Completely new to running and need advice !

Hey everyone. I have been for 4 runs so far and I am completely new to it all, but most importantly stupidly unfit as well. I’m not overweight in the slightest so it’s not like I’m struggling that way, I have a tracker on my wrist to track my progress and on my first run it said I was going at a mile pace of 15 minutes per mile. So far I can’t even run a mile without stopping and the furthest I have got is 0.75 of a mile. After 4 runs my mile time is now down to 11:45 but I’m concentrating more on being able to run further for longer then I can build on my speed. Any tips or help appreciated, on a morning I cover 2 miles both running and walking


  • Good day CDurant and welcome to the forum. I am also new to the forum and have a separate thread detailing my training.

    Are you training for anything specifically, like an event? Or are you simply looking to gain some fitness through running?

    If it's the former, there are 'beginner' training guides on this site that will give you a long term training plan framework to govern your progress. If it's the latter, then I think you should look walk/jog to a 5k/3m distance then gradually work on your pace ? Once you have managed to run that distance with less and less walking, your minute per mile pace will tumble. Gait analysis will help you avoid injury as you find your running form, some running shoes/trainers that ally to your gait are a must. You can seek assistance from a professional or talk to a staff member at a sports store ( a quick look online will sort you out)

    Once you are up to a 5km/3 mile on a pace of around 10 min/mil (which for me is a brisk jog) and are doing that comfortably, you will have established an excellent platform from which to then decide how you want to progress.

    For now, and the next few weeks, my advice would be to focus on just getting the runs in, three or four weekly if you can manage it, jog and walk, then gradually decrease the walking element as long as you feel comfortable (aren't screaming for breath or experiencing pain). Once you get to jogging continuously you will be in a good place!

    Other things you can do to help are substituting a run for another activity, like a hill walk to focus on strength or another cardio activity such as swimming/cycling which will allow you to work on your cardio whilst exploring another range of muscular motion. Some basic resistance work such as lifting free weights or yoga will help develop upper body strength and stability (these will help you with your running form and posture). A couple of 20 minute sessions a week is a good start there.

    Good luck!
  • I’m just looking to improve my overall fitness, body and mind! I’m also going to take up cycling as well and spinning. Want to get fit and healthy !
  • Welcome CDurant and well done on getting out there. GPH1984 has given some really good advice.

    It seems you're already doing things correctly, concentrating on building up the distance rather than worrying about how quickly you go. The more you run and the fitter you get the speed will improve. 

    Two things I'd perhaps suggest:-

    • Consider using something like the Couch to 5K (C25K) app. This will build up your running in terms of distance and time in sensible chunks. If you want to use a target such as taking part in Parkrun it's an excellent way to build up your endurance.
    • If you are able to, get a heart rate monitor. By doing heart rate zone training you make sure you're not putting your body under too much stress. It's one of the annoyances when you're trying to get fitter that you may push a little too hard and suffer an injury, which then sets you back.
    But good luck and enjoy.
  • All good advice ^^^^.

    You might also want to consider joining a running club - running can be pretty boring if you're always out on your own, being in a club means you've got like-minded company and other people to learn from and share your running with. There's also a bit of "safety in numbers", especially at night and at this time of year.

    A running club might seem scary to someone starting out, but they're usually very friendly an supportive, and glad to have new running buddies. If they're not - leave them and try a different club. Most will also let you come for a few weeks to see whether you enjoy it or not.

  • I'd like some advice if possible please.
    Im new to running. Well pretty much most forms of exercise bar a good long walk.
    So I'm only running mainly for fitness and mental wellbeing. I'm doing couch to 4k which has been good in terms of slowly getting me going further, however i've noticed that towards the end of the run my inner calf (i think, however feels like the bone) really hurts and becomes difficult to walk on. The only thing I expected was the general aches that I have also been getting. I tend to run in the evening so thats no issue for the rest of the day but just want to check I'm not doing anything wrong and causing myself some damage.
  • Hi Nival - welcome to the world of running. Might be an idea to visit a sports shop to have your running gait analysed. A lot of issues with regards to pain in joints or muscles can be put down to the kind of shoes you're running in. Having this checked out and being put into runners that provide appropriate all round support might be the answer.
  • Did you adequately stretch and warm up?

    Could it just be your calves developing, microtraumas etc...

    Guarddog's point regarding your running gait might be quite important. A lot of people heel strike or over stride.
  • Hi, I'm looking for some advice if possible.
    I'm relatively new to running.....about 3 months or so. I've always run a little - but now running regularly.

    On Sunday I ran my 2nd 10k race- the 1st 3 months ago. It was horrendous. Dead legs from the onset and I absolutely struggled the whole way round and battled negative thoughts throughout. However, I beat my previous time by 9 mins and got my fastest 5km in this 3 month period. Despite this I'm finding it hard to celebrate these and focusing on how dead my legs were!

    I do need to fuel at about 7/8k as I go light headed. I didn't think I was dehydrated, and I slept reasonably well (though I was so excited!). Could it be I went off too fast (though they were dead from the onset), am I doing too much? (spinning monday, rest tues, 5k and weights wed, 6k thurs, spinning sat, long run sun)...I'm 54 and have exercised for years.
    TIA :)
  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Hello Debs, you might want to check out this recent thread started by MrsMcG:
  • Thanks for that , I have read that post. I do take magnesium, and recently had bloods which were fine. I had my gait analysed and my trainers are just fab. It came out of the blue on a day I was so excited for. I did achieve on the run but it was torture lol. It's made ,e apprehensive and knocked my confidence a bit...but I'll get back on it. I've taken a couple of days off, and considering knocking the saturday spinning off too.
  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Could be anxiety-related. Have a word with your GP.

    Good luck.
  • Debs, that's a fairly busy training schedule. Nothing wrong with that, but did you take any time off pre-race to make sure your legs were fresh for the start? For a 10k, I'd have avoided training / running for at least a few days beforehand. Racing a 10k is physically hard but if you're feeling the way you said from the outset then something was amiss. You were nearly a minute per km faster than your previous race, could your pace on the day have been over-ambitious? Obviously not horribly over-ambitious, because you finished and did it, but fast enough to make it feel like hard work?

    Also, I find that some days are just hard work and some days are easy. No logic or pattern to it, it just happens. It's a bugger when it's a raceday, but just one of those things. Maybe that's all that happened to you?

    BTW, a 9 min PB over 10k is amazing, well done!

  • Rodeoflip - thank you. No I did not alter my schedule at all. Just re-reading that I can see that was foolish. I did a tough spin class the day before :s
    I will certainly knock that class off as every Sunday is now long run day.
    I ran the first 2k very was downhill, and again that's something I need to learn to control. Thank you for all your advice.
  • Hi Debs,glad my ramblings were useful. We've all done it, ooh a downhill, let's make up some time. Never really works. And yes, any strenuous exercise the day before a race will compromise the race a little. The Kenyans are famous for doing as little as possible the day before.

    Still think smashing a PB by 9 minutes is incredible.

  • Agree with Rodeo, Debs, the PB is the thing to really focus on and well done.

    It sounds as though perhaps the excitement just got to you a bit and on the day the legs felt that. Plus if you went for it in the first 2K, with the help of a downhill part, it may just be that you were continuing to push yourself a touch too hard.

    Races tend to be different to training, the adrenaline flows, you get caught up in the start and everyone rushing off as quickly as possible. It's very easy to get dragged along at a pace you wouldn't normally do. I try and make a conscience effort to not get involved in that, even letting people go by me, as I know I'll get quicker as the race develops. 

    As has been mentioned, feel a great sense of pride at taking 9 mins off your PB and revel in the fact you can do it in that time. And it won't hurt so much next time :-)
  • The only way I'm taking 9 minutes off my 10K time is with the discrete assistance of a bike.
  • Lol, thank you everyone. This was only my 3rd 10k race, so tbh there was massive room for improvement - hence the 9 mins off - but I'll celebrate that, thank you, as I've worked hard. I'm going out tonight, no watch, no time to beat, with company and am just going to enjoy the run, and let go of any negative feelings.
    It's my long run on Sunday, I'm up to 13k, and I'm gonna practice pacing myself on that.
    Thanks everyone!!
  • P.S I say 3rd 10k ...the 1st was actually 12 years ago lol!!! and now 2 since September. :
  • Debs I'm right there with you. Ran a little bit when I was younger and just recently picked it up again. You will be surprised how quickly the time sheds off! I shaved about 3 minutes off of my 5K in about 3 months
  • Completely newbie saying hello.

    Hi. I'm 52, 178lbs and running as the getting fir part of the New Me campaign I started in October. I've just finished week 4 of C25K on a treadmill, but I don't think I run properly on those because I have a balance issue which means I have to hold on with 1 hand, so I want to move outside - especially now the days are getting lighter.

    I have a target to complete a Parkrun at the beginning of April and I'd really welcome any tips about outdoor running.
  • Hi Debs and congratulations on doing the C25K. You're absolutely correct in identifying a difference in treadmill running to running outside. To begin with running outside can seem a lot harder as you're essentially having to provide your own motion and will expend more energy as a result. With that in mind it's probably best to go at a slower pace than were doing on the treadmill. As you also don't get the same 'bounce' as you would from the treadmill it can seem tougher on your joints as well, so again a good reason to keep it a touch slower. This may also help with your balance as well. After a while, though, it will get easier.

    If there's one available near you it might be worth while joining a running group. They're great in terms of providing mutual support on training runs as well as good socially.

    Anyway, all the best with the New You.
  • Thanks Guarddog. You aren't kidding about expending more energy. With hindsight I should have gone back and repeated week 4 rather than start week 5 in the rain and running on mud/grass. I was shattered at the end of that, but I made it! I'm going to repeat that day on a better surface tonight because I'm not ready to step up two more minutes yet.
    the running group is a good idea - I'll see if there's one near me which caters for tortoises running through quicksand (roughly my pace) and find out when they run.
  • Good luck with that, Debs, and very wise to repeat a week. There's nothing to say that you need to step up quicker than you're ready to. 

    And a running group will have people of all levels. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised that there will be an element of the group who will make you look quite pacy in comparison  :) 
  • Hi, I'm completely new to running and would like some advice about my breathing. I've running to lose weight and generally get in better shape as I am pushing 18st (250 lbs). I suffered from bilateral pulmonary embolism (blood clots in my lungs (2 in left and 1 in the right) about just over a year ago. This week I started using the C25K app to help ease me into it but I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips to help with my breathing. I've been for 2 runs so far (60 secs run then 90 walking) but even at that I get out of break pretty quickly (still able to continue and finish the run though). Any tips to help with this would be amazing :)
  • HI NBR - congrats on starting out on running.

    The breathing part will get easier as you build up your cardio-vascular fitness. So it won't always seem so hard and you'll find you'll have to work harder to get out of breath. The two elements that worked for me (as someone who never thought they'd be able to run any distance) were:-
    • Heart Rate Zone training, whereby you have a heart rate zone you work within (mine was 129bpm to 145bpm). The idea being that once in that zone you stay in it. It reduces the element of overworking the body, so in theory you don't get so many injuries. But the more you do the more you have to work to get into the zone. It's frustrating at first but it's worth persevering with
    • Don't listen to your breathing. I always hated hearing how heavily I was breathing as it gave credence to my mind saying how difficult it all was. And once that gets into your head it's a bugger to shift. So I wore headphones and listened to music. It took my mind off the running and the effort. 
    Good luck.
  • Thanks Guarddog, appreciate the advice. I got myself a Garmin 235 and decent earphones so that should help me with the heart rate zone and help keep me out of my own head. Thanks again :)
  • Helloooo, I'm brand new to it too - I started C25k two days after Christmas and completed a couple of weeks ago, and it was absolutely brilliant. I'd really recommend the NHS app, having Sarah Millican say nice motivating things really helped! Now I've caught the bug I've signed up for some 10ks, I just need to learn how to get from 5k to 10k now...
  • Couch to 5K is really very good and carefully designed. It says 'week 2' and 'week 3' but actually it is fine to just repeat a week if you don't feel ready to move on and if you stick with it then you are up to parkruns at the end.
  • Well done Runderland. The step from 5K to 10K isn't too bad at all. I'd suggest just upping the time on your feet by 10 minute increments on a run each week. When is your first 10K event? 
  • Hi Guarddog, first 10k is 9th June - Paris! Thought it would be a good motivator as I love the city!
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