I have never run before and wish to begin. I have been ‘lurking’ on this website and these forums in particular for about 2 weeks and there is just sooo much information that I can’t see the wood for the trees when it comes to where I should start. I would really value your advice specific to my circumstances. I am sure that if I kept on looking I would eventually find the right advice, but I am getting ‘information overload’ and really don’t know where to start.
So, firstly, let me introduce myself. I am female, almost 50yrs, a smoker, 5’ 5” tall and 17st 7lbs in weight, and cannot climb a flight of stairs without running out of puff and getting lactic acid ache in my legs. I also have a long-standing chronic back problem which left me unable to work for 5yrs – only started working again 3yrs ago and still pacing myself back to full-time now. I know I should stop smoking so pleeease don’t offer advice on this subject – I tried weight loss and giving up smoking together last year and ended up bigger than ever (by 1.5st) and a heavier smoker!! My main goal right now is to lose weight before this kills me – once this is under control I’ll tackle the other issue – I also believe I might find that I reduce/stop smoking because of the running anyway.
Now to the problem. I have read a lot on beginners training and wanted to go for the schedule that starts 1min run, 90secs walk (x8) in Week One. However, I have also seen advice on the forums that suggest, at my weight, I shouldn’t even attempt to run for a few weeks. I will be using a treadmill at home – there is no way I can walk outside my front door looking the way I do – until I have lost at least 3-4st. I am awaiting delivery of proper running shoes but have had a couple of goes on the treadmill to see how I fair. I can walk at 4.8kmph easily for 30mins (when I say easily I mean without blowing a blood vessel but puffing and sweating well). I can ‘jog’ at 6.4kmph for about 1min but only twice with a 90sec walk in between before I cannot run again. Each time I’ve been on the treadmill, whether I walk or run, I ache all over the next day.
And, finally, the advice I am seeking: Should I go for the walk/run schedule and just keep trying till I get it even if it takes weeks? Or, should I stick to walking for a few weeks first? And …. I really enjoy the treadmill (I know from many forum discussions it is not the best method for running but I just cannot see myself doing it any other way for a while) so, can I walk as much and as long as I like on it every day that I am not ‘running’ even though I ache or must I rest up sometimes. My preference if it is not ‘hurting’ me is to walk everyday at least one hour and only rest up if it starts to affect my back (I get warning signs when I am in trouble and pace down).
Sorry this is so long, but I thought if I try and put everything in then it would help anyone who would like to offer advice to understand where I am coming from. I really want to make a go of this and don’t want to injure myself in such a way as to put me off, but also don’t want to ‘take it so easy’ that I never really get any benefit from it. And one day, who knows, I might have the courage to go out that front door and run outside. This would be especially fantastic as I would like to run for the group that got me back on my feet after 5yrs classed as ‘disabled’.