What to do now?

Hey guys, this is my first post here and I would appreciate some advice. 

I am 19 years old and not in terrible shape, however the last 2-3 years have been solely me working a part time job and sitting on my butt playing on my computer all the time... 

Anyway, after the buzz of the olympics I was inspored by the triumphs of the likes of Ennis and Mo, and decided to get fit and back in good shape. I started running 4 weeks ago and once I bought all the shiny new gear that I wanted set out on my first run. Luckily for me I live right by Langley park so I had a nice place to go for my run. 

I spent 5 minutes walking there and then jogged/run for as long as I could, well that was the plan. After about what felt like 20 minutes but was in fact only 1 I was panting and huffing. I couldn't believe how unfit I was. 

I kept at it and decided to get a 0 to 5k plan on my iPhone, and have been following that closely. After a holiday to Bournemouth a week ago I found it was getting really easy, really quickly. Even though I am going extremely slow. 

I decided to speak to a friend who runs ultra marathon's and see what he suggested. He told me to ditch the phone app and go for a jog, but go as long as possible at a medium pace. Suprisingly I ended up doing the full 4k circuit that I was supposed to be doing at week 7 of the program, but 3 weeks earlier! Well chuffed!

Sorry for tha long wall of text, just had tho tell someone image

My question is, if I can do the 4k route, should I ditch the phone app and do the 4k route again and again and slowly build it up? I have a ParkRun (Black Park) 5 minutes walk away from me too, and that is my main immediate goal. To finish a 5k race. I know parkrun isn't a race but if I can do that I can register for a proper race. 

I am contemplating registering for this Saturday's ParkRun and just trying to finish. Do you think this is a good idea? or should I be improving slower? I am feeling no pain or injuries, but when I get home after a run I often have a small tickly cough, although I have heard that is because of my mild asthma.

I look forward to hearing any advice, 



  • I'd suggest checking out one of the 5k to 10k apps/plans out there to see how to build up from your current point. I'm wary of hopping ahead as I feel good as...well I ended up hopping on a fractured foot. I went back and started at day 1 of week 1 so as to build up slowly. An injury won't necessarily warn you before it hits.

    Be interested to see what the knowledgeable folk on here have to Say.
  • Hey, thanks RMR.

    So you think it is best to find a 5-10k plan and work towards that? 

    I am hoping to do sub 30 mins in my first 5k and today my morning run was 4k, I times myself and it took me exactly 24 minutes excluding warm up and cool down. I went all out the last 200m like in a race, but now I feel I oculd have gone a bit of a harder pace during the middle of the run. 

    Do you think that I could do sub 30 mins if I keep that pace? as thats really my main short term goal. Then its off to the big bad wolf that is the world of 10k's. 

    I know I have a lot of questions for you to answer, but please just one more image

    I have been looking for 5k races close to me (Berks/Bucks) and have seen Mens health survival of the fittest night race in London, for those who don't know it is an obstacle race where the combined distance is 5k~ but you have to climb over walls and get a bit muddy image 

    The other one I have found is the Kilomathon, 6.5k race on 20th~ October. This race is a plain old flat 6.5k'er and I reckon I could get myself up to that distance in 1 month, no problem. It also comes with a shiny medal for all finishers image

    So what do you reckon I should do then? sorry for all the questions, what plan and what race ?


  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Don't get too carried away. Your heart and lungs become fitter much faster than the other structures in your body. In the early days its quite common to get fitter and fitter and then tear something. As a rule of thumb I give areas with greatest blood circulation 12 weeks to get fit. Bones six months, tendons nine months to a year and the bits that take the longest to strengthen up, ligaments at 18 months. So think ligaments. Its 18 months basic training to be on the safe side.

  • Hey, thanks for the reply RicF.

    I see what you mean about the heart and lungs improving very quickly and the body not so much, as the last couple of runs have been the only ones where my legs feel like they are being tested. (Usually out of breath before legs hurt) However my cardiovascular fitness must have overtaken my legs image, I still feel though they have lots left to give though, but am still edging on the safe side, simply because I am still a newbie xD.

    It would be interesting to hear other peoples opinions and I would love it if someone could basically lay out what I should do if I decide to go for the 2 races that I wrote about in my previous post. 

    Thanks a bunch.

  • I think you will be fine. Personally I wouldn't bother with the assault course thing but each unto their own.

    Sign up for Parkrun and see how you get on. It's not a huge distance.

    The 6.5 k at the end of October will be fine too.

    Just pick one of your runs per week to increase distance on. So if you run say, Tuesday Thursday and Saturday just gradually build the distance of your Saturday run for now and keep the others shorter.

    Or do Parkrun every Saturday, you don't have to go flat out each week. Have an easy run on Monday and a long run every Thursday.

    You get the idea, mix it up and kep consistent training.
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