Should I just try to keep running

Hi everyone,  I am starting back to running after a three year gap so its back to basics again.  I am hoping someone can give me some advice as I am just not improving.  NB - I have four stones nearly to get rid of - I have entered and got a place in the Great North Run this year.   I am currently trying to do two mins running and two mins walking, getting absolutely nowhere, I am out three times each week and dont feel as if I am getting any better which is very disheartening.  At the end of the two mins run I am out of breath and feeling extremely unfit.  This has gone on for about six weeks now.  Do you think I should ditch the timing thing in this and just run until I can't run any more, then walk until I get my breath back and then run some more?  Anything has got to be better than what I am doing now.  When I started running six years ago I had training partners and we just kept each other going, it did seem a lot easier than what I am going through now.  Incidentally, I still had two stones to loose then so its not as though I was a lean mean running machine then.  Please give me some advice, I am getting very downhearted.   


  • I would say stick with timing, but increase your running periods I'd do a proper structured run/walk programme, there's beginners running programmes on here that would suit, but I'd definitely streer clear of the run till you're out of brethe strategy in my book that just ends up getting nowhere unless you're pretty fit and determind to start with.

    I think you need that push a structure would give you.


  • Agree - stick with timings - but be disciplined about how fast you are going.  You may not feel particularly fast but it's all relative - I would suggest that you are going at the running stretches too quickly.

    You really do need to make a conscious effort to plod during the running bit.

    I was finding things tough after a year of being back running and only managing 10 mins and then needing a break from starting off at run 1 min walk 2 etc buikd up.

    My problem was uneven pace - so a lot of stop starting - and it kind of gets psychological too.

    I made a big effort to start going slower and worry about speed later.  I find that I can now go for longer between walk breaks and the experience is more pleasurable and not a form of "torture!"image

    It is about spending time on your feet as you will know from your previous running - so don't push too hard but follow a timed program and you will make progress. 

  • Don't give up.

    I think you definately need to slow down. You are probably trying to run too fast and that is why you are getting out of breath.

    I felt the same. When I started running again after having a baby I weighed nearly 5 stone more than I do now and really struggled to run for a minute. I had also previously had a trianing partner when i tried running before that and it was easier with support.

    However, that was 2 years agoand  I kept at it and now run about 35 miles a week. Can run for over 2 hours without stopping and have done a few 10k's, a half marathon and am about to do my first marathon in October. I love running and am so glad I kept at it. And as the weight comes off it gets easier and you will get quicker.

  • Thanks so much for your replies - that has given me new inspiration, will keep you posted as to progress.  Good luck to Talulah 73 on your first marathon this year.  I did London a few years ago and would love to do it again, or indeed another marathon.  I so want to get back to my running but I have actually cried (yes I know that seems a bit wimpish) at my lack of progress.  I know the weight thing is a big (no pun intended) issue and I am thinking of joining Slimming World to tackle this problem.

    Thanks again for your kind replies,  

  • I lost mine with Weight watchers and running. I have been at a healthy weight for 18 months and now actually clerk at my old ww meeting.

     It can be frustrating when you get a setback but do not give up, and stiop putting so much pressure on yourself and try to enjoy it more.

    Let us know how you get on

  •  Hey Marja image

     I'm not sure if you need to go to slimmers world or anything like that? The more you train the more training you'll be able to do and the more weight will come off as you progress.

     As the others said you definately need to slow down! I know a lot of articles suggest the walk-run thing for begginers but I really disagree with this method. Go out running at little less than walking pace, as long as you get round your runs without stopping you'll soon see results. Gradually increase the distance of your runs and you'll naturally start speeding up the more you do it. Once you get used to it again and are running more confidently then you can think about introducing speed sessions and hill work and stuff.

     Also doing cross training is great for getting in shape. Mix up swimming and gym sessions with your running and you'll be in great shape in no time!

     Hope this helps you out, let me know how you get on image

  • I learned to run with the same type of program which had intervals of running and walking.  It was a podcast from the radio. It had music and the announcer to keep you motivated.  It was 27 sessions long and suppose to take about 12 or 13 weeks to accomplish 5K.  Well.... it took me more like 27 weeks!  since I had to keep doing lessons over and over. image

    I thought I would NEVER be able to run for 5 solid minutes! But I kept going and  now I run 10K, which was like some sort of far of dream of mine in the beginning. I honestly thought I would never reach the 5k mark and actually stopped trying to reach the distance and just focused on running. I figured running no matter how far or how long was better than giving up and not running at all.  About that same time is when something clicked and it started to get easier.   I really liked the music that went with it, I would send it to you, but the announcer speaks in Dutch, which might be hard to follow.   

    Keep on trying... keep moving... you will get there. image

  • As others before me have stated, you are likely starting off too fast. One thing that I found useful was that if you are running and struggle to hold a conversation then you are going to quickly.

     I started running little over a year ago. My first attempt was nealy the death of me! I didn't do any research and decided that I'd give it a go (I was previously a heavy smoker so had been in the process of getting fit and thought I was ready!). I went out, ran for 7 minutes roud the block. I quickly gave up got home and collapsed in a heap (my legs wouldn't support me) and struggled to breathe for about 30 minutes.

    Following that first attempt, I looked into how I should have started. That led me to the C25K (couch to 5k) program. This involved walking/running intervals as you have tried.

    A year later I have entered into my first Half Marathon (which is next week).

    I think that if I have been able to get this far as an ex smoker (who unfortunately occassionally still indulges) then there is little reason anyone would be unable to do it (and I am still in need of shedding some weight - 1.5 stone to get me down to my prefered weight!!)

  • Thanks so much for these so inspiring replies - I've been out twice this week, going again tonight and really had to make a concious effort not to go too fast (I use the term "fast" very loosley ).  I have stuck to the 60 second run / 90 second walk this week - I am so keen to get back to where I used to be, determined to get there in the end. 

    Once again, thanks so much for replying,

  • FastFinishingStub I have to ask have you ever not run,?

    As if you had ever had to start from not being able to run you'd understand run/walk is the only way when you're struggling to keep going for even 30 seconds.

    Well done on persevering Marja.


  • Thanks everyone,  well this is week two, starting tonight!!

     Will keep you posted - really look forward to going out now insteady of putting my shoes on and thinking what the point when I am getting no better?

    Thanks again for all your lovely replies.

  • Marja,

    Definitely keep going!  You will get there and even if you don't ever end up running 5K or a marathon you will still be out there doing more than you would be if you stopped!   Just keep going!  I still have days where I think my legs are made of lead and I can't go too far, but other days are easy.  You are doing great!  

  • Hello Strawberry image

     Yes I have started from scratch before and could not get into it by running/walking. I found it better as I said to run constantly (even if I'm running at the same pace as I walk! As long as I am using a running motion and not a walk). As you get used to it your body gets used to it. I found with the run/walk I relied too much on the walk recovery and took me longer to get into the running.

  • Marja, its great that you're finding your mojo again.  When I was at your stage I wondered whether I'd ever improve and it nearly killed me to run for the 1 minute.  Now, nearly 6 months later I'm running for 10-15 mins at a time and only take very short walk breaks.  And I did my first 5k on Sunday!  I nearly ran all of it but there were so many HILLS!!  So we walked up the last few cos I thought I was going to pass out!  But we live and learn and I'm now going to start putting some serious hill training into my running programme to improve my handling of them.  At your stage, avoid hills if you can until you get fitter cos I find them a great way to de-motivate!

    Anyway, stick with what you're doing.  I promise it will start to get easier!  When it does, up the running times and progress gently, slow and steady, there's no rush you'll get there eventually.  Better to progress slowly than injure yourself and be unable to run for several weeks.

    Good luck

  • Maybe run/walk is a girl thing - I don't know why I'm assuming you're a boy FastFinishingStub image


  • Strawberry JAM wrote (see)

    Maybe run/walk is a girl thing - I don't know why I'm assuming you're a boy FastFinishingStub image


     Definately not a girl thing... I used the run/walk to start and I'm not a girl. A friend I run with also used the same method. There is a training program dedicated to it. There are also Full Marathon training programs which rely on the run/walk up to and including the race.

    If anything it is how the individual works...

  • FastFinishingStub, you do have a little bit of a point here!  I've found that now I'm fitter, if I can keep running for over 10 mins then the pain subsides and I feel more 'in my stride'.  But there's no way I could have done that  to start with.  I needed run/walking to increase my fitness in the first place.
  • Yeah, I'm a boy image How could ya tell?!
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