Running from scratch

Other than running for a bus and running around after children, I haven't jogged or ran in five years until last week - I'm 37 years old. I would appreciate some advice. I've been meaning to get trainers and start running for a few months, with the big 40 approaching and the prospect of declining fitness and health, but I've always too busy.

I went out a week ago (last Sunday) and ran 2.2 miles. Just felt like it, for some reason, so decided to go. Felt a little sore the next day.

That didn't feel long enough so I did two circuits, 4.4 miles (Monday). That knackered me and I was in bits the next day - couldn't walk properly - so had a couple of nights off.

Ran 3.5 miles the next night (Thursday). Was OK after this, I made sure to warm down with a walk and few stretches at the end of the run.

Another night off (Friday). Bought a pair of trainers, had been running in lightweight walking boots!

Ran 4.4 miles again in trainers (Saturday), wasn't too bad afterwards.

3 miles last night (Sunday), fine afterwards. Maintaining a steady 6mph jog, I estimate.

I know there is guidance out there, but it tends to recommend starting with alternating jogging/walking and building up in 10% increments, as well as buying loads of stuff.

I want to avoid all the faff and get to a reasonable baseline of fitness with some quick weight loss as well. I quite enjoy the runs (especially with the MP3 player!) and I'm in two minds whether I want to simply plod on regularly a few times a week to keep in some sort of shape, or to bash on with a 10K or half-marathon in mind for next year.

Any advice on targets to aim for would be appreciated...I don't mind beasting myself a bit. Might try to get up to 6 miles this week or next's only another 1.6 miles from my longest so far, and "pain is just weakness leaving the body" or so I was told years ago....
Do have a look at Runner's World, it is a helpful site and full of specialist advice as opposed to just opinion... like below! :)

If you enjoy getting out running with the MP3 in then make that part of your training, for example, set up the ipod with playlists that last 30, 60 and 90 minutes, start the playlist and start running. Just pick a playlist and any route you that suits and when the playlist stops, head home!

You can work on your speed (shorter playlists) and then slower more endurance runs (longer playslists). It also helps you fit it in to your day as you know to within a few minutes how long you are going to be.
Fallschirmjager said:
It would be much wiser to look at a site dedicated to running rather then rely on answers here. Loads of info on the site below.

Runners World
Good advice! Similarly for people who are asking about MMA or bodybuilding/resistance training, you will get far better advice on the exercise specific forums than you will on here.

One thing I would say though is why do you have to plan for a 10k or a half marathon so quickly? Granted having a goal is a great idea and gives you something to work towards, but youve just started back to running. Just relax and enjoy it for a bit mate and see how your body responds to putting it under pressure as you increase your training/level of fitness.
Look up - Jim Fixx 'Complete Book of Running' that got a lot of folks into the running ethos. He was a fat 36 year old when he tried 'running' as a solution in the '70's

Jim was to die at the age of 52 of a heart related dis-order which set his " I told you so" critics into guffaws of laughter. He was some lad for his times though. His book didn't sell in the millions for nothing and helped ignite what we now call the - marathon boom. That would be a start point. As has already been said in the above posts, forget mileage at this stage, just get out, run/ walk and enjoy.
Who is scratch and why are you running from them?
If you want to really enjoy your training and minimise the risk of injury find a great route, ideally semi-rural, wear a bit more kit than you normally would (trackie bottoms and a windproof top), and walk it fast looking around and chilling out, and throw in nice fast-ish 200-300 yard efforts whenever you feel like it. Your running form will be a lot better and you won't dread getting out the door. I'd get a base of this kind of activity down before kicking the arse out of it.
Iron Maiden on the MP3 has been that metaphorical crutch.

Run To The Hills
Running Free
Phantom of the Opera (famous from that Lucozade advert with Daley Thompson from the 1980s)
Can I Play With Madness

Might stick some AC-DC on next!


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