My first run of 2013 - help to make it a habit this year

Hi everyone, I'm new to the site and grateful for any encouragement you can offer. I'm in my late 20s and have done some 5k running in the past on and off. But, Am not the sporty type and have always found it hard creating positive habits of things... Anyway I went out today for. 3 mile run, with some short bits of walking to regain my breath and I feel fab image I was just so sick of being stuck indoors feeling wobbly and lethargic. It's done the trick. So, question is how do I create a habit of it? What I'd like to do is (bear with me here)... - aim for 3 times a week, 30 mins ish? - concentrate on time rather than distance ran - try and lose about 7lbs, mostly xmas weight, I am 5'8.5 and weigh 10st 7lbs. I'm not sure how long that will take? - more and more use running as a stress relief method To do this, some of my challenges will be: - keeping motivated in the cold and dark, and I don't like running with music either for safety reasons - I smoke socially about once a week, and enjoy it, I can't see me stopping totally if I'm honest (I know that's bad) - being vegetarian, I'll have a protein shake after my runs - I'm already doing that, is it necessary? How can I try and make a positive habit out of this? Any advice or comments on the above would be amazing. Thank you.


  • In terms of weight, 1-2lb a week would be a healthy rate of loss. Running is good for weight loss, but sometimes people can get in the mindset that as they are running they can eat more, and the extra food means no weight loss (or gain) so worth keeping an eye on that. 30 mins running will very approximately burn up to about 300 calories.

    I would not say that anything is needed after 30 mins of running, though I know nothing about vegetarian diets. I would think (hope?) though that your normal diet would provide what you need to cover what is needed - like I say though, others more knowledgable may say otherwise. However, bearing in mind you will have burnt say 300 calories, I think it will make the weight loss tricky.

    In terms of making it a habit, have fixed times to do it - same time of week, or schedule it in your diary each week. Make it easy - have what you need ready and easily accessible. Have a few routes for variety, and so that you don't have to 'think' about possible routes, and that you feel ok running in the dark (e.g. well lit so no problems with tripping etc). Go in the morning if you can (though I find that very hard as not a morning person!) - leaving it to later makes it more likely 'stuff' will happen, and you won't go. In terms of running in the cold - if you dress appropriately once you are out the door it is fine. You don't need a whole heap of expensive gear, bu a few choice things to deal with the weather. Is there anyone in a similar position who you could run with sometimes - bit of healthy competition, and always easier if you are meeting someone for a run. And I think my cardinal advice is, if you run in the evening after work or whatever - just go, do not under ANY circumstances, sit down image.

    And tell people what you are doing - more motivation to keep going. Sign up for a race (5k say). Google Park Run - weekly, free 5k which you can race or just run. You'll meet people and it will help with the habit stuff.

    3x30 mins a week is fine if that is what you want to do, and getting into a habit is a great start. But if you want to run for more than just weight loss, that could get a bit monotonous. Come back on here then and ask what you could do - loads of things, so don't let boredom be what makes you stop down the line.

    At the end of the day only you can do it, but plenty of people do, so you CAN do it!

    Good luck.
  • Good luck
  • Thanks for the advice and well wishes. I am thinking of entering a marathon for end of oct, I know it sounds crazy but its my first local one and would love to be there. Out again tonight for a run so will let you know how it goes!
  • Not that I am immune to the problem myself, I am not, I find it difficult to keep good habbits but my advise is this.
    You will undoubtedly come to a point where you lose enthusiasm. But it won't disapear forever. When it happens you will think it can never be regained. At this time, tell yourself that your enthusiasm will come back, you just need to push through the negative thoughts. Your enthusiams will return - dont ever let yourself belive it wont. Good luck with the marathon!

  • Just ran 3.5 miles in 40 mins with 4 short walks of 30 seconds ish. My groin especially left side feels sore, as do front of legs. Not sure I'm warming up properly. Also, I didn't really pour with sweat until I stopped, is that unusual? Thanks for the replies image
  • Out again today - going to try the same route with no stops.
  • If it's hurting and you need to stop 4 times in 3.5 miles you're running too fast, slow down. This time of year i'm wearing 3 layers, hat and gloves and unlless i'm running at 10k or quicker pace (basically as fast as I can for any distance) I barely sweat, it's too cold, so yes i'd say that was normal. By the way, if i'm going for a fast run, I leave the hat and gloves at home.

  • Thanks for the tip, I do try to vary my pace and if I feel like stopping, just slowing right down. It's not my legs that hurt, just the pressure in my chest and cold air in the lungs/wheeze. I think my legs could go on for much longer. I guess the odd fag doesn't help.
  • Out again today - going to try the same route with no stops.
  • The sweat thing sounds normal.  You may be sweating when you're out but it's just evaporating - I sometimes assume I haven't sweated until I undress and have a soggy back and stinky clothes.  Either way, don't worry about it - don't use sweating as an indicator of whether you are doing enough or not. 

    How are your aches and pains?  Don't put too much emphasis on pushing yourself to do the distance without stopping - slowly and steadily means you can get some consistency - push too hard and get injured and you'll be back to square one.  It's a hare and a tortoise type thing sometimes image

  • I am now running 5 miles at once with no stops image
  • Entered the Yorkshire marathon this week - so will have to make it a habit I guess! Anyone else taking part?
  • martha .. 5 miles non stop ... brilliant .. keep up slowly to avoid injury and you will have  a great journey image

  • Hi everyone - pleased to say I am still at it image

    Had to take a break of about a week though as the top of my foot started hurting, to the extent I was limping around. I thought it was a stress fracture but had it x rayed and it looked fine. By my own research I think it was tendonitis. I went swimming instead for a week which I didn't enjoy as much (swimming makes me mega tired and hungry). Pleased to say I just did a 6 mile run and am back on my feet!

    I have until 10th october to get marathon fit and am finding some interim races to do in the meantime.

    Some questions if you have a spare min: how do I prepare for longer runs than 6 miles and do I need to take a drink? I don't think it's safe for me to run longer than an hour without water but I haven't sorted any provisions out yet,

    I am still only averaging an 11min mile - if I do about 9.5 min mile I can only sustain for a couple of miles and start getting very breathless. Does this bode well?
  • Training for a marathon from scratch is all about building endurance so I would foget about pace for the moment. Do you have a "get you round" training plan?

    You do need to take on liquids for anything over 10k and you need to see how your body reacts to those liquids. Gulping down water can give you stomach cramps or even worse go straight through and require toilet stops (no 1 and 2's !) All the advice will tell you drink before you are thirsty because by then you are dehydrated. For my long Sunday run I plan it so I can pop into a garage / shop at about 5 and 10 miles and buy a bottle of water

  • Ok - will go easy on pace.  I do have a few plans, but most are 18 week/24 week from scratch - I have 7 months left and am already doing 10ks / 4 runs a week.

    Any advice on where I should pick up?

    Thanks for the advice on the drinking issue.  I hadn't considered stopping at garages/shops in case that was regarded as 'cheating' but guess once you go past 10ks you don't have a choice but to stop for a drink.

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