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Discussion Starter #1
I have just started running six months ago.

So far I've done two 5 mile races - 36 mins and 31 mins. (second race was slightly shorter)

I train mainly at the gym and mainly do cardio twice a week (normally there about 2 hours a time).

I haven't been going to training sessions this year and when I run on my own it's always on concrete and I can never motivate myself to run far.

So my questions:

1) How do people follow training plans were they run every day and don't get injured?

(My knees hurt every time I run ~3 miles on concrete.)

2) Is treadmil a good replacement for running?

(I don't do outdoor running excpet in races. Otherwise I run on concrete and it hurts every time I do that but I never get injured at the gym even when I go a bit crazy. I have jogged for 1 hour on the treadmil once and even rowed 10km last week and was injury free.)

Thanks
 

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Hi The best thing is to try and run on soft surfaces so off-road is best. Treadmills are ok but they are boring and they can lead to injuries as your foot always lands in exactlty the same way every step. If you have to use treadmills try varying the angle so you get a bit of variety.

Off-road running is also a great way to improve core stability.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Edward Chapman said:
Hi The best thing is to try and run on soft surfaces so off-road is best. Treadmills are ok but they are boring and they can lead to injuries as your foot always lands in exactlty the same way every step. If you have to use treadmills try varying the angle so you get a bit of variety.

Off-road running is also a great way to improve core stability.
ok, thanks for the advice.

the problem is that i don't have anywhere soft / off-road to run to.

i live in london - not cornwall.
 

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concrete is one of the worst surfaces to run on...... even tarmac is alot better :)

those times are pretty good.... a 31min would be top 20 in some of the races ive done in the past.

if you run on treadmill all the time you may not be adapting to the kind of impacts you get on the road when racing, so you may have to gradually build the distances on the road taking plenty of time to recover.. until that recovery time comes down.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
top 20 - i wish! it was nothing like that. i came 40 out of 52 with 31 minutes. i'm not sure of the distance - it was somewhere between 4-5 miles.

i do have some idea about how fast i can run. i did the hyde park relays this weekend and the course there was 3.2 miles. i did that in just under 22 minutes so i think i'm doing pretty good doing 7 minute miles. i think it's pretty impressive considering running ten minutes on the treadmil was very hard work six months ago.

i know i'm getting better - i definitely did better than my first race (it was 3 months ago)but it's all relative to the other people. quite a few of the boys in my running club did two legs in the hyde park relay and still got better times than me by minutes. it's very easy to forget that i'm competing with people that are a lot more experienced sometimes.

so i'm basically wondering where to go from here. i've just started doing races and i want to push myself a bit.

in a normal week i would do: gym twice a week (2 hours) + running around the block (~15mins) once or twice a week. tbh. i'm not sure if i can train any more than that. any more and i think it will feel like a chore and i doubt i'd be bothered to push myself at the gym if i increase training any more. i'm also worried about getting injuries - when i started i went to all the training sessions for a couple of weeks and i could barely walk after them. i did seriously think about packing it in. i did find it very hard to motivate myself to start again after being injured so soon after starting. but thankfully i didn't quit - i'm still running (but maybe about a mile behind you hard core 'every-day-is-a-training-day' guys + girls, lol).

i asked other runners how they train and they just seem to well run and run and run and run and run. but when i did this (when i first joined the club) i got really bad injuries and i almost gave up. that's why i try to go to the gym so much. i think by working all the leg muscles i'll minimise injuries. i'm not sure if that's true but i do all the cardio things (cycle, row, run and even cross train) and it does seem to have reduced my injury rate. i take the point that it takes time to adapt to running on hard surface - i have just recently started running about the block - i'll see if i get used to it.

but any other advice on how i should change my training plan - or is it fine as it is???

i'm also not sure about stretching. are you supposed to stretch before or after running?
 

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oh.... SHOES... get decent shoes suitable for your running gait!

there should be some kind of auto-reply feature that posts this onto every thread in beginners ;-)
 

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Sounds to me like you'll going too hard at the moment, why not just get up and go out but make a concerted effort to run much slower and let you body / legs adjust over a period of time to running on concrete and a far reduced pace than you have now.

After a while I'm sure you could increase the pace.
 

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It sounds like you've got a fairly good keep fit regime going on, but if you really want to improve as a runner I'm sorry to say 15 mins round the block once or twice a week really isn't going to help you catch the 5minute milers. Additionally whilst I'd say the gym is very useful - 2hours workout at the gym must be pretty dull?? Unless of course you mean an hour in the gym and an hour in the sauna/steam room ;)

It's only a suggestion based on my opinion, but why not try cutting out some of your gym time and focusing more on the running? Oh, and not all your running needs to be full pelt for you to improve!

Have a look at beginners running schedules, even running just 3 times a week can be very beneficial as long as the runs are purposeful and a tough workout. Quite simply, maybe try on speed/fartlek session, one tempo session and one longer run.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
i have running shoes but don't have 9mm spikes.

i'm going to go and buy a pair now because i think i was at a disadvantage running these x-country races in trainers

i do about 2hrs at the gym.

normally it's something like this.

20 minutes jog, 20 minutes cycle, 20 minutes row, 20 minutes cross-train, ~30 minutes weights and breaks in between. (there isn't a sauna at the gym, lol)

tbh, i don't find it boring - i have music on in the background and i leave with an adrenaline high that you can't beat.

btw, i didn't used to stay so long at the gym (it started off at about half and hour to fourty five minutes and that was very tough)

i just built it up gradually. now i try to vary things as much as possible on the machines.

i'll take the advice but i don't think i'm going to cut down on the gym.

i'll try to run twice as far as usual today but i'll jog it slowly.

btw, what's a 'farlek' and a 'tempo' session?
 

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This should explain :)
Coolrunning.com said:
Fartlek>

It's true: fartlek is almost as fun to do as it is to say. "Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and consists of bursts of speed in the middle of a training run. Essentially, it's an unstructured interval session, the track without the rules. Fartlek gets your legs used to a variety of paces and in the process gives you an enhanced awareness of your ability to keep up those paces at various distances.

After warming up, run at an easy training pace, throwing in bursts of speed for various distances throughout the run. Vary the speed and times of the speed sections, from as short as 15 seconds to as long as two or three minutes. Between these bursts, allow yourself enough recovery time to match roughly 2/3 of the effort time. The recovery pace, though, should be faster than the recovery jog you might do during intervals on the track; keep it moving at an easy training pace.

It's a good idea to pick out a landmark -- a tree or a fire hydrant or a bend in the path -- where a speed section will end before you start picking up the pace. In other words, you have to know how far you are running for each section. Because the idea is to keep up a constant pace until you reach that landmark, it is important to pace yourself at the beginning. Don't tear off so fast that you can't keep up the pace through the end of each speed section.

A fartlek session can be as easy or as difficult as you wish to make it. Use fartlek for anything from a light recovery run to a grueling workout. As always, however, start out easy. Your first fartlek sessions should contain distances and paces that you feel comfortable with and that you feel you can gradually increase in future sessions. A twenty to thirty-minute fartlek session should be adequate for most runners. There is very little reason for them to go as long as an hour.


Intervals>

The track. While most elite runners get their start there, the great majority of runners came to the sport by way of local roads, sidewalks and forest paths. For the average runner, the track seems all too intimidating, almost scary. Fact is, though, the track is not simply the domain of the elites. Any runner at any level can improve her performance with a little help from the 400-meter oval. This is what intervals are about.

Interval sessions are the most formal of speed workouts in that the distances and target paces are precisely fixed before you run. The idea is to run a series of relatively short repetitions over distances from 220 yards to one mile, with rest periods of slower running in between. Because of their very nature, intervals involve a shorter period of effort than your usual run of, say, 45 minutes at a steady pace. This allows you to run much faster than you usually do, adapting your body to higher demands and your leg muscles to faster turnover. Over time, you become more physiologically efficient.

Because of the clearly measured distances, the track is an ideal place to do intervals, but some may find the never-changing scenery to be, well, maybe just a little dull. In that case, you should feel free to do your intervals on the road, using permanent landmarks to measure distance.

The various distances, as you might guess, are each best suited to runners with specific goals. The 220-yard run (1/2 lap, or 200 meters) is best for short-distance training (5K and under) to improve speed. The 440 (one lap, or 400 meters) helps improve overall conditioning at slower paces, and at faster paces is good final race preparation. The 880 (two laps, or 800 meters) is used to develop speed when training for races 10K and under and to condition form and pace when training for longer races. Finally, the mile is used most often to train for longer races, from 10K to marathon, to help improve pace judgment and overall conditioning.


Tempo Runs>

This is hands-down the least complicated variety of speedwork. There are no distances to keep track of, no split times to remember, no hassles. All you have to do is run faster than your usual training pace, somewhere right around your 10K race pace. Unlike most speedwork which consists of relatively short bursts of high effort, tempo runs call for a single sustained effort. The result is that your body learns race economy: running at a fast pace for relatively long periods of time. Tempo runs will give your top speed a boost, too. By running nearly at race pace, your body becomes accustomed to running close to its upper limit (though not exceeding it). In doing so, you actually increase that upper limit, and you become gradually faster.

After your usual warmup routine, run at your easy training pace for at least ten minutes. Then pick up the pace. As mentioned above, this speed should be right around your 10K race pace (around 80%-85% of maximum heart rate, if you use a heart rate monitor). The time, distance and pace of your tempo run, as with all phases of your running, depends on both your ability and your goals. For the distance you choose (3 and 5 miles are popular tempo distances), find a pace that is not so fast that you cannot sustain it for the distance, but not so slow that you do not feel challenged toward the end. Tempo runs should be tough, but not impossible. Depending on how you feel on any given day, how much spring is in your legs, and how far you are running, your tempo pace may vary from session to session. That's fine. The consistency that counts is the pace within each session. Try to keep your speed level for the full length of each tempo run.

Don't worry too much about figuring out the exact distance of your tempo run. It's really not terribly important. Three to six miles is probably a good range. The one value of knowing how far you are running, though, is that you are able to gauge your improvement over time. Still, this is easily done by doing most of your tempo runs on the same route. You may not know the specific distance, but you can still compare your times for that same fixed route.
 

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I swap my speed workouts week about - I do tempo runs between 5 and 8 miles one week and then do intervals... the other week. I used to do crazy crazy intervals BUT I find they tired me out BIG time, so by saturday my long runs were more of a chore, I got a lot quicker of shorter distances though, but this wasn't my goal, so now I do more reasonable intervals whereby I run a mile at a pace a bit faster than my tempo pace, and then half a mile at my easy run pace. I vary the number of repititions depending on what I feel like, but seeing as I'm building up for a half in april, I'm increasing it every 2 or 3 weeks up to 10 miles or so...

eargh, running is far too complicated. :p
 

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I guess it is. I'd like to think my workouts are fairly straight forward... I mean relatively speaking. Some people are absolutely insane with how their organise and plan their training... like it's some sort of rocket science. My friend has decided that she wants to do the 10k race for life, and I said I'd do it with her, so yeah... she wants me to "help her train"... ... I have no idea how i SHOULD help her... I'm just gunna take her out on a lil slow jog and see how it goes from there I guess.

I suppose it's what you want to take from it. I mean, in general I don't want to do races all the time, I don't NEED to do them to keep my motivated, but I suppose some people do want to do them, and do want to win them, so want to train as well as they can. I just want to beat myself lol, which ain't hard!!

Edit: oh, my bad, it's 5k.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
almost_no_specifics said:
I guess it is. I'd like to think my workouts are fairly straight forward... I mean relatively speaking. Some people are absolutely insane with how their organise and plan their training... like it's some sort of rocket science.
lol... tell me about it...

i never even had a plan to begin with but here's how things have worked out over the last week...

fri - gym
sat - run around block (intervals)
sun - ran park
mon - rest
tues - run distance run
wed - gym
thurs - rest

so that was 3 runs, 2 gyms and 2 rest days a week...

but i think you should bear in mind that it took me 6 months to get motivated enough to train 5 days a week...

btw - if you are just starting i would suggest DON'T GO CRAZY... you won't keep it up...


also i have a question:

now i'm pushing myself a lot i'm finding my vision is going blurry particularly when i'm running...

i always get this at the gym and it isn't much of a problem because i can recover from it on the treadmil...

but it is a problem when you are crossing roads outdoors...

i was just wondering if this happens to everyone or if it's just me... !

so does anyone else get this, what is it caused by and how can i prevent it?

cheers
 
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Revenged said:
l
also i have a question:

now i'm pushing myself a lot i'm finding my vision is going blurry particularly when i'm running...

i always get this at the gym and it isn't much of a problem because i can recover from it on the treadmil...

but it is a problem when you are crossing roads outdoors...

i was just wondering if this happens to everyone or if it's just me... !

so does anyone else get this, what is it caused by and how can i prevent it?

cheers
First off, don't go Googling it or looking in medical books as you are sure to come back with a range of near fatal problems! Take it from me, I'm a card carrying hypochondriac!

When we exert ourselves, we're putting our bodies into an out of the ordinary situation. As everybody's physiology is unique, this state of exertion affects us all in different ways and this symptom may be normal for you. Last week, I did 16 x 400m on the track with a minute recovery between each rep. At the end of the session I got stiffness and difficulty moving my hands. I warmed down and everything was fine when the blood began to flow back to them. When I first started running, I used to get tingling in my hands after a speed session. My coach gets a pain in his left arm which can be a sign of an M.I. but that's normal for him. If you get it when you're not exercising then I'd visit your doctor but otherwise I'd say it's your body's normal reaction. It may disappear as you get fitter.

Regarding training, if you want to get better at running then just run. Build up to 6 days per week with one rest day and sack the gym. If you want to be toned up and body beautiful then go to the gym.

A. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
ok, cheers... i haven't had any problem with the last few days so i don't think it's anything... but tbh i don't really want to get rid of the gym... cross country season has now finished so i don't really have anything to train for now and i honestly don't really think i need to push myself anymore to train 6 times a week... that would be mental!... it is not like i'm marathon training here !!!

i must be doing something right though... i have only done 3 races but i got my 5 miles time down from 37:30 (i got it wrong before - my first race wasn't 36 minutes) to 33:30 in just over two months... that was quite a surprise to me because i never record how far or how fast i run (so i didn't really realise i was improving)... but tbh, i think i prefer it that way... i spend too much time in the gym (where you are surrounded by numbers, distances, gradients...etc.) and i wanted to escape from all that... i'm not really that bothered with how fast i run... it's fun doing it for races and seeing how you have improved... but when i run i go running it's more to clear my head and destress in the mornings... i'm also a bit of a perfectionist (which is a hassle because life is never perfect!)... so i'm the type of person that would get paranoid with times and distances (thinking that i should go faster, higher, longer, stonger...etc.)... in the end of the day progress is slow and i don't notice any differences from day to day (it's more of a long term thing)... and tbh i think my performance on the races has reached a peak for now... so my aim now is just going to be trying to maintain my fitness over the summer by doing 3-4 short runs a week... i'm also thinking of having a break from races until the summer and then entering a couple of 10k races...

if you are just started running like me then my advice would be don't train with a stop watch or km measurer...
 
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