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The Reluctant Runners Thread

(324 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Wilmington's Cow
  • Latest reply from Frenchy

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  1. Following up on SRD's idea...

    I've not done much running - I just don't seem built for it, despite at school being lanky and people always saying 'ooh, you've got a long distance runner's build'. Hobbled round a couple of half marathons in hours and hours.

    Two years ago I decided to do a 10k - of course choose a brute going round Arthur's Seat road twice. Did a bit of training, got myself to a slow 1h8m.

    Fast forward to last week, take it upon myself to map a 5k route from the house, went out at 11pm, just over half an hour, reasonably pleased, calves ached for days afterwards. But I'm doing this for fitness for the cross racing, so went out again last night, same route, a couple of minutes under half an hour for the 5k point (the route is a smidge longer), calves not so bad today, and even managed a couple of sprints on the bike.

    Let's see how long this lasts. I'd quite like to do a sub hour 10k, but I'm not sure I could run further, it's just boring in comparison to the bike - the reason I go out late at night is I just enjoy the quiet streets, always liked that kind of thing, and seeing foxes scurrying about ahead.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. earthowned
    Member

    I started off running a few years ago because I didn't have time to go on long bike rides anymore because of the kids and it was a way of keeping the fitness up to a reasonable level. I now go out running about 3 times a week at lunchtimes/ evenings. Although I like running I'll never do a marathon because if I had a spare 3-4 hours to train then I'll rather head out on my bike somewhere :)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. Dave
    Member

    Running has made me massively faster on the bike. I really noticed a big step change last summer when I started to take our office lunchtime runs more regularly.

    I also suffer from not having a runner's build at all, but have managed a sub-20 5k (somehow I didn't die although it felt like I would, for about 19 minutes).

    Stick with it, it gets much much better when you have a few miles in your legs.

    Not sure I could ever do a marathon or longer run though, as the training would surely kill me mentally.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. geordiefatbloke
    Member

    A few months ago I started running regularly, the main motivation being to up my fitness levels. Despite cycling an hour a day on my commute (and I don't dilly dally), and playing several hours of competitive badminton a week, running is the thing that seems to make a step-change in my fitness - I think it's because I most definitely am not built for it, so it feels like particularly hard work for me. I have been lax this last few weeks though so must get back to it ...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. ARobComp
    Member

    I need to do more running. I've done a bit of sprinting for this years CX season but struggled to get any more than a few 5 kms in so far this year. We tend to run when we're on holiday as it's easier to take running shoes than to take a bike when you're away!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. PS
    Member

    I've been running on and off for the past couple of years. Started as recovery from my ruptured Achilles tendon, but now do it because it's quicker and easier than going for a fitness-maintaining bike ride and I've started to enjoy it. It's good variety - the doc poo-pooed it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a contributing factor to my Achilles was doing 18 months of nothing but cycling, which would strengthen my calf without correspondingly strenghtening the tendon.

    I've found that I prefer running round town when it's dark - seems easier somehow - and much quieter. Plus, I'm more likely to go for a run when I get home from work. I run round parks, but the best runs are out in the country - had a fantastic one round Cartmel in the Lakes last year. The best I can do from home is offroad on Arthur's Seat, which is fine, but becomes a 10km run by the time I get there.

    Would love to do more fell/trail running, but I can't see myself getting in a car to drive somewhere to start a run. I'll have to save those for when I'm on hols.

    Stick with it - it gets a lot easier pretty quickly once your muscles are used to the effort, and your cycling endurance will be a help. I'm not the right build for it, but have got quicker. I overtake a lot of people who seem to be trying to avoid breaking a sweat. Small tweaks to technique can make a big difference to speed/effort - similar to cycling a high cadence of shorter steps can make it a lot easier to go quicker.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. "... similar to cycling a high cadence of shorter steps can make it a lot easier to go quicker"

    This is something I'm interested in. I once read that keeping leg speed the same, but lengthening the stride, made you faster for no more effort, but that doesn't seem to work in practice for me.

    Strangely me knee (physio appointment on Friday) seems to hold up no bother at all to the running (which makes me think it's something floating about in there that shouldn't be, rather than something attached being 'wrong'). Definitely the calves that take the brunt....

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. Min
    Member

    Yes, I think technique is ignored a lot in running as you are meant to just run but if your muscles are not used to it you can develop bad technique pretty quickly which then just builds on itself. You probably don't want to spend too much time on it but it might be worth looking into.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. Min
    Member

    Oh, and I really didn't like running until I took up Ultras. Not suggesting that is a good idea mind..

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. PS
    Member

    This is something I'm interested in. I once read that keeping leg speed the same, but lengthening the stride, made you faster for no more effort, but that doesn't seem to work in practice for me.

    I think that works on the track and perhaps over defined distances (accelerating towards the tape?), but the cadence thing was something one of the Brownlee brothers mentioned in an interview so I gave it a go and it seemed to work. It may be one of those mental things where if you concentrate on keeping a fast tempo of shorter steps you end up going faster than if you settle into a rhythm of longer, slower strides.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. "Oh, and I really didn't like running until I took up Ultras. Not suggesting that is a good idea mind.."

    Yeah, let's just leave. That. There...

    I got into a really weird breathing rhythm last night, but it seemed to work for keeping my pace reasonably consistent. Focused on that.

    I guess the other thing if you do quite a lot is getting a running shoe that actually works for how your feet work?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. Stickman
    Member

    I love running. I find it's the only activity I can do where I completely switch off and my mind clears.

    I do have a "runner's build" and have managed in the past to get reasonable times for 5k (sub 20 mins) and 10k (45 mins).

    Building up slowly until you can run an hour comfortably at an easy pace seems to be the best plan. After that, you can go any way you want: extend the distance to train for longer distances or start doing speed intervals for shorter distances.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. earthowned
    Member

    @WC - if you are serious about doing more running more then go get a proper shoe fitting. I went to footworks in Bruntsfield and they did a video analysis of my running gait and picked some shoes to try based on that. They refused to sell me more expensive ones that didn't suit my feet, and also gave me some tips on improving technique. Since then I have less aches and pains.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. neddie
    Member

    A few years ago I could barely run for a bus, despite being quite fit cycling-wise. Then I joined our works' Handicap Race, run once a month. Everyone starts at a different time (the handicap), the aim being to end up with a sprint finish, no matter what the ability.

    From there I started to run twice a week at lunchtimes. Can now do 10k comfortably and a half-marathon every now & then.

    I found that running with your body and head vertical, but with your legs behind you (like you're falling over) helps you run faster. The cadence goes up and it does not seem like you are running faster, but when you look at the stats, you definitely go faster. You also want to be landing on the ball of your foot (or at least flat, not on the heel). Not sure if this is a good/correct technique? (Any expert runners feel free to correct.)

    Body should feel like it is doing this:

    o
    |
    /

    ---> direction of running.

    Surprisingly, I had no knee problems, but I found one hip joint got sore after long runs. Also heels took a hammering, but that was due to previous bad technique (heel striking).

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. fimm
    Member

    + about 1000 for what Min is saying about technique.
    Be careful with lengthening your stride. You want to land with your foot under your body, on the mid-to-forefoot part, NOT on your heel with your foot in front of your body.

    I'm not a reluctant runner. As a triathlete, it is my strongest discipline. I really enjoy running.

    I don't think I knew you are an ultra runner, Min. Boyfriend of Fimm has done quite a few in recent years. He keeps trying to persuade me to do one - and maybe I will, sometime. But I did find that running for hours got boring! On the other hand, I can cycle for hours and not get bored, so it could well be a matter of finding the right places to run.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. wingpig
    Member

    Smaller steps also dissuade you from long, loping strides with a heavy landing at the end of each.

    I run when I have to, as in when cycling looks like it might not be keeping up with my eating. I'm trying to gradually increase it in order to be able to keep up with children as they and I get older. When I start back after a few months off it's the fronts of my thighs which twinge for a few days, never my calves. I don't think I'll ever be tempted to do anything more than a 10k on the grounds of not wanting to banjo my knees.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. steveo
    Member

    I started with the couch to 5k in January after a mate prodded me to action (he since quit...). Since moving to work at the Gyle I wasn't cycling nearly enough and couldn't face going for a ride that started/ended anywhere near my office. I'm now at a drop down dead 1 hour 10km pace but I'm doing a fairly structured training plan which is bring my time down. Hoping for a sub 55 minute at the end of the plan in December.

    As others have said I don't really see me going over a 10k, the longest run I ever do on my plan is 13k and that takes about 90 mins if I had any longer I'd rather go for a pedal.

    I have found myself much fitter than I've been in years and last time I was mtb I could power up stuff that I'd have stalled on prior. I've not been on a longer ride for such a long time I can't comment on running influence there but I'm betting whilst my CV fitness is better and my leg strength is higher my lack of bike fitness will still be an issue.

    I still think your mad Min :)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    I do see people running on tip-toe which I assume is the heel-strike avoidance mentioned upthread. Is the point of that to avoid knee damage? Does it work?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. Min
    Member

    I still think your mad Min :)

    I know I am. :-)

    I don't think I knew you are an ultra runner, Min.

    Sadly I am not at the moment due to health but really keen to get back into it.

    I think that unfortunately, sh**s are the h*lm*ts of running. For many years it has all been about getting as much cushioning as possible to save you from your bad technique whereas nowadays there is more of a move towards minimalist ones and using better technique. I reckon if you are getting on fine with the ones you have, probably just stick with them but do pay attention to aches and pains. And do try to avoid heel striking. Fore foot is apparently ideal but mid foot is fine and possibly more natural for you?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. Min
    Member

    I do see people running on tip-toe which I assume is the heel-strike avoidance mentioned upthread. Is the point of that to avoid knee damage? Does it work?

    Tip-toe sounds like overdoing it to me although they might be doing it as an exercise. When I get home, I can post up a video of a guy who is a successful ultra runner and coach. You can barely tell he is fore striking as it is quite subtle. You just need to avoid letting your heels slam on the ground.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. wingpig
    Member

    Regarding shoes: when my previous trainers' heels began to sink a few years ago I went round FootWorks, Run&Become and Run4It, wherein, with wildly varying levels of civility and disinterest from the staff, it became apparent that only people with narrow pointy feet are allowed to go running these days. I ended up having to use Nike's internet custom cobbler service in order to be able to select their widest-toe option, which shops seemed never to stock.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. PS
    Member

    Re: heel striking. Best illustration of this I have seen was a BBC Four doc maybe about a year ago. Can't remember which one, unfortunately, but may have been the one where they dissected a human foot.

    Anyway, they took us through an animation of the human skeleton running to demonstrate the value of the ligaments and tendons. In excessively simple terms, when you run on the balls of your feet the tendons and muscles act like springs/shock absorbers/suspension and relatively little stress is put on the joints. When you land on your heel your leg is much straighter so the joints take the bulk of the impact, which gives you the double whammy of sore joints and a loss of the energy-conserving springiness.

    Ergo, jogging is evil, running is good. ;-)

    This illustrates it pretty well. And shows that you don't have to be on your tiptoes:
    Footstrike vs heelstrike

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. Darkerside
    Member

    Given I run about once in a blue moon take this with a pinch of salt, but I used to get miserable joint pain when I ran as a result of having all the elegance of a hippo.

    The only way I managed to not heel strike was to get some of those daft slip-on shoes with toe-fingers, which force you to properly absorb impact due to having no padding whatsoever.

    I really should start running again, given time for fitness-increase cycling is definitely on the decrease...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. I decided a few years ago to try running to boost my overall fitness, and with the aid of the CouchTo5K app on my phone, I did build up to and manage to run 5K.

    Trouble was that I completely knackered my right knee in the process and it's never been the same since. That effectively killed off my running career before it even started. The nice, reasonably-pricey running shoes were re-boxed and haven't taken a step since.

    Tempted to give it another go sometime though - if only to prove to myself that my knee will never cope with it again.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. condor2378
    Member

    I'm running the Loch Ness Marathon this Sunday after getting into it 3 years ago having never run before. This is marathon no 6 (third this year) and as long as you don't try to overdo it, it is a great way to lose weight quickly as long as you don't overeat afterwards. I lost 3.5 stone in 18 months.

    Just gently build up your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week and you'll be surprised at how quickly you'd be able to run distances which previously you'd have considered impossible.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. remberbuck
    Member

    @WC, some thoughts.

    Don't ignore the calf pains. As a cyclist your calves are used to transmitting the power from your quads to the pedals with the minimum loss of energy. This makes them unnaturally tight. Running on the other hand requires your calves to be flexible. So, from someone who has experienced that tearing sensation as he has run, take care with them - and stretch after running, and preferably on off days as well.

    On the strength lengthening, the simple thing to remember is that every stride places about three to four times your body weight on your hip joints. Lengthening your stride increases the impact. Short strides decrease, obviously, but your speed will also fall off.

    So, take time to allow your body to adjust to the biometrics of running first, and this is months not weeks if you're starting from scratch, and then fine tune the details. Then decide what distances you want to run, if you're for the 10k/one hour type run then lengthening would make sense, but be prepared for shuffling if you want longer.

    Don't worry too much about shoe type at the moment, most people change as their running form improves, generally from supported to neutral shoes, rarely the other way around. But it is worth getting a proper fitting. At least you can blame someone if it goes wrong.

    Condor, all the best with the LNM. I decided to walk the hill at mile 18, soundest decision I made in my running life. And it's the best t shirt you'll ever get.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. I'm never disappointed with advice in this place...

    Had been really aware of how tight my calves got after the first run, so this week lots of pre-emptive stretching, then straight after, then before I went to bed, and at times throughout the day at work the next day.

    Noticeable that, probably a conjunction of the stretching, and it being the second run, the calves were nowhere near as tight, and today are virtually back to normal.

    Waiting till after my physio tomorrow on my knee before going out for another run, to see if I can manage two in such a short space of time. I think, as mentioned, I've got a basic fitness level from the bike, just need to train up the particular muscle groups and get used to the impact.

    I'm gonna be quite intent on my stride the next time!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. p.s. good luck Condor! (you'll have to come back to the thread to let us know how you get on)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. ARobComp
    Member

    I had a short (<2km) but fast pace run from the bike shop to the office this morning. I concentrated hard on when my foot struck. Certainly felt good. I found the run reasonably hard for the first few minutes mind, due to last nights exertions in the pentlands on the CX bike.

    Going to try and fit in a few 5kms a week now and see how I do! Using this thread as inspiration. Still feel like I am holding my upper body too stiff but possibly because I was wearing a bag?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. That upper body thing is something I need to fight on the bike and running. My shoulders just go rigid - I can see it in pictures from the second half of cross races. I presume tightening the shoulder muscles is using energy and therefore draining my (limited) resources!

    Posted 5 years ago #

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