I suck at running (advice)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 2:29 PM GMT
    I am terrible at running.

    Ok here's a brief history of my fitness training.

    Throughout my school years I was very inactive and didn't really play many sports. About a year and a half ago I decided I wanted a hot muscle body and started getting into fitness. I primarily did strength training with a 10 min eliptical cardiovascular warm up. At the time I was still a smoker. About 6 months ago I quit cigs, but still wasn't good at cardio.

    So I had been trying to get ripped but failing at it despite my generally healthy diet. Currently I eat mostly paleo but still won't lose my belly fat and I think this is due to the fact that I very rarely do cardio.

    When I did do cardio, it was usually eliptical or (over the summer) swimming. So I decided I needed to learn to run.

    So now I try to treadmill run and unlike before (when I smoked) my lungs/heart are not my limiting factor. Instead my legs start to burn like hell. Especially my calves.

    I have been trying treadmill running on a slight incline but after 3 mins at 5-6 mph my legs burn so much that I have to decrease the speed and walk for a few mins before I can try running again.

    Is my problem my form? My shoes? Or is this normal when one starts running?

    My goal is to get my mile time under 10mins (yeah I know I'm pathetic, but I bet I could outswim most of u)

    I just started this week running and hope to reach my goal before new years.

    Any help or advice is appreciated. Thx
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 4:07 PM GMT
    First, you should change the way you view running.. it will suck if you think you suck at it.

    I am not expert, but...

    What kind of shoes do you wear?
    What does your foot strike look like (forefront,mid, heel)?
    Do you have issues running without an incline on treadmill?
    Do you have the same issue with running on a treadmill vs running outdoors?

    Personally, without seeing you run, it is hard to talk about form (or lack of)? I have a great gait/stride, but still have to look at my cadence. It is an ongoing process of improvement. If you wear Vibrams for example, it is understandable to have calf pain. After a couple weeks, you will have less pain and get more of the "runner's high" than the burn. Those endorphins will kick in and you will love it.

    I think leg pain is usual for runners, especially new runners or those upping mileage. I have been running for over 15 years and still get some leg pains when I push my tempo. I say keep working at it, unless you are in pain. Pain = Stop, Burn = Workout
    Try to incorporate a mid/forefoot strike (if you haven't already). Also, remember your arms motivate your legs, so keep them lower and moving. Steady breathing is good to incorporate also. Lastly, I feel running is mental (like most "feel the burn" things). If you are in pain, stop. If you feel burning/rise in acid, then you are getting a work out.

    I hope this helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 4:20 PM GMT
    Thanks for the advice man.

    In response to your questions:

    I wear asics running shoes.

    I am not entirely sure which part if my foot strikes first. I never noticed, but I will try to heed your advice and have my mid/front of foot hit first.

    I only use an incline because I heard that was best and that running on a flat treadmill isn't good. I normally have the incline between 3 and 6.

    It's too cold to run outdoors, but over the summer when I would attempt outside runs, my legs definitely hurt. But it was more shin splint pain than calf pain.

    I guess my form is pretty bad, but I'm not even sure what good form is supposed to look like.

    Well thx again. I hope by Jan I will be well under 10 min miles. Or at the very least be able to run for 10 min straight without walk breaks for my legs.

    Is it normal for runners to not ne able to run the wipe time or do runners generally keep a steady pace?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 4:21 PM GMT
    What VibramRunner said.

    Vibram is right, it's hard to evaluate without seeing you run, though I'd guess your foot strike is forefoot if your calves are hurting; if that's the case, his suggestion of using a midsole or heel strike is a good one. Regardless of you normal footstrike, elevation will force you more on the toes, so might want to consider bringing the treadmill back to a lower elevation.

    Consider alternating a fast walk with a slow run. For instance, two minutes of walk followed by two minutes of run. As you adapt, change it to 1 minute of walk and three minutes of run, and continue to adjust as your body allows.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 4:25 PM GMT
    I'm confused vibrum said mid/forefoot strikes and you say mid/heel strikes. Which is it?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 4:26 PM GMT

    Here, check this out!

  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Dec 08, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    You can run like her ... icon_twisted.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 6:52 PM GMT
    I myself am a terrible runner.... Short sprints are fine, but longer distances get me big time..... Treadmill running is fine, but as soon as I get out on road.... It's like I'm a 50 year old overweight smoker who hasn't gotten off the couch in years!.... Have improved quite abit though

    This is just my personal experience and should not be taken as professional advice in anyway.... So shoes are a big thing.... Podiatrists are often helpful in this department.... Your instep, whether you pronate etc.... I have a broad average size foot with a high instep and I pronate .....asics a good running shoe, they practically last forever, but don't fit me well, I swear by Nike!

    Next is strength training for your legs.... If your quads, hamis, calves, gluts and lower back aren't strong enough they won't carry you very far..... Equally important for me was to NOT run after doing legs for at least two days

    Try running short distances a few times a week, with a breakthrough run every 2 weeks- that means a long distance- for you

    Food: big meals before a run are a no no, you want to feel as light as possible....this can really mess you up.... Carbo loading the day before a big run is usually a good idea.... "Hitting the wall" is what cyclist call it I think

    Music!.... Apparently listening to music you like during a run...or training in general can improve your performance a great deal

    Postures important...but I don't have much to say with regards to this cause I'm still working on mine,lol.....

    Hope this helps bud
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 7:44 PM GMT
    Well you have to start somewhere...try doing intervals...start with 1 minute on, and 2 minutes off. repeat 5-8 times and do this 3-4 times a week. Next do 2 minutes on, 2 off, repeat 5x...the week after 3 on 2 off 4-5x. Once you get to 5 minutes you can start shortening the rest periods as you increase your running time (you'll decrease your intervals as well). The goal of this minute is to get to 30 consecutive minutes of running without stopping.

    You can also look up the Couch to 5k program, or Jeff Galloway's training method which focuses on walk/run intervals. As you build endurance, your mile time will come down.

    Also if the weather's decent it's good to get outside...challenging yourself on hillier roads and trails will build your strength and aerobic capacity a lot more than treadmill running will.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 8:06 PM GMT
    Chances are you're over-striding and you're not wearing the right shoes. Try wearing shoes like the Puma Saloh/Street Kosmos or the Five Fingers and reducing your stride length. Kick your legs behind you and keep your knees bent at all times when you run instead of extending them out in front of you and keeping your legs straight. It's difficult to explain on here, but watch this video:
    This is a side by side video so you could see the difference:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 08, 2011 8:06 PM GMT
    Great advice guys. Thanks
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Dec 09, 2011 10:46 AM GMT
    Do you run at sucking too??
  • chrisjb626

    Posts: 95

    Dec 09, 2011 12:18 PM GMT
    If you have time, try getting into the city and go to Jack Rabbits. They put you on a treadmill and analyze your form, stride, etc. and tell you what you were doing wrong, helped a ton with my tendonitis.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2011 6:34 PM GMT
    btw 3 to 6 incline is a bit much, especially if you're still new at it. Level 1 incline is what gets close to real flat surface running .
    Inclination puts more stress on the calves .

    And when you start, you should keep distances short, running 15 minutes would be enough at the beginning, and even alternate run/walk .
    It is so easy to injure oneself with running, safe is better than sorry.

    well... i'm saying that but, in the end you eventually injure yourself anyway, it's just a fact , it can be minor and you can still run , but the nagging pain is there and takes forever to go ... annoying, :
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2011 8:07 PM GMT
    Running is probably the most boring activity while at the gym. Running while outside or on a track is a lot more fun.

    You should try to focus on making running more interesting. Change up the path you run on (when it gets warmer) and then start to time yourself. The idea with running, much like lifting, is that you make gradual improvements. Make a goal, write it down and give yourself a time frame. An example would be: I want to run to point A and back within 30 minutes. Once you do that, get it to 28 minutes, etc.

    As for your form, my cross country coach always said to try and take slower, but bigger strides. Also, minimize the amount of arm flailing