Absolute beginner!!

And then some!! I'm 43 years old, not overweight, but not fit either. I've always harboured a secret desire to run, but every time I try it I get out of breath by the time I get to the end of the street, and give up after a few days.

Is there hope for me?



  • Of course there's hope! A bit of run walk would be a good start. Take a look at the article "Why run-walk really works" down towards the bottom right of the browser window.
  • Take it slowly and you can build yourself up.... I do spend a lot of time looking at these threads for support ideas etc!
  • Hi Morag, run very, very slowly to begin with, start with fast walking with a few very short jogging bursts which are only slightly faster than your fast walking and build up over a couple of weeks to around 20mins walk/jogging.
  • Morag

    Absolutely possible, the trick is not to over estimate yourself in the very early days.

    Can you walk for 30 mins at a fairly brisk pace? If so:
    do it & get an idea of how far you've covered,
    keep a very simple record of each session (date, distance, time route)
    give yourself a few days off then do the same route again, aim to walk briskly again,
    next time find a part of the route you feel comfortable breaking into a light jog then return to brisk walking (try not to stop)
    next time same again, try a second short jog
    keep the pattern up
    when you look back at your record you'll see you've started to cover ground you couldn't before
    and so it goes on

    Also although I know it's really daunting, try to find a local short race (5k) or fun run that you can join in, book your place early so you know what you're aiming.

    Most importantly enjoy yourself & don't beat yourself up if you don't always get out when you meant to

    Good luck
  • Hi Morag,

    Look for the thread entitled,'I have been running for 3 months but now feel less fit than when I started'

    You will find that there isn't one!

    Give it a minimum of 12 weeks(Nick's advice is spot on for you)and you will not believe how far you have progressed.
  • Morag,
    Stick with the wonderful advice on this and all the other similar threads and you will soon improve. When you need motivation, look in the threads as well!

    We have all been there!
  • Hi Morag - yes, there's loads of hope! I was in the same place as you about nine weeks ago (and I'm a year older than you), and thanks to run/walk, I'm now running 20 mins 5 days a week. As well as all the excellent advice above, I'd recommend Bob Glover's Runners Handbook (available in Penguin) which is really helpful to the beginning runner. It's definately possible!
  • Morag, I was in a very similar situation to you until just over a year ago - not overweight, active, fit enough for most purposes, but really believed that running was something I couldn't do.

    Problem was, I'd been trying to sprint. When I decided that, dammit, I was going to do the London Marathon supposing I walked it all, I went to the gym and the fellow who did my induction put me on the treadmill, turned it up to a massive 5mph, and told me to jog at that speed. Revelation! I did half a mile alternating 4mph/5mph that day and knew that running wasn't out of my reach. Three weeks later I did my first isolated 10-minute mile on the treadmill. Within three months I could string several of them together. Then got injured, but that's another story! Did that marathon, never lost the bug and have just started to include races in my training.

    Brisk walks including some hills are a good starting point for basic fitness. Swimming and cycling will help too. But ultimately the only way to run is to start slow and teach yourself to run.

    Keep posting. Your progress matters to us!

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Thank you!! What an overwhelming response. I now realise where I was going wrong - trying to run too quickly, too fast. I'll keep you posted, but with support like this, how can I go wrong!


  • There is always hope... not so many months ago I started on what I thought was an easy training plan.... ended up struggling to run the required minute! Last weekend I ran my first 10K.
    Lots of people here started in exactly the same position as you. You really can do it just like the rest of us have. The advice above really does work
  • RunMike is right, we all started in the same position. Stick at it.
  • Hi, just like you 42 thought i was fit.Did the Tesco 5k run walk plan.It worked Just did 1st 10k on Sunday.Never done the distance before.Book I like is Runnung for Women available on Amazon.It American but girls are girls !!Infact my other half has just started using the beginners programme run /walk this week so he can come out with me on the dark nights!!
  • If you realy want to run Morag ,you will, Ihad a heart attack age 40,I was still on heart tablets age 48 when I was talked into running a marathon,Okehampton Devon,the very first training run I done was 2 miles,when I got back home my wife said, "you better pack that in or you`ll kill yourself" I was chalk white and puffing like an old steam train,however, I kept at it,and from 1985 up untill I had a cartilage opp. on my knee 1996 I had more success than i`d ever dreamed I could have, including 1994 age catogary win in the London marathon with a time of 2hours 40 mins,runners are always ready to help you,you can always rely on runners for support.
  • What everyone says is so true - basically, 'don't run before you can walk'!

    My boyfriend refuses to come out running with me or to the gym and use the treadmill, and he says it is because he doesn't enjoy it. Rubbish.
    The real reason is because he wants to be 'Mr. Gold Medal Athlete' immediately, even though he doesn't exercise at all.

    'Slow and steady wins the race' (am I using too many old sayings here?).
    I started off walk/run a couple of months ago and I'm 30. I can now make a run last for 45 minutes, but would take a walk break if I needed to.
    My boyfriend, at age 29, sits on his bottom and does nothing because he has to either be immediately fit enough to compete in a marathon or he will feel a failure.
    I think it is the thought that he used to be so fit and do cross country all those years ago at school.
    That doesn't mean that he, or you for that matter, should be able to do it all now.

    As I always tell him, and anyone who will listen 'better to do a few minutes of something than a few minutes of nothing'.

    Keep going walk/run/walk/run and one day you'll be posting on here that you did run/run. Well done for taking the first steps anyway!
  • Beth,
    Your post strikes a chord. My beloved (37) was 'inspired' by my running enthusiasm and invested in a pair of Asics and took off along the tow path flat out as far as he could go. He got back somehow, hurt like hell, left it for a week, did the same again... And then came out with the classic 'but I'm no good at running' as an excuse for not going again. I (calmly) pointed out advantages of run/walk etc as listed above but apparently that's for girls. To his credit, he went out for a third time yesterday (after a two week break) and seems no worse for it today, so maybe there's hope for him!
  • Men, eh, Mungus? LOL

    My bloke had a spat of going to the gym 4 times pw before his holidays, and that is how I know that he kills himself determined to be Mr. Ultrafit.
    10% incline fast walking and 10kmph running, and that was on his first session! Plus weights.
    No wonder he got put off going again since he got back from the holiday.
    If all you see from exercise is knackering yourself out and aching limbs (his shoulders kept him up all night for a couple of days) then it is never going to fun.

    Alas, there is no telling them, is there? He still thinks I'm weird for enjoying running and looking forward to it, even though I've explained why he hates it so much and why I love it. He's a Leo - arrogant, so there's no reasoning with him! ha ha

    This is why I've advised the absolute beginner to learn from my bloke's silly mistakes and take it easy at first.
  • Beth! Theirs nothing wrong with Leos! You're right in many ways though!Men do forget there has been a gap between what they could do and today... it comes as a really big shock I can tell you! The memory tells me I can run up the Rock of Gibralter in the heat without stopping! The body these days says something totally different ( certainly not something I could write here). We just need a few more falls before we learn that it took a while to get into that shape before and it's going to take a while again.
    The first time we all had to learn to walk first (those nappies made it difficult!) It's amazing that everybody initially forgets how long it took to get to those days of running fast that most of us think were yesterday. At least the second time around it takes a lot less time but only if... we take it slooooowly
  • Hi Folks
    On your advice, first week of walk/run scenario successfully completed - and I managed it without feeling as though I was going to peg out at any second!
  • Well done Morag!

    I just want to say that all the advice the other have given is absolutely spot on! As you can see from your first week of walk/run.

    Like many of the others here, I started "running" 3 years ago (I was 38, very unfit & very fat - 5'5" and 14st 4lb!)and I couldn't even walk briskly for 1 minute! I've been Shambling (I can't really call it running) ever since and I really love it, also I'm now 10st 5lb! I don't go fast but, on a good Sunday I have been known to keep going for just under 2½ hours!

    Really - if I ca do it - ANYONE can do it!

    Happy Shambling!
  • Morag
    Well done you, I'm really pleased it went well for you
  • Well done Morag! Good for you. Keep it up.
    Beth x
  • Morag

    So how was week 2?
  • :)Incredible!! Last night was the last of the 'run for two, walk for two' regime, and I couldn't believe how much easier running had become in only two weeks. I know that its very early days, but I'm really enjoying this. The buzz is astonishing - no wonder so many people do it!!
  • See!? It can only keep getting better.

    Good for you! (And it is good for you, too).

    Keep up the good work, Morag. I'm no great shakes as a runner - hence the name - but I just love it!

    Happy Shambler!
  • brill - hope you keep enjoying it now you're not a beginner any more :-)
  • hey Morag - well done! And fantastic that you're enjoying it so much. It will keep getting better and better (and as Nick says, you're not an absolute beginner any more).
    meerkat x
  • Hi Folks

    Just back from a week's holiday - I exchanged damp and misty Scotland for damp and misty Ireland!! Kept up the next week of the schedule while I was there (run 3 minutes, then walk) and that was fine, but yesterday when I tried 4 minutes, I was absolutely dreadful. I managed to do it three times instead of five, then gave up and walked home.
  • Morag - don't feel bad. You kept up the schedule during your hols, which is brilliant. And yesterday you ran 12 minutes, which is 12 mins more than a few weeks ago! I'm only just past the walk/run intro, and something I still have to work hard at is remembering to run really really slowly. Maybe you were just running a bit too fast. I try and imagine I'm running in slow motion, and that normally gets me down to a comfortable snail's pace.
    Or maybe you were just having an off day. You're allowed!
  • I'm doing run walk too, and I agree with Meerkat's advice about not running too fast. I keep setting off too fast & having to remember to slow down. Fast running comes later! Also, even though I've only been doing it 2 weeks, I have found that some days are bad days when you just don't have the energy for some reason (probably to do with food) - maybe that's why your 4min run bit didn't work out. Don't give up.

    I haven't timed my run:walk sessions, I just run 'til I start to feel a bit out of breath, then I walk until it comes back again. It seems to be working as I can run further than I could this time last week!
  • Thanks, All. I probably won't go out tonight, as the weather is dreadful, but tomorrow (gales permitting!), I'll be running. Ran five minutes to the shop last night, and managed to ask for a litre of milk and a loaf without a trace of breathlessness!
Sign In or Register to comment.