Where do I start

Hi all, well i am a newbie to running (actually not even started running yet) and would love to know some do's and donts. 

A quick history of me is 2 yrs ago i weighed 22st, i am now down to 14st 7lbs, I consider my fitness level as not to bad, i am into road cycling and love my cardio boxing (approx 5 days a week i work out avg HR 160bpm for 1.5hrs). I realise that different sports utilise different muscles so this may count for nothing !

After my weight loss i have become a new person and just want to do a load of things that i never ever though i could do so I enrolled in the mens 10k up in Glasgow in June this year.

In my own mind my only niggle with running is my achilles tendon, i suffer from a bone spur at my heel which has a prominent bump and I am always paranoid of upsetting it as it caused me a lot of hassle and I dont want to go down that road again.

I am hoping to go for my first shoe fit next week and then start training.

Thanks in advance for any pointers.


  • The shoe fit is going to be very important, I think.  Be sure that you are happy with the shoes before you pay for them - don't be afraid to say no if none of what you are offered feels right.

    You might need to try a couple of different shops, because not all shops stock the same shoes (there are so many makes and models, they can't stock them all).

  • Thanks wilkie, I have 2 shops in mind which have good feedback. What do u thi k about a training schedule or is it just walk jog and run for intervals, is there a rough distance I should be aiming / training to? Thanks
  • Chris. Couch - 5km. that i think should be you're first step training wise. Look into 'parkrun' and find one close to you (shouldn't be to hard :P). give yourself maybe a month maybe, to build up the distance. Don't go out to hard! first run i did last year when i was in this position, completely knackered myself going out to hard image. i use mapmyfitness app, which helps me to keep a better eye on my pace. helps to stop me going out to quick. Also helps to map out routes (via the website) in your local area, so you can see what'll take you 3km etc. good way to start seeing more of your local area as well image. Your local parkrun will be full of every type of person, form your sub 20 (or sub 18,17, 16 ,..) runners, right through to those who take 45+mins to get around. It's a welcoming environment, and generally they'll be always someone quicker or slower then you. Right now, you've no idea what pace you can do. you might find doing it in 30 mins is a goal to aim for (was for me early on), or you may be comfortable sub25 (still my own aim image, 25.19 my PB). By doing some parkruns you'll be able to get a feel for your actual ability and level, which will then turn into a race pace for 10km. Maybe aim to do a couple of park runs by the end of march. You should then have a better base to work from, to build up to 10km. also, you're already half way there distance wise image. End of march, you'll have a better idea of how to train, what your own ability level is, and a good few miles under the belt. Keep us all informed on how you go image, plenty of people here to help and advise. Then you'll be ready to start training for 10km, and with 2 months to build up to it, should be plenty of time. 

    Hope that helps image.

  • Don't over do it at the start and remember to factor in rest days. 

  • Thanks Peter, very valuable info there, I will take it easy and get that app. I am pretty lucky with where I stay ad I am surrounded by parks, wilderness and cycle paths which I think is a huge benefit!! I am so eager to get out there. End of the month will be my first outing, I will get it all planned out and post some updates. What about running gear, shorts and tops etc? I was thinking 8 coukd utilise some of my cycling gear?
  • Kev, in relation to rest days do you think its possible to do low impact on rest days ie cardio boxing or spin classes?
  • Yes, just don't overdo leg work on the non running days 

  • microtears occur when running, it's these healing which create the extra muscle if you don't give it time to heal eventually it will just tear so need some respite. 

  • don't try and do too much too soon....so keep the pace slow and the mileage low and build up slowly.stretch well after the run..........

    it will build up.....

    if running off road you will help strengthen the muscles and ankles and hopefully the achillies will stay happy


    good luck

  • Thanks all for the good info. I will stick to paths at the moment until I gain the confidence to go tracks etc. How will I know what my slow pace is, would that be just above fast walking pace?
  • conversational pace was how it was described best to me. a pace which you can still have a chat with someone, without gasping between sentences. http://www.mcmillanrunning.com is a useful tool once you have some idea of you times for a distance, or how fast you WANT to do a distance. 

    Right now you don't really have any of that, so don't rush out and push every training session and try to go to far and to long. for right now, you just want to get out jogging and build up some miles in the legs and feel good doing it. look up tempo/speed/fartleg runs, when you're feeling like being a bit more nippy.

    Personaly in my early days (middle last year image) i just went out and run, every run was me emptying to go further, or after then before (though after my first run, i realised that didn't mean full pelt image). i had to walk sometimes to recover, but kept going. This was dangerous injury wise, i got fairly lucky, though did have a bit of trouble with my ankles for a little bit. The first step is just to get out there doing something and feel good doing it. you can ask all the questions you like beforehand, but the answer won't mean much for you personally, until you get out and start doing something. The general opinion from the masses is, "take it easy", meaning, don't go attempting to run to far to soon, and don't try to push hard all the time. Just try it for yourself for a bit image, record some times for some distances, and include how you felt during and after it, and let us know image.


  • If you do a parkrun (www.parkrun.org.uk/events) the pace at the back is usually a brisk walk, if you aren't sure how fast you can go then start at the back on the first week, it's depressing to start too far forward and be overtaken all the time, but uplifting to start at the back and overtake people! Also it's better to start slow and speed up than start fast, blow up after 1k and struggle the rest of the way.

    Once you've got the hang of it you can start further forward with the people who are doing similar pace to you.

    Even when running on your own, start gently and see how it goes then gradually increase time and speed, don't expect to be able to blast out a few miles straight away!

  • a wee update, so I purchased my first pair of running shoes on Sunday and after 40mins of getting them fitted I was over the moon, I opted for the Brooks brand and the ravenna 5 shoe, i had a few to choose from but they did feel right for me.  So this Saturday is my first run (slow jog probably) I have a route of 5k planned however I am just going to take it easy and see how my legs go !!

  • Good luck image just remember don't be afraid to walk 5k is a long distance for your first run a lot of us didn't get up to 5km unti after quite a few runs. 

  • cheers booktrunk, i will keep that in mind image

  • oh yeah, my first run was 3km, far to fast, lots of stopping and panting for breath image, followed by a week or so around 3-5km with a few stops to walk mixed in each time.  But great news on the trainers, and hope your first run goes well. 

  • well, i completed my first run this morning and I am well happy.  I done 5.5km with a time of 36mins, this was 95% on flat terrain.  I feel not too bad except for my thighs, my goodness are they sore !!  anyway a few rest days then back out on the track, at least I have set the time / pace !!

  • Peter MPeter M ✭✭✭

    argh chris, take it easy image. don't make every run a race, that way lies getting injured! and burning yourself out. your body isn't used to running, so take some time building it up and getting it used to it. My advice, and even this is a bit naughty really but, join your local parkrun on saturday morning and use that time as a bench mark. Only race yourself over that distance on those days, rest of the week is for doing other stuff. Easy runs to recover, tempo/speed/hill etc runs to explore and discover. and in a few weeks time, a Long Slow Distance run once a week. Just take it steady and don't hurt yourself in the first few weeks! image

  • Ok so just though I would do a wee update.  I am still loving this running bug, I have now found my run pace and I can feel with every run that I am getting to my goal, I am currently running 6.5k in 38mins, its not a race and I am not pushing myself, i just feel very comfortable with my pace. 

    I plan to run the 6.5k for another few weeks then move up to 8k.  Currently running 3 days a week so I am getting my rests in, I do find that 10mins of spinning before running certainly helps me get my heart rate up and loosen up the legs, its also great for a cool down when I get in !

  • Another wee update, so I just ran my first 10k race for charity on Sunday and I crossed the line at 59m,ins so I was pretty happy at that.  Upon checking my split my 5k split was 14 seconds faster than 10k finish so I have found my pace I think.  I was a little disappointed at the finish because I felt as if I could have ran the 10k again or pushed myself harder for a better time, What so you think ?  I have my next 10k in August then planning a half marathon

  • Well done Chris, Sub 60 is a very respectable time for a first timer! 

    It sounds to me like you were running the race at your training pace. And there is nothing wrong with that at all! But it depends where you go from here now as to how to consider the fact that you still had something left in the tank.

    If you plan on signing up to more races, adopt the "Train to race" mantra. Sign up for a race, train specifically for it, then when it comes to race day give it everything you've got. Then repeat ad nauseum. 

    Alternatively, keep doing what you are doing image There is no right or wrong way it depends on your motivation and why you choose to run. Now you've finished your first race, whats your next goal?

  • Hi Matty thanks for the info.  I suppose my first goal was to run a 10k in under 60min, i certainly have the running bug and want to get a half marathon under my belt.  I will have a look at the "train to race" as i would want to improve on my 10k time too.

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