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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2002
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    Default May be a dumb question: How do you *start* a running program?

    I am now an eventer I'm thinking that when I'm ready to move up to Novice, I'm in good shape. However, the step up to Training seems a little more daunting. I spend a LOT of time doing trot sets/hills/etc. with my horse to get him fit. Well, he is FIT. He is currently a lean, mean, machine. Me, however? Not so much.

    I'm really interested in starting to run, but I have a few issues about it. One, I have pretty good scoliosis (2 28 degree curves in my spine), which makes low back pain flare up in the past when I have tried to begin running. And two, I have very finicky feet that like to hurt all the time.

    Where is the best place to find running shoes? And do you begin by walking/running slowly? Do you try to run a certain distance, or do you run a certain time? I am a TERRIBLE runner. I'm short and *curvy*, and in general do NOT enjoy running in the least, which is why it's SO HARD to get motivated to start trying to do this.

    Tips? Tricks? Nutrition? It's ridiculous that my horse is in so much better shape than I am.



  2. #2
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    Jul. 4, 2006
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    New Hampshire
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    Try the Couch-to-5K program. You can even get an app for your phone.
    -Debbie / NH

    My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/



  3. #3
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    Awesome Cranky. Thanks! Great information there.



  4. #4
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    Feb. 26, 2007
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    454

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    I started running about 12 years ago and did everything wrong from the get-go. I ended up with aches, pains and injuries. I then, subscribed to Runners magazine, which gave many helpful tips and training programs that suit different types of atheletes. It is the "runners" Bible.

    As far as shoes, unless you have certain issues with your feet, a basic shoe designed for running (bought at any sport store), is adequate. As I progressed to a more serious runner, I went to a specialty shoe store, spent way too much money, and the shoes offered nothing more than the regular running shoe, aside from the fact I could have bought about 5 pairs to the 1 specialty shoe.

    Again, Runners magazine will offer you a training program that works for you and should prevent injuries. Good luck with your program.



  5. #5
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    Jul. 30, 2005
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    England
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    Does it have to be running? Could you swim instead? I have bad knees, so I can't run. I swim at least twice a week, more if I have the time.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  6. #6
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    Feb. 22, 2007
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    Default

    I second the couch to 5k program. I used that and, while I had to tweak it a bit for my physical issues, it was a great starting point.

    I used to run in New Balance shoes but now I wear Vibrams 5fingers, which are a "barefoot" shoe (basically a sock designed to be worn alone). I find I have much fewer pains in them, though I did have to relearn my running style.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 23, 2009
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    573

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    I get HORRID shin splints.

    Those of you who are more serious runners, if I do the "couch to 5K" program, do you think I can avoid the shin splints?
    I have good running shoes, but have been afraid to start. And once they start, it takes forever to get them to calm back down. Any tips on preventing them from going haywire?



  8. #8
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    Oct. 18, 2002
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    CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookicat View Post
    Does it have to be running? Could you swim instead? I have bad knees, so I can't run. I swim at least twice a week, more if I have the time.
    Thanks for the suggestion Kookiecat, I'm trying to sort of ... retrain myself, if you will. At heart, I'm a lazy person I think. I've done the whole gym joining thing a bunch, and would go ... and then NOT. I'm looking to start running because I live in a neighborhood that is EXACTLY one mile all the way around, so it's perfect to walk/run. Walking for me isn't enough, beacause I already do 3 hours of stall cleaning 5 days a week in addition to riding and teaching. I'm not in BAD shape, but I'm not in GOOD shape, either. I'm thinking if I can just get STARTED running, I can keep it up because all I have to do is walk out my front door, and not have to go anywhere or pay to do it.



  9. #9
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    Oct. 18, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by CosMonster View Post
    I second the couch to 5k program. I used that and, while I had to tweak it a bit for my physical issues, it was a great starting point.

    I used to run in New Balance shoes but now I wear Vibrams 5fingers, which are a "barefoot" shoe (basically a sock designed to be worn alone). I find I have much fewer pains in them, though I did have to relearn my running style.
    CosMonster, I read the long thread from last OT day extolling the virtues of the Vibrams. That's the thread that has sparked my interest in trying to start up a running program.

    I'm a BIG fan of being barefoot, and as a teen used to be barefoot more than I wore shoes. As an early 30's adult however, I'm finding that I have a lot more foot/ankle pain than I used to. I will just have to find somewhere that sells them so I can try them on! I currently have New Balance to run in.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 18, 2002
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    CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by daisyduke View Post
    I started running about 12 years ago and did everything wrong from the get-go. I ended up with aches, pains and injuries. I then, subscribed to Runners magazine, which gave many helpful tips and training programs that suit different types of atheletes. It is the "runners" Bible.

    As far as shoes, unless you have certain issues with your feet, a basic shoe designed for running (bought at any sport store), is adequate. As I progressed to a more serious runner, I went to a specialty shoe store, spent way too much money, and the shoes offered nothing more than the regular running shoe, aside from the fact I could have bought about 5 pairs to the 1 specialty shoe.

    Again, Runners magazine will offer you a training program that works for you and should prevent injuries. Good luck with your program.
    Thanks Daisy Duke, I will check it out!



  11. #11
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    Jul. 4, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrows Endure View Post
    I get HORRID shin splints.

    Those of you who are more serious runners, if I do the "couch to 5K" program, do you think I can avoid the shin splints?
    I have good running shoes, but have been afraid to start. And once they start, it takes forever to get them to calm back down. Any tips on preventing them from going haywire?
    The point is to ease yourself into it. Allow your cardiovascular system, your tendons, ligaments & bones to gradually adjust to the stress of running. I find there is also a mental component, it's a bit easier to talk yourself into hitting the road at first if you know that you are only going to be running for short intervals at a time (like 1 minute, or whatever it is for the week you are in). If any one week is a real struggle, you can just repeat that week until it gets easier, there is no hard & set rule that you absolutely must finish the program in 10 weeks, tailor it for your own needs.

    Very often shin splints can be a symptom of "too much, too soon", so a program like C25K can help keep them at bay. However, shoes can also be factor. I know that you said that you have "good" running shoes. That may be true, but it's possible that they may not be the right running shoe for YOU. Were you fitted at a specialty running store? What shoe works perfectly for your friend (or for a person in a magazine article) might not be the right one for you. Biomechanics can vary widely from person to person and different shoes account for different weaknesses and needs. If you want to start running, and if you haven't done so already, I would stop into a local running shop (not a big sports store, a store that specializes in running) and get someone there to help you pick out a shoe. The clerks who work at these stores tend to be serious runners themselves, they will talk to you, even do a gait-analysis, etc. and help find the right shoe for you based on a number of factors.
    Last edited by cranky; Aug. 14, 2011 at 04:00 PM.
    -Debbie / NH

    My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
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    Another vote for Couch to 5k! I know quite a few people who have done it and have had great success. I am going to try it as well as soon as I get over being sick!
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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  13. #13
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    Dec. 18, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky View Post
    The point is to ease yourself into it. Allow your cardiovascular system, your tendons, ligaments & bones to gradually adjust to the stress of running. I find there is also a mental component, it's a bit easier to talk yourself into hitting the road at first if you know that you are only going to be running for short intervals at a time (like 1 minute, or whatever it is for the week you are in). If any one week is a real struggle, you can just repeat that week until it gets easier, there is no hard & set rule that you absolutely must finish the program in 10 weeks, tailor it for your own needs.
    Great advice. You really *can't* go too slow, but you can ruin a lot of things by going too fast.....one injury can set you back for months. So finding an "easy" plan (meaning one you ease into) and refusing yourself to go faster than that (you can go slower if you need to!) is a good idea.

    I am trying to get back to running but am continually battling plantar faciitis, which I never got before I started riding! The most difficult hurdle is mental -- I don't want to walk....I want to be able to run like I used to....(you know, 10 years ago and before 2 kids....haha). I have to get over that mentality.

    Good luck! Oh, and I love Runner's World. And they do have a good shoe buyer's guide which I would recommend....I underpronate and it really does matter which type of shoes I wear. Have fun!



  14. #14
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    Mar. 16, 2009
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    I am eager to try to couch to 5k myself. I know that I have had issues with burning myself out.



  15. #15
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    when back and feet ache, don't run...biking and swimming is much better.

    Also, probably time to invest in some really good shoes.
    I think if you are serious about running, a store that caters to runners would be best, the chain stores marginally so...

    Reminds me that i will have to go to a chain store, since wally world no longer carries decent women's sport shoes...


    Also: grab something besides cardio to beef up core strength. You'd be surprised how much a stronger torso improves your everything.Like posture, balance, I think even your endurance benefits.
    Something like pilates...



  16. #16
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    Nov. 30, 2006
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    CA
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    I started running this year and am slowly working towards my first half marathon next January! I also took a look at Couch to 5k, and followed this schedule for training instead. Pretty similar ideas.

    The biggest eye openers for me are when I started to hit 4-5 miles, my previously "good running shoes" that were fine for shorter distances were not correcting my pronation, and as I ran more I was working myself into a good case of achilles tendonitis. So I immediately went to the local women's running store where we agreed the fit on my shoes was awful and got me some new ones. (The saleslady asked, "What do you like about them?" and I said, "nothing.") I really, strongly recommend finding a running-specific store in your area if there is one. Drive a couple of hours. It was so, so nice to have someone be patient with me and say that we were going to try on as many shoes as I needed to in order to find the perfect one, because we had all day. It took maybe 20 pairs, but we did find the ones and I knew as soon as I put them on.

    They watched my gait when I walked and put me on a treadmill to run to ensure that it fixed the problem. I've read that sometimes correcting one problem can cause another, so I've dialed back my training to make sure I'm going slow enough for my body. I've definitely not had issues since I went for the shoe fitting.

    Set goals for yourself. Races are fun and invigorating!

    For barefoot running, while it's something that interests me, I was told you basically have to start over with your running. Even serious runners transitioning to barefoot have to start S L O W L Y. You're completely retraining your body and using different muscles than it's used to and it requires a lot more core strength. I'm definitely interested and even tried on Vibrams, but I will say I hated the way they felt on my toes. When I eventually go barefoot, I'll be wearing Merrell Pace Gloves.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
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    Charlotte
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    I've been an off and on runner for years, and I second what everyone has said about getting fitted for shoes at a running store, especially if you pass the 5k mark. In addition, I recommend finding a running group. I trained with a group once, and that made it so much easier to stay motivated. It also passes the time much quicker when you get to longer runs. If there's not a group close to you, join a running bulletin board or start a group yourself. It makes all the difference. Good luck!
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH



  18. #18
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrows Endure View Post
    I get HORRID shin splints.

    Those of you who are more serious runners, if I do the "couch to 5K" program, do you think I can avoid the shin splints?
    I have good running shoes, but have been afraid to start. And once they start, it takes forever to get them to calm back down. Any tips on preventing them from going haywire?
    I have NEVER liked running. Ever. But when my mom was terminally ill and I was in MO taking care of her for a month (until we got a daytime caretaker lined up), I started the Couch to 5k. I can't drive and someone always had to be with my mom so my step-dad couldn't take me anywhere. So the only way to get out of the house, have a little private 'me time' and get a break was to go walk or jog.

    I had tried it once before and got shin splints and stopped. This time, I modified the program to be slower - I did several extra days at each step. I also stretched before jogging, half-way through each day's routine, and at the end. I think I had one day of shin splints that faded quickly.
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  19. #19
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    May. 8, 2004
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    I'm a non-runner because of my conformation; I much prefer to swim, but don't really have access to a pool. But I have discovered I love biking. You can use your mile lap (although it will get boring, fast ), and there will be a lot less stress on your body.



  20. #20
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    Oct. 18, 2002
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    There's no time like the present! Currently checking back on this thread enjoying the light burn and a cold bottle of water. Went right on out and did the first day of couch to 5K. What a great routine! The 60 sec of running/90 sec of walking was JUST enough for me to start with. Having tried (and failed) to start a running program, I can see that I too was trying too much too fast. I got my heart rate up, sweated a whole bunch, but didn't die. This routine might just work for me! Thanks for all the feedback so far y'all!!



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