Restarting - too much too soon?

Hello everyone, new runner here wondering if my first run in 9 years that I did yesterday was too much too soon... Where to start?


I've not done any real running since I left school age 16. Back then our PE teachers (presumably out of complete inability) made us run a one mile cross country, and towards the end of the final year it became a weekly thing. They of course never joined us - hmm, wonder why. One particular week we were made to run it twice...


Enough of the past, suddenly this last weekend I decided seemingly out of nowhere, that after 9 years of practically sitting on my back side, that I'd see if I was still up to it. I devised a route that was 6.35 miles long, and whilst I never expected to make it all six miles wiles without slowing down, I set the target of 2 miles. The idea was to see if I was out of condition, and if so, how much by...


Needless to say, I'm not as fit as I used to be. I began to run out of breath after only about 400 metres, but somehow managed to keep the speed up until I reached the 1.1 mile mark. Annoyingly, I think I might have been able to go a bit further had it not been for the fact that I couldn't keep a constant pace - I was forever noticing that I'd sped up when I didn't want to.


At the 1.1 mile mark I slowed down to a walk. I didn't know how far I'd made it, but the 2 mile "waypoint" is very distinctive, and I knew I was still some way short of it. The original plan was to run for as long as I could, and then walk the remainder. However I was so disappointed with my effort, I decided that I'd instead walk for a while before coming back up to speed again.


Sure enough, at what would be my 5th waypoint (3.3 miles in) I came back up to running/jogging speed. I wasn't fully rested, but knew that it was only half a mile to the next waypoint (which is actually waypoint number 3), at which point I'm now returning along the same trail I started on, but in reverse, so I'm now heading back to the start mark.


When I got back to waypoint 1 - where I'd previously burned out, I decided that if I could run from the start (also the finish) to that waypoint, then I could do it in reverse too. I may have failed to do 2 miles all in one go, but I wasn't going to admit total defeat, and so settled for 2 miles total (at run/jog speed)


Success, back at home it was time to work out some stats, but I had no form of timer with me, so I only know what time I started and what time I finished, so I can't work out my high speed and my low speed, only the average between them. The distance from all my waypoints though, I do know very precisely thanks to Google Earth:

S - 1- Distance: 1.1 miles __ Surface: Trail __ Speed: jog/run

1 - 2- Distance: 0.9 miles __ Surface: Trail __ Speed: walk

2 - 3- Distance: 0.5 miles __ Surface: Pavement __ Speed: walk

3 - 4- Distance: 0.25 miles __ Surface: Pavement __ Speed: walk

4 - 5- Distance: 0.55 miles __ Surface: Pavement __ Speed: walk

5 - 3- Distance: 0.65 miles __ Surface: Trail __ Speed: jog/run

3 - 2- Distance: 0.5 miles __ Surface: Pavement __ Speed: walk

2 - 1- Distance: 0.9 miles __ Surface: Trail __ Speed: walk

1 - E- Distance: 1.1 miles __ Surface: Trail __ Speed: jog/run

jog/run distance: 2.85 miles

walk distance: 3.5 miles

Total distance: 6.35 miles

Total time: 100 minutes (+/- 1 minute)

Average speed: 3.81 mph


As you might gather, having not done this for 9 years, I felt great for doing it although decided not to today as I didn't want to overdo it. I was preparing to go again tomorrow but now notice discomfort in my upper legs, and I'm wondering what I should do tomorrow...

  1. Ignore this


  • So, I hit the message size limit on my first ever post... Embarrassing. Luckily I copied it to the clipboard before posting...

    1. Ignore this and go for it anyway
    2. Go for a shorter route... Total 4.5 miles and once I've burned out, that's it, walk the rest, no more runs
    1. Same as #2, but don't run/jog at all, and just walk it all the way
    2. Leave it another day

    I'm tempted to go with option 2 because this seems to be a sign that I'm not ready to repeat my last effort just yet. Option 3 isn't really much of a challenge to me, I maybe new to running, but I can easily walk 13 miles non-stop, and do this at least once every two months. Option 4 is just sitting on my back side again - I've been doing that for 9 years already - no thanks...


    What do you guys think? Was this too much to do in my first attempt for 9 years or does this sound about right?

  • Slooooooooooooooower image

    awriousky when you are starting out just gave a route that is 2-3m at most and go very very slow!! Almost like it's a comedy run and only do it 3 or so times a week.

    initially you are getting you legs / body trained to much to soon is pointless will lead to injury or disgust and you won't continue.

    slow and easy really does work give tigers elf at least 5 weeks to actually build up as your muscles need to get used to the effort tendons etc... Take even longer. So don't rush it, just get out there slow and gentle trust me it works. 

    I've lost 6 stone (helped by calorie controlled diet) and running, it's amazing what you can do but take it slow and steady to begin.

  • Sorry for typos bloody iPhone!!

    give yourself time. You could probably walk quicker then your slowest jog but stick with it, early on speed is pointless and just trashes you. All that will come later along with a toned body, just relax and get the boring first few weeks out of the wayimage

  • By how my legs were feeling today, I decided to go for the "sit on my back side" option.

    Still had to do a bit of walking today, and from the feel of it, I confirmed what I already knew. Too far, too fast. Well I knew I was going to fast at the time, but every time I made a conscious effort to slow down, within a minute I'd be back up at rocket speed again - NOT what I was trying to do.

    I also found out my 2 mile starting target was based on a lie. The school cross country route wasn't 1 mile per lap at all. Top down measurement on Google Earth shows it as being 0.75 miles (so they can't even claim a "miles vs kilometres" mixup, because it's 1.2 km. Now I know that this doesn't take account for hills, but there was only 1 hill right at the end (all 10 metres of it), so I can't see why they claimed it was a mile.


    Maybe tomorrow I'll be feeling a bit better.

  • Hehe. When I started my legs hurt 24x7 for 4 to 5 weeksimage but it's worth it. 

  • I now doubt my previous stats. I went out today and took my phone with me. My leg was still grumbling at me from Tuesdays "introductory" session, so I just decided to walk the whole distance instead.


    Total distance: 10.18 km (had to be pruned from 10.42 because it claimed I ran in the river and through the motorway at times...)

    Average pace: 08:41/km

    Time Taken: 1:30:23


    So there we have it, walking only, I was 10 minutes faster than when I did a combination of jogging/running and walking...

  • That is fine. I know it sounds daft, but it's about teaching your legs muscles to work in a different way, speed is not an issue image

  • After today's walk a lot of the leg pain had gone away, and now after a good long hot soak, everything feels back to normal. All raring to go tomorrow. Let's see if I can repeat it but with some brief jogging spells, say every minute out of five.


    For me it really is just that I'm not used to running. Some people might be able to blame weight issues, but unfortunately at only 55 kg, I can't. It's not so much about getting in shape for me, but more staying there, and improving my physical condition. I can't help the feeling that given my shape, I should be able to do better than I currently can.

  • Today's effort, successful, although not particularly demanding. I stuck very religiously to my 1 minute jog followed by 4 minutes walking.


    The only exception was that for the first 45 seconds or so I didn't move anywhere as I was having trouble tucking my phone inside my jacket, and then I finally did, but did it in such a way I'd pulled all of the slack out of the headphone wires. Eventually I got it sorted and got going.


    Then in the final kilometre I threw the rules out of the window as entered a non-stop jog. My pace must have been better than last time because last time I felt the burn within a couple of hundred metres, whereas today, even in the final (6 minute non-stop) jog, I still wasn't even close to exhaustion when I finished.


    For those interested, here it is...


    Next time I think the target is 1:30 jogging out of every 5:00

  • So, I've done it, but I'm not particularly satisfied with the result. Shaving just 2 minutes off the time, and in the final kilometre, I once again went all out, but was really struggling with it. Even throughout the route where I was abiding to 1:30 jog / 3:30 walk I often felt like I was struggling to regain enough energy to go again.


    Part of that is obviously going to be to do with increasing the jog time, and also decreasing the walking (recovery) time, but I also think my absolutely useless drink was also partly to blame.


    Yesterday I took Asda's own brand of (I guess) Gatorade, and it seemed to work quite well, today however I took their "zero" version of the same drink. I was surprised to see the nutritional information say its carbohydrate was "nil" and the energy per 100 ml was 1 kcal (or 3 kJ, whichever you prefer). How can you call it a sports drink if it has no carbohydrates at all?


    Needless to say, I won't be buying any more of those, I'll be sticking to the sugary version in future (it at least seemed to work). Today when I got back home I was in such desperate need of energy that I broke off a few lumps of "authentic Scarborough rock" (better than the fake stuff I suppose), that I bought in the summer but never got around to eating.


    Here's today's stats...


    Next time will be an exact repeat of today, except with a better sports drink. I even had a load of mash potato for breakfast today and everything (where I didn't yesterday), so I'm well disappaointed to only shave off 2 minutes...

  • So, out of action yet again... Thursday was such good weather that after I'd done my training route (at 1:13:10, 07:01/km) I decided to go for another walk. Learning my next route which I might be ready to take in about 5 or 6 weeks time.


    It's a 16 km route, so on Thursday I went for 10 km at my hybrid (30% jog, 70% walk) pace, and then another 16 km purely walking. My legs didn't like me for it. It was a total of 16 miles.


    I've done 13 miles walking in the summer, and with a large load on my shoulders, and came away from that with nothing more than a bit of sunburn. I guess the difference was that back then I didn't jog any of it, and it was almost all on roads/pavements, only 2 miles on trail paths (around Flamborough Head).


    This time was so bad that I actually had to use the handrail to get up the stairs, which I've never had to do in my life. Felt like I had arthritis in both knee caps (outside edge), and both upper legs felt really strained around the groin area.


    Next morning (yesterday, Friday), I couldn't really move anywhere, but still hobbled off to Sports Direct. Let's face it, my current shoes have been great and almost indestructible for 2 years, but since upping the pace from pure walking to include jogging as well, they've taken a lot of damage. They weren't proper running shoes, and it was time to get a proper pair.


    £80 was more than I expected to pay, but to be honest, I don't really feel ripped off. I could have gone for something cheaper, but they're really only designed for half an hour, once a week. My current pattern is, if I'm not injured, I'll be doing 10k at least 5 times per week, and that's currently taking an hour. So 10x more than the cheaper pairs are designed for -- I'd wear them out in no time. Plus now I've got proper socks as well, rather than cotton ones.


    Next week I don't think I'll be calling myself a beginner anymore, now I'll be an amateur (which of course sounds so much better doesn't it?).


    After last night's huge pains in the knee caps and groin, I took a Naproxen and feel ready to run today, but as a precaution I'm not going anywhere today and probably not tomorrow either - better to be safe than (very) sorry (at a later date)...

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