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Everything posted by Rostov

  1. "How are we all progressing towards our running goals?" he asked, slightly smugly, pointing downwards at the half marathon PB target crossed off in his signature.
  2. I think I understand now. When I started running, it felt like the bridge in Star Trek during a battle with stuff flying everywhere, alarms going off, general panic and confusion. Why am I running, what's going on, what's the danger, can't keep this up, arrrgghhhh panic, klaxons and bells and whistles. This is entirely normal. But after training/practice, new runners generally get to a point where for the first time they can run comfortably without their body freaking out. Possibly not for very long or very fast, but it gets acclimatised and chills the hell out. I think a lot of it is probably to do with breathing patterns and rythms. I remember reaching this point, and it's brillant when you get there... being able to jog along sustainably even for a short time. The next big step is even better.... when you realise that your energy level is slowly starting to regenerate while running. Have you tried couch-to-5k? That's how I got started with running. One of the things that I liked about it is that it uses a walk-run-walk strategy. Five minute walk to warm up, then a bit of time running, then back to walking, then running again. I can't tell whether the main obstacle is fitness/practice at running or confidence, but I'd imagine that couch to 5k should do the trick. I think the one I used also has some tips about breathing. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx My other tips would be to slow right down, find the rythm in your feet, and breathe!
  3. Can you say a bit more about these feelings and anxieties? It's hard to know what to suggest without a bit more background and information. Also, have you been running long, and how far do you typically run? There's something that I call "system shock" that I sometimes get early in a run. If you imagine the energy bar at 100% at the start, it'll decline and then start replenishing, and eventually find some kind of balance at which it just gradually drops. But at the start of the run, it's just dropping, and I find that a bit scary even though I know what it is, and that it'll stop. It's almost a fear that I don't have enough energy in the tank, that I'll just somehow burn through it and be left with no energy, and that's quite a scary thought if I've got ages to go/am miles from home. I often get this in the first two or three KMs, and it soon passes. Is this anything like what you're feeling, or is it something else?
  4. A week into February and that's one of my secondary goals smashed... new 5k PB (see below). Ridiculously pleased with that - went to a workshop on running form, and it's coincided with a huge improvement... over 5k at least.
  5. The first thing to say to you, TRB, is well done. Over the last month you've cut your alcohol intake, cleaned up your diet, and started taking more exercise. You've resolved to do that, and you've done it. Not for a day, or two days, or a week, but for a whole month. Achieving that for a whole month is well on the way towards those changes being a habit. If you take nothing else from this post, take this - that is a fantastic achievement and you should be proud of it. You really, honestly, should. You can't see the results you want, That may be because of the way that weight varies over the day and that you're not comparing like with like. Do your clothes feel any looser? Even a little bit? For me, that's the most reliable indicator. If they don't, then either you're doing everything right and you're a biological freak of nature to whom the usual rules don't apply, or you've not got it quite right yet. If your clothes don't feel looser, and you're weighing yourself at comparable times, and the measurements are showing nothing, it's probably that you've not got it quite right yet. But that's not to say you've got everything wrong. There's things you can do to try to put it right, but please please please don't feel that the month has been in any way wasted. You've built better habits, you've stuck at it for a whole month, and your task now (believe it or not) is easier than when you started. Now you're looking at tweaking and making a few changes to what you're already doing. You're not starting from scratch. You've built momentum, and your task now is to steer that momentum a bit more efficiently. You are now at the most difficult stage of the journey - or at least that was my experience. You're at the post-effort, pre-results phase. Once you starting seeing results, you get your reward and it gets a little - but not a lot - easier, because you seen what can be done, what you can do, and you want more. Calorie counting might be a good idea, as others have suggested it. One way to approach it is as a temporary measure.... you're doing for research purposes to find out how many calories are in the food you typically eat. For me, that made a huge difference because it turned out that I was very wrong about the calorie content of a lot of foods that I ate regularly. I kept going with the calorie counting, always looking for painless or relatively painless ways to shave off a few more calories here and there by eating this rather than that, more of this, of that. Cutting out the stuff that was poor deliciousness/fillingness value for calories. Obviously I don't know what sad and unpleasant memories you're referring to, but perhaps approaching it as research will help. Doesn't matter what your calorie totals are each day - you're just auditing your usual diet. Eat what you've been eating and do what you've been doing for the last month for another week or two, then have a look back, see how the numbers look, and see what they tell you. And let us know
  6. I remember this feeling - nicely over-sated, calm, warm, still, and a bit sleepy. It's a nice feeling. 'Exercise happy' doesn't feel like 'full of food happy', and I wouldn't recommend setting out to replace the latter with the former, although you may find that it will in time. As others have said, 'exercise happy' isn't generally a high or a rush, at least not as I experience it. I'd categorise it a bit like this: 1) The moment happy. I'm running through a beautiful park on a lovely day, at a decent pace, and it's comfortable. I feel like I'm flying, and all is right with the world. I'm grinning like an idiot. 2) The zone happy. I'm distance running, and I've got to the lovely sweet spot where my pace is good, my energy levels consistent, and I can keep this going for as long as I need to. I'm breathing heavily, but I'm fine. 3) The achievement happy. Get the text message with my time from my last 5k parkrun, and it's four seconds off my previous personal best. I have the "success kid" clenched fist of triumph. 4) The smugness. Feeling tired, but damn virtuous with it. I'm getting my breath back, and I'm very glad I'm done. The more I had of these, the more I found 'food happy' still good, but I started to dislike the sluggish feeling that went with it, and wish I'd eaten a bit less. But I don't think you can straightforwardly swap one for the over - it's got to come over a long time. As to how to get more of the 'exercise happy', as Raf and Ampersand and Phoenix have said, you've got to find something you enjoy. I think there's something for everyone. For me, it's running. Could be swimming, or hiking, or weightlifting, or salsa, or yoga, or zumba, or golf, or soccer, or skating, or whatever. It's got to be something you enjoy. I found music helps a lot in terms of mood while exercising, and I've found music choice works in odd ways. It's not always necessarily the stuff I'd normally listen to... generally more dancy, more poppy, more mindless, faster stuff. All my best 'highs' or 'moments' (apart from races) in running have been with particular music in the background.
  7. Great to see so many people with running goals. Let's keep this thread alive throughout the year and update it when we achieve them!
  8. My main running goal will be my first full marathon, hopefully in September 2015. I want to enjoy it, not break myself doing it, and get round in under 3:45. Secondary goals will be new PBs at 5k, 10k, and the half marathon, but we'll see.....
  9. That's interesting. My partner used to be a runner (and will be again at some point), but I think different paces/distances mean we probably won't run together, though we could certainly go to the same races etc. I ran another half marathon yesterday... a smaller event on a more undulating course through some very pretty woods. No pace runners, so I had to judge pace for myself. Got round about four minutes faster than last time in 1:41:54, which I'm delighted with. I'd heard stories of some tough hills on the course, but they were fine - a couple looked quite nasty if you looked into the distance, but concentrate on the road in front and they were fine. And some uphills meant some nice downhills too. I think I can go faster.... I'm pretty sure my speed increased over the course, and certainly in the last couple of miles. But I need a bit more experience/confidence to go that little bit faster, earlier in the race. I'd like to try a few more half marathons, but I think I'm going to target my home city's marathon in September next year as my first full one.
  10. Really well done.... that's a terrific effort to finish and to enjoy it under those circumstances. Hope you're feeling better. What's your next running target? Or is it too soon to think about that? I ran a 10k over the weekend and broke 45mins for the first time over a really tough course, which was astonishing. I'm still trying to work out how it happened, but I think it might just have been a case of trying to keep up with faster people and generally managing it. I've entered another half marathon in a few weeks.... this one is "undulating" with at least one nasty hill, no pace runners, and while my first half marathon was on an unusually warm autumn day, the weather has now broken and it's autumn with a vengeance. I'm not expecting to run faster than last time, but it would be good to get round another one, and apparently the scenery is spectacular.
  11. Yesterday I ran my first ever half marathon. I had three goals - Finish; Finish in under 2 hours; Finish under 1hr 50. I finished in 1hr 46:03. I can honestly say I loved every moment. A few nerves at the start, but have some good chats with the people stood around me, and with my new hero, the pace runner for 1hr 50, who had the target time on a banner sticking out of a pack frame. It felt like a long wait at the start... I wanted to line up early to make sure I was within sight of the pacer, and then of course it took a while to get the wheelchair race, the elite runners and the other seriously fast boys and girls off and running. But then we walked forward... and kept walking... until a little space started to open up, and the walk became a trot and then a run as we crossed the start line. We were off, spectators were cheering, music was booming out, and I found myself grinning like an idiot. I've run 5k park runs and 10k events and thought I was relatively used to running in races, but I've never experienced numbers like this. While it never felt dangerous, I did feel it took a lot of concentration to run safely and considerately while keeping within striking distance of the pace runner. Especially as there were a fair few people doing this, so I think there was a more crowded pyramid of runners with the Pied Piper of 1hr 50 at the tip than elsewhere on the course. I'm amazed that people run these things with headphones in. The first few miles went by pretty quickly - surprisingly quickly. I usually struggle a bit early on, with my body protesting noisily as an energy levels drop (think I posted about that earlier in this thread), but not this time. I heard someone from the crowd shout that we were one and a half miles in, but didn't believe it until I saw a 2 mile marker shortly afterwards. Miles confuse me - I train in KM! I guess long slow runs in training don't have much in the way of distractions, so it's just me, other park users, and whatever podcast I'm listening to. On raceday, I've got to manage my road position, which kept my mind busy, and there were a lot of spectators cheering runners on. Lots of people cheering for friends and relatives, lots of people cheering for anyone and everyone. Live music outside the Irish club, a few troupes of cheerleaders making pyramids (we don't really do cheerleaders in the UK), little kids going absolutely nuts when mummy or daddy runs past, charity fundraisers cheering runners in their charity vests, and everyone else. The final few miles looping around the race village, finishing past an actual grandstand. But I get ahead of myself. 2 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles.. tick over and tick by... nice flat course helps, as do well marshalled water stations. It's a warm, sunny day for an English September, and I'm aware that I'm drenched in sweat, but I'm feeling fine. Better than fine. Great. Before I know it, I'm running around a part of the city near where I work, and which I know very well. It's also very pretty. In my early, too-ambitious plan, I was thinking of breaking with the pacer at 7 miles and seeing how far ahead I could get. But the pacer had got me to halfway... having a pacer held me back in the first few miles, and dragged me forward in the next few as I got a bit complacent and dropped the pace a little without noticing. But halfway through halfway back, I notice I'm having to work harder not to overtake the pacer. So I decide to ignore him unless he got in front of me, and ran my own race from then on in. I knew this part of the city well, and I could imagine virtually all of the last few miles. So I struck out on my own, not holding myself back up the last uphill as I powered towards the city centre. I noticed the runners around me seemed to be slower, or slowing. This held me back a little, as I get nervous if I'm going too much faster than those around me. I realise now that it was more a case of me having too much in the tank, rather than them having too little. I could have gone faster earlier, but I'd calculated that 1hr 50 was as good as I could realistically expect. I underestimated myself, but I still think my strategy was right given what I knew at the time. So the last two miles... along the river, a big, flat, cruel loop going within sight of the race finish for an out and back. We're running along fairly narrow riverside paths now, not wide traffic-cleared roads. I take the brakes off, treat it like a 10k, and pick my way through the field. I know I've done well.... know this will be quick. And then I catch sight of the official clock... I've got about two minutes to cross the finish line to finish under 1hr 50... I know that's 'gun time' not 'chip time' (in fact it wasn't gun time either - possibly the start of the wheelchair race, not sure)... but I want it anyway. So I embark on a frankly ridiculous sprint finish, picking my way through and around people, trying to hurl myself over the line. That last sprint hurt a bit, but the rest of it.... didn't. A few miles previously, the marathoners turned left where the halfers turned right, and while I didn't think I could have gone left, for the first time I felt running a marathon was something I might concievably do.... with the right training. Maybe next year. Afterwards... I've felt worse after a 10k, and after one particular 5k than I did after this. I made sure to hang around and thank the pace runner, who said he got in bang on 1hr 50. That's an amazing skill to do that, especially running at an even pace. I was a little sorry not to see the moment when his followers all broke for the line, but probably most of them either dropped off the back or struck out on their own. So, what did I learn? I'm really proud at what I achieved, especially as I used to need 42" trousers (34" now) a few years back. I made my basic goal, my "disappointed if don't get" goal, and comfortably exceeded my "stretch" goal of 1hr 50. But it raises the question of how fast I could have gone if I'd have followed a different pace runner, or struck out on my own earlier. And of running a full marathon. But I'm also aware that maybe yesterday was a "perfect day" in good conditions when I was at some sort of peak and things went well - I don't want to assume that's typical. But I think I can do better. What would I say to other first time half marathoners? If your race has pace runners, use 'em. Tapering works, or at least worked for me. If you've put in the right training, then all being well, you'll be fine. Enjoy it. Look around. Smile. Take in the atmosphere. Grin like an idiot. Enjoy every step. And tell us how it went!
  12. I can empathise. I had a poor one yesterday and cut it short - partly feeling uncomfortable, and partly worrying about the park's new earlier closing time. I've been tapering in advance of the HM on Sunday, and I'm not finding it easy. I've just got to have faith that I'll have the fuel in the tank for when I need it. I've done the training, it ought to be there. One more run before the big day. Fretting is pointless.... all I can do is have one more run, eat sensibly, get a lot of good sleep over the next few nights, and then do my best on the day. It'll be fine. It'll be fine for all of us HM first timers if we've trained right, and if we don't get carried away in the first few miles.
  13. I find that too. After a certain point I just find myself settling into the run... everything feels like it's working smoothly and efficiently... not only warmed up, but properly up and running. It's as if we start the run with a full bar of energy and it starts to drop quickly. Fairly soon, the energy bar starts to refill itself, but it's still going down, but more and more slowly. Then a point is reached when it's more or less in equilibrium and the energy bar is more or less stable, or dropping only very slowly as energy spent is about the same as energy regenerated. That's a nice place to be. Quick update on my own progress.... missed a PB over 5k by about four seconds on Saturday, then took almost a minute off my PB over 10k at a race on Sunday. First half marathon is a week on Sunday.... taking it easy until then...
  14. Re joint aches.... might it be your shoes? Proper running shoes designed for your foot type aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny in terms of comfort. I think I'd struggle without mine - they're basically a magic item. Suelk- congratulations! 12 miles is a fantastic achievement! I wonder whether once you get to those kinds of distances how much of it is psychological - if you need to go further than you have before, you can. If you don't need to and have an reason to stop, you stop. I sometimes think the last K hurts the same whether it's the 5th of 5 or the 21st of 21. I ran for two hours solid at the weekend, but my phone app GPS lost the signal about 20 mins in, so I have time but not distance. Felt good. Under 3 weeks to go before my 1/2M... time to start the taper....
  15. Congrats, phobucket! Especially with an injury disrupted preparation, that's a great result. Been following this thread for a while, as my first half marathon will be at the end of September. I've been running three times per week - generally one steady 10k, one fast 5k, and one long slow run which I've gradually built up. Holidays have disrupted things a bit, but over the last few weeks my LSR has been for between 1hr 30 and 2 hours. I've had a few races thrown in too (5k Parkruns and a fun run, a few 10ks) to get used to running with others, and one more 10k race before the big day. My targets for the half marathon are (a) to finish, then ( finish in under two hours, then © finish under 1hr 50. Good to set myself achievable goals, and a stretch one too...
  16. It's an interesting one. I'm training for my first half marathon at the end of Sept - only a few kilometres off the distance on my weekly long slow run, so all being well I should finish, and I have a target time in mind. Assuming that goes well, the next big question is whether to do a marathon or not. On the one hand, it doesn't look like much fun and it doesn't look particularly healthy. On the other.... it's iconic, non-running friends will ask me about it, and a little voice in my head is telling me I should... just one... so I can say that I did. And it would be a terrific achievement given how unfit I used to be. I wonder whether the health worries in the article that RandMart linked only apply (or only mainly apply) to people who've not trained properly, who have perhaps trained for the marathon rather than being a regular runner whose next goal happens to be a marathon. I'm starting to think I'll just keep on running my 5ks, 10k, and the LSR, and lay down good foundations for whatever I decide to do next, whether it's another half or a full marathon. 5k runs are ace, and I don't feel any less tired at the end of a PB-chasing 5k than I do after my long slow run. I've only ever felt physically sick after running once, and that was a 5k...
  17. Quick update... my long slow run is now up to 90 mins, during which I ran about 17k (about 10.5 miles). As well as a weekly LSR, I've done an additional 10k run each week and either a fast 5k or some rebounder jogging. I'll be doing another 90 mins next week and the week after moving to a new circular route of about 10 miles rather than doing multiple laps of the lovely large park on the doorstep. The park is lovely, but it's all familiar territory and I'm never really that far from home. The 10 mile circuit is flatter, but will be different kind of challenge in taking me much further away from home. I've also entered a 5 mile and two 10k races between now and the half marathon, which is at the end of September. Also, some of my fast 5ks will be Parkruns, so I should be able to build up more raceday experience. I'm not sure how much more I want to increase my long slow run. Perhaps five or ten minutes every other week, but while I quite like the idea of running the full distance in training, I'm not sure I want to do that every week. But I need a good base, as the end of holiday will be about the time I need to start to taper.
  18. I'd echo what Waanie and Tanuki have said about couch to 5k. They've both also identified the main reasons for it going wrong - trying to do too much, too quickly, or getting discouraged if they need to repeat a week. If there's a local 5k parkrun or other event to use as a focus to work towards, that might be worth considering too. Couch to 5k is how I started running, and I've now done a couple of 10k races and am training for a half marathon. Another suggestion I'd make to any new runners is to consider getting some proper running shoes from a proper running shop with gait analysis. I can't tell you what a difference my running shoes made to me - so much more comfortable and almost certainly vital for injury prevention. But it's brilliant that you're watching people run and wanting that for yourself. That's a great position to be in... identifying a form of exercise that you enjoy, or that you think you'll enjoy, is really important.
  19. New PB over 10k yesterday (47:19) and nearly hit by a panicked deer! How was YOUR Saturday?

  20. To be fair, I think it's more likely that the reason that the stats for many foods are slightly out in the MFP database is that recipes and ingredients and/or measuring techniques have changed over time, rather than because people are kidding themselves by entering slightly incorrect data. I'm not sure exactly how long it's been around for, but I think it's been going for some years.
  21. Thanks! Off to a decent start... I decided to measure yesterday's long run by time rather than distance. I aimed to run for 1 hour, rather than the usual 50 mins (or just under) it takes me to do 10k, but I miscalculated a bit and ran an extra 5 mins to get to the edge of the park. Total 65mins, distance 12.27km (7.6 miles), and with something still left in the tank on a very hot day over undulating terrain with a mixture of surfaces. I surprised myself a bit by how much longer I can run for if I drop the pace that little bit, especially uphill. The half marathon should be in cooler conditions on a much flatter course, and mainly on roads. I don't run two consecutive days to avoid injury (ankle problem), so I'm now thinking my 3 runs per week will be one long run (running for a bit longer each time), one 10k run, and probably one fast 5k run. Couple of holidays and a 10k race between now and the half marathon to complicate things, but roughly that's the plan.
  22. Thanks both. My "long run" is at 10k at the moment, and I think I'm going to gradually increase that each week, while reducing the distance of my other runs, or at least not increasing them further. I've been at 10k for a while because I've had one 10k race and another coming up, but for the last few I've started running more slowly and finished with a bit more still in the tank. Think I might start using time rather than distance to measure my "long run". I generally run between 48 and 50 mins for a 10k, so perhaps I'll attempt to run for an hour on my next long run.
  23. I've entered a half marathon at the end of September, which seemed like a good idea at the time and is now looking a little daunting. I can run 10k fairly comfortably, and so I need to double the distance plus a bit more for a half marathon. My usual 10k route is "undulating", while the half marathon course looks much flatter. A quick google search will find me any number of training plans and schedules and things, all of which slightly different, so I'm not after another training plan. Rather, I'd really appreciate advice on other aspects of it. I think what i find slightly daunting is that prior to my 10k race I gradually built up my running to 10k, so on race day I knew I could finish. Half marathon training looks like a different beast, as few if any of the programmes involve running a half marathon prior to race day - rather, it's putting in the miles in the months and weeks leading up, tapering off a bit in the last week or so, and then doing it on the day. Is that about right? Any other hints/tips/anecdotes/things to consider?
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