Sort of beginner ....

... I tried this app last year and, I'm embarrassed/ashamed to say, I gave up at week 3 but that says more about me than the app! Anyway, I've re-started and am about to enter week 2. I've been doing it on a treadmill which isn't as 'interesting' as running outside but also means that you're essentially 'forced' to run (or in my case, very slow jog) unless you want to get thrown off the treadmill belt! I just worry that being the size I am (I'm not huge but not small either!) that I won't be able to conquer the 5k in one go within the 9 week programme and I so want to do the Race for Life again in July but jog the entire event, not walk it. Any tips for, in my case, controlling breathing and jogging pace (and relaxing my body - my shoulder muscles tend to tense up when I try to run)? I try to keep the same pace throughout but that doesn't always work and I don't think my breathing is right either - are there any tips and/or tricks that one of you lovely folk could share at all for breathing, pace and relaxing muscles? Best wishes fellow beginner runners :-)

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17 Replies

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  • I find that if I breathe with my steps then it helps me. My rhythm is three steps to breathe in, three steps to breathe out, but anything regular might work for you.

  • Hi toria, I'm in the same boat as you! I started last year but got to about week 7 before life got in the way. Determined to stick at it this time! I remember getting tense shoulders, I made sure I was aware of it during all of my runs so as I could constantly remind myself to relax my shoulders, and this helped to stop me panicking about breathing or wanting to stop. Good luck! X

  • I wouldn't worry too much about the 5K and look too far ahead. I always thought at any day I would "fall off the wagon". Nearly a year later I am still running. I just took one run at a time and as others will say do really slow and repeat weeks if need be. The main thing is getting out the door.

    I find that sometimes even now when I first start for first few minutes that shoulders are a bit tense and breathing feels a bit heavy. Then after that I settle into a rhythm, my head stays up straighter and my arms relax at roughly 90 degrees to my body. I don't move my arms much only slightly forwards and backwards barely moving and move them a tad quicker when going uphill helps.

    For many it's not unusual for first 5 or even 10 minutes to feel a bit of a struggle. After all your body is getting used to the idea of running. Your body is probably trying to say to you "What's going on ? This time yesterday I was sitting on the couch. Where's the fire ?" But eventually it will get the message and get used to it !!

    Because you are early into the programme doing short intermittent runs with walking your breathing might be a bit irregular at first but as you start doing more running this will settle down into a rhythm that works for you.

    I find that if I am breathing a bit heavy I just slow down a bit and find that it settles.

    By all means take advise and try out different techniques but you may find that your body will find it's own rhythm. As far as pace goes, for myself even now sometimes my running is barely faster than a walk. And whether doing regular run or an event. There is no shame in walking if need be. At least your off the couch.

    Well done and keep us all posted.

  • Thanks for that Joepublic, makes perfect sense. I will try as you suggest, and of course as all the other lovely folk on here suggest – they are all very good pieces of advice and support so thank you all

  • Don't you worry about your size, I am a size 18 and it took me 10 weeks to finish the programme (and if it took me one more was just because I was lazy one week, not because I couldn't handle it). Just take it slowly and find your own rhythm.

    One of the things really helped me at the beginning with my breathing was counting steps, as Laura explains in one of the podcasts, four steps breath in, four steps breath out. Some days are easier than others, don't be discouraged if you have a bad run!

  • Is it a 5 or 10k race? if you get into c25k and persevere, and complete the programme, you could possibly jog 5k by race time, but not 10k unless you really want to do it and walk a lot of it all for a good cause..

  • Hi Dave, thanks for your reply. It is a 5K run, it is the race for life. I think that 10 K would certainly be way out of the question! Perhaps a few years down the line I might be able to do that, but age is catching up with me fast

  • Just asking, because some of these race for life events are 10k distance..

    And age really has nothing to do with being able to do distance, I'm 62! Started running nearly 2 years ago and completed a 10k in October 2016 running all the way.. wouldn't make a habit of it mind, on the odd occasion for a good cause.. The mind is really the only barrier!😊

  • Thanks for that Dave. Yes, indeed, you can do a 10k for the Race for Life too but I always do the 5k - would just be nice to run it and get healthier! I think you're right in saying that the only barrier is the mind, thanks :-)

  • I'm following the app but on Mondays am going out with a group from my local YMCA who are running the programme locally. Yesterday I did day 1 of week 2 with the group but was only able to manage one complete 90 seconds jog. For the rest, I jogged about 60- 70 seconds walked for 10 and then finished with a jog. I was probably the worst in the group last night :( My breathing leaves a lot to be desired too! I'm 54 yrs old, size 16/18 but determined to do this. I am convincing myself that what everyone says is right and that suddenly I will be able to do this a lot more easily. I'm sure you will too and the help we get from this forum will pay dividends in the end. Stick with it - perhaps as we are at the same stage we could exchange notes??

  • Don't worry I've keep trying this app I like reading but life gets in way all time. I tried 5k and hurt my knee running this time last year still not right doctors say no more running so I started walking every morning about 7 weeks ago I'm only at two miles which takes around an hour. I now joined gym and do 8 mins on bike which I think is now strengthening my knee joint. I'm 62 and doctors say running not good for knees so try gym and carry on walking. Still not lost any weight tho :-(((

  • I also run on a treadmill although I did a little one minute jog outside the other day while on a walk. I would say try running outside at some point before your RfL just to get used to it.

    My breathing was all over the place too, so I tried counting it to my steps, 3 steps in and three steps out, it worked well and was also a distraction from the aching and tired legs. Then during the week 5 20 minute run it just happened automatically and I found a rhythm.

    I know I won't be doing 5k by the end of week 9 but I will be running (shuffling) for 30 minutes and speed will come later.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Thanks Carolinemcd for your words of advice and encouragement. I have jogged outside but somehow find it easier on the treadmill, though rather boring! I will keep persevering and trying the breathing technique you and others have recommended, thanks, and will let you know how I get on. Best wishes to you, Toria

  • I tried an outdoor run last night and it was sooooo hard, I don't think I warmed up properly/at all as I just couldn't get going but I'm sure I'd have been fine on the treadmill. Perhaps also I hadn't eaten to give me energy and/or hydrated enough so will try again tomorrow outside!! Best wishes, Toria

  • Eating and drinking is so important, and sometimes making these mistakes is a better learning curve than someone telling you what to do. There is so much to learn about running and how our bodies work. I keep having a treat thinking it's okay cause I ran, which is SO bad for losing weight. Oh well we'll get there :)

  • First don't worry about doing 5k in 30 minutes. Many (most) graduates are no-where close to that at Graduation. I completed the programme 3 years ago and did my first HM last month - and, guess what, my comfortable 5k time is still around 45 minutes. (My best ever is 40 minutes.)

    My advice for what its worth:

    * work through the programme - it will get you to 30 minutes.

    * then work on extending your distance to 5k - you will find this remarkably painless if you let go of the 30 minute idea

    * slow down then slow down some more - it is possible to jog extremely slowly

    * given your goal is an outdoor run, try to do some of the programme outdoors.

  • Thanks so much for that very good advise - everyone on here is so lovely and helpful, it's all greatly appreciated :-)

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