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Questions from a new runner

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  • Apr 3rd, 2012 9:13 pm
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Member
Apr 14, 2010
405 posts
134 upvotes

Questions from a new runner

Hi Everyone,

I am a female in my late 20's and I have just started running (well walking/jogging right now). I am about 40lbs overweight, and my goal in running is to lose fat and improve my cardio fitness. I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping you can help me with.

1) I need to get a good pair of running shoes - I've heard that Running Room is a good store. Can anyone recommend another store that is located in downtown Toronto? Also, how much should I be looking to pay for a decent pair of shoes?

2) Is there anything in particular (other than water) that I should be eating/drinking before or after a run?

3) I've read running plans for beginners and they all suggest things like walk for 3 min run for 30 sec etc. Does the timing really matter? My general route is about 5 km. I walk the first 2km briskly to get warmed up, and then jog for as much of the other 3 km as I can - at this point it's not a lot. I jog until I get really out of breath and then walk until I catch my breath. Is there anything wrong with my technique?

Thanks in advance for any help!
11 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2010
1326 posts
117 upvotes
Markham
I kind of just a beginner but do have answers to some of your questions.

1. Running Room is a good place to go so they can figure out the type of shoe you need. It basically comes down to pronation and where and how your feet strike down. After you know this you can pick out shoes anywhere and find different pairs with simple google searches. I'm cheap and buy from the states but you can find online or any sports store after you know what your looking for. As for price, my current shoe is around $100 and it seems to be better for me then a $180 shoe I was using earlier.

2. Water at first until you increase your distance and time. I drink some Gatorade when I go for more the 45 minutes but anything less then that, I just stick with water.

3. I started with alternating between walking and Jogging. Just be patient, at first I couldn't even jog 3km without coughing up a lung. Now I'm trying for a half marathon.
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2009
813 posts
49 upvotes
Get hooked up with a running coach at the Running Room. They need to teach you proper running technique (short stride, slight lean etc.) Running even with good form can be hard on joints in the lower body so decrease your weekly running volume if stuff starts to ache. Perform a mobility-oriented warmup before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmarsM7lEBQ

Don't do static stretching before a run. Save that for after.
Follow me on Twitter for fitness and nutrition tips: @tomtothiron
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 24, 2005
947 posts
113 upvotes
Google "Wet foot test". Doing it would tell you the "type" of running shoes you need, which are "motion control", "cushioning" or "stability".

Running room is great. If you want a good deal and don't mind wearing last year's models, go to the running room outlet store on North Queen street. $60 should net you a decent pair of running shoes. You can look at what they might have here.

http://www.shop.runningroom.com/index.p ... 4&mode=all

If you are running 30 minutes or less, water will do. Any more than that, starting adding gatorade/power bar.

If you are starting out, make sure you start "slowly" and ensure you do proper stretches/warmup and cool-down. A sure way of quitting running after a few days is to get an injury.

There are many great books on running and I highly recommend "Marathoning for Mortals" by John Bingham. You don't have to be training for a marathon to read this. You will find information on proper postures, proper hydration, warmup techniques and common running injuries and how to avoid them.

Good luck.
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2008
826 posts
234 upvotes
I know you asked about running specifically, but if your primary goal is to lose 40 pounds and increase fitness, I suggest you should look at a more varied routine. A varied routine is more effective, more efficient, and more interesting than trying to stick to one thing.

In particular, you should look into some form of interval training to really burn calories not only when you're exercising, but to increase your metabolism in a way just running can't achieve. In particular, I'm a big fan of the Tabata protocol for interval training. But if you are not in shape, it's important to easy into it and not overdo things. And for people who are already in shape, Tabata is a killer workout if you push yourself to the limit.

Here's an article from the globe from 2010: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/mom ... le1419091/
[OP]
Member
Apr 14, 2010
405 posts
134 upvotes
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I will be spending my evening looking into the links you provided.
Member
Aug 7, 2008
391 posts
27 upvotes
Bargainista, let me share my experience.

I'm male, in my mid-30s. In October 2011, I weighed 220 and could not run more than a few minutes at a time.
Right now I weigh 185 and run 5K a few times a week; this week my "long run" was 7K / 45 minutes.

I followed the C25K plan, which slowly builds you up over nine weeks of run/walking to a 30 minute run. Because it was winter, I didn't actually run all of the workouts, but did many of them on an elliptical trainer with a resistance setting that gave me about the same higher heart rates as actual running. This was especially helpful near the start of the program when the extra weight meant extra joint stress from running.

The important things about this plan are that it doesn't care what pace you run at, and that it builds gradually - in the first week, you do 20 minutes of 60 second run/90 second walk intervals.

I agree with the other posters who suggested varying your fitness routine, or at least the routes you follow, so you don't get bored.

For me, at least as important as the exercise was "diet". I signed up for a web site that lets you track what you eat (myfitnesspal.com) and used their handy iphone app to log as I ate. Two things quickly became clear: (1) I had to be brutally honest about logging every last thing I ate or the system wouldn't work, and (2) my portion sizes were a big problem. It probably doesn't matter what diet plan you use so long as you have one and stick to it, and calories in < calories out.

Good luck!
[OP]
Member
Apr 14, 2010
405 posts
134 upvotes
Thanks FishWallop! It's always nice to hear success stories.

I'm not making huge modifications to my diet right now. I generally eat healthy (although portion size is a bit of a problem). I've been at a constant weight for years, so I figure if I eat generally the same and increase my activity I should see results (even if it happens slowly, which I am ok with).

I have found that I do think about food a lot more now - in the sense that before I eat something I think to myself "do I really need this? will it undo the positive effects of my run this afternoon?"

I play two different team sports and walk alot (because I feel TTC is a waste of money!) so I'm not a huge couch potatoe. In addition to running I have been doing zumba workouts using you tube videos (which I find to be a great workout) and muscle strengthing excercises using my own body weight.

Thanks for the tips!
Member
Aug 7, 2008
391 posts
27 upvotes
bargainista! wrote:
Apr 1st, 2012 11:07 pm
I have found that I do think about food a lot more now - in the sense that before I eat something I think to myself "do I really need this? will it undo the positive effects of my run this afternoon?"
That one thought will make a huge difference. But it often helps to couple it with substitution: "do I really need this, or is there something else I can have instead that will satisfy my need to eat and not undo the positive effects of my run?"
Jr. Member
Dec 14, 2010
115 posts
17 upvotes
DdBigs wrote:
Apr 1st, 2012 5:46 pm
1. Running Room is a good place to go so they can figure out the type of shoe you need. It basically comes down to pronation and where and how your feet strike down
I recommend gradually transitioning to a forefoot/midfoot strike and buying neutral shoes that do not have too much cushioning. It is better to correct poor technique (if necessary) than to enable poor technique by wearing "stablity"/etc shoes. http://www.thatsfit.com/2010/02/03/fore ... t-running/ (some of the comments are also useful)
Therion wrote:
Apr 1st, 2012 6:02 pm
Don't do static stretching before a run. Save that for after.
Agreed
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2009
813 posts
49 upvotes
Some coaches recommend against cardio as a way to lose weight because it tends to increase appetite. I don't generally find this to be the case but you should pay attention to how much you eat after a run. You might find you're hungrier a few hours later and it'll be counter-productive if you unknowingly eat more.
Follow me on Twitter for fitness and nutrition tips: @tomtothiron
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