From occasional to scheduled running

Hi everyone,

Since quitting drinking and smoking last summer, and losing about 20kg (was 105, now 86) I'm now finally starting to achieve a bit of consistency with getting out for runs.

In my early twenties (I'm 34 now) I played a load of football and was fairly fit. I would run occasionally to compliment football training. I entered a 10k about ten years ago and ran 49m45s (on quite tired legs!) but apart from that I never did running purely to run - it was to improve football fitness or run the beers off.

I've been slowly getting into running - purely to run, football days are over - since September. Starting with fairly miserable 1km or 1 milers. Then a few 3ks here and there. I can now comfortably run 5k (best recent time 29m25s on road and 31m05s trail) and I can run that distance fairly comfortably and safely with two full rest days in between (i.e. run on a Monday, rest, rest, run on Thursday). These runs are at 90-100% effort level. I have done one slower, lesser effort trail run of 8km at 7m30s per/km pace.


After a lot of rambling, my question and topic I'd love some advice on is:  how do I now transition from regular-ish same-style running to a proper, mileage-building weekly schedule?

I don't have a specific event or distance in mind to train for. I've always liked running but never made it my primary activity. I want to do that now, and my understanding is that even if you are targeting to train for fairly modest distances (5k events for example) your weekly mileage stills needs to be 25+ (of which a vast majority needs to be 70% or less effort level). I figure I'll start with no specific goal other than to increase overall weekly mileage in a safe and structured way, build a solid base and then decided if I want to work towards better peformance for a specific distance.

Things I specifically need help with are;

- how do I judge, based on my current fitness level, what a sensible weekly mileage target is for now, for one months' time, three months' time and so on.

- getting over the reluctance to run on consecutive days. I guess this will be less daunting when I stop running all my runs at max or just below max effort.

- how might walking factor into any weekly running mileage total (if at all). I am probably walking my dog (on mixed terrain including hills) about 20 miles a week.

- what might an actual Monday to Sunday schedule look like for me right now?



Thanks so much for reading this very long post!

Comments

  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hi Jay, going to try and share what I do in relation to your questions.

    The usual increase is three weeks at 10%, then a drop back week then back to 10% increases. An easier way of doing this would be to download a 10km plan, as you are already able to run 8km and follow that. Then you can review where you are.

    Running on consecutive days is an interesting one. How many days do you want to run a week? If you are an IM triathlete you will train for a marathon on three runs a week, running more does not always mean running better. Sometimes cross training really helps with reducing injury risk and using different muscles. I run four times a week. My physio has said never run more than two consecutive days. I try and run a long run on a Monday and then Tuesday is slow but short with a mile warm up and down adding time on feet with little risk of injury. 

    Walking is good, all time on feet. 

    What are you doing at the moment? That will determine the next steps.

    Hope this helps.
  • _Jay__Jay_ ✭✭
    Thanks, TT!

    The 10k training plan is a good idea! Thanks.

    In terms of what I'm doing now; I'm basically just running a high or max-effortt 5k every 3/4 days.

    How many days a week do I want to run? That's a fair question. I guess my answer would be as frequently as is safe. I'd say for now that would be three days max.
  • _Jay__Jay_ ✭✭
    For those that wasted ten minutes reading my meandering opening post I felt obligated to post a short update.

    In summary, I deffo feel confident that I've transitioned from an occasional to a regular, consistent runner. I'm doing approximately not-far-off fifteen miles a week, have gotten over my fear of running on consecutive days (although I don't do that often), can run a 25m30s 5k and a 55m 10k and I have a half-marathon (hills/trail) coming up later in September. Ideally I'd like to target a trail marathon in 2022 and a first ultra in 2023.

    Absolutely buzzing to still be smoke-free, booze-free and running regularly for over a year. And looking to convert some long-time lurking on the forum into actual contributions.
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Jay... Thanks for coming back to up-date us. Congratulations on your great progress.

    Enjoy the running that you are doing.
    I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to keep going longer, but that's your call.
    Enjoy, consolidate, and try to stay injury-free!
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