Getting Started

Hi Guys...

I'm new to the site, Runner's World and running. I'm looking mainly for sources of advice and motivation.

I'm 32 and just started running. I'm 3st overweight and started a montha go on a "weight loss" and dieting regine. My aim is to get down to 9st 10 (my ideal weight for height ratio). In the last month I've been walking (briskly with the dog) 3 times a day usually something along the lines of 20-20 mins in the morning, 1 hour - 1hr 15 mins in the afternoon and 40 mins in the evening. This is equating to 6 miles a day, everyday (36 miles a week).

My calorie intake is around 1380-1500 but I vary it up and down to make sure my metabolism stays on track. But it never involves chocolate, biscuits crisps or anything remotely unhealthy. So, doing this in the last month I've lost 10 lbs (I'm sure this is okay - I try to make sure I'm not overdoing things).

Anyway, for years I wanted to restart running - I used to be a cross country runner at school and it's a sport I really enjoyed ... especially when you're in the zone, the breathing is right and no injuries... I used to feel on times like that I could run forever.

Anyways, I want to get back to doing that. I started running about a 2 weeks ago. I've so far incorporated short runs into my morning walk and not everday. I've seen on the site to start only 3 times a week. Is it okay to still carry on with the brisk walking three times a day with the dog..? (I know it will seem a stupid question but I'm not sure and I want to start properly and make sure I don't injue myself before I even start).

I also wanted to say a big thanks to all those people who have had the courage to start and keep going - you've provided me with some inspiration. Initially I thought I was too fat to run and too unfit but I see other people can do it and I want to see if I can too.

Thanks again everyone


  • Hi Cath

    I'm glad to see you're taking such positive steps to reach your goals and, judging by the progress you've made so far, it won't be long until you get there.

    It was a little weird reading your post because the similarities between us are interesting (same age, returning to running after a long break, determined to tackle a weight problem)- I won't be buying a dog just to keep up with you though - lol.

    I've been scouring books and the web searching for a beginners program and the concensus of opinion seems to be to do pretty much what you're doing - incorporating short periods of running into your walking 3-5 times a week - and gradually increasing the running periods and reducing the walking over the weeks. As with most physical exercise I think the most important thing is to listen to what your body is telling you. If you feel good taking the dog for a long walk on your non-running days then it should be fine. If you start to feel excessively stiff or tired then it might be wise just to take a day off and come back after a rest.

    I wish you all the success in the world with your running and, rest assured, i'll be out there running round the park (eventually) hoping that someone else is doing the same for me.

    Be happy that you've taken the initiative in doing something you want to do and be proud of every positive step you take to becoming a runner again.
  • Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your posting. It's encouraging to know I'm not the only one just starting out and I can't wait until I get right back into it properly. I doubt I'll be running three times a day but certainly I hope to get upto running at least 3 miles a day and then increasing the distance and stamina from there.

    How are you doing with the running..? How long ago did you start again and where are you aiming for..? Initially I think I might be brave enough to enter a 5K but my main aim in the distant future (probably 2-3 years or before I'm 35) is to run a marathon. We'll see.
  • Fiona MFiona M ✭✭✭
    Hi folks! Can I join the 32 club? I've only been going at this running lark a few months, but really my improvement is fairly minimal compared to some of the stories I read from people who have given it more commitment than me!! Also the weight hasn't shifted yet (about a stone overweight) but I haven't really made many changes to my eating - although think starting to see tiny tiny signs of progress on that front, and I'm definitely a better shape!

    BUT - have decided that if I am going to improve I have to up the number of runs I'm doing a week to at least 3 and do some of this "fartlek" (?!) stuff. Before, I had the same dilemma about what would be overdoing it. I do taekwon-do twice a week also and figured it might be "too much" initially to try and introduce 3 runs a week on top of that. But now the aches and pains after either type of exercise have reduced a bit, I think it would be ok. Has anyone else suffered from muscle aches in their HIPS though? Bit wierd, but can't be a bad thing if it's working those muscles ;-) .

    I'm well impressed, Cath, with your long-term goal of doing a marathon. I'm a bit scared to set myself any big goals (beyond a 5k for the foreseeable future) in case I put myself under pressure and turn the running into a chore rather than the fun I'm having right now.

  • Welcome to the 32 club Fiomac !!

    I really want to try and get myself to 10k and possibly half marathons eventually although I am more than concious of not overdoing things. At this stage of the game i'm just going to watch things improve over time and see how i'm performing maybe three months down the track.

    I think the important thing is just to get the best out of it that you can and enjoy it - I certainly have no higher expectations at this stage than to feel fitter and look better. Anything more than that is a bonus.
  • Hi Fiona!!

    Well you seem to be doing really well, taekwon-do as well! I'm really only walking/ jogging and even though it's 3 times a day (two walks, one jog/walk) half the reason is the dog would drive me mental if he didn't go out three times a day :) But seriously the thing that tipped the scales with me was the eating - I rarely ate sweet things anyway but I found I was eating too much and the timing was all wrong. You don't need to do an awful lot to alter - I think what I did in the first few weeks was I kept a diary of exactly what I was eating and what my daily calorie intake was. After two weeks I could see where I needed to improve or cut down on things. Since then I've done fairly well diet wise and I'm not a picker anyway (thankfully) so it's been relatively easy to stay on track.

    Regarding the major goal - well, it is two or three years away and I'm hoping I can do it - it's more an ambition than anything else. I was brought up to believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it and you only have to want to do it enough to succeed :) So that's what I'm doing, putting my mind to it and hopefully with determination, guts and hard slog, I'll get there :)
  • Fiona MFiona M ✭✭✭
    Wow that was quick, I only went away to start my new thread and when I came back I had 2 responses! Ta very much.

    Yes, think I am of the "wait and see, anything is a bonus" school of thought too Gary. You never know, maybe when my confidence increases I'll be looking towards marathons too! There is something about reading the really established runners' posts or articles in RW and thinking, "maybe just maybe - they all had to start somewhere some day too".

    Well done with the eating, Cath. I'm actually more of a picker than someone who likes big meals, and crisps (even if they are the low-fat variety) are still my downfall. However, having persuaded other half to join the running fraternity (Michag, see his post) then maybe what we have in the household will take a turn for the healthier.

  • Hello Cath (and everyone else too) - Can I join the 32 club even though I'm 33!?

    I just wanted to congratulate you on your success so far..I took up running in March of this year after starting a diet in Jan (I had 3 1/2 stone to lose). I've since lost 2st 4lbs and have built up the runs from the walk min, run 1min training (and the run 1 min used to KILL me) on a treadmill to recently completing my very 1st 10k 2 weeks ago (it took me forever, but I was sooo happy to get round!).

    I did make the mistake of overdoing it in the beginning as I cycle to work and back everyday which is about a 10 round trip and didn't really include this in my exercise regime, so I'd go for a run or go to the gym and not have any rest days at knee got quite bad at one point.

    I would say to you, as long as you make sure you give yourself some rest days from the running or impact exercise, then you should be fine...As Gary says, listen to your body and if you feel as if your legs realy don't want to work, then they're probably telling you to give them a break! I bet your dog loves it when you start to jog!..I've often thought how lovely it would be to run with a dog bounding along with me.

    Fiona - I have 2 friends who both have had pain in their hips - Specific stretches for that area really helped them and the pain seemed to go after a few days. It could be a shoe thing though...? I've also recently started to try farleks - trying to get a little faster...

    Well done too Gary for starting the running again - I'm sure you'll be running your 1st 10k very soon!


  • Thanks Kaytee - It's always so nice to be given a glimmer of hope by someone who's been through the initial pain barrier and lived to tell the tale ;) There's always room for optimists and motivators in the 32 club.
  • Fiona MFiona M ✭✭✭
    Gary, what time do you get up in the mornings!!?? Posting at 6.20 am? And welcome Kaytee! We'll just have to rename our club for you. Any suggestions? Nice to see what people look like, isn't it?

  • Can I join the 32 club even though I am 25? I only started running about 2 years ago when I did the Race For Life in 2000. I was always one of the last to finish cross country at school and I only took up running to lose weight.
    I joined a running club last year and found I really enjoy running (even when its hard), the club give me loads of support and motivation.
    I am not what I would call a natural runner, I do find it very hard and my pace can only be defined as slow, but the sense of achievement I get from it is fantastic. Like the rest of you I try to listen to my body to make sure I am not overdoing it, but I sometimes wonder if I could push myself a bit harder as I am not getting any faster.
    Cath I find walking is actually quite a good opportunity to stretch out the mussles and I do try to walk on a day when I am not running or swimming.

  • Hello everyone. I started running in Jan 2001 and last night I was reading through my old training diary. It really amazed me how much those initial 3 mile runs really hurt. The first mile or so was always agony. So don't be put off by reading about people doing much longer runs or having the committment to get in loads of training. For me (and I reckon lots of other runners) the toughest committment and the most pain came in those first few weeks and months. (although a marathon does hurt!)

    So you've all taken the hardest step and done some of your hardest runs already.
  • Neil, thank goodness you posted that :) I'm into my second week and moved up to the two second jog/walk thing and it was agony - mainly because of the sore shins. I'm ice packing and having anti-inflammatories at the moment and off to the Trafford Centre tonight to get more running shoes and ditching the trail shoes. We'll see how it goes.

    Daisy & Kate - Hi!!! Of course you can join in :) and Daisy - I love the walks - I'm 3x daily with the dog so the legs don't get much let up. Even though I said I was over weight, I am pretty fit really considering and like you my main motivation was to lose weight! and it's working seemingly.

    Oh and Guys ... I must be mental. It is the Liverpool Corporate Cup (5K) on the 8th September and our workplace usually enter a couple of teams. I've been talked into running for the team ... oh God!! 4 weeks and hopefully I'll be doing better than I am today :)
  • Cath
    You must have my old legs! I also came into running with a reasonable level of fitness, so I used to find the pain from those initial runs really frustrating. My feet used to really slam into the pavement so hard and my shins would hurt like hell. I used to spend more time warming up, cooling down and stretching that I did running.

    10 months later and I was finishing the New York marathon.
  • Daisy - you sound just like me (i.e. hating running at school and only starting as a way to lose weight...If someone had told me 6 months ago that I'd be able to run over 6 miles and actaully ENJOY it I would've laughed!

    Cath - well done for letting yourself be talked into the 5k - Go for it! Keep us informed of how the training goes!

    Neil - you've just inspired me to look at my dairy to see what I wrote when I first started ...just had a giggle at the bit I wrote after week 1 where the lift had broken and I couldn't walk down the stairs!
  • Hi folks
    wise words from Neil there, it is so daunting slogging your guts out round a 3/4 miler and then to meet people training for marathons doing 15 mile training runs, and the fast guys at clubs who do speedwork and fartlek on a regular basis.
    I'm just returning from a long break from running, so it is especially frustrating running routes I could do once manage easily about 5 mins slower now.
    I've also been talked into a 5k, not until October, so I felt I have got a bit of time to work up to it. I know I can do the distance, but I would like to do it as a PB. Hope I'm not too ambitious there.
    I guess I will have to try some speed sessions - although I am a bit of a lazy Daisy when it comes to hard work, and I feel a bit of a plonker doing speedwork by myself - lone female runners attract so much attention as it is - so any suggestions to start me off would be appreciated. I might even start a training diary.
    Cath what kind of dog have you got?

  • Morning all

    Thought i'd wait a bit before I posted today ;) I'm usually up and about at 5am and that's my quiet time for checking through the message boards - usually to inspire me before I set off for my morning heave.

    Maybe we should start thinking about opening a new thread called "The 25 -32 beginners club" - lol - that way we can keep chasing each other up. I know when i'm sat here seriously doubting whether I can be bothered to go out and do something you guys give me a lift.
  • Hi y'all, Nice to meet you.
    I began running last April with the aim of losing weight. I'd never stuck to a fitness regime for more than a month but 3 months on I've lost 20lbs and only have another 20 to go. The first time I ran I stopped after half a mile, everything hurt, I've since competed in two 5ks and am training for my first 10k.
    It took a while for my joints and muscles to get used to the extra exercise. I've had shin splints and get aching hips still but my body seems to have adapted to my new found pleasure.
    The experience of achieving a new distance, time or completing a race is exhilerating. I could quite happily get addicted to running!

  • Kaytee & Neil -- Hi again Guys. I went training today.... we (colleague who has appointed himself my personal trainer and I) decided to ditch the beginner schedule just for today ... the aim being to see what kind of distance I can cover without stopping (pushing myself) and so from that we can devise a training plan (within reason) for the next four weeks. So I went to the gym with the colleague from work who is a fitness fanatic and I ran without too much pain 1.62 miles over 20 minutes. I'm not sure this is any good but I was pleased that I managed to keep going and I have to be honest the only reason I stopped then was the shin splints were agaony. I wasn't short of breath or exhausted ... just hurting. Having said that, I bought a new pair of Asics GT-2070 running shoes last night and the shin splints pain was and is far less than it has been over the last few days. So - tell me I'm mental, but I've decided to try to train through it until it gets less so I'm going to run every other day. I train again on Friday with the boss (whose team I'm in for the race).

    Gary -- that's a great idea! I feel exactly the same way. I normally run in the morning too so I'm up fairly early but like Sabine, I find the encouragement and motivation here is just brilliant. Since I started coming here no-one has said I'm stupid or daft for trying stuff out... in fact people have only mentioned how to be careful.

    Sabine -- I agree with you. This place is a great motivation point for me too :)

    Daisy -- I've got a huge mental Golden Retriever called Oscar :)

    Laura -- Hi there :)
  • Cath, the usual wisdom is that you should not run through an injury, should listen to your body etc. But when you start out it's hard to tell the difference between the regular aches and pains of running and the pain of looming injury. Also, if you haven't listened to your body for a long time, it's hard to hear what it's trying to tell you!

    If I went for a run now and experienced the pain I used to get in my old 3milers, I'd be really worried! I say hang in there and see how it goes. Every other day sounds OK, as long as you feel like you've recovered between runs.


  • Garylad, can you make it 25-33?
  • Fiona MFiona M ✭✭✭
    Wow, our club is growing! Shame there is no chat facility on here. Does anyone else find it a bit frustrating that the threads keep moving about?!?

    Gary and Kaytee - you have inspired me to start keeping a proper training diary - so I look forward to looking back and laughing at these early agonies also!

    Sabine - glad you are finding this forum so supportive - I have definitely found it to be both informative and friendly.

    Now I know there were lots of other things I wanted to comment on/respond to, but I would need to go back a page to remind myself, and when I do that and return my current message disappears. :(

  • Fiona

    You can select and copy your message, move back up the thread if you want, then paste your message back in and carry on. Er, does that make any sense?

  • Fiona MFiona M ✭✭✭
    OK rest of message now:

    Daisy - what about trying your speed training on a treadmill if you feel too self conscious or vulnerable when out and about? Or in a fairly quiet scenic park where you can check there's no-one ahead or behind you for a bit and then run like the clappers (got to be a motivation also!)? Or failing that, try hilly routes instead?

    Cath & Daisy - I have a mad springer spaniel. So I know what you mean by being driven mad :) - BUT she's now trained into only expecting one walk a day, and thinks it's Christmas when she gets 3 laps of the park (me running) to her usual 1!!

    Laura - hi and glad to hear of someone else with the aching hips problem and that it gets better with time. Found a good stretching exercise somewhere on this page and it seems to help.

    Fiona (again - some white wine later)
  • Fiona MFiona M ✭✭✭
    Thank you Neil, it does make sense. I shall do that in future. Now I shall stop hogging this thread.

  • HI guys
    thats really helpful about copying the message, I spent ages yesterday being witty and informative (!), only to lose everything when I went over to the first page.
    I would really like a dog, I have 2 cats who look at me bewildered when I set off on my runs.
    ON Saturday i am going to try some speedwork down at the race course which has a gravel track along side it with a great view of the river. I will let you know how I get on.
    Cath I have also heard that you shouldn't run with shin splints, but as the new trainers have improved this situation, I think you will be ok if you keep an eye on things. Now you know you can go so far wihtout stopping, you will have the confidence to go a bit further and shorten the walking breaks.
    I really think a lot of running is about mental strength, which is why this thread is so good because when I read over what everyone else has written, I can really relate to it. PLus I know my non-running friends get bored of me analysing every mile.
    Its a good job there is not chat facility, otherwise I would be here all day.
  • Hi Everyone,
    Can i join the Club too? Just turned 31 :)
    I am just getting back into running again after a year or so out. I need to lose about 3 -4 stone. And i have started on the RW beginners Schedule for 5K run. Enjoying running again, But i forgot how tired the muscles feel the next morning.
    Nice to see i am in good company for new runners at this age. Thought i was having a early Midlife crisis . lol
    Is there any new runners in medway towns? that would like to have a running raining partner, or a club. as i find it easier to keep motivated with a running partner. I seem to find an excuse for not going. although the kids and wife usually persuade me. lol.
    Well enough rambling from me.

  • I would like to join the 32 club. What a great year 1970 was!

    I was always the last to be picked for school teams, not a natural athelete! I started running in Feb 2002, mainly to lose weight, but also, ever since forrest gump, I've always wanted to run and run!
    I have lost 2 stone, which I'm sure has made the running easier. I've done a 5k and a 10k, and am now training for my first half.

    I think those first 1-2 miles are the hardest to crack. Once you can run 1-2 miles, it gets easier.

    I probably would have given up by now, but this forum is a constant source of inspiration and excellent advice. Thanks everyone!
  • WoW!! This is growing isn't it.

    Neil - I hear what you're saying and I'll be careful but you'll be glad to know that I don't have any aches and pains at all today - slight "tiredness" if you can call it that ... more a feeling of having done some exercise is more what I would call it. So I think I'm running through the starting aches and pains rather than an injury *fingers crossed* - hopefully when I run again tomorrow I should be okay.

    AND just to add to everyone else ... this is a great forum and thanks for all your comments and taking part - it has REALLY REALLY added to my motivation and enthusiasm!!!

  • Cath,

    Did you get new shoes? The reason I'm asking is because I too suffered from painful shins when I stared in April. In May, I decided to get some new running shoes but, disappointed with the stock of shoes available in my high street, I went to a specialist running shop - 20 miles or so further away, but well worth it.

    The staff were excellent and insisted I ran outside the shop in my own shoes so that they could check out my running style.
    The result was that they recommended that I should be wearing stability shoes.

    Since I’ve been wearing them, I’ve gradually moved up to 10k (my first race is on 18th August) and have no problems.

    So, if you're like me, it could be your shoes causing the pain. If you've not bought new shoes yet, I'd recommend getting someone with experience to look at the way you run.

    BTW - all, any chance of renaming the club to fit in a 44 year-old ? ;-)

  • Hi All!

    Wow the 21-44 (!) club's getting really big now...haven't managed to visit for a couple of days.

    Cath - well done on the training so far - from walking the dog every day to running 1.69m in 20 mins..that's BRILLIANT! You're really are going for it now aren't you? That's fab...Good you got proper running shoes too! Oh, and my cat's called Oscar! (irrelevant I know, but just had to slip it in!)

    Laura & Fat Girl Slim - well done on the weight loss - feels great doesn't it ? (I'm just starting to re-discover the joys of shopping!)!!

    Neil - thanks for the tip on the copy & pasting - made my life MUCH easier!

    Nic - Go for it! My inspiration for losing weight and starting running came from a site ( The guy who's site it is woke up one morning and realised he was an overweight 44 yr old that hadn't done exercise for about 15 years and decided he was going to run the London Marathon in about 9 months time (at the time he started)!! It's his diary (that I followed daily) from day 1 & his first ever 1 minute run until the Marathon day - makes great reading... and there another, REALLY funny one at - a guy called Jon has just started this one and he's on week 3 - do have a look as it will make you chuckle!

    Daisy - Definitely try the speed training on the treadmill as well if you can - I've just started doing it and it's much easier than outside...but then again, a view of the river may make it all the more bearable!

    Neil again - just discovered if I use the back button on the toolbar and go forward again, I don't lose the message....

    Fiona - glad the stretching has helped your hip. I've just been to see my friend who's an acupuncturist as my right knee has been giving me problems recently, but after the 1st treatment I had after the 10k, it's helped so much and this last one has got rid of the twinge that I've been having all day. Amazing.

    Mikey - Did you go to Run & Become in London by any chance? I got my shoes from there and I don't think I've ever been into a shop with such helpful & knowledgeable staff.

    Cheerio everyone - am all inspired again to get out there and go for a run tomorrow (weather permitting!)

    Kate :)
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