A few beginner's questions

A few beginner's questions

Post by Elflor » Wed, 25 Oct 2006 05:11:03



Quote:
>> 2.) What pitfalls should I be aware of in terms of not keeping my
>> regimen? How should I combat these and keep myself on my plan?

> I'm using the Nike+iPod gizmo too.  It is great for documenting a run;
> it records time, distance, and pace--but make sure you calibrate it.  As
> for sticking to the plan, my advice is don't.  I've been going by the
> Couch to 5K plan at coolrunning.com; I was unable to stick to the plan
> because I was unable to do it.  So I modified the plan to meet my
> abilities.  It took me three weeks to complete week three after
> finishing week two.  It took me five weeks to complete week four after
> finally finishing week three.  Instead of trying to meet the week's

I think this hits the nail on the head. It's all about patience.

Patience will ultimately pay off, you will make gradual but very steady
progress.

Impatience is likely to lead to frustration and/or injury, neither of which
serves the more important goal of "sticking with it".

Quote:
>> 3.) Urban sidewalks or treadmill at a gym?

> Treadmills help you; they push your feet.  Going at a given speed on a
> treadmill takes less effort than the same speed on solid ground.  That's the
> reason it is recommended that if you do run on a treadmill, set the incline
> to 1 or 2%.  

Not quite ... The adjustment is supposed to compensate for the lack of wind
resistance on the treadmill. But the treadmill doesn't "push your feet".

Quote:
> Because the Couch to 5K program alternates running
> and walking through week six, I found it hard to use the treadmill
> because I had to keep changing the speed every so often--in the early
> weeks every minute or two.  Also treadmills can't simulate the changing
> slope of the ground, nor the side-to-side inclines, that running on the
> ground has.

> If at all possible, run on the ground, not on a treadmill.  But try to
> stay off the sidewalk; I run in the bike lane on the asphalt.  Asphalt

Another thing to look out for is the camber of the road. That's a potential
recipe for repetitive stress injury. If the road is dead flat, you'll be
OK, but I'd take a flat (give or take random variation) concrete sidewalk
over a cambered asphalt surface.

Quote:
> is softer than concrete and less *** your feet.  I'm going to start
> running on the dirt paths along the irrigation canals here fairly soon.  
> ("Here" being the Phoenix, AZ area.)

Nothing wrong with using a treadmill, though it's correct that there's a
lack of variability in footing, so it's hard to run well on the road without
doing *some* running there.

Quote:
> I recently bought two of those shirts; the tee-shirt I had been wearing
> started to come apart at the seams.  I sweat a lot, and running in the
> desert heat meant that my shirt got full of sweat, so I treated myself.  
> It was a present for finishing week four of the program.

> But I recommend putting the money into the shoes rather than into
> shirts.  Don't stint on the shoes.

Absolutely

Quote:
> Now I'll sit back and let the experienced runners pick my advice apart.

Often the best person to give advice to a beginner is another beginner.

Cheers,
--
Elflord

 
 
 

A few beginner's questions

Post by w.beck.. » Wed, 25 Oct 2006 16:13:08

Quote:

> Hey everyone. I'm about to begin a running regimen, and I've got a few
> questions. Just about every question I had was answered by the
> wonderful beginner's FAQ, but a few persist.

> 1.) How can I figure out which pair of running shoes is right for me?
> I've been reading alot about foot types, and I think that I've
> determined that I'm an overpronator, but that still leaves me pretty
> much clueless as to which particular shoe from any number of brands
> would be the right one for me. My budget is tight, and the discount
> shoe stores that I've visited don't exactly have the most informative
> staffs. What can I do on my own to find the right fit? What should I
> look for, and what brands should I look for as a "value-conscious"
> runner?

> 2.) What pitfalls should I be aware of in terms of not keeping my
> regimen? How should I combat these and keep myself on my plan? I'm
> already planning on using the iPod Nano + Nike sensor kit, which I know
> will help me as that kind of self-documentation and tracking of
> statistics really helped me lose 65 pounds in the past year (through
> dieting alone). Now that I'm adding excersise to the dieting, I know it
> will help to track that as well, but what other measures can be taken
> to keep me on the straight and narrow with my running?

> 3.) Urban sidewalks or treadmill at a gym? I may or may not be able to
> afford a gym membership, so this question might be moot, but is there a
> specific advantage or disadvantage to either of these that I should be
> aware of?

> 4.) How essential is it that I have special "running-wear," like the
> t-shirts made of *** fibers that supposedly keep you dry and cool?
> Are they a worthwhile investment? Or are my cotton t-shirts fine? Same
> with socks...

> Thanks in advance,

> Will

I'd like to thank everyone for their kind advice. So that you know what
I'm doing with that advice, here's an update...

I went today to the nearest "running store," which was actually quite a
trek, considering the fact that I'm in Los Angeles (explaining both my
"urban sidewalks" approach and my concern in late October for "keeping
cool"...regarding sidewalks, I'll never run in the streets of LA, I'm
no fool). I paid more than I'd budgeted for shoes ($90, I'd planned for
$75), but feel confident that I've got the right ones, and I'm glad
that I was advised to defer to the professionals in this choice. Turns
out that I am mostly flat-footed (which is why I expected that I was an
overpronator), but I only overpronate on my right foot, and I have a
relatively normal gait on my left. It's funny, after it was pointed out
to me, I noticed it right away. I ended up with a pair of Asics GT
2110, and I doubt if I'll look back. One thing that I love is the
airflow through the front of the shoe... this has probably been
standard in athletic footwear for quite some time, but it has been over
a decade since I've owned or worn athletic footwear. Anyhow, it is
quite nice. I was fitted for 6 or 7 pairs, and this was the shoe that
just felt "right."

When I was doing "sample runs" for the clerk, I was running at what I
felt was a restrained pace, and I was told to slow down. It really put
into perspective the conditioning that I need to go through in order to
make this work. He told me that if I hadn't run in as long as I said,
and I continued to run at that pace, I'd either give up or injure
myself in the first two weeks. Advice taken, so now I'll be starting
week one with a routine of 2/3 wlaking 1/3 running every other day (in
five/ten minute increments), and an hour of walking on my "rest days."
I used to walk seven miles once a week, so I'll be glad to be walking
again (since moving to LA, I've stopped).

I decided to buy one pair of nice, non-cotton, high-tech socks, and I'm
saving these for a couple of weeks from now, when I intend to try one
day a week of running 1/2, walking 1/2. I'll see if my feet are indeed
more comfortable in them, and if they are, I'll likely "reward" myself
for sticking with it by buying a few extra pairs so that I can use them
on my "run" days and still only have to clean them once a week.

I tried out the Nike+iPod thing with my Nano (which I already had, by
the way... as a gift. the only financial contribution I had to make was
the $30 sensor kit) and it seemed really cool. Obviously my shoes
aren't designed for it, and I only today mail-ordered the sensor sleeve
that attaches to my shoelaces and makes it work for any pair of shoes,
but I already know that I'm going to appreciate the feedback,
documentation, and motivation that it will provide.

In summary, I have only one more question: how important is it that I
run at the same time of day every day that I run? And how should I
schedule my running compared to my meals? Should I run before or after
eating, ideally?

Thanks to everyone for your support. Without an established, helpful,
and informative community such as this, I'd likely have failed on my
own in trying to make this work.

Will

 
 
 

A few beginner's questions

Post by Elflor » Wed, 25 Oct 2006 20:18:31


Quote:

> I went today to the nearest "running store," which was actually quite a
> trek, considering the fact that I'm in Los Angeles (explaining both my
> "urban sidewalks" approach and my concern in late October for "keeping
> cool"...regarding sidewalks, I'll never run in the streets of LA, I'm
> no fool). I paid more than I'd budgeted for shoes ($90, I'd planned for
> $75), but feel confident that I've got the right ones, and I'm glad
> that I was advised to defer to the professionals in this choice. Turns
> out that I am mostly flat-footed (which is why I expected that I was an
> overpronator), but I only overpronate on my right foot, and I have a
> relatively normal gait on my left. It's funny, after it was pointed out
> to me, I noticed it right away. I ended up with a pair of Asics GT
> 2110, and I doubt if I'll look back. One thing that I love is the
> airflow through the front of the shoe... this has probably been
> standard in athletic footwear for quite some time, but it has been over
> a decade since I've owned or worn athletic footwear. Anyhow, it is
> quite nice. I was fitted for 6 or 7 pairs, and this was the shoe that
> just felt "right."

The $15- margin is an extremely good investment! $90 is about as cheap as
you will get for a proper running shoe. The model that you chose is a very
highly regarded one, many of the regular posters here use that series
(Asics 2xxx).

Not that uncommon to have asymmetry in ones gait.

And yes, beginners often run too quickly.

One advantage of running on a treadmill is that you can use it to learn to
about pacing, because you can adjust it until you find a pace that you are
able to maintain without discomfort.

[snip]

Quote:
> myself in the first two weeks. Advice taken, so now I'll be starting
> week one with a routine of 2/3 wlaking 1/3 running every other day (in
> five/ten minute increments),

Also, make the running segments nice and slow.

One suggestion -- try running on a treadmill with the pace on 5mph (below
that pace, it gets difficult to run -- many people prefer to walk if the
speed is lower). If you can maintain that pace comfortably, then you may not
need walk breaks. If you can't maintain that pace, then run at about that pace,
and add walk breaks.

[snip]

Quote:
> I decided to buy one pair of nice, non-cotton, high-tech socks, and I'm

Good move, cheap and will prevent blistering.

Quote:
> In summary, I have only one more question: how important is it that I
> run at the same time of day every day that I run? And how should I

it isn't

Quote:
> schedule my running compared to my meals? Should I run before or after
> eating, ideally?

It's OK to snack before a run, but I wouldn't recommend running on a full stomach.

Cheers,
--
Elflord

 
 
 

A few beginner's questions

Post by shinypenny0.. » Wed, 25 Oct 2006 23:25:58

Quote:

>. Turns
> out that I am mostly flat-footed (which is why I expected that I was an
> overpronator), but I only overpronate on my right foot, and I have a
> relatively normal gait on my left.

I have assymetry in that one leg is shorter than the other. The foot on
the longer leg (my left) appears to collapse inward - that's because
the leg is longer so more weight goes on it when I stand or walk or
run. I'm finding that it is caused by muscle imbalance in my hip,
probably created by years of sitting with left leg crossed over the
right. Yoga is slowly correcting this. I think stretching does far more
good for this sort of thing than a certain pair of shoes.

Quote:
> It's funny, after it was pointed out
> to me, I noticed it right away. I ended up with a pair of Asics GT
> 2110, and I doubt if I'll look back.

Same brand and model I wear. Love them.

Quote:
> In summary, I have only one more question: how important is it that I
> run at the same time of day every day that I run?

It's not important at all, except for purposes of building a habit. In
the first few weeks it may be easier to build a habit if you go out the
same time every day. Or at least shoot for the same time every day:
more importantly, if you miss your usual time, is to make it up later
and not blow it off.

I have tried all kinds of times, and what usually works best for me is
mid-morning or mid-afternoon. First thing in the morning is great
because you can cross it off early, and jump right into the shower, but
I'm just not a morning person so it's unrealistic for me to keep such a
schedule. Lunch time I'm usually too starving and would prefer to eat.
Dinner time I'm too starving and I have to cook dinner. After dinner
works okay except it's dark by then and it's far more likely I'll just
want to collapse.

Quote:
> And how should I
> schedule my running compared to my meals? Should I run before or after
> eating, ideally?

Between meals is ideal, IMO. You're not too hungry but you're also not
running on a full stomach. But probably in the first weeks you won't be
going very far or long, so it won't matter. On the days you walk for a
full hour, if you go out on an empty stomach, bring along a power bar
or something.

jen