Advice for Beginner

Hi everyone, I'm almost embarrassed to be on here, as I know most of you run on average about 10 to 20 miles a week! So, here goes.....After numerous failed attempts during last year to start jogging, I decided in December to focus seriously for several health reasons, to get fit and shift the weight. I am now jogging slowly, and I mean slowly for up to 12 minutes, being the longest in one go, not brilliant, I know!. On my last 'session' I jogged for 12 mins, then 5 then 3 then 7 mins, with 1 to 2 minute walking breaks to get my breath back. I try to jog at least 2 to 3 times a week, and on the 'off' days do a DVD workout mainly cardio, then at the weekends go for either a long walk with jogging for about 1 to 2 hours. Basically, I'm just wondering how am I doing, and how can I improve on this? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Tash


  • You're doing great! Consistency is the key and you're getting out 3 times a week and doing other stuff, so you will improve. If you look at the training tab at the top of the page there are some great run/walk schedules in beginners under "getting started" that will take you through to running 30 minutes, after that you can try one of the other schedules and build up to your first race - it's great fun! Do you want to lose weight too? There is a group of us who have been eating healthily and exercising for the last couple of weeks in an attempt to lose excess pounds. We chat, post what we eat, what exercise we have done, weigh-in on Saturdays - all very friendly and supportive, join in if you fancy it losers' thread

    Good luck B x

  • B,

    Thanks ALOT for's comforting to know that there is great support out there, especially as I gave up several times last year, and didn't believe that I could improve! It's only been a few weeks, but it's amazing I have seen a difference in myself and how my clothes fit...but more importantly how I feel! Yeah, I'm trying to shift the weight about 10 kgs, I'm 5 ft 7 and just about within my weight range for my height, but still feel 'overweight' and would like to tone up and improve my health generally! How long have you been running for? Tashx

  • I had done a little bit before last year, but on and off. Then last January (funny how it's always January isn't it?) I decided to enter a race and train consistently. I did my first ever race, a 10k on 1st April last year and then built up my mileage and did a half marathon in the summer, and a couple of other races after that. I never believed I could do a half marathon, but now I am training for another one in March and hope to do a marathon one day. Before this last year I've never kept at any type of exercise, so I really think that is the key, sometimes I still can't believe I can run a half marathon - if I can do it (42 today and no history of running) so can youimage
  • Oh a big, big Happy Birthday to you! Hope you're taking it easy and being spoilt rotten! Wow, hearing your story is inspirational...I just came back from a jog/walk with my husband, and felt a bit tired today, don't want to make excuses but did my Dvd workout yesterday and felt my energy was completely zapped from that! I did start doing the run/walk schedule last year, but this time felt I wasn't pushing myself hard enough so decided to just go for the jogging as long as possible, but remembering to pace myself and included walking breaks where necessary. My problem is the breathing, but again trying to pace that is key, and I'm improving on that. Thanks again for the advice, it really has helped and no doubt you'll be hearing from me once I've reached the 30 minute mark!! Have a lovely day! Tashx
  • Every time I read one of these threads it makes me remember the first time I ran continuously for maybe half a mile, the very first time that my lungs were able to supply my legs on an ongoing basis, even though it was downhill.

    That day will never leave me, it is THE most fabulous feeling, the day that you banish your demons.

    Days won't alway be like that, but when they are.....

    Very well done. Keep going. Stay off the tri tab, it gets expensive;O) 

    Race well.  

  • Dust boy

    well said !!

  • Dustboy

    Thanks for that! It's nice to get support from you experienced runners, as the first step is actually getting out there! I'm determined to keep at it, but on some days can feel I'm getting nowhere, and not improving, but so determined to shift the weight that I'm doing some form of cardio exercise EVERY day, todays the DVD. I'm not sure what tri tab is, is it some form of supplement for exercise? I just have a simple banana and some water before I go and do a jog, maybe that's what's making me tired? Anyway, thanks again....Tashx


  • Natasha

    I'm so glad i spotted this thread

    Please don't feel embarrased to be on here, going from nothing to running, racing, it's a BIG step forward ... there are lots of people who will gladly help you

    but PLEASE do it very gently, steady and quietly, make it a game that you enjoy, walk a bit, run a little, walk a bit run a litte, take plenty of fluid

    please DO NOT try and go hard at it, as you may well just make yourself quite ill, i am NOT joking

    you'll need proper clothing, better a layer to warm then too cold, ... you lose 80% of heat through your head, decent footwear is VERY important, and trainers don't have to cost the earth

    It will be sometime before you even start to feel good or fit, as a matter of fact, you'll probably start to hurt in place that you did'nt even know exhisted ? spelling

    you can do all this from your home, don't worry about silly neighbours etc

    try and remeber, NO-ONE goes to Martial ARTS and comes out a black belt in one session

    there are lots of threads that are very busy, have a search through the list, i do not have the PC ability to tell you how to find them, but when you do simply put them on favourites

    wishing you well

  • Mick or Phil, not sure which one sent this, maybe it's only one person, or maybe it's both, not sure!!! Anyway, thanks ALOT for that, I have duly taken all your points on board, and WILL pace myself, and try not to overdo it...So far the only 'injury' I've had is tightening of the thighs, I struggled to sit down for a few days, they felt so tight...but within a few days felt fine. I'm lucky that I have the time, to run when I want to and as we live in the Netherlands now, thought it would be criminal to not make the most of the lovely open spaces, hence started to take up did take abit of confidence to just get out there, but then thought, at least I'm trying and there's some lovely quiet places and canals EVERYWHERE!! Oh well, I always seem to write a book, ha ha!! Thanks alot again for all the advice, Tashx
  • natasha

     have a peep

  • Welcome Tash.

    Running sounds like it should be easy, after all, we all did it when we were children and thought nothing of it.

    But it is HARD!!!  So don't get demoralised if you are struggling.  Some people are able to improve quickly and go from couch potato to marathon in 4 months, but most of us (like me) take much longer to improve.

    I started running 3 years ago (yes, I was a January starter too, although mine was linked into changing my working hours, not New Years resolution) and it took me over a year before I was ready to do my first 10k race.  I really struggled to get going and I think it was about 6 months before I could run for 30 minutes without stopping.  I too started on a run/walk programme and only used the treadmill because I was afraid that somebody might see me.

    I personnally think that learning to run and getting to 30 min continuous is the hardest part because you need to learn so much else as well as how to run, such as what clothes for what weather, training you mental attitude, how and when to take on water, what foods and when work for you etc.

    So good for you for giving it a go!  Keep up the good work.

  • caz

    your post just says and proves it all

    you've done fab !

  • Thanks Supercaz! 

    Wow, in the space of a couple of days I've had so much helpful and practical advice from other runners, and you've all been so inspirational and supportive! Much thanks! This has made me even more determined...especially when I now feel that I'm not alone, and there are others that have struggled and at times felt despondent...BUT I will get there.....eventually! You're right though, the key is mental attitude, and to keep telling myself, I CAN do it, it will take time, but eventually I'll get there.  I'm 36 yrs old, 5 ft 7 and about 69 kilos, I've joined several gyms before, and dare I say hardly ever used them, and when I did, felt so claustrophobic in there, even though I don't have a problem with spaces at all! What a waste of money! This is probably the longest that I've stuck to any type of fitness, and long may it continue!!!!!! Tashx   

  • Hi there,

    When I began running, I remember thinking I would never be able to run for more than 2 minutes. I went out 3 times a week, very gradually increasing running time until I was doing 3 minutes, then 5, then 7, then..oh my goodness, 10 minutes !!!

    I always increased my time each week and the first session was always a bit hard, that extra measly minute was always tricky, but with persistence I increased time until I can now happily run 2 miles without stopping, which for me is about 20 minutes. I'm concentrating on endurance rather than speed but am aiming for a 10K in May.

     You WILL definately get there, and one day soon, you'll be plodding along and all of a sudden, you will feel the energy in your legs and your lungs and the breeze in your hair and you'll want to run run run, and whn you get home, you wont be able to wait for your next run ;o)

  • The tri tab is the tri forum. Bottomless pit of money but quite rewarding;O) 
  • Natasha,

    As soon as you put your trainers on you have seperated yourself from 90% of the population who never do any exercise.
    It doesnt matter if you run 10 metres or 10 miles, you are making a difference to yourself so keep going.
    re Micks reference to Martial Arts, my daughter has been training in MA since she was 5-she will be 12 this year and hopefully going for her Black Belt. I will be a very proud Dad. She has shown a lot of determination for a young lady image.

    Just build slowly, when I started I would play mind games with myself..... I'll stop after the next car (pass the car) ok the next road (pass the road) etc.

    Dont aim for the full 1-3-5-60 miles, just aim for slightly further ahead.
    Lots of good stretching, lots of cool down stretching, get a set of properly fitted shoes,
    I cant remember if the pavements in Holland are tarmac or concrete, Try and run on concrete as little as possible, its harder than tarmac, tarmac is harder than grass.Look after those knee's !!

    Good Luck


  • Dustboy,

     the tri forum. Bottomless pit of money but quite rewarding

    LoL, understatment of the day image

    Respect to you guys over there, I lurk often (its a strangely aluring place !! ) 

  • Natasha

    adbru is right you know ..


    i bet your a proud dad, please give her my very best wishes will you

  • adbru

    friend, i could'nt e mail you privately and personally to say well done to your dear daughter, as you've no e mail switched on,

  • No Problem Mick.

    Thanks for your wishes, I will pass them on image

  • Caramammal and Adbru  - 

    Thanks so much for that! I too can remember when I first started out that I could barely do a few seconds, as I was so unfit! I've definately seen an improvement in my running over the last few weeks, (started end of Dec) than I did in the space of about 6months or so last year when I was exercising sparadically. When my legs feel heavy, I just slow it down alittle bit more, not that you can get any slower! Running outside in the open spaces feels great, as the air is so fresh. Thanks so much for all the advice and support! Tashx

    Dustboy  -

    WHOOPS!!! HA HA HA!!! Don't I feel stupid, I thought it was a form of supplement for exercising?!! I take it, it's no so good!! Tashx

  • A year ago I was quite happy doing 10Ks in just sub the hour and a nice long chat with a mate on a slow 8 miler Sunday arvo trotting up the canal. And having a lay in on Saturday and Sunday if the kids let me.

    Last Saturday I was up before 6am to go out on a 40 mile bike ride taht made my ar5e feel liek it had been used as a football. And I chastise myself at 100 lengths in the pool as not long enough.

    And I have no money left and say words like "wattage", T1 and T2, and swim golf.

    Best crack in the world though.  

  • Hi everyone!

    Just wanted to get some advice... you'll be pleased to know that I'm still keeping up with the running, I've managed to increase it now to 20 minutes in one go, and will be trying to keep at that time for a while. However, there have been a couple of times where I have been so tired but still continued jogging and really pushed myself. In addition to running 2/3 times a week, I also do a cardio DVD for just under an hour 3/4 times a week and that really builds up a sweat (which they're supposed to, I know!). What I wanted to know was am I doing too much? Sometimes, I do both in one day, like I did today and sometimes exercise without eating anything. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Tashx 

  • Nat

    i was going to say even before i read your last bit

    are you doing too much to quick ?

    nice and gently, though see what others say !!

     best wishes


  • I love reading these posts too, as a fellow beginning runner!

     What happened for me is that I found it REALLY HARD to run - I was running once/week and feeling like I was banging my head against the wall.  Then my new partner bought me a real pair of running shoes, my little boy started nursery and I sorted out how long I had to wait after eating before running -- and now I run 3 or 4 times/week and can comfortably do almost 30 minutes!  (I used to do .25 miles and just about keel over!!!)  One day it just hit me like a lightning bolt and I was having such a good time I missed my turn off!  I now want to join a local club but they require you run 45mins first.  I may join my partner's club instead as they seem more beginner friendly and I am eyeing my first 'race' (I will run it but not 'race' it if you see what I mean).  I think the inspiration will do me good.   I also signed up for the Hearts First Jog so I can go whatever distance I want to up to 10K without feeling (at this point) like I will be down on myself if I don't 'finish' (not expecting to do a 10K anytime soon though I REALLY would like to!)

     I have found recently, though (comments welcome) that I seem to not be able to help myself from going faster  - so I bump up againt a plateau with how far I can run without running out of steam.  I go the same distance I did a few weeks ago but can't get over that distance becuase I can't seem to keep myself from speeding up.  I *want* to be faster but I am not *trying* to be faster - trying to be slower doesn't seem to work very well!  


  • THT

    i don't know if this will help you or not, BUT, just try and say to yourself,

    it does'nt matter how fast, fit, experienced my fellow runners are

    they just like  me,  were beginners once !!

    and believe me we were !

  • THT - back off on the intensity

    When you first start every run is a gut wrenching, eyeballs out, trial. This is because your fitness is so low.

    After a bit you can go further etc but you still have this mental momentum that drives you to extremes.

    Training is more about regular vol than extremes. Drop the effort. You'll feel like a slacker. You are not, you will go longer but you need to come out of the red zone.

  • Stump

    how's you

    well said that, why did'nt i put it that way !

  • I'm fine.

    Are you well?

    You've forgotten more about running than I'll ever know. Beginner is concept that you know about but from a long time ago!

  • yes i suppose

    i just like in my sad old way to think i can still help someone feel good that's all !

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