Absolute beginner

Hi all,
I've just started running - about 3 weeks ago. I'm running to get back in shape after an abdominal operation. Got a bit flabby! You know how it is. So Ive read some books on the topic and it mentions running everyday with 1 days rest. I currently run every other day for about 1 mile. Any opinions what's best? Also my knee tends to ache sometimes any ideas as to why?


  • Hi Anita and congratulations - you've really taken a big step.

    At the moment you are doing the right thing by resting after every run and you shouldn't think about doing more days for a while yet.

    In the mean time concentrate on increasing the amount of time you spend out on each session - try and gradually increase each session to 30 mins. It doesn't matter if it has to be a mixture of runnng and walking, indeed it should be at this stage.

    After that you can increase the amount of running you do in each 30 min period, but don't add an extra running day until you can do 30 mins running comfortably.

    Regarding your knees, make sure you get good quality specialist running shoes. It's the only real expense at this stage.

    Take your time developing but just keep on going.

    Good luck
  • Hi Anita

    Sound advice, I would just add the following:

    * Run safe - there are a few nutters around. Choose a safe route

    * Consider strength training as part of your weekly routine. Not iron bashing in the gym - just a sensible set of push ups / sit ups once or twice a day. This will help build your core stability which will also help your running. Making one or two of your runs into a swim could also be a good idea - fully supported exercise which is less tiring for your joints as they build in strength

    * Make up a training diary, record your exercise and you will see the total time / distance you have trained build up nicely

    As you continue training, your body will go through some dramatic changes. Your lungs are already growing more efficient and strong, your heart is already strengthening and your body is adapting for its new job. Well done on making this fantastic step.

  • Hi - I'm new to it too.

    Get yourself some good running shoes. I started out in a normal pair of trainers and developed runner's knee - very painful!
    Got a pair of shock absorbing running shoes now. Still have weakish kness but they don't ache.
    Good luck!
  • Thanks for all your advice. I have got a pair of Reebok Gamma running shoes. I also have little feet so they are classed as junior (it also makes them cheaper no VAT. Are these okay or should I be looking at something else?
  • Anita

    Dont forget to streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech those muscles and warm up propery
  • Hi Anita - well done for taking the plunge!. You've got some really sound advice here. I only started doing any kind of exercise back in February and sort of fell into running. The advice about some strength training really works for me - I have to confess to doing quite a bit of weights stuff, but I built it up really slowly and contrary to myth, doesn't make women go bulky!. It's toned me up and makes a big difference to my endurance when running. Take it slowly and enjoy!
  • Yes, good point Mercury - warm up and stretching is ESSENTIAL. Don't skimp on it. If you don't have time, save time on your run or make time!
    If I didn't strech after every run I wouldn't be able to move the next day!
  • Anita

    Welcome to the world of running! You've been given some sound advice here and there is very little I would add. Glenn has given the excellent point regarding running shoes and its one you should always adhere to. I myself have been running seriously for 10 years now, have completed 18 marathons around the world, over 60 half-marathons, thousands (and I mean thousands) of miles in training, I've even been silly enough to race up Mt. Vesuvius and guess what? - I've presently got runners knee!!. I thought I knew which shoe to buy and bought an updated model via the internet - BIG mistake. If you don't know of a specialist running shop in your immediate town/city I would recommend a small car journey and you shouldn't be in the shop for LESS than 30 minutes.

    Another piece of advice I would give is listen to your body. If you feel absolutely cream crackered then REST!! you'll come back all the stronger on your next run and above all else ENJOY.

    All the best
  • Anita -- I started the "Getting Started" threads and I think there is loads of advice and tips in there if you have time to have a look.

    Also, what Slaphead said is very true. When you've just started don't expect too much of yourself. I found that when I started I was shattered the next day and I couldn't get away from the "must run everyday" feeling - your body will need rest to recover and rebuild so don't be tempted to overdo things like me (I earned myself a V-rap telling off) and also if you need to take walking breaks in your runs then do so - you'll benefit in the long term.
  • Anita - I only started running 3 weeks ago myself and started just trying to run for as long as I could in one go. I have since read all the info I could get my hands on about the run/walk stuff and I have to say that this last week I've given it a go. I run 5 mins and walk 2 mins and have found that the 2 mins walk is more than enough time to get my breath back and start running again. I can now see how you can actually cover a far greater distance doing this way than just running until you fall down! Maybe you could give this a go and then just increase the run time and shorten the walk time.
  • i have to agree with claire - i've been run/walking for about a month, and have got to about 5mins run to 1 min walk, and am keping that going for about 30mins. it never really wears me out, though - what's the next step? do i increase run to walk ratio, add an extra day, or kep the run going longer, maybe aim for 40 mins? which is better? and why?
  • Pamela

    How often are you running? Before you start increasing the length of your runs or running all the way you should aim to run three sessions of 30 minutes each week. This will give you a very useful base. A progression I would suggest would be:

    1. Build up to run/walk three times a week 30 minutes (try adding two extra 15 minute sessions at first to your existing 30 minutes session and gradually increase these by perhaps 5 minutes each week until you reach the 3 x 30 level)

    2. Reduce the walk time and increase the run time progressively until you can run each of your 30 minute sessions without stopping.

    3. After this gradully start increasing the length of one of your sessions (but add no more than 10% each week to your total mileage)

    Some caveats:

    1. Some people are happy never to run all the way, preferring to stay with run/walk and have run marathons in this way. This is absolutely fine.

    2. There are no rules about how quickly you progress, if you feel good then there's no harm pushing yourself just be careful that you don't get overtired and be watchful of any unusual aches or pains that could suggest injury.

    Good luck
  • I so wish I'd found this site months ago! There's so much good advice & interesting stuff to read & it would have made me feel so much more confident when I first started out. I've been running for a little over 5 months now & started off doing walk / run, I felt like it was a cop out at the time because I didn't know how widely used it was! I'm now at the stage where I'm spending 30 minutes running, 3 times a week and I'm quite happy with that for now. I think I'll wait until my 30 mins feels easy before I start to increase any more! I've no idea how far I run as I've only been concerned with time on my feet up til now. I was thinking of investing in a pedometer but I'm not sure how reliable they are. Any advice?
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