Newbie feeling disheartened already :(

Hi there, I'm a regular gym-goer who started running last week, using a 0 to 5k plan from a magazine. I'm not used to endurance so I knew I would find it tough but it's embarrassing that I'm tired after only two minutes of running. I'm currently doing walking/running intervals and am trying to focus on my technique and breathing but I felt like I was wasting my time today when my left ankle and all the way up the side of my lower leg hurt so much that I had to stop for a while. Already frustrated and disheartened! How do I deal with this??


  • Hey Vicky,

    I've just go back into running (well it's the first time I have trained for it off my own back) and I am finding it hard too.  A work colleague gave me the best advice, 'don't think about what you haven't done, focus on what you have done'.

    So if you are running less distance than you thought, or you skip a training session focus on how much you have achieved already.  The fact that you have decided to start running is an achievement in itself.  You will get there, just stick with the walk/jog and don't try to do too much too soon or you will get even more disheartened and possibly risk injury.  I'm sure you'll be posting improvements within days!

  • I hope so. I felt good when I first started because I just enjoyed exercising outside for a change but since I've started to worry about technique, etc, it's made it worse. So I think I just need to relax.

    Bit concerned about my ankle/leg though because it's still throbbing as we speak and I don't know what the problem is. I don't get it when in the gym so hopefully it's just a sore muscle and nothing serious.
  • what shoes are you wearing to run in? If they are not suited to you, or just old gym shoes, then they could be causing the problems. It is worth going to a proper running shop and getting some advice about proper running shoes

    stick with it - it is hard to begin with, but if I can do it then anyone can, believe me

  • I'm wearing gym trainers which are new-ish but perhaps not right for outdoor running. I do have some older running shoes that I think I'll try too. I know I need to go to a running shop and get some proper advice but money is very tight at the moment so that will have to wait a couple of months. I will try doing more stretches before running next time too, in case that's part of the issue.

    Thanks, mathschick - I do feel better when people tell me to just stick with it because it makes me realise that maybe I'm just hard on myself! I do love a challenge so I can't see myself giving up just yet, but I look at the end of my plan when it says "run for 40 minutes" and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The thought of me ever being able to do that is unbelievable!
  • That's what I thought but I have now managed 60 mins continuous.  No one was more surprised than me!  If you're stubborn enough you'll do it.

  • vicky - I would save the stretches for the end of your run - stretching cold muscles sin't supposed to be good I think. Just stick with the training plan you have and repeat weeks if you need to. You will be able to do it.

  • Well done! How long did it take you to get to 5k? Friends have told me to sign up for a 5k run in October as a goal but I'm not convinced I'll be able to do it by then, even though I'm sticking to my schedule. I'm also due to join a running club once I've reached my 5k mark, so I'm hoping they will give me advice on technique, etc. I really need to work out how to breathe properly!
  • Mathschick - I read that stretching is best for the end of a run as well, so I'm glad you think the same thing.
  • I did a 5k run with no training, which is what inspired me to start training properly.  But then I am stubborn and know I will get round a course no matter how long it takes me.  I entered a 10k with friends and we made a pact to run it together, by the time we got to the finish line they had switched off the music and started packing up!

    My first serious attempt at a 5k was in May (two months of training) and I was amazed when I got sub 30 (just) which has now made me want to get faster (it's not happening just yet).  I think October is a reasonable timeline and you'll be fine as long as you treat it as an initial race (I have only competed in two races 'competitively' in my life) and aim to complete it even if that means walking some of it.  The sense of achievement is incredible.  And I did my first 10k without stopping last month! Having a race as a goal should keep you going when it gets a bit tough.  Good luck and get stretching!


  • Vicky even if your running 1 minute then walking 2 minutes for 10 minutes thats still 4 minutes more running than you were doing just keep going you will see improvements thats for sure a few month down the line you will be looking back thinking hey these guys were right I can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just stay positive Good Luck image

  • Vicky I have just started running again after a 6 year relaps into my old eating habit.

    I am just under 20 stone so I know how you feel about progress.

    There are many factors about your running which wil come into play.

    Ok your running on a running machine yer?

    What speed are you starting at and what do you get to?

    Although a heavy runner, just lost 5 stone and been back swimming for a couple of months and running for a month. Currently doing around 40 minuites run at 8.5 to 9.5 towards end. Please note I've always been active even at 25 stone.

    Trainers, wow I have spent hundreds on trainers in the past. I tend to lean towards New Balance as they do a wide fitting but my current pair were bought from sports direct and are ??30 new balance. There great. I am having some issues with my calf after 30 minuites but I think this is my style.

    I do a short stretch to warm up then I do the low impact air running machine for 30 minuites, then a cross trainer for 15 and then into the run. Don't get me wrong I am drenched when I finish.

    As in breathing correctly, wow I am a nightmare when I run, I often aware aloud which is not a good thing and I grunt sometimes.

    Don't be tempted to go to fast to quick. As for setting goals I do try to but end up just doing my own thing.

    The one thing is a must...... Keep it up...... Your cool down stretch should be held a bit longer and is very important.
  • the breathing will come, it might be worth running slowly which will make breathing easier. I do remember when I first started running feeling like my chest was on fire with the effort! You should aim to run at a speed at which you would be able to talk. This might seem really slow to start with but speed will come with time

  • Craig - you described exactly the run I did today - I did 1.5 miles of walking/running in 22 mins which is half a mile more than Tuesday's run so I did feel good about that image

    Mat - I'm running outdoors as I feel weird on a treadmill and wanted to do some outdoor exercise for a change. I'm still going to the gym twice a week (once for weight resistance and once for cross training) but am trying to get the hang of the treadmill to help me improve my running overall. I enjoy running outside though and don't want to give it up just yet! Thanks for the advice re trainers - I will have a look at those ones.

    And Jennifer - that's a lovely story; it's made me determined to sign up for the 5k and finish the damn thing no matter whether I'm "slow" or partly walking image
  • It's interesting that a few of you have mentioned speed because I know I'm running too fast and I try hard to slow down but I'm the kind of person that rushes everything in life generally so slowing down is hard!! However, for my next run I'm going to work very hard on slowing right down, even if it feels strange.
  • Vicky, on the treadmill you should put the grade up to 1 as this will represent outside.

    You should aim for a speed that you can keep up for 20 minuites and be around 80% of your effort.

    Lol your just impatient! Control it lol.

    Better 20 mins slow to med that to fast for 2 and hurt yourself image
  • it could be that going too fast is what is hurting your ankle

  • Yeah, you're probably right, guys - especially as I love exercising so I'm doing it six times a week and sometimes have to flop into a bath of Radox Muscle Soak of an evening!!

    Mat - I will try that on the treadmill and let you know how it goes.

    Can I also ask you all how many times you run a week and whether you do any other forms of exercise? I know weight resistance is important for runners (esp core work) but does anyone do cross training too?
  • are you running 6 times a week? As a beginner I would say that is too much and you are probably not giving your body chance to adapt and recover. I generally run 4 times a week. Sometimes 5. I also swim and bike, and occasionally go to the gym to do some weights if I have time. The cross training really helps prevent injury and obviously helps with general fitness. Instead of running 6 days a week why not swap some sessions for biking or other cardio stuff in the gym?

  • No, no - I'm exercising six times a week but only 4 of those sessions are runs (I'm sticking to my plan, which has 4 runs a week). But instead of resting for the other 3 days, I have one day of complete rest a week and go to the gym for the other two. I do weights for one of those sessions and am trying to cross train for the other one (eg. Cycling machine/rowing machine).
  • ok, that sounds more sensible!image You might want to google some stretches for your legs and strengthening exercises for the ankles to help ward off problems. I do balancing on one foot on the powerplate in the gym, which I think is effective for strengthening the ankles a bit

  • Vicky, my girlfriend always insisted she couldn't run and said it was impossible to breathe while running. However, some days she used to come with me to the park where I do most of my running and walk round at a good clip. Then one day she broke into a run for a few minutes and surprised herself. She started following a walk run plan in February and by the end of June was running over 52 mins without stopping so it does come with time. She is completely uninterested in speed and only concentrates on covering distance. Having said that, she's naturally got quicker and never mentions the breathing now.

    Yes, running shoes are expensive and can be a lot of extra money to find. However, she feels that getting a gait analysis and a decent pair of running shoes really helped.

    Anyway, stick at it and you'll begin to see progress which will obviously spur you on again. Good luck!
  • Vicky, when I first started running outdoors I had been treadmill running for 60-90 minutes, 4-5 times a week.  Boredom forced me outside and my first run of just a mile felt like death.  I really was stunned by the difference in the two but stuck at it with a run/walk schedule and 18 months later ran my first marathon in 4:24. 

    Stick with the plan, don't despair and DO believe that once you've got to grips with the different style, you'll never want to go back on a treadmill ever again.  You'll learn to love running in weather, commute running, racing and eveything else that goes with being an outdoor runner.  There really is not much more in life that is as fulfilling.

    With regard to the pain - as above, get yourself some decent shoes.  Something with a bit of cushoining to take in account the change from soft tready to ultra hard tarmac. 

    Best of luck.  Just relax and enjoy it.

  • Thanks Neil - yet another Jones!image And yet another story of how someone like me has managed to get into running and do what to me feels impossible at the moment!

    I have a copy of The Fitness Book which I initially bought due to my interest in weight training but the chapter on running is helpful and I've just found a good stretching routine for runners in there too, so I would recommend this book to you all!

    Wow, I can't believe how lovely and supportive you've all been - this is the only running forum I've posted on and actually got replies (and encouraging ones at that image) Thank you!
  • No worries! Yes, there's a lot of us about aren't there?
  • Crazy Diamond - thank you for your wise words image I'm glad (!) That you also found it tough outdoors because I was starting to feel like all the progress my fitness had made in the gym was worth nothing because I obviously can't run outside for longer than two minutes!! However, I didn't realise how different it would be - or how important a change of shoes would be. So I am definitely now on the hunt for better trainers!!

    And well done on the marathon - an inspirational story for me and one I hope I'll achieve one day too! I won't let having type one diabetes stop me running for four hours solid, ha ha!!
  • I've been doing all my training so far on treadmills as I wanted to get a feel for pace.  I'm about to do my first run outside tomorrow so wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it  image

  • It's tough but very enjoyable! I'm sure you'll enjoy being in the fresh air and seeing something different to the walls of a gym!
  • And in answer to your earlier question - I am following the Runner's World 10k plan right now.  Running 5 times a week and on one rest day cross train and weights/core stability, on the other complete rest - bliss! I also do some core work on easy run days.

    Oh - I haven't actually completed a lot of the runs on the schedule as I am either running too fast (so stop as I am knackered) or more frequently my brain demands I stop and my body is only too willing to comply but I am still focussing on the fact I am running five times a week.  Maybe once I am outside it will get a lot more interesting...

  • Thanks, I'll let you know how it goes!

  • Yes, do let me know! I'm on cross train/weights tomorrow!
Sign In or Register to comment.