7 miles - I'm really really really really slow, but it's great now having the choice of doing a "long" run or just one mile. I've entered my first 10K at the end of this month and two more in September! I'm a bit worried that I'll be last in this first race, but a frist race is always a PB!!

    I'd recommend to follow a run/walk schedule so that you can tick off your progress and keep a log - it's great to loook back and see how far you've come as it is soooo easy to forget that you couldn't run at the beginning!

    Mowrie - get outside! The difference is amazing - I find i go much further because you are physically moving past something!

    My next tip would be to try to do some of your runs with someone - trying to talk whilst running helps to regulate your breathing and makes sure you're not pushing yourself too hard - also another way of assessing your progress! time goes quicker too and the miles fly by before you've even noticed!!!

    Try not to obsess about the actual distance covered/speed done - it doesn't matter and those things will come with time (I'm still trying to find them!)

    Finally, do little and often to begin with - the regularity is better for building base strength etc than how far you go in any one run.

    Good luck!!
  • LadyJo

    Someone has to be last.
    I have had that honour.
  • Hey Joanne - well done on your progress so far, as Ladyjo says, keep a log, it's great to look back and see far you've come. And just enjoy the R4L - the atmosphere at these events is usually fantastic and will help you round the course! And don't worry about jumping into a thread, there is so much support and advice available on this forum from so many experienced runners.

    Mowrie - take it outside whenever you can - I was worried about it at first, about what people would say, but s0d them! You may find it a bit harder on your body at first (especially if running on roads and pavements - they are very unforgiving!) but I find the changing scenery makes the time go so much quicker than on a treadie

    My story....I'm over 40, very overweight (lost a couple of stone last year, but around 4 more to go). I'm kind of new to running - this time round anyway. I started taking it more seriously around 6 weeks ago, after entering 3 R4Ls (this is kind of an annual thing with me - enter R4Ls, build up to run/walk 5k, give up again - been doing that for over 10 years now!).

    This time is different though, I really have been bitten by the bug, and am loving every minute of my runs (never really felt that before), in fact I missed my Wednesday session and I felt like I was going through some kind of withdrawal!!

    6 weeks ago, I started at jog 2 walk 2 for 20mins, have increased that to run 5 walk 2, doing 5k in around 36-37 mins.

    As well as the R4Ls I've entered a couple of 3.5 milers in June and July, am looking at 10ks for August/September and have entered the GSR (10 miles) at the end of October!

    Still trying to get to that seemingly impossible milestone of the 30min continuous run, but had a major breakthrough today - went on my treadie, and just decided to keep running as long as I could and did 22 1/2 mins (previous best was 15 mins a couple of weeks ago).

    Soz for v long post

    Jen :-)
  • simply enjoy running, have a laugh, meet new and interesting people and before you know it you will be signing up for your first mara.
    Lots of people on here for support and invaluable help, welcome to the funny farm.
  • Hi Joanne, I'm relatively new to running too and felt the same way about 'joining' a newbie thread on here with thousands of posts!
    I decided to start running a few weeks ago now - I do a lot of swimming, yoga and gym activities but fancied a change. It's nice to get outside and run as the weather improves (hopefully!) and also meet new people in the area at the running club I've been going to.

    I've hurt my knee, however, but yesterday I had video gait analysis done and have a brand new pair of trainers so I hope to get back outside next week.

    Hope your running is going well x
  • Thanks for all your messages. Have only just had time to come on here while my baby is sleeping and I can't be faffed to do any housework!!! Nice to see other beginners and also to read messages from more experienced runners.

    Had a bad session on Sunday where I felt I was walking more than running. Had a better one on Tuesday and going out again tonight.

    Does anyone have some advice as regards beginning in a different way to the suggestions in the training info on here? The lady who is taking us out on a Sunday is encouraging us to run as long as we can and then walk to get our breath back and off to run again. That's how I'm doing it in the week too so I've no idea how I'm doing as relates the run 5 mins/walk 2 mins or whatever system. Am I better off following a training plan like that or just running until I need a break? I really couldn't say who long I'm jogging for before taking a break not wearing a watch but is usually about 0.3-0.6 of a mile (I've measured in the car!!!!).

    Thanks again.
  • Hi Joanne

    The idea of a formal training plan is to avoid overdoing it and getting injured.

    You don't have to stick to a plan.
    Just don't over do it.
    To reduce the risk of injury:
    Do as much as you can on soft surfaces - grass, mud, leaf mold.
    Do most of your training at a pace at which you can hold a conversation.
    Do not increase the total amount that you do by more than 5mins or 1/2mile per week, up to about 10miles. Then do not increase by more than 10mins or 1mile per week up to 15miles (and so on)
    Take rest days between the training days.

    If you do a brisk 5min or more walk, then walk easy to get your breath back, before you start jogging, it will make the jog easier.
    It warms up the legs, revs the heart and lungs, and makes jogging seem like an easy option (brisk walking is hard work)
  • Hi Joanne

    You seem like an old hand compared to me! I ran for the first time this week (apart from bit of treadmill in the gym) - running with a friend and we've entered a Race for Life at the end of July. We've trained twice this week and I found it HARD! Following the RFL run/walk training and those 2 minute stints are the longest 2 mins of my life!! I'm breaking it down and doing a mix of one and two minute runs with walking in between - so might take longer to get to the length of time the plan says to do, but I figure better to take longer & not die in the process.

    I'm determined to stick at it & keep telling myself it must get easier - that's right isn't it?? Training with my friend is great - makes all the difference.

    Big David - great advice! This forum is fab.

    It's also great to hear how everyone is making progress - gives me hope!!
  • Hi Timkins

    If you are finding it hard, try and slow down.
    Beginners tend to go too fast to start with, then complain about being out of breath.
    The brisk walk suggestion will help with that too.
  • Timkins - BD is right, I'm one of those beginners who tried to go too fast. I was doing run 5 walk 2, doing 5k in about 36-37 mins, but was finding I was getting extremely out of breath and finding it a real struggle. And although I’ve managed longer runs a couple of times, in general I was finding it impossible to reduce the walking time. Last night I just really slowed down, and I mean 'really' - hardly faster than a walk, and I kept going for 45 mins with no walking!! And oh my god - it felt amazing!!!

    To give you an idea of just how slow I was going:-
    I walk at around 15 min miles
    the slow run I did yesterday works out around 13:20 min miles
    my average speed before on the walk/run was around 12min miles (so deffo running too fast for me to sustain it)

    Happy running everyone :-)
  • I started about four weeks ago too, following the Bob Glover 20 minute plan which is very similar to the one on this website. So for me it is: 10 minutes warming up on the exercise bike, do some stretches, get in car & drive to local park (4 miles away), walk briskly for 5 minutes, set stopwatch for 20 minutes, start jogging at a pace at which I can hum to myself (listening to walkman), when I feel uncomfortable drop down to a brisk walk, when I feel comfortable again start jogging, at end of 20 minutes drop down to a slow walk for ten minutes to cool down, go home for more stretching, have a shower.

    I'm 46 and at the moment I weigh nearly 20st, so I'm not going to over do it. I am hoping to do the Leeds Half Marathon next year though, so that is one thing that pushes me on when I feel like quitting.
  • Lots of good advice on here already, so just to reinforce it - make sure you are able to talk while you are running; if you haven't enough breath to talk, you're running too fast.

    Do not in these early stages worry at all about the pace you are running at - it is perfectly fine to run at a pace you could walk at. You are building up your endurance at the moment, and once you reach the point where you have the endurance to run for 3 miles or so without walking, then you can start to think about pushing yourself to include small bursts of faster running if you want to, as a way of improving you speed overall. It is however not compulsory - there is no minimum speed limit for running! Some of us will always run slower than others....:-)
  • Thanks for all the advice. What is very interesting is that no matter how slow I run, I can't hold a conversation!!! What does that say about my terrible fitness!!!!

    Timkins, you're right about training with a friend. There's a group of us who meet on the Sunday and at least 2 of us try to meet in the week so we are not running alone. Usually though, I'm at the back and the other(s) are in front of me!!! Still, I'm doing things at my pace.

    I'll try really really slowing down and see what happens with the talking. It feels like a snail's pace anyway but if I can't talk, perhaps I can slow down even more.
  • If you can't talk, you definitely need to slow down! Most beginners do try to run too fast in my experience - maybe thinking of it as "jogging" rather than "running" might help? Try it out and let us know how it goes. Just remember you've got off your backside and got out there, so already you're doing more than most people.
  • Hi there

    Can I join in - I've been running for about 15 months - but really, really struggled. I'm really pleased to see I'm not alone! That phrase "there is no speed where I can hold a conversation" struck a cord.

    I spent the first 8 months doing the run/walk on a treadmill - at 4.5mph, thinking that was slow - I plugged away but it never got any easier. Managed to push myself to 30 mins after about 5 months, but it was always a desparate struggle.

    Thinking there must be something wrong with me, I took myself off to a sports science lab at a local University. A wonderful chap spent 40 mins explaining what I was doing wrong - by running too fast for me my heart rate went sky high straight away and I was running anearobically. You have very little capacity to improve your anearobic capacity - which is why I was seeing no improvement.

    He told me that to improve I had to stay aerobic - using heart rate as a tool (i.e. keep it to 70% of maximum tops).

    Off I went to buy a HRM and followed his instructions to keep my heart rate low. My max is around 204 bpm, so I decided to keep it to 165 (or I couldn't run at all!). I found I could run at 3.8mph for 12 mins before my heart rate hit 165. I walked for a couple of minutes until it was back at 145 then ran again - 5, 4, 3 mins, whatever - doing 40 minute run / walk sessions four times a week.

    Within four weeks the 12 mins had become 40 mins before getting to 165 bpm - it was unbeleivable, and it was comfortable.

    I'm now trying to increase the speed little by little, and it's a struggle - 4mph seems to be a real plateau for me.

    So - sorry for long post - but the moral is running at a slower speed is just SO important - and although you feel daft you can run at walking speeds! I must admit at the moment I can only do it on a treadmill - outdoors I just can't stay that slow.

    Good luck everyone - and enjoy.
  • One more tip, for all of us, and particularly for those beginners who are finding it hard to go slow enough.
    Do as much walking as you can fit in to your week.
    It will increase your stamina, and general fitness. Honest!
  • Good advice - and I have the perfect incentive - walking half of the Pennine Way in five weeks time. Weekends are compulsory walks of a minimum of 10 miles and we're trying to work a 6 miler into midweek as well. What with the running as well, I should be fit as a flea by Christmas!
  • Hi,

    I've just started to try and run. I've been walking between 2 and 4 miles (between 40 and 80 minutes) every other day for a few weeks and starting to attempt to build in some jogging into my walks. I find it difficult to actually push myself to run, but once I've started I'm ok for about 90 seconds befre I feel the need to keel over!
    My main problem is trying to find a route without too many hills (the first big one is right outside my door! so I walk up it as a warmup and carry on walking for about 10 minutes- mostly to get out of the village and out of sight before I set myself a-wobbling).
    Should I increase the distance I'm walking before trying to run or is it just a case of getting myself used to the extra exertion?

    Any advice would be greatfully received! Thanks.
  • Beanbag
    That should work.

    You should only need between 5 & 10 mins of walking that is either brisk, or uphill, so that it gets you puffing and panting, and well warmed up to be ready to jog, but have a gentle walk to get your breath back before you start jogging.
  • This is the first time i've actually been brave enough to send a message onto one of these forums, so sorry if it's a bit random! I took up running last Aug then hid inside the gym during the winter, did my 1st 5km run in March (doing the old run-walk) and am now trying to develop perma-running. There's such a psychological barrier between "it's OK, i;m only going to run for 3mins then I can have a little walk" and "off I go, let's just see how far I can run before I die", but i'm living proof that it CAN be done. 3 runs ago I was running 3-3.5mins then walking for 1, 2 runs ago i did the same but ran for 10mins at the end, and the last run i did was a continuous 20mins run before a stitch felled me (only for 1.5mins though, the I was off again). I just forced myself to take it really slow (actually took longer to do my usual route) but I can work on speed next. The buzz i gave me when I realised how long i'd been running for was AMAZING!10months ago i couldn't do 1min without feeling like death, now i'm planning my 1st 10km race in Sept and have a vague dream of doign a half-marathon next yr sometime. If I can do this, anyone can, you just need to bite the bullet when you're ready.
  • Well done AS.
    You don't need to start on the fast stuff until you can do 30mins or more without having to walk.
  • Hey, My names Derrick. I have been "casually" running in the woods by my house for some time and have just started taking it seriously. And I have been looking for somewhere I can chat and meet people who like running and are working towards races. I am Married, have two kids (boy aged 3 and girl aged 2) I live in Barrow in Furness. I am 23 years old. I have stumbled across your Forum. If you don't mind me joining in and chatting, getting advice ect feel free to mail me or reply to this posting! Thanks Derrick!
  • Hi everyone

    I ran again on Friday (after work - my friend & I glanced smugly at all the people sat outside the pub as we went out!!) and it did feel a bit easier. We're following the RFL run/walk plan & apart from a longer walk in the middle, I managed the run 2 walk 2 x 5 that we were supposed to do. The 4 min walk in the middle really helped actually (and kind of follows Big David's advice too). I am really chuffed that I managed 2 minute runs - small progress but still progress! And I have concentrated on keeping going by slowing it down.

    Even though we didn't stick relgiously to the plan (although we did the overall amount of running for the first week, just with a bit more walking in between) we're feeling positive that we kept going. Still not sure I'll be able to run the whole 5k at the end of July but I'm going to try & even if I don't I hope I can run a decent chunk of it.

    It really helps to read the stories on here, of people who started out like me & have made really good progress. Thanks to everyone for the advice & support!!

    Off out again tomorrow lunchtime & looking forward to it.
  • Did a 3km "fun run" today - took me 18m45s. Ran nearly the whole thing, although, once again, a stitch took hold after about 10mins. This is so annoying - it never used to happen but is happening every time i run now. Grr. I would seiously recommend doing a race to anyone out there who's been running for any amount of time - the atmosphere really motivates me. There were toddlers doing both the races i've been in, so at least you know you'll beat someone!
    Timkims - it sounds like you're doing really well. Isn't it amazing how nice a 2min walk feels after running? You'd never be able to convince a non-runner that 2mins could make so much difference!
  • Hi Derrick
    You might care to check out the
    INSPIRE thread
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