Advice for Beginner



  • What if I don't start my runs feeling like I"m killing myself though? I don't really 'feel' anything but good.  I just can't seem to get over the hump of a certain distance and I didn't realise what it was (going too fast) until I ran with my partner (who has a stopwatch for doing his own runs) and saw that our short 'route' took me less time from one week to the next (2.3 miles was 41 seconds faster).

    I guess I don't know what you mean by 'the red zone' image  

     Thank you!!


  • Mick - You'll never know how good it is to hear the "Easy, Easy, EeeeeeeeSeeeee" chant from behind you in a race image

    You just pop all those daft ideas and remind us we run for the love of it image

    THT - I'd be amazed if you were not trying too hard. I'm no expert but the thing most beginners do is try too hard, too soon, too often.

    Maybe it's the way we are but almost every runner does it.  Have you considered a HRM to measure your effort?

  • <<

    THT - I'd be amazed if you were not trying too hard. I'm no expert but the thing most beginners do is try too hard, too soon, too often.

    Maybe it's the way we are but almost every runner does it.  Have you considered a HRM to measure your effort?>>

    I might be trying too hard but it doesn't seem to feel that way image  Only when I near the end of my run and then its usually a stitch or my shins (have to run on pavement where I am). I don't ever really feel winded or like I have to stop to breathe etc - its usually these other issues that get to me. 

     I have been looking at HRMs but being a gadget person I tend to eyeball the incredibly pricey models with all the bells/whistles.  I'd love a recommendation for one that is small enough to not break my arm (small female) and can act as a stopwatch etc as well.  I'd prefer one that could both use a strap and not use a strap so I can use it but am not always committed to a strap. (Not sure quite how that works with women and the whole bra/breasts thing - I assume the strap fits above!)

  • Straps go below your breast line, just about the line of your sports bra. Girlies on Short Stuff could help with details

    I'm small and use a garmin 305 but it's quite bulky. I used to use a polar RD200 and that was a good unit as well.

    Check out the review section, but if I may suggest, buy a cheapo one to start. It could take a while to get used to and there are some new top line stuff coming out in about 4 months.

    I ran an entire 10k bouncing off my max heart rate and believed I could have gone harder. Perception is a funny thing....

  • WHY, WHY, WHY DID I NOT LISTEN TO EVERYONE'S ADVICE!!!!?? My feet are feeling all tight and achy after exercise, is this normal?? Also, I'm feeling a little tightness in my shins and calves. I did my cardio DVD today for an hour, and actually intending on doing it again tomorrow and some jogging.......HELP!!! Tash
  • Tash

    it's all a learning process

  • Tash, there is no harm in having a day off or having an easy day if you don't feel like it. You're subjecting your body to some pretty tough stresses when you start out, and you're using muscles in different ways and so they have to adapt and stretch to fit, so learn to listen to it and adjust accordingly. If things hurt then they hurt for a reason, and pressing on regardless can be a backward step. I've learnt this the hard way on more than one occasion.
  • Hi, Tash, well done on starting and even better on keeping going! You've had advice from the most valiant and most experienced runner of us all, Mick, so if you do what he says, you'll do fine!

    And do you remember what he said? Take it slowly, make it enjoyable, don't rush....if you're exhausted and hurting, you probably ARE trying to do too much, too fast. We nearly all do it, and if we do, we pay for it. You can't rush it. The rest periods in between exercise are when your body actually build up so it can doa little more next time. If you're not taking those rests, you're actually setting yourself back.

    I saw you were in the Netherlands---I am too, so if you email me through this thread maybe we can compare notes!

    Take it easy, and remember you're doing this for the sheer pleasure, and you're in it for the long term. There's no hurry, you're doing fine! xxx

  • Mick and Phil, Beware of the Fish and Gentle Chugger, thank you all for the advice, it's all greatly appreciated! I will be resting today.....Tashx
  • Oh I forgot and thanks to THT!! image Tashx
  • I just read that

    i'm now hiding in the cupboard ,all embarrased

  • Come out, Mick, we would miss you if you stayed in there image))

    (Besides, I was right, wasn't I? You can't tell us you're NOT valiant and experienced, can you??!!??)

  • Ahhhh!! Is Mick being all modest!!! You (as have others!) have taken the time to read, listen and share your experiences, and inspire people...and not many would!!! I know this is a running site, most people go on about times and distances, which is fair enough...but for some, like me, running isn't just about that, it's so much more than that! I for one am so very grateful for the advice, and feel its important in saying so. Tashx
  • Hi Tash,

    As a fellow newbie, I totally agree with all the help and advice that is being given on this forum. I also gain tons of inspiration from the forums, as you do.

    However, I am quite worried about something you said in an earlier post about running and doing your DVD in the same day and not eating as well - You really do need to eat 'cos your'e using up a lot of energy in all sorts of different ways and your body has to get fuel to do this from somewhere.

    Please don't think that by not eating you will lose weight quicker - just eat sensibly and don't exercise to the point of exhaustion. Remember - this is supposed to be fun, after all.

  • Tash, Doug is absolutely right. Train slowly, eat sensibly, and ENJOY IT. As you said, it's about a lot more than just time and distance.

    And if you don't know QUITE how modest Mick is being, check out his website:

    He and Phil are the most inspiring runners that I have ever heard of--and yet, amazingly, he does indeed take the time to help the rest of us too.

  • Well, what can i say

     yes i'm a very proud man,

     i am here to help others

     now-a-days i run for all the time for fun but i  occasionally pace one as a  race,

    i  don't prepare anything, all thats a thing of the past, i just pick and choose , what, where, and when

    but of course you have to be extremely fit t do that

    i leave it for you to judge me for yourself

  • Doug 2, Gentle chugger and Micknphil - Apologies for the delayed response, a friend came over to visit me, and I've been on tour guide duty in Amsterdam for the last few days. Got in plenty of walking though.

    Well, after last weeks attempt at keeping fit, (6 days of 1hr cardio dvd and 2 days of running up to 30 mins) and by the end of the week feeling completely, completely zapped of energy and feeling shattered. I have revised my exercise routine, after some much needed rest and recuperation! Firstly, thanks for all the much needed advice. What can I say I'm stubborn, and obviously put myself under pressure which had a knock on effect on me, and this has been a lesson! Today, I decided to go back to basics again, and started the beginners schedule run 2-3mins/walk 1-2 mins and repeated this 12 times. I FELT SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!!! I wasn't as out of breath as I was before, running continually for 10-20 minutes in one go. When I got back I ate, then I must admit did my cardio dvd, however now feel ok. Now I don't know if that's because I've only just started this 'new' routine, and by the end of the week, will be completely  drained again, or whether this is going to suit me better, but I'll try this for now, and see what happens.

    This may be a stupid question, but being out of breath during 20 minutes of running is not a good thing is it?! Can anyone advise whether it's worth doing this running schedule 5 days a week, or every other day, with the cardio dvd just 3 days a week? For a split second I did feel like jacking it in, but then thought logically to myself, I overpaced myself, and need to take it down a notch. State of mind is very important and keep telling myself there is no such thing as giving up, as I've put too much (IMO) into it already!!! Tashx : )

  • I'm also new to this game and very tempted to do a LOT in a short space of time. I have a SO who does marathons and here I am trying to work up to my first 5k!   I decided that I would do yoga and strength training on my off days to feel more 'rested' - I run about 30 mins 3 or 4 times/week depending on the week.   I have felt much more 'in charge' of my health since changing to this routine from 5days/week running. I was just hitting a wall and not progressing and not enjoying it quite as I should have.  I now LOVE and PINE to go running and am slowly building my mileage and pace.  Maybe you can try switching from cardio to something else like handweights/core strength training/yoga/pilates?


  • Hi THT, What is it with new runners?!!! Try so hard at first, then knock themselves out and wonder what went wrong!! With regards to my dvd, (started it 12 Jan 08) I've never been a 'slave' to all those 'celebrity workouts' as I thought it was all celebrity hype, but I think Natalie Cassidy's before and after results clinched it for me!! But I tell you, it's a BRILLIANT workout, I've really toned up (sweat like mad) and wanted an alternative that would target certain areas, and keep me in shape, as well as the running. Basically, I want to lose the fat/weight (10kgs), tone up, be leaner and fitter, not much to ask really!! (like most people) I've progressed better with the dvd than the running, of course the running is harder going, and did wonder what I will gain more from, and is more beneficial to me. I did consider yoga/pilates do you know of any good dvd's? As I live in the Netherlands, finding classes etc, is not so easy, due to the language barrier, hence me at home with the dvd!! Can I ask, did you start off with the run/walk technique, how easy/quickly did you progress? Tashx

  • Well done, Tash! Yup, when we start out nearly all of us try to do too much, too fast. Don't worry about it, it's normal. BUT by dropping back a notch to some sensible run/walk you will actually make progress much faster, AND you will enjoy it.

    THT, sounds like you have a really ideal schedule, that's building up your fitness steadily and is giving you enough energy that you look forward to running. That's absolutely critical, cos no one is going to do on doing it if they don't like it.

    As to the cardio, I'm no expert (prolly some other peeps will wander in who are!) but especially if you're fairly new to exercising I would suggest you aim to run/walk for 30- 40 mins 3 days a week, do your cardio 3 days a week (three OTHER days) and have one day right off. Your body actually rebuilds and gets stronger on your rest days, not while you're exercising, so they are every bit as important as the exercise.

    Sounds like you're both doing great!

    Tash: if you want some info about English-language fitness classes over here, drop me a line!

  • Hi Gentlechugger,

    Hope you are well! Just after I last updated you with my progress........I came down with a bad cold, and yes have paid the price for it! But now feel alot better, I've just come back from my jog round Delft, and it's a lovely day! Still on the run/walk schedule, however seriously considering, as I have lot of weight to shift, whether I will progress, and to be honest feeling a bit despondent as I'm not able to run as long as I did before, the longest being 20 minutes  in one go. I really want to keep at it, but struggling!! Tashx 

  • Today was Simply so perfect
    Today we headed for Wokingham HM, it was to be our 161 ST HM together,

    The weather was just so perfect, little did i know just how perfect the day would end up being... we met friends, had lots of laughs with people,

    I knew today we could NOT race as race, as we have Draycote FM of 5 laps next week, so we set about hoping for anywhere around 2 hours or just under...

    things started off just nice and quiet, could'nt move for 2 miles or so, which completely suited me, but i was to find gaps and soon get into my grove, and find what i am good at and enjoy doing.. i felt so happy, i felt free

    it was very short lived though sadly, before we knew it we were through half way, never really noticing anything pace or distance wise, it was another day were we could have gone on and conquered 20 miles

    trying to support fellow runners etc

    i knew in our early days together we were clocking for HM's 1.43 onwards, but i really thought that that had gone now, what with Phillip being 6 years older and heavier, and of course me being an old git now

    so, we smelt the finish in the distance, we pushed on remembering every time we picked up pace we had a FM next week, so i held back best i could

    we eventually crossed the line on our watch at around 1 hour 48 mins , i knew we crossed the start line on about 4 plus mins, and the finish clock was on 1.52 , so yes

    i felt so good, so really good, could'nt quite believe what i'd done

    We went back to about 2 mile mark ish, cheering runners in, it was good to help others,

    it's left me feeling just on top of the world again

    So, i ain't finished yet !!!

    There'll be more of Mick n Phil to come i reckon
  • 10:05pm, Monday 11th February 2008 comment on this entry | edit | delete A perfect evening
    Hi Folkes

    we've had a super time tonight with Stratford on Avon AC on the track

    we covered about 5 miles in around 45 mins, it was lovely and cool and relaxing, it was perfect

    though i'm going to rest my body now until Sunday for the Draycote 5 lap marathon,

    though it should be EASY .. EASY .. EASY
  • Hi all, Still on run/walk schedule....did 10 x r5/w2 three times last week and wondering whether to continue with this schedule (of  course increasing times) or just go for it, and try as long as I can to run continually.....Am feeling anxious as I really can't see beyond what I am currently doing will make me progress any further.....In need of advice, as want to give up! Tashx
  • How we conquered Draycote Marathon
    it was Sunday 17 February 20008 - It was to be hopefully our 27 th Full marathon together,

    Little could i of envisaged what was to come, and how we'd survive !!!

    We knew the day was just perfect, the moment we arrived at Draycote, the daylight broke through, the sun shone, the water was so still, it was to be hopefully the most beautiful day that we could of imagined - as for those who do not know Draycote, when the wether is bad, it can be hell on earth.

    We met fellow runners as they arrived, i was overwhelmed by their support for us, i must say more than once you all had me in tears.

    We got ready as planned, i was very comfortable, no nerves, no excitement, no nothing really, it all happened so very quickly - so preperation over we made our way to the start line ...we had some fun, a little chitter chatter, a little joke here and there.

    i knew what lay ahead, i knew the distance needed full repsect, but i also knew i could not allow myself to be afraid of it - so the gun went, we started off gently, the bit of lap first, just having fun, totally relaxed, no care in the world at all, it was a case of if we make it then great, if we don't well, it's tough luck ain't it mate LOL.

    So onwards it was, the bit over, we were laughing setting out our stall, we set off into the wodland on lap one, i was settling and beginning to feel good, i was under no illusions though - it still had to be done, all sorts of things went through my mind, i began to feel , yes, lets do this, lets get lap one out of the way, leaving 4 shorter laps.

    so lap one it was in 1.09 ish, setting out for lap 2, the straight laps from now on, i was beginning to flow, i was in command, i was in tip top form - i was ging to take some stopping, pure and simple.

    Got off the long straights onto the wooded areas, steadily up the undulations, got to about mile 11,
    ( Oh my gosh, talk about, some ones killed kenny, ), my bloody cash twinged, like snapping a biscuit, i immediately went from fullish throttle to 40 % Par of power, oh my god, i was'nt half way

    It just got worse and worse, completed in lap two by around 1.57 ? - then set about lap 3 , i was beginning to feel in
  • It just got worse and worse, completed in lap two by around 1.57 ? - then set about lap 3 , i was beginning to feel in desperate agony, the pain seized my leg completely, i was hobbling along, at times little feeling in my whole leg,

    what do i do, - this was it, end of race, i considered withdrawing, as we were never far from the finish, i almost at one point took Phil's Number off him,

    i wobbled on, walking with a one legged limp, and then trying to jog, i stopped, i sulked, i carried on, this was time to refuel, we fed - then comes along Tracey G, , id already been giving myslef a bloddy good talking to, i examinded every pscyhological area of my stamina that i had, i knew i was desperate, i talked to tracey, i some how forgot my pain,

    i was approaching the end of lap 3 , though, hang on, i'm not ill, it's a super day, therre's only 2 to go, not 3 !!, it's so easy to call it a day ... NO, NO, NO - i'm not having it

    we completed lap 3 in about 3.20, if only i could make lap 4, i was in with a real chance, i walked, i jogged, i cried, i kept saying to my self, - come on Mick, this isn't us, were not here to show off, were not here to impress anyone, were not here as a team, were not here to win anything .. it's a super perfect day, we are here for us ,

    i knew had i have been a novice, with or without phillip i stood absolutely NO chance, i had to dig deep into all my reserves - all my experience, all my skill, all my physical strenght, all my mental satmina - there was to be NO submissions, no cowardis,

    it was onwards, me and Tracey G, we plodded on, so to end of lap 4, it was 4.29

    i could have just died there and then, i was in so much pain, I knew how much i wanted this marathon, etc, so, it was one lap to go , about 1 hour top go, i passed my car, i thought, NO, - onwards, my physcological strength and self belief ws paying dividends,

    i was happy, tearful .. NO regrets at all - it was onwards, just hobble, jogged and walked, up through the wooded area, oh the finish was smelling sweet, - i knew i had it, i 'd done it, against ALl the odds, i was'nt beaten after all , my leg was sore and paining from my calf up to my thigh

    we hit the long wall towrds the finish, i must have cried with emotional joy all the way, i spotted 25 miles, time did'nt matter, i was the champion, we were the masters, we Would NOT give in to pain, we would never surrender

    we turned the corner to a 5.25 jubillant finish

    i had no celebrtation left in me, only emotional tears - then Bless him, Roger Wilkes presented us with a gift, i don't know quite what he said exactly i was in pain,

    i was seventh heaven, i want to THANK al of you fellow Fetchies for everything

    I've slept well, i 'm tired, i'm happy, it was a disasterour PW of 5.25, but it's made me strong.

    it has NOT depressed me or demorolised me , as a matter of fact it's done the opposite, it's left me feeling high
  • If we NEVER
    Our planned Full Marathons for 2008 are -


    Robin Hood



    But, if we never get to run another Full Marathon, after yesterday, well, i can sit here and LMAO
  • Hi! Just wanted some advice...currently my running schedule is a bit sporadic, last week managed only one day 8 x run 8/walk 2 mins due to travelling and felt exhausted. Today, whilst still on the run/walk schedule kept it at the same time and multiples. Really pushed myself. Not sure whether to do tomorrow, and Wednesday as they are the only other two days in the week I am able to run. Is it advisable to run 3 consecutive days, as next week I will probably be stuck on the same schedule, and that would be three weeks in a row. Really want to progress but feeling stuck! Thanks Tashx
  • If that is all that you can do Tash, then I suppose that you will have to do it if you want to improve.  But it really is better if you can rest after each run, or only do two consecutive days.

    I would try hard on the first run of the three and take the other two a little easier so that you aren't putting too much strain on your legs.  If you get any unusual pain or niggles then that might be a sign that you need to rest more between each run, so maybe then you should cut back to two runs a week.

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