Runners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Im new to the forum and have been training to improve my level of fitness/VO2 max scince November last year.

I train at a gym with on hand instructors and have been trying to listen to their advice. Basically I am naturally inclined to think if I want to be fit then I should get good at running , especially as the purpose of the fitness campaign is to become a competant runner and/or satisfactory at the "bleep test" for a possible career change.

However this contradicts the programs they give me to do. I am advised that someone of my body type should accept that running isn't for them and stick to X trainers, Bikes etc and do interval training. Their theory is that if I do this then on the occassions when I do have to run all will be well.

It has become apparent to me that whilst I might be much improved on the cross trainer and bike, interval training 3 to 4 times a week, I am still abysmal at running. (tried 15 mins on the treadmill at 1.5% incline yesterday and my heart rate was 170+)

Basically I'd like to know

1. Do machines , including the treadmill, equate to proficiency at running ever (ie if you have the treadmill at a certain gradient etc)

2. Is it the case that if your tall and heavy (not fat!!) then running is just going to lead to injury.

3. Why is it I am so poor at running despite being relatively fit (and in the past having been very fit)

4. Whats the relationship between distance you are able to run and your level of fitness. I know that sounds really stupid but what I mean is in the past I have gone out for 30 min runs 3 -4 times a week and then managed to score about 6.5 on bleep test - made no sense to me !

Really sorry to ramble but its a subject that, after 10 years as a weightlifter utterly baffles and frustrates me :d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
2. Is it the case that if your tall and heavy (not fat!!) then running is just going to lead to injury.

This one is blatant rubbish.
I'm both, am a competant runner and only get injuries due to netball. I.e landing funny.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
This should be a fun one to answer! And no doubt by the time I finish my response then other people will have already answered :lol:

The bleep test is a test of your VO2 MAX... I'm not sure I could train hard enough to improve my VO2 MAX on a bike or cross trainer without losing all motivation for sport. When you say you can only manage 15mins on the treadmill at 170+bpm... what speed are you going at? Your 170bpm wouldn't be dissimilar to my 180bpm, which is an uncomfortable level, and something I certainly couldn't keep up for 15mins on a treadmill!!! Outside in a race I would probably run a 10k at the sort of heart rate (for around 37mins).

1) Nothing compares to running like running does, treadmill running does improve your running, though it does still have subtle differences to normal running (i.e. the ground moves from underneath you, rather than you're moving along the ground). A 1% incline will help to replicate road running conditions. I'm sure there is some loose correlation between ability on cycle and x-trainer, but I think that's more just based on your fitness level than anything else.

2) ...as for a build for running... yes theirs certainly a type of build that suits elite runners... but I have friends of similar builds to these elite athletes who can't run a mile! and for most of my time as a runner I've been 'heavy' for my height... even now I'm 12st 7lb @ 5'10" and far from the perfect build for a runner, but it doesn't mean I can't run reasonably well! Your build may limit your ability once you reach you full potential, but until then it will only be a mild hinderence. Hang on... this question was about injury! LOL! Well pay attention to injury prevention techniques (warming up, cooling down, stretching - getting the right shoes etc) and you'll be fine.

3) It could be a whole host of things... I don't like to believe that people are any better than others without a good logical reason. Three main contributing factors to running I would say, one is how well your muscles are trained to run - nothing can make you a better runner than running can, I can't think of anything else that better replicates the repetitive usage of leg muscles like running does. Secondly would be your 'gait', this is your running style. Having an efficient, well honed gait will mean running efficiently - covering more ground, in less time, using less energy. I believe this is were 'the gift' aspect comes in. People say "ah, they just have a gift for running" I believe they simply have a naturally efficient gait, which when teamed with sufficient training produces great results. We can work on improving our gait, but it does take time - hence why those born with an efficient gait seem to have the upper hand, we (mere mortals) are always playing catch-up!!

4) Blimey... my fingers are aching now! lol. There really isn't any measurable relationship between fitness and distance someone can run - what is fitness?? in running I would argue there's different aspects to fitness, and one always comes at the expense of the other, essentially speed vs endurance. compare a 10sec 100m runner to a 2:10:00 Marathon Runner, neither would stand a chance at the other athletes distance, but which person is fitter? As I mentioned earlier, the bleep test is a VO2 MAX test, rather than an endurance test... I think if you google deep enough, you can find guides on training specifically for the bleep test ;)

Hope that's of some help and that you've not fallen asleep! :lol:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,618 Posts
Brilliant post RS! Liked the answer to Q4. Made a lot of sense. Don't ask me to run 100m because I can't, give me 13.1 miles and I will go off and enjoy myself. :)


O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your answers , lots to think about there.

The 170 bpm heart rate was the highest it went and it was at a rather sedate pace of 10.2kph.

Ive had a look about the forum and it would appear to me that interval training outside is the way to go, eventually. Though if my heart rate is 170 doing virtually nothing I shall have to take it easy :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
I think the more you run, the better you will get at it. This is my not very scientific answer :d

While some fitness crosses over, specific muscles need time to adapt. I've heard of really fit runners take to the swimming pool and be gasping after a few lengths, because a whole different system of muscles is being used and the body isn't used to it - I found this myself when I went swimming a few months ago, thought it would be easy, but I was struggling after not swimming very long at all, despite having just got to the running for 10k non stop point! After swimming more, I started to get better at swimming for longer without feeling my heart and lungs were on fire!

That might be part of it - so just give the running a go :d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I think I will.

The cynic in me is thinking that the trainer at the gym steers me clear of running because they own it and if Im outside running Im not needing to pay them to frantically mince on a X Trainer for hours .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
exactly the reason why I recently left my gym... there's just no need for it! Instead I'll just do all my cardio as running, maybe the odd bike ride... stretching and strength stuff I can do anywhere (and there's plenty that you can do without weights) and each tiem I fancy a swim I'll just goto the local leisure centre which is going to cost me a few quid each time I go - certainly nothing compared to gym membership!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I guess to effectively do interval training in running outside I will have to build up to being able to run at a constant pace for a respectable period of time.

Sorry to prolong what must be a very dull topic for keen runners but could anyone tell me where I was going wrong last time I did a bit of running in my mid twenties, and this time.

Mid twenties I tried a very simple theory. Run outside every other day and run for further each time.
After the shin splints had got better and I could get out of bed again :lol:, I bought some Ibuprofen and did this for 8 months and went from jogging about 400 metres ( hey I was a power lifter and 22 stone ok !) to about 2.5 - 3 miles at the most, and it took me half an hour. I was motivated, binned the lifting and tried hard, but I would have to say that thats really slow progress, and all I really experienced was becoming accustomed to the pain rather than ever being able to breathe easily or speed up very much .

With that previous experience in mind I recently did interval training on the treadmill as a differant approach. I alternated two minutes of jogging and two minutes of walking. I would always try and put the speed or incline up a fraction each time and did 12 to 16 minutes. Eventually I worked up to doing it all at a 7% incline with the running at 10.5kph and the walking at 7.0 kph, but again that took about 8 months and every session was a battle. I had a bit of an impromptu run outside whilst on holiday recently and discovered that I certainly wasn't fit - gasping after about 500 metres.
To me this approach was similar to alot of the run/walk beginners programs Ive seen

Am I just impatient or is was my approach flawed.

By the way its precisely because I am so, so bad that I want to be a competant runner. Is that weird ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,463 Posts
I would like to venture a less technical opinion.

From your description of your technique I think you are trying to progress to fast. Every time I reached a new level when I was starting out I would repeat it for a week before setting a new goal.

Just because you manage something once it does not mean you are ready to up your game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
I would like to venture a less technical opinion.

From your description of your technique I think you are trying to progress to fast. Every time I reached a new level when I was starting out I would repeat it for a week before setting a new goal.

Just because you manage something once it does not mean you are ready to up your game.
I agree with that totally - sometimes I have made massive leaps, but there are always going to be times - which can last quite a while, where you seem to stall and not improve any more. But if you keep up, the improvements will come.

Also think it's very handy to keep a log because the mind plays tricks. I ran 5k in 25 mins yesterday and thought bloody hell, this just isn't getting any easier! Then I looked back over my times and realised 3 months ago I would have struggled to do it in 29 minutes... More recently I was stuck at 26 minutes for maybe a couple of months, but then got it down to 25. I might stay there for a bit now, and work towards 24!

Patience and persistence are key, I think, and setting small, achievable goals/steps on the way to your ultimate aims.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for your advice guys, even though its not what beginners want to hear I strongly suspect your right.
It just takes time I guess - lots of it in my case, and probably more specific training. Running tends to be part of what I do rather than the majority of it.

I don't imagine the extra weight burden that is my man boobs does much for me either. They were a gift for my 30th.:lol:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
I worked up to doing it all at a 7% incline with the running at 10.5kph and the walking at 7.0 kph, but again that took about 8 months and every session was a battle.
I'm not surprised! running at 7% gradient at 10kph is never going to be easy! especially if you kept the gradient at 7% on your walk breaks... sounds like a tough session to me!

Weight is a major factor in running, and having excess weight certainly makes life a lot harder when trying to run (anyone doubting this, try running with 13kg rucksack on (about 2stone) and see how close you can get to your normal pace!). Patience is key... but keep a training log and then when you're down on motivation you can look back and see exactly how much you've improved - it's usually more than you realise!

Best of luck matey... and I'd be one of the first to say this is a very interesting thread - far from dull!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I'm not surprised! running at 7% gradient at 10kph is never going to be easy! especially if you kept the gradient at 7% on your walk breaks... sounds like a tough session to me
Well I thought so to, hence my suprise at still being pants at a sustained effort on just 1.5%. I didn't have a polar hr monitor when doing the 7% stuff so lord knows what my heart bpm was.

Anyway Ive been doing the run-walk stuff again but with a more gentle gradient (1.5%) and therefore longer periods of running alternated with 3 minute walks. When I feel fairly confident of not humiliating myself I will move things outside. Already found myself adding 0.2 kph to the speed and 1 minute to the run bits despite my earlier assertion of taking it steady :) Men and their egos !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well a little over two weeks later, and slowly but surely the distance is getting a bit better. Doing the walk/run split thing again though Im not sure if I'm splitting it up sensibly as the first run tends to be considerably longer than all subsequent ones.

Last session was: treadmill, incline 1.5%, 10.5kph

16min run (172 bpm)
03 min walk
06 min run (177 bpm)
03 min walk
02 min run (no idea of bpm as rendered blind by sweat - no hair you see :lol:)

I have to say I find minutes 2 - 14 of the run some of the most boring of my life thus far, and considering I work in security that is some statement. On the plus side I know the nutrition info on the gym wall by heart.


Any comments on where to go from there really appreciated ( I am aware that outside is the obvious answer but not yet ! :)) , or improvements that could be made.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
If you're suffering with boredom on that first stint, break it up a bit...

4min @ 13kph
2min walk
3min @ 14kph
2min walk
4min @ 11kph
...etc

something like that perhaps! I can understand your boredom - if you have a target to aim for each time and it's hard work, it will make it a little less dull. After a few sessions though you'll soon find that dull as well :p

*cough*OUTSIDE*cough* ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Soon wise one, soon.

I have the most lovely surroundings for running in, living in the middle of a large cattle and sheep farm in Northumberland, but the flip side of that is if you go outside between May to Sept your head is enveloped in a cloud of flies. I often have to cover my mouth and face just walking about. Nice eh !
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top