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Posts posted by Rostov

  1. Honestly, I'm not sure about the answer to any of those questions, especially (4), and I'm not sure that there's a clear consensus about them. Seems to me that there's a lot of heat and noise around these issues, but less useful sound and signal. A lot of people seem more interested in validating their own choices and that they're doing it right than anything else.


    My opinion - for what it's worth - is that it's really about what feels comfortable and what doesn't cause injury. If you have the option of running on softer surfaces than sidewalks, I'd recommend doing so, but it's not a deal breaker in my view. Some people are very critical of "heel strike" running where the foot lands heel first, and recommend a forefoot strike. I'm a bit reluctant to mess around with running form, but I did so after going on a develpment course, and what helped me was worrying less about which bit of my foot landed when, and more about talking shorter strides faster while running. That helped me run faster and further, but that was a way into my running development.


    My other tip is not to do too much, too soon. Cardio vascular fitness for running develops much faster than musculo-skeletal, particularly if you're already reasonably fit, because adaptations take longer. So take your time, building up slowly.


    Oh, and that goblin is probably kiting you. It's a trap!



    This sounds like a question for a qualified medical professional rather than for an internet forum.  I think if you're getting knee pain that takes three days to stop, it's not something to try to run off.


    You mentioned a physical examination - was that with a doctor or a physio, and was it for this issue in particular? I've found that local/family doctors typically don't know a great deal about these kinds of injuries, and if this was a general medical, chances are they're not looking for knee issues. I'd suggest seeing a physiotherapist if that's possible. The fact that this hasn't got better after a period of rest is new information that could help a diagnosis, so if you've not sought help since your break, that's another reason to do so.


    Not having the right running shoes can cause problems, but pain for three days afterwards sounds like a bit more than a shoe issue, though that may turn out to be part of the problem

    • Like 1
  3. On 7/2/2018 at 1:54 AM, RangerDanger said:

    So I am running my second half in October. I didn't train for my first one and about all I can say for it is I finished. Picked out a training program for this time around but it peaks at 11 miles two weeks before race day. I know that's really common for half and full training programs but I still feel like I should do 13 before the race. Someone convince me to trust the program please!


    Trust the programme, or find another one! 


    For a half marathon, most experienced runners will run the full distance (and possibly longer) in training - the marathon is different and I think only a small proportion will run the full distance in training. I'd run the half marathon distance in training, but not the full.


    If your goal is to get round and get round well, running to 11 is fine. For your third half, if you're chasing a faster time, you probably should consider running the full distance in training, but that depends on all kinds of other factors.


    Here's why running 11 in training means you can run 13.1 on race day:

    • Adrenaline, sense of occasion, crowd support, the power of group activities. sheer bloody mindedness.
    • The taper. The programme should ease off before race day, allowing you to rest and recover. When you run your 11 miler, you'll be running in carrying the fatigue of all of the rest of your training. Your long run will be simulating running the last 11 miles, not the first. Your taper buys you the first.

    If you do want to run 13 before the race, then find a programme that's built for that. Don't just extend the 11 to running 12 or 13 the week before, because you need the taper.






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  4. The only treadmill running I've done is when trying on new running shoes, so I'm probably not the person to answer this, but...


    I think first step would be to get comfortable on the treadmill and its controls before starting running on it or starting a couch to 5k programme. I think you need to get confident with what the various buttons and settings do, how to turn it on and off, to work out how not to fall over, that sort of thing. Perhaps don't go faster than some of the walking settings until you're comfortable and confident on it and then perhaps look at some of the easy running pace settings and find one that feels right.


    As for speed, it's really hard to say - it depends on your natural gearing. I'm helping my running club with c25k at the moment, and we have people running at barely past walking pace, and people running much faster at what I'd regard as my 'easy' pace. People are built differently, and running more slowly than your comfortable slow pace can be difficult.


    There's a temptation in c25k to want to run quickly, but obviously it's not about speed but running the distance at whatever pace suits. So I think I'd recommend starting slowly and keep the speed constant for all the running bits of that workout. If it feels too slow - unnaturally and inefficiently slow - then try turning it up a bit next time. You needn't turn it up just because you feel you can - one of the points of the programme is that each run should challenge you but not wipe you out utterly. 


    I would recommend running outside rather than on the treadmill, but I quite understand the motivation to start in relative private, especially if the weather outside isn't ideal...


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    I'd suggest seeing how it goes. A slight acceleration of the programme without running on consecutive days seems like a reasonable approach for the early weeks of C25k, but I'd suggest reviewing it as you go and being alert for any twinges or tweaks, and perhaps drop back to the recommended 3 runs per week later in the programme, especially if it turns out that you have a bit more time once the fundraiser date is settled.


    This is my favourite article in terms of an explanation about new runners and injury risks.



    Best of luck!


    13 hours ago, Segev said:

    I know I don't like running. It gets back to physical exhaustion and feeling sick, only now adds having to limp back home while feeling sick to the problems of any sort of stationary workout.


    I wish I knew where this supposed endorphin rush is meant to kick in. At least then I'd probably have something other than self-loathing to push me into the miserable slog that is a workout.


    If you're literally feeling physical exhaustion, feeling sick, and limping home, (or even some of those) then I think you're doing it wrong. Especially as a new runner.


    There's a real problem with the "no pain, no gain" philosophy, and the idea that you have to push yourself to the limit every time. If we push ourselves to the limit every time we risk injury, and perhaps just as bad, it makes it much less likely that we'll do the exercise again. The way that the couch-to-5k programme is designed is that for most people each session should be challenging, but not exhausting. If it feels exhausting, the advice is to repeat the week.


    I'm at a stage in my running now that I have the experience and confidence to manage higher levels of discomfort - some of which is physical, some of which is psychological. I can go training with my club and sprint up hills, knowing that it's really going to hurt, but knowing that in a few minutes I'll get my breath back and in a bit more time my legs will feel less like jelly. I can find pleasure in pushing myself hard, in what I'm able to accomplish, and in being finished, knowing that I worked hard in that session. Point is that I'm starting to think that no-one should be pushing towards exhaustion at the early stages of acquiring skill, unless you're one of those odd people who really enjoys it.


    I think newer runners on couch to 5k should be running as slow as they like (different people have different 'gearing') when they carry out the workouts. The last x% of time for each run will hurt because the last little bit always hurts, but ideally the feeling on finishing should be a feeling of having worked hard but not to exhaustion, and a mixture of relief/pride for being finished!


    Now... I'm never in the business of converting everyone to running because I just know that some people aren't wired that way, but I think a similar approach might work with other forms of exercise too. Work out hard enough so that you're sweating, breathing hard, but not so hard that you half-kill yourself, get DOMS so hard you can't move for a week, and never want to do it again. Gradually what becomes manageable increases over time, and you start seeing results.


    On endorphin rushes... I think there was discussion of this early in the thread. It's not a matter of exercising -> get endorphin "rush". I find real rushes relatively rare - typically what I get is a form of satisfaction, pleasure in achievement, gratitude to the universe for being able to do what I'm doing... and relief at being finished.


    As regards podcasts... I find them great for running, but I never got on with them for circuits etc - needed music for that.






  7. On 3/29/2018 at 2:10 PM, Segev said:

    For me, it's physical misery and boredom, with a hefty touch of frustration if it's any sort of physical skill test, because I never notice improvement in them.


    The latter. The frustration would lessen if I could get good at some of them, but the problem is that I don't. I have participated in sports and the like (mostly as a youth) that my parents forced me to actually attend regularly, and I never got any good at them. I was always noticeably the worst player on the team and the most common loser in any grouping. It wasn't fun.


    "Every physical activity I can imagine and have time/money to afford" covers it for me. A minimum of an hour drive-time to get to something means I don't have time to actually do it on weekdays, and I somehow doubt "weekend warrior"ing anything would be worthwhile. Especially something I don't actively look forward to.


    Hi @Segev! I never want to be 'that guy' who tells everyone that they ought to do what I do, and tells them what they shouldn't and shouldn't enjoy, but for what it's worth....


    What I'm hearing is a lot of 'social' pain around sports and exercise... being made to go by your parents (lack of control/autonomy), feeling like the worst play on the team (negative comparison to others, perhaps worries about letting each other down), feeling like you've come bottom of your particular league. It sounds to me like team sports in particular might not be for you, and perhaps directly competitive sports might not be for you either. And that's entirely fair enough - not everyone is competitive, and it drives me nuts when too much youth sports are about competition, rather than developing healthy habits.


    The other thing I'm hearing is frustration at lack of improvement, or perceived lack of improvement. And it's very had to notice improvements if you're *still* feelling like the weak link, because others are improving too and perhaps improving faster. Easy to say that we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, but the reality is that we do.


    TL:DR - from what you're saying I'm in no way surprised that you don't like physical activity, and I'm absolutely not saying that you're wrong in that.


    However... from what you've said I would say that there's at least a chance you might enjoy more - or hate a bit less - forms of exercise which aren't directly competitive, which don't involve groups (to minimise comparison), and where there's a chance to see improvement or development. I'm not sure how important the latter is to you.


    I'm a runner, so I'm biased... but you can do a couch to 5k by yourself, you're not competing with anyone, and you should see improvements quite quickly. With running more generally you could enter organised races, or you could just run your own routes and your own pace. You could keep track of your pace and distance, and keep track of PBs. I tend to think that there's a difference in temperament between people who are runners and people who are lifters, and I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to say that much the same applies to either lifting weights or doing bodyweight workouts, and they'd be right.


    @DevilSlayerDante - this is probably a stupid question, but have you tried combining exercise with listening to podcasts? Some people listen to music, but for all except my speedwork/hill work (and on race days) I'll be wearing headphones and listening to podcasts. Sometimes on a long run I lose myself in my running and tune out the podcast, sometimes I lose myself in the podcast and forget I'm running.



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  8. 7 hours ago, DevilSlayerDante said:

    So what about those of us where NO physical activity is enjoyable?  I hate running, lifting, swimming, whatever...you name it, I've done it and hated it.  About the only physical activity I enjoy is the occasional with a girlfriend...or sex; no girlfriend, no enjoyable physical activities.  Otherwise, I get my rush from figuring out how things work, and solving technical problems.


    I wonder if there are physical activities that include elements of problem solving? Orienteering, perhaps, but that's not easily accessible to everyone, everywhere. Is Geocaching (?) a bit like orienteering? Presumably it's still a thing...


    More generally... what is it you hate about the physical activities that you've tried? Is it physical (pain, discomfort), psychological (boredom, stress, fear, anxiety) or social (embarrassment, vulnerability)?  Or a combination of factors for different activities?


    My sense from helping out with c25k courses with new runners is that while some don't enjoy it at the start, some will probably never enjoy it (and so won't stick to it), while some will enjoy it more once confidence grows/anxiety reduces/social worries reduce.


    Is it worth thinking in terms of 'don't enjoy doing X now' and 'can't imagine enjoying X ever, even with proficiency/confidence'?



  9. On 21/11/2017 at 2:47 PM, farflight said:

    When folks (non-family) come up to you and invariably ask "How'd you do it?" Do you give honest answers, or fire back with a little sarcasm? 


    I prefer a mixture of both. If I'm comfortable with the people, I'll tend to make a joke, but if they seem genuinely interested, I'll tell the truth.


    Some of my favorites:

    I just organize my CD collection every Tuesday

    I walk around with my mouth open

    I sleep with my head at the foot of the bed

    I only poo on weekends



    Although, sometimes I do get perverse pleasure in seeing hope fade when I tell them that I started eating less and moving more for the past 5-6 years. I guess they all want the BS answers to be the true answers.


    What do you all do with people that ask "How you did it?"


    • Tapeworm
    • This one amazing trick that doctors don't want you to know
    • Oh... are you mistaking me for my twin?
    • No, I'm actually just *further away*

    In terms of honest answers, I prefer to describe it as "eating smarter" rather than "eating less". Definitely moving more, though...



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    This isn't something I've experienced directly, so this is pure speculation...


    I imagine that some of those kinds of comments that people make are really more about themselves... if other people can be healthier, it follows that they could be too, your success shows up their failure or at least threatens the web of self-justifications and reasons why they're not doing what you're doing. One way to keep the self defence going is to say that the problem is your "obsession", not their relative failure.


    However... if it's not that, and if people are genuinely concerned, I wonder how they'd respond if you were to ask them what they're afraid of happening - what doing "too much" might do or cause. At route might be reasonably sensible worries, but perhaps more likely they're not particularly sensible or serious worries and asking that might show that up. Or it might provide a way to reassure people. A worry that I've replaced one slightly addictive behaviour (food) with another (exercise) might be a reasonable one... worries about sustainability might be reasonable... fears of not allowing yourself to enjoy life or fears about injury less so, but perhaps people are reassure-able.


    But I think RisenPhoenix, Bean Sidhe, and Raincloak's points about shutting down or not engaging with these kinds of discussions can also be a very good idea for your own sanity and wellbeing if they're not going to end well.  In my own way I used to acknowledge compliments/signs that people had noticed, but wouldn't engaged or offer any more unless asked.

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    Probably obvious, but I'd also suggest warming up and warming down first, especially if it's cold. Perhaps a very brisk walk or slow jog, rather than going cold into sprinting.


    I'd also suggest being generous with yourself about recovery time between sprints. Quality as well as quantity is important. One option might be to do a set of x sprints with y rest between, then allow yourself a longer rest and do another set. I sometimes fall into the trap of seeing resting for longer as a sign of weakness, only to regret it a few seconds into the next rep!


    Have you come across "strides"? They're a lot like 100m sprints, but rather than an all out sprint, they're a more gradual acceleration, holding about 95% effort for a few seconds and then decelerate gradually. I'm often at training early, so I'll warm up with them, and where possible I use them to warm up before races. I'd definitely recommend incorporating them somehow, perhaps as a warm-up, perhaps to alternate with 100m sprints, or perhaps in place of all out sprinting entirely.


    This article discusses strides in the context of additional training for people who already run a lot and want to improve, rather than in the context of starting running/sprinting, but hopefully is a good explanation.



    Oh, and watch out for cars!




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  12. 21 hours ago, RisenPhoenix said:

    I will always, always, always vote for tracking calories.  It's not fun to begin with, but it will give you an idea of what a real serving size is, how much junk you might not realize you eat, and eventually can become a game if you let it (ie - How can I get away with eating ice cream today?!).


    Don't go all or nothing.  All or nothing does not promote good habit build up, and when failure happens it usually results in terrible feelings about the matter. Slow and steady/smaller goals means you learn how easy it is to perform, but also how easy it is to get back on track.


    Think this is great advice. Not everyone is a fan of counting calories, but it definitely worked for me. Making a few changes (like you've already made, water for soda etc) is definitely the way to go, and once they're working it's time to make a few more. But I recognise the stress elements...I remember staring, paralysed by indecision, at a chiller cabinet full of sandwiches, unable to make any kind of decision. But I got through that.


    One thing does give me pause... if you're depressed and on medication that enhances appetite I think this needs to be factored in. I've been on medication (not for depression) that had some similar side effects and I think any plan (and your associated expectations) need to factor in these additional challenges. It could be that actually - under the current circumstances - not putting on any more weight is an achievement in itself.


    I don't want to be negative, or limit your ambitions. It might be that weight loss (and exercise) may help with the depression, so it may all end up being a virtuous circle, and it makes sense to do all this at once. Making plans and being positive about the future is good. On the other hand, it might be a time to be gentle with yourself and your expectations. All of which is a long-winded way of saying the obvious, that I think you should discuss your weight loss plans with whoever is seeing you for depression.




    Think what's needed first of all is a definition of what a "good" runner is. Does it mean someone who's regularly competitive for age group prizes at local races, does it mean someone who meets Boston or London good-for-age qualifying time? Does it mean someone who's run a marathon in under 3 hours... in under 3:30, in under 4... under 5.... or at all? Does it mean completing couch to 5k? Is it just someone whose running aspirations fit their commitment/plans? Is it just someone who runs regularly? And so on....


    For me, I'd say the best predictor of someone becoming a good runner (however defined) is that they enjoy running. If someone enjoys running, or can imagine enjoying it, they've got a chance. If not, they'll last as long as their willpower does.


    I think expressions like "fulfilling true potential" are a bit of a red herring. If I want to fulfill my true potential as a runner, I'd have to save up, quit my job, concentrate on it full time and sacrifice everything or nearly everything else in my life to that end. And that's true for everyone. Who knows how long or how fast I could be after a year or two of that? But I'm not going to do it, and I think very few people would do that even if they had the means.




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    Most marathon plans that I've seen include speedwork in some for or another. It's good to mix it up. I've found that marathon training increases my stamina at the expense of speed, and after a year with a marathon in the spring and the autumn I found that my 5k/10k/HM pace was well down on what it was, even with keeping speed work in my marathon plan. I can understanding falling out of love a bit with running at this stage of marathon training, but I wonder if part of the reason for that might be not doing speedwork? There's a joy in running long and slow, but there's a different kind of joy in running intervals, tearing it up, getting your breath back, and going again.


    Best of luck with the training and the big day - keep us updated!

    • Like 1
  15. 18 hours ago, Mike_d85 said:

    So, I've been following my own training schedule to increase my distance to do a marathon after failing my first attempt and a coworker and avid runner seems scandalized that I would run over 22 miles preparing for a marathon.  My plan actually over-shot the distance initially to give me room to miss runs and fall short of my total distance, but I'm so far staying pretty much on schedule (I've shaved a kilometer or two).


    My question is, if I'm recovering and the distance increases aren't crazy high is there a reason I SHOULDN'T run farther? 


    Everything I've read has said that total distance run before a marathon is the #1 thing that correlates to fewer injuries.  Running a greater distance would help both my mindset (I can tell myself I ran that far before) and my endurance.  I'm just not getting his concern.


    Have to say I'm with your co-worker on this one. I think the received wisdom for marathon running - for most runners - is not to go much past 22miles in training. I think things are different for elite runners, ultra training, and other special cases, but everything I've heard indicates this.


    I found this a struggle because my first marathon was the first distance I'd attempted in a race that I hadn't done in training. But just as you reach a point where you can't run faster in training than you do on race day, so you reach a point where it's the same with distance. The way I had it explained to me was that your 20 mile/32k long run is not replicating the first 20miles/32k of the marathon leaving you to find the rest from somewhere on race day. Rather, it's the *last* 20 miles/32k of the race. The first part of the race you get free as a result of the taper. When you run 20 miles in training, you do so fatigued from the rest of your training and from the 19 miles you ran last week, even if you don't feel it.


    I think it's true that time on your feet/distance run builds resilience and prevents injuries, but I think that's total time on your feet, not time spent on the long run. For my first marathon I tried to reach 20+ miles early and hold it at that, running that distance every week. I picked up an injury, which obviously I can't say was a direct result, but that's what happened. Fortunately just a microtear which I was able to manage and sorted itself out by race day. The plural of anecdote isn't data, of course, but I didn't have any such problem with my second or third/fourth marathons. Undertraining was more of an issue for the third, but that's another story.


    The other bit of received wisdom is to have the occasional shorter long slow run when you get into the really long runs to allow recovery time. Dropping back to a half marathon distance, but running a bit faster because you can.


    A really useful tip the coach at my running club gave me before my first marathon was that if I was anxious about getting round I should swap out one long slow run for a walk, and go and walk 26.2 miles. That way, I could show myself that I could do it and would finish one way or another (barring illness or injury). I didn't do it in the end, but just that thought gave me reassurance.


    I guess my question to you would be whether you want to run over 26 miles in training because you think it's the best training strategy, or because you want to prove to yourself that you can do it in training to give yourself reassurance or confidence for race day. I ran a half in training before I ran it on race day for precisely that reason and got a lot of reassurance out of it. But that's for a half marathon... full marathon is a different beast entirely. If you think it's the best training strategy, then I respectfully disagree. If it's really because you want that reassurance, I wonder if you could find that elsewhere, or else deal with the uncertainty better. Easy for me to say - I was a mess for weeks before my first marathon, fretting and worrying. But I think it's worth remembering that all runners are capable of feats of speed and/or endurance on race day and in race conditions, with crowd support, other runners, the taper, adrenaline, the sense of occasion, and sheer bloody guts that we just can't do in training.


    Having said all that... the main thing I'd say is that there are better and worse ways to train. I don't think - based on what I've read and my own experiences - that running that long, that often, that close to race day is the best training strategy. But it's not like marathon training is some kind of precise formula which is guaranteed to go right if you follow it to the letter and guaranteed to go wrong if you don't. Many's the time I've seen people arguing about the merits of running training plans when the reality is that both probably offer a great chance of success.


    But if you are going to run those kind of distances, I can only reiterate Primeval's advice about being alert for warning signs of wear and tear and exhaustion.





    First of all, congratulations on everything you've achieved over the last three years.


    It sounds to me like you had a plan that was working, that you've tried something else, and that hasn't worked so well and has made you unhappy and stressed. So I think going back to what you were doing before sounds like a sensible move. Sounds to me as if the reason you lost the weight and have kept it off is because you adopted sustainable habits that you've kept going which worked for you physically and psychologically.


    I think when you get to the last 20-30lbs of weight to lose it becomes much harder to lose and takes much longer. This can be a bit dispiriting if you're used to much faster progress, as the plateaus become more regular and last longer. Also, the sacrifices/changes that are needed can be harder to make - it's harder to find calorie savings and harder to find new ways to burn calories that you're not already doing. It's a difficult time for many people - and I'm kind of back in it now that my weight has crept up a little and some of my own habits have slipped somewhat, and I need to find a new and better balance myself.


    It may be that a further change is needed to lose the last 30 pounds from what you're doing already, but from what you've said I don't think that change is going to be found through calorie counting and other forms of intense focus. I think my instinct would be to go back to what you were doing and look for any further small changes, and then see what works.

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  17. It's scary. Sometimes I think people with weight to lose think that losing that weight will solve all their other problems too, and unfortunately that's not the case. But it works the other way round too - when I was overweight there were things that I didn't need to worry about because I was overweight. For example.... no point in trying to look good or dress well because I'm overweight, no point in trying to find a partner, various activities are either difficult or impossible or just plain embarrassing. Truth is that being overweight was generally an excuse for not worrying about/not doing most of those things, and now that excuse looks like it's gradually evaporating...


    I think the main thing is not to freak out and not to panic, and give yourself time. Weight loss takes a long time, and self image adjustment takes even longer. I'm not sure if it's related or not, but although I took up running several years ago after I'd lost most of the weight I wanted to lose, I've only recently been able to run full speed down hill. I don't know whether this was a technique issue, but I suspect it was because I lacked the confidence in my own balance and still regarded myself as much heavier than I really was.


    That's probably not great advice... if you're freaking out, try not to freak out! But I think it's something that everyone goes through when they lose weight to a greater or lesser extent. Some people lose a lot of weight but can't or won't see it in the mirror, while others see someone who doesn't look like them any more. It's difficult, but worth it.


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  18. I think I'd qualify as someone who's reached that kind of next level. I used to need 42" waist trousers, now down to 34". Went from being moderately active to very active, took up running etc and so on.


    I'd suggest looking at things slightly differently, because regarding is as a "long grind" is - in my view - entirely the wrong way to think about it. Don't stare at the summit, stare at the ground ahead. The summit feels distant and unattainable, and likely climbing the next slope/achieving your next goal pales into insignificance compared to the distance to the summit. The danger is that you don't appreciate your successes, seeing them only as tiny steps towards some larger, far off goal. That's bad for motivation and it's bad for being aware of your own accomplishments. You can end up comparing yourself to people who should be way outside your comparator group, rather than comparing yourself with you last week, last month, last year.


    When I first started on my journey (and a while before I found Nerd Fitness) my thinking was that I wanted to see if I could live a better, healthier lifestyle. I'd got fat because of the consequences of hundreds and thousands of smaller decisions which added up over time. I wanted to see how far a few little relatively painless changes would get me. If I got down from my 42" waist trousers to a 40" or a 38" and then I realised that I loved food and TV and computer games too much, that would still be a satisfactory result, because I'd be a bit healthier, a bit fitter, and I'd know that I consciously chose that kind of life/weight etc. As it happened I achieved that and I found I wanted more, was ready to make diet and lifestyle changes that I would never have dreamed I'd be ready to make. I got fitter and fitter, found running, loved it.


    In other words, the best is sometimes the enemy of the good. If I'd started with the ambition of 34" trousers, running a sub 3:30 marathon and then tried to work out how long that would take me, I doubt I would have achieved it. That just seems so far off, so distant from my starting point, so unachievable, that I wouldn't have taken the right amount of pleasure from each new notch on my belt and my first 5k run or breaking 90kg on the way down. I would never, never have got the same kick out of my first 5k, my first 10k, my first half marathon if I'd only seen them in the context of an eventual and still far distant marathon goal.


    TLDR - pick realistic short term fitness goals, work towards them, achieve them, pick new goals.






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    Thanks for the link, that's interesting reading and it looks like I'll have to rethink things. I do wonder what the effect of defining injury as narrowly as a single day is - perhaps that's a good thing as it will capture niggles and tweaks, but maybe it's the more serious injuries that we're interested in. I've have a read of the original paper and I don't have the background to understand the stats, but I couldn't help wonder if the kinds of people who are less likely to get injured are the kinds of people who rotate shoes. Also interesting is the finding about injury reduction and playing other sports/cross training.


    I suppose it's no more expensive overall, but it is an upfront cost, at least until you've got shoes in and out of rotation. As to whether it can't hurt.... well, I suppose it depends on finding a second or third pair of shoes that feel right. But I'm going to go and have a look for a second pair and try rotating...

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  20. What I try to do is get a sense of when one pair is reaching the end of its useful life, get another pair, and then gradually break or ease them in and the old pair out so there's no point where I've got a useless pair and a brand new pair. What I *actually* end up doing is getting a new pair, being amazed how much better they feel, and retire the old ones almost straight away.


    I'm currently on the last of four pairs of identical shoes. Bought the first pair full price brand new, picked up another two as part of a mad clearance offer, then found a fourth in a different clearance as pair two was wearing out. One, two/three, and four were different colours, but the same underlying shoe. Something I noticed was that pair three didn't seem to last very long at all - though I did run two marathons in them. I read somewhere that sometimes older clearance stock won't last so long because they've been passively degrading in the box, but I've also read that's a myth. So... no idea.


    I'm tempted to think that it doesn't really matter a great deal as long as you've got at least one pair of comfortable shoes that fit. Probably is a good idea to ease out one pair and ease in another as I try and fail to do, but I'm not convinced that any benefit from having multiple pairs on the go at any one time is all that important in the grand scheme of running.


    I suppose it depends how much money you're willing to spend on shoes and what kind of choice your feet type/shape gives you. I've got quite flat feet, and usually when I'm shoe shopping there's one clear 'winner' and perhaps one other that 'would do'. Think I'd rather run in the best fit rather than rotate to a less good pair, but if I had nice neutral vanilla feet where lots of shoes fitted equally well I might be more tempted to have several on the go...


    Think my first question would be about your footwear and whether you've got the right shoes, or whether you had the right shoes and now need to replace them. My second would be about the possibility of running on a softer surface.


    In terms of running form, a lot of people tend to over-stride. They take relatively long steps and their feet hit the ground hard, often heel first, and as the infographic hints, this has a braking effect - it slows you down and I think it puts more pressure on the joints and associated connecting bits.


    It's really difficult to explain this, but the best way I've found is to ask yourself whether your legs move like twin pendulums, swinging forwards and backwards, as you run. Or are they moving in short, fast, circles more like they would when riding a bike? I'd interpret "running light" to mean your feet hitting the floor more often, but less hard, I found the key to changing my running form to be taking much shorter strides, but more quickly. That forces you to run upright, means that your feet have to land under your hip line, and most of the rest falls into place. However, it does take a while to adapt, and for the first few runs I found it was pretty tough on my calves until I got used to it.


    I think changing running form by yourself can be really tough, because you can't see what you're doing while you're doing it, and because it's hard to know what's the right running form for you. Would joining a running club or finding a coach be an option? I've done both - joined a club, and went for a half day course on running form with a coach.





  22. First, congratulations on finding running, and on your success so far. Running a half marathon is no small feat.


    Can you say a bit more about the feelings of dread you get? What is it you dread exactly, and how does it feel? What are you afraid of, do you think? Does it go away once you're out and running?


    I sometimes get the "lazies" - can't be bothered, too cold/hot/rainy outside etc. I also used to get the first kilometre panics, when I'd worry that I was feeling too tired too soon before I found my proper running rhythm. Sometimes I worry about hurting, and not wanting to hurt (not getting injured, just of how it feels when I'm pushing myself). At the start of my long slow run, I try to imagine the end of it and get a bit of a sinking feeling about the distance I have to run - I'll be running the other way along the same route, in a couple of hours time, and it seems a lifetime away! I do feel apprehensive sometimes before running club training, because I know I'm going to be pushed hard.


    But none of these things are dread, I don't think....



    First thing to say is congratulations on losing all that weight and becoming a runner.... that's a terrific achievement. Even if it's feeling no easier, the distance you're running has increased hugely.


    Can you tell us a bit more about your running training at the moment? How often and how far as you running, and are you doing any particular work on your speed? What does your 5k-10k programme involve? I think as a general principle if you want to run faster, you need to do at least some training focusing on speed to get your body (and your mind) used to an increased pace. I think a lot of people tend to slow down a bit as they go through C25K because they're running too quickly at the start, partly because of jangling nerves and partly because of wanting to be finished quickly. But people tend to find their rhythm for longer distances, which will be slower than their C25K stuff.


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