After a false start in October when I wimpily got put off by dark nights I am restarting to run but have no idea what sort of programme to go for. I have been reading Cathy Shipton's book Running a Marathon (no intention!) and she suggests an eight week beginners course that sounds like hell. 1st and 2nd day run for 5 mins, 3rd day 10 mins etc so by week 3 I'm meant to be able to run for 15 mins, sounds a tad ambitious to me and anyway 7 days a week isn't really practical- I thought you improved on the rest days.
Other plans have you running for 1 min, walking for 1 min etc but I'll be so busy checking my non state of the art watch, ie 3 hands, that I'll get myself run over thus defeating the object of getting fit.
Finally, I'm going to do the RFL on 18th June I hope and I really want to run it not walk it, is this mission impossible in three sessions a week?


  • Hi DD

    Like anything - there are no end of experts (I'm not claiming to be one) where it comes to running. Many with contradictory ideas / plans etc etc.

    In general, most say build up gradually and gently. Do rest as it's important to recover. And set yourself goals that you can achieve (but that you do have to work for). No point setting yourself up for failure.

    On that point - walking isn't failure. Although I see you have no plan to do a marathon apparently 80% of those who complete the marathon do walk at some stage during the race. However you complete your goals you should be proud.

    Some good advice for developing a programme which sounds more like your cup of tea can be found here Three sessions a week!

    And honestly, you'll be amazed at how much you can do after a while. If you need further encouragement, look no further than these forums.
  • I do not more than three sessions a week and did RFL last year (started running in March then). I just run as I feel, don't have a training program. Have several circular or up and down runs around here. I started with the smallest one, just running very slowly, gradually it became easier and quicker and the distance became longer.
    I am still running like that, decide on the day how I feel and what I shall run. I am now working towards a 10k run in May.
    Good luck, just enjoy it.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    No, definitely not mission impossible.

    I started on a "run one, walk one" programme which gradually builds up over 6 weeks to being able to run non-stop for 30 minutes. I found the plan on Watches with a timer function are not necessarily expensive, and evry useful for timing your walk/run intervals - I bought mine from Argos for about £20. It isn't sophisticated but does the job.

    If you can run for 20-30 minutes without stopping you should be able to manage RFL - and it doesn't matter if you have to walk some of it, or even all of it: the aim is to enjoy it and have fun.

    18th June is quite a way off, so you have plenty of time to build up gradually without pushing yourself too far too quickly.
  • Guys, thanks for all the help, will put your advice into practice and not beat myself up if I don't hit targets all the time. I'm one of those people who finds out as much as I can about things so begin to think I'll be quite good at them but if the reality is I'm not a natural I can get put off but I'm really going to try to stick with this one. 3TL good luck on 13th. I'll be cheering you on from my sofa,...maybe in a few years time!!
  • Hi DD. I am living proof that it can be done, even with a big bum like mine!! I started on the 5 mins training, but I did it for a week instead of a day. The second week, I increased to 7 mins intead of 10. The third week I increased to 10 mins. Week 4, I did 20 mins once. By the end of week 5, I ran 25 mins without even thinking about it. I'm now on week 6, having ran 30 mins twice without passing out. The very thought of running at all scared me to bits this time last year. And now, here I am ready to run a 3k. Please don't be daunted by it, just do it and go with what your body feels like. I'm sure you'll progress faster than you thought.
  • Hi Dippy,

    Like you I was a total beginner, and I'm following the RFL 10 week training program to the letter. It's really working for me, I'm just about to start the running for 4 mins week. I can't believe it, seeing as on week 1 I could barely run for 30 secs without getting terrible aches and pains in my legs.

    If you go to the Race For Life website you'll find it there.

    Good luck
  • I originally started last August using a book called "Run away from Fat" by Dave Keuhls (you can get it from Amazon) which is a 90 day, 6 times a week programme going from 10 minutes and finishing with 40 minutes. Actually probably did't do 6 days a week in the end but you have to write down what you've done which makes you think twice about missing it. Then when I'd done that I went on to one of the Half Marathon schedules from this website and have just done 2 half marathons last month. I would recommend the book although it has it's drawbacks which you can read about in the customer review section on the Amazon site. I'm not fat actually but bought it as a training guide.
  • Hi everyone!
    I need advice! I've been doing a beginner's programme and can now run 35 mins non-stop, but yesterday I used a heart-rate monitor and found that my heart rate was way too high, so I tried again, keeping my heart-rate within the recommended limits, and ended up only jogging very slowly for about 30 secs before having to walk to get my heart rate down again(which took about 3 mins), and consequently arrived back home not feeling as if I'd done any exercise at all, and somewhat disheartened! Should I ignore the heart rate monitor and do my own thing, or would I be wise to go back to walk/running?
  • Oops, sorry, I've posted the above 'thread' in the wrong place. I don't understand this internet lark!
  • I want to take part in a 10 mile run on 10 October 2004 in Portsmouth for Cancer Research.

    I have never run before and am slightly over weight (about 1 stone) does anyone have any tips for me on where to begin.

    I am a single mother to a 2 year old, work full time and generally do not have a lot of time to spare. I really want to do this but have no clue where to start!!

    Thanks in anticipation of you replys.

  • I feel a bit embarrassed about replying as if I'm some kind of expert, but can really identify with DD, Jenny, Joanne...

    I started running in May last year when I got fed up with the gym and wanted to be outside more. My 'base' level of fitness allowed me to jog for 20 minutes without stopping the first time, which I was so..oo proud of. I got some decent shoes and within 2 or 3 weeks was able to run for 30 minutes. The things I've read suggest this shoule be our first target a novice runners - 30 minutes without stopping, regardless of distance. I 'did my own thing' in terms of run/walk, although I'm sure these schedules work well. Some people advocate a walk/run strategy even wehn you are experienced and very good! The really important thing, especially if you are doing just running rather than run/walk, is to go slowly, even if you feel you could hammer on a bit faster - think jogging not sprinting. This way you spend more time out there on your feet and are much less likey to exhaust yourself or even injure yourself.

    About a month into my running I bought a polar heart rate monitor and had the same experience as Jenny. I found it very discouraging to be advised to run so slowly, when I actually felt fine in what I was doing - it felt counter-intuitive. But then (on the advice of someone posting on the forum) I got hold of John Parker's 'Heart Rate Monitoring for the Compleat Idiot' and it all fell into place. He uses a differnet formula to work out max heart rate and percentages - I think the usual ones are far too low for me (my Max rate observed so far, in a 3 mile race is 12 beats higher than the standard formulae predict). Anyway, get this book if you can, because the hrm really begins to make sense. It has helped me move on to 'speed work' and, I believe, kept me well and really enjoying running.

    Re. weight - I'm still about 2 stone above weher I 'should' be, but don't think this should be seen as an obstacle unless you are setting out to WIN races - lots of large people can and do enjoy running.

    And finally, races... My initial goal was RFL in July 2003, but I found myself entering a local 5 mile in June. The feeling of completing that race was indescribable - it's doen wonders for my confidence, especially as this is somethign new I've taken up since turning 40. I'm usually in the last 5 in the races I have entered, but so what? I still really enjoy it and feel very supported by fellow runners.

    Anyway, enough rambling. DD, I also like to find out everything when I start a new venture. But running is something where you really learn from experience - keep a diary and watch yourself change!
  • Just one more point in relation to Joanne's question about fitting it all in - the only way I can do it is by running home from work twice a week (about 3.5 miles and quicker than the bus!). Then I do my third, longer run at the weekend. Must be really hard as a single parent though - have you got a friend with kids who would look after yours while you run, the vice versa when they go out?

    It's not easy, but making you own health and well-being a priority makes you a better parent, I think (well, that's how I try to stop myself feeling guilty about even more time away from my son!)
  • Joanne-like you I am hoping to run the 10 miler in Portsmouth in October. I am an overweight mother of 2 boys and also work . I try to run/waddle in my lunch hour, 3 days a week. During the last 2 years I have followed the Race for Life schedule for 10 weeks leading up to the local RFL, this is an excellent place to start. Don't feel that you have to run all the way, as walking breaks allow you to complete greater distances.
  • Hi Everyone, I don't know if Jenny ever got to read Notty's post on HRM training. I picked up on this book from another thread and would echo just how much it makes sense and really does work. I've been following the advice in the book for just over a week and have seen a big improvement in just that short space of time. It really pulls it all together.
    I'm hoping to do the Portsmouth Run in October, but I'm entered in for the Bristol HM the month before. Having started running last November at the young age of 53!, I not sure if it might be a bit ambitious. I plan a 10k in April/May and with the help of the HRM plan, I feel pretty confident about it.
    Notty - how old is your son - mine is 11½ - he comes with me on his bike and carries the water supplies!! I'm trying to convince him to do the Juniors Section in Portsmouth this year as well.
  • I have just started running, and have to say that tips i have found in Runners world have been employed to good use already! the main one being about what to do when you get stitch.
    I intend to follow the run / walk idea, hopefully in 6 weeks or so i will be able to do 30 mins steady jogging/running.
    Good luck to everyone starting out like me!
  • hi evryone,i am also running the portsmouth 10 mile.( great south run) it will be my first race and i have been running for about 5 months.i sometimes struggle when running,but do find your mood dictates the pace or distance.i now just run as my mood takes me but still run at least 4 times a week,i.e. if i go to the gym with my mind set on 5 miles and only achieve 3 its normally my mind that tells me i,ve had enough not my body. anyone else having this problem.(willpower)thanx. tony
  • Tone 4 - Did you get a place on the Great south Run. I didnt think they were taking applications yet?
  • hi roger dodge,i hav,ent got a place yet but i am assuming i will as i have pre- i would have thought it was first come first serve.. good luck. tony
  • I have been running for 3 years now and have not really made much progress, i used to run with a partner but that didnt quite workout so iam running alone.

    I run before work 3 times a week and really enjoy it, still get quite tired in the evening though after work, be grateful for any ideas re diet etc and upping the anti so to speak !


  • Andrew - what sort of progress do you want to make? weight, speed, distance, etc
  • i am looking for a running partner in the southampton area. i have had several but they are mates who did not take it very seriously.i,m looking for someone on my level. i am running 3 times a week outdoors.anyone interested?.i,m not fit but am working towards it.just concentrating on the weight loss at this time.
  • Hello everyone.
    Ive been going to the gym over the last couple of years, and in the last 12 months have managed to loose 2.5 stone. Since August I have been doing an hour on the cross trainer, burning at least 750 cals at any one time. Sometimes Ive done this twice a day, with a couple of rest days thrown in somewhere in the week.
    As you can imagine Im getting a tad bored and want to start running on the treadmill. Do you think I need to start as a new beginner or can I start a little bit further along the path given my level of fitness resting pulse is around 50bpm, but I still need to loose about 1 stone.Im itching to get started and would love some advice from someone who has swapped their fitness regime in the same way. Thanks.....looking forward to your replies.x
  • Lynn - well done on the loss of 2.5 stone - that's good going. I've not done the switch, but would just throw a couple of comments which I hope are useful.
    By exercising exclusively on the cross trainer you have become aerobically fitter and your body has learned to burn more fat as it's primary fuel, which is excellent. The cross trainer is a low-impact exercise. When you make the switch to treadmill, just make sure you introduce the running slowly. The BIG danger is that, because you are much fitter than someone just starting, the danger is that you will do too much too soon. The treadmill and even more so road running is high impact and you need to develop the muscles which will support your knees/ankles. This takes time. Increase your distances slowly (not more than 10% in a week) Make sure you get some proper running shoes and from a running shop. If you can find one that will do a gait analysis or you can try them out on a treadmill in the shop is ideal.
    As you are going to the gym anyway, try to incorporate some leg strengthening exercises, ie.lunges and squats. They hurt, but are good for you. Personally, I avoid those leg curl machines - I find they exert too much lateral movement to the knee.

    I hope this helps.. and remember, running is a long term project.
  • Thanks for that RD
    Yes...whenever I have tried running, I do it on the incline on the treadmill, Im quite stiff the following day.
    I will heed what you say, but Im worried in case my fitness levels drop off. Having successfully built it up I dont want to jeopodise it.
    I dont mind doing the leg exercises and know I need to do some upper body training too.
    I'll keep you posted.
    Watch this space !!!x
  • Lynn - just mix them up. Start with run/walk on the treadmill for, say, half an hour with half an hour on the cross trainer, gradually increasing on the treadmill.
    I tend to run 3 times a week, plus a long run at the weekend with 2 days cross training. In my case, I do Concept 2 rowing as cross-training.
    You shouldn't lose any fitness that quickly.
    Upper body workouts are good too. Running is not just about legs, quite often after a long weekend run I get aching arms the next day.
    Good luck with it, sign yourself up for an event to focus in on something. I know you've got your remaining stone as a target, but think beyond that. I know it always sounds like an excuse, but muscle really does weigh heavier than fat. So you need to think about how you look and where you are slimmer. Dont't just go by weight.
    Keep posting
  • Thanks again RD
    Good idea about mixing them up...why didnt I think of it?? doh !
    Since August I have managed to loose 2% total body fat too...forgot to mention that, so yes I am trying not to focus too much on the weight issue. Easier said than done though.
    However I was well chuffed the other day when I managed to get into some size 12 jeans.....for the first time in 15years. Yee hah x
  • Quick echo on what Trinity said - some people swear by HRMs but you don't need one.

    The main concern for new starters is doing too much too soon - which is where a HRM can come in. However the calculations can be confusing and complex. As a general rule if you are running at a speed where you could hold a conversation you are at about teh right pace. If you would struggle to talk then you need to slow down.

    As for teh walk one min, run one min, just count! One mississippi, two mississippi, etc!
  • I've only been running for 3 months; I've found using the stopwatch on my mobile phone useful, as I didn't want to splash out straightaway on a training watch; it kills 2 birds with one stone, as I wouldn't run without a phone, for security reasons.
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