New to this running Malarky!!!

Hi, as it states I'm quite new to running and although I am enjoying it I wanted to ask a few questions.

Basically I entered the GSR mainly to prove to myself(and a few mates) that I could do it, I did although in a slowish time 2.13.

I have now entered the silverstone half marathon, the main reason is I wanted to try a half marathon but I was a bit worried about a smaller one in case I was horribly slow and behind everyone!! entry for silverstone is 16,000 so I'm hoping I might not be last!

I wanted to ask is what sort of standard the more local races are as I dont want to show myself  up?

Also now the nights are darker I have to run in my gym rather than outside as my eyes are terrible in the low/no light, a lot of posts on here seem to hate treadmills, are they really that bad?

And my 5k time on a treadmill is about the 39 minute mark. I feel a bit disappointed by this as I thought it would be a little faster, is there an ideal time I should be aiming for?

Thanks In Advance


  • Hi Guzzle image

    Let's get one thing absolutely straight... there is no way that you should feel embarrassed with your performance.   There's a lot of respect amongst runners of all abilities...   In a field 500, you have about 490 "also-rans", all doing their best to beat their own personal goals (or their mates!), and it doesn't matter if that goal is 13 minute miles or 5 minute miles.   So join in with confidence. (oh, and have a look at some Park Run results... you'll see that there's a great spread of results every Saturday.

    As for treadmills, I suspect that it's just a vocal minority who strongly hate them.  However, I am someone who strongly hates them image.   But, I suppose if I didn't have an viable alternative through the winter, I'd use one.  As for your disappointing 5K time...  sure, you can improve on that time with training... but a couple of points.  First, these things can be quite a long way out of calibration.  They are not, generally, scientific instruments as such.  Maybe you really ran 10% further.  Maybe you engaged a slight slope.  Also, you have to set the speed at a pace that feels safe for you.... which is slower than would be safe outside. But mostly, it's the motivation factor for me.  How can you be motivated to pound away for 39 minutes, running on the spot, on a sweaty, stuffy gym?  It's like being on a treadmill.


  • There is no standard. The only person you are ever racing is yourself.. Unless your within yards of someone coming up to the line, then it's a proper race image

    have  you heard about park runs ? Free 5km races all over the country every Saturday morning. Go to their website sign up, print out your free barcode then just find a Parkrun, and run. You get a time and where you finished in your local run, it's great fun, slightly competitive as you really find yourself wanting to improve, and picking someone who you don't know in the list ahead of yourself and you quietly try to finish ahead of them one day.  It's free!!! 

    Get yoyrseld down to your local and have fun. You can also look up the times of the park runs, do you can see how many aware finishing around your estimated time. 

    it's a great way to improve as it's quietly quite addictive trying to hold your place or climb up the ladder image

  • Gazzie: no there is no ideal time. It just depends on you. Some people are disappointed to run 5k in 18 minutes. There are others to whom it would be a lifetime achievement to beat 30 minutes. There is no magic number that says you are good / average. When you run well you will know, as long as you are content with your PB whatever it is, that 's all that matters. 

    Yes, there are people that say oh xx speed doesn't count as running, you get that in all walks of life, just do your best and don't worry about anyone else image

  • Treadmills aren't perfect bit they are a damn sight better than not running. Put a small 1 or 2 degree slope on it to more accurately mimic outside conditions. 

    One thing is you have a lot of repetition on treadmills as your steps are nearly identical each time, so you are wearing out some areas a bit, but you don't sound like you are going to be running massive distances so I'm sure you will be fine, especially if you can still get out if possible weekly at the weekend into the real world, so your running gets used to the uneven ground etc...

  • Gazzle, my night sight is rubbish too but it doesnt stop me sticking on a head torch and getting out there in the dark. with a decent light you can still run.
    treadmills are repetitive as booktrunk says, so i wouldnt do all your running on one.
    +1 for parkruns, you will meet loads of like minded people of all abilities. hopefully there is one near you.
    local races are often nicer to enter than bigger ones. although you wont be hidden in the crowd you usually get great support and a friendly atmosphere. If you find a local race you want to enter you can often have a look at previous results if available to see the sort of finish times.
    dont worry about anyone else, everyone has different goals, just run against yourself.

    This is me most races! image



  • Thanks for everyone's replies, I think I will try a more local run to see how it goes!!  

    The park runs I have seen before although I have never entered, I work most Saturdays, so often can't do them, although I will now if I get a Saturday off, will people mind if I can only do a few every now and again? 

    Next one I can do is the 30th November, I'll let you know how slow I am!!!! image

  • Nope it's fine, just turn up as and when you can.image tell us how it goes. 

  • Where are you in the UK?- if you are in scotalnd - come and join the scottish runners thread- you'll get more info about local races, etc( I'm just guessing you might be because it was the GSR you did- unless that's great south run, not great scottish run?).

    Where ever you are in the UK, if you are thinknig of entering a local race and worried it might be too "fast" for you , -firstly, don't worry- the later runners towards the back of the pack get great support, and, if you are really worried, check last year's results for the race you are thinknig of doing- you'll almost certanly find slower runners than you, and you'll get faster with more trainig.

    As far as treadmills go- I used to be an almost exclusively indoor runner- female, working long hours, living in a dodgy part of town, so not at all keen on running alone at night- tready's are fine, if there is no alternative, but do get boring after a while- the greart outdoors is more interesting, and you DO need to run outside a little bit, otherwise things like kerbstones, cambers on footpaths, etc, are a big new problem to handle on race day. Set the tready to 1-2 degrees, as suggested above, and make sure you've some decent music to numb the boredom- it is certainly better that sitting on your backside doing nothing, but it is amazing how pleasant it can be running even in quite chilly winter weather, as long as you get a few extra layers to wear, so try to get out at least once a week.

  • Thanks it was the great South run.... I'm about as far from Scotland as you can get!!! However the more I look the more info I find and I'm becoming less worried about entering races.

    I doing a park run this Saturday so hopefully I'll do ok, my last 5k (on a treadmill) was 36.45 so it's coming down slowly.
  • How do you vary pace on a treadmill? - I use one for training occasionally at home, but I can't imagine trying to aim to get a good time on it - I have to decide beforehand what time I will get, set the speed and just keep on it.  Pressing the "down" speed button a few times is just not the same as easing off for a few seconds to relieve a niggle, then getting back into it.

    Parkrun a few times and that time will tumble drastically, plus I guess you don't really know how accurate your treadmill is, so you may already be faster than you think.

    A 2:13 half means you should be capable of ~28 min 5K, probably a little less as the calculators tend to be overoptimistic at longer distances in my experience.  You'll have already done a ~31 min 5K during your HM, maybe less if you tailed off towards the end!

  • Gazzle, my full respect to you. Completing the Great South Run as your first event seems a huge achievement to me.

    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by your Parkrun time this weekend.

    I'm new to this malarky as well. I started running this summer, initially to help keep my son's fitness levels up during his off-season from playing rugby, but soon got hooked! although I had to take 2 months off after pulling a calf muscle.

    I did my first 5k event last weekend at the MK Mo-Run for Movember and was incredibly nervous going into it but did surprisingly well. (Although I have a real mental block about getting past 2 miles without stopping!)

    Thank you to everyone who has mentioned the Parkrun events, I hadn't come across them before but have just signed up. It's going to be a couple of weeks before I can attend due to other commitments but it sounds just the thing I need to keep my focus.

    I'm considering entering the 2014 GSR, as I did my degree in Pompey and it always feels like home, but 10k let alone 10 miles seems a long way at the moment. I'm too much hare and not enough tortoise at the moment.

    Any tips on regulating pace and breaking mental blocks would be much appreciated!

  • I've joined the parkrun, they are really good and people are very friendly and supportive go for it. I've only been running for 4 weeks and have really got a lot of support from folks there

  • Well I have done my 1st park run: 34.19 and 37.88% which I was a bit disappointed by!! I have next Saturday off as well and a time to beat so we'll see, I'm hoping its not as cold, this played havoc with my asthma!! the thing I dont understand is this %?? it doesnt make any sense.


    As for treadmills I would have thought they would have been more accurate. and as for regulating myself I go faster when I feel I have it in me and slow down when i'm blowing!! If there is a better way I'd welcome any suggestions.


    Lastly re the cold weather does anybody suffer with breathing? With my asthma I really struggled has anyone overcome this or is it just a case of living with it?


    Thanks Guys

  • Gazzle wrote (see)

    Well I have done my 1st park run: 34.19 and 37.88% which I was a bit disappointed by!! I have next Saturday off as well and a time to beat so we'll see, I'm hoping its not as cold, this played havoc with my asthma!! the thing I dont understand is this %?? it doesnt make any sense.

    Gazzle - I think you are referring to the age grading that's given with Park Run results.

    Basically your time is matched against the world record time for that distance (5k), for a person the same sex and age as you.  Its then converted to a %.  Supposed to make it easier to compare and monitor performances.

    More info here:

    And don't be disappointed by your times, you are only racing against yourself and your Park Run time was quicker than your last treadmill 5k which in turn was quicker than the one previous to that.  You should be pleased to see the times coming down regardless of how big or small the gains are.

  • Cold and asthma - use your inhaler before you run and start slower to get breathing right. Always take inhaler with you! 

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