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Running: The School of Hard Knocks

 

Running is better than drinking alcohol, and I dribble less. The problem with running is, well, me! I don't really like it.

This morning I got up to run a couple of miles before work. My doctor thinks that I gave a torn meniscus in my right knee, which; doesn’t always feel great. Since he said I can't do any more damage,  I run anyway. On Friday I had an MRI for it, who knows.

 I just want to lose weight! It is pretty selfish and self indulgent. When I am out there I am ignoring my family, It's my private place, and don't share to many of the thoughts that I have out there... well except the person that let their dog crap on the sidewalk in front of the Middle School; that person I am hunting down and DNA has already been sent to CSI (Vergas of course!)

 When I was young I was the fastest kid in the neighborhood. Long legs are a requirement when you have a big mouth. I'm just sayin'. 

 As I got older and moved from home construction to computer software, from climbing ladders and carry wood to sitting a chair, things changed.  I ate whatever I wanted before that, and never went over 170. And I smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day too. (I quit in 1994)

 I didn't like running, hell, I didn't getting up the front steps. In my book, gasping for air was for pearl divers, not for me!

 So I started to run at age 40, and I lost 50 pounds - well, me and Dr. Phil. (Good life change food plan BTW.) I kept pushing because I wanted to be thin again, and I got hurt because I didn't know what the hell I was doing.

So here are the most valuable lessons I have learned. I am no expert, nor do I have liability insurance. Try them at your own risk.

Lesson 1 - Walk, don't Run! If you are just starting out, just walk. After I got out of ICU I could do about 5 minutes down the road, rest, then walk back. When you can fast walk your desired route or mileage, then it is time to run. A good goal is a mile, or a 5 K (about 3.3 miles).

Lesson 2 - Working It Up: Even if you can do a mile fast walking at 4.0 MPH, do alternating walk/run for 3 minutes cycles. 30 seconds run,  2:30 walk. Increase your run time by 30 seconds ONCE a month while decreasing your walk time by the same. It is always a 3 minute cycle.

Lesson 3 – Inclines Suck: Inclines are bad for joints! I contracted very painful plantar fasciitis in my heal by using the treadmill on 15 degrees. Sure you get a good burn in a short time, but at what cost? I was out of commission for 5 YEARS! Not only did I lose interest in my health, I gained back the 50 plus 40 more! If you run outside, avoid steep down hills. That is how I hurt my knee a few months back. I thought I would run around the lake near my home.

Lesson 4 - Stretching: My friend runs marathons, and at 57 she still does them in three and half hours! She told me not to stretch cold muscles. I know it makes sense, but I thought you are supposed to stretch first – it cause and injury. Just warm up with a slow walk, and increase your speed until you are warmed up, then stretch.

Lesson 5 – Shoes: Just get good running shoes! The ones with Cinderella on them and the flashing LEDs are not on the list! A good pair will be better for your joint health, and they past a long time. I have one for the gym, and one for the sidewalk. Beware different brands are better for different body geometry. If you are having pain In the front of your knee, or heal, STOP! I had a podiatrist pick the brand of shoes that were best for me.

Lesson 6 – Cool Down: I had another injury by running right back to the front door and heading for the shower. (If you run, you will sweat!) Do at least 5 minutes to cool down a little and some light stretching.

My routine is to walk a half a mile, and run a mile, and the cool down for about 2 tenths of a mile for a total workout of 1.7 miles in 20 minutes. If I have more time and my knee is feeling up to it, I do a longer run and fit in 2 miles. And I do it every day but Sunday!

One my friends mentioned asthma. My daughter had that, and she still lost 75 pounds and ran 5 miles 6 days a week. Once the weight comes off, it get easier and easier.

 How about you, are you ready to run?

 

37 votes + -

17 comments:

dsjohndrow wrote 134 months ago:
Well, if you can do the program, push yourself. It took me 3 months to get in shape enough to actually do something. For folks like me that were obese, I need to get down to just a regular old fat guy before I could run.
atsteele wrote 134 months ago:
If you personally need to avoid inclines, I completely understand. But for many runners, doing inclines (or hill repeats) actually make you a better, stronger, and even faster runner. So this may or may not be something that all people need to avoid. Just saying. Otherwise, great post!! Im sure you are inspiration to many people!! Keep up the great work!!
dsjohndrow wrote 134 months ago:
@AT - I don't avoid them, it is just easy to get injured when you are starting out. I could have said it better. :) Thanks for commenting.
Elleinnz wrote 134 months ago:
Great blog - I started C25K about 2 months ago - but after 3 weeks decided to "just run"......did 20 minutes for a few weeks - and then up to 30 minutes....

Went on holiday - and came back worrying if I would have to start all over, but managed a 30 minute run (5 minute cool down) just great on Sunday....

Last night I went for a repeat and just really struggled - in the end I was running 10 - walking 3 - running 7 - walking 3 etc....still got my 30 minutes in - but it took 45 minutes (with cool down...)

I am not the fastest yet - so will stick with running 30 minutes - and try to get to a 5K run in 30 minutes sometime in the next 8 weeks....

Thanks for some great tips
natika33 wrote 134 months ago:
I think this is all very good advice. Everyone's body is a bit different and we all need to learn a little bit by trial and error what works for us. I also found the "Tips for Beginners" articles in running magazines and internet sites to be too much too soon.

One piece of advice I've gotten many times though was to not run everyday, but to alternate days with different, preferably low impact exercises (swimming, yoga, biking etc.) It can help prevent joint problems.
HealthiHannah wrote 134 months ago:
Thanks for sharing! I am (almost) ready to run, I just asked a runner friend of mine to help me train for my first 5k (date TBD).
clippershore wrote 134 months ago:
Thanks for the insightful info. I started running a month ago but now have to put it on hold since I developed shin splints. Those are another reason to get good running shoes.
vjsardina wrote 134 months ago:
I,m 68 y/o I ran all my life and then in 2006 was diagnose with Hairy cell Leukemia, I stop must of my exercises while I was on quimo and then started again, running has to be one of the greatest things I ever did because it kept my mind of my other illness, but wether you run or not that is entirely up to each individual, the fact is if not run then swim, jump rope, jumping jacks, sit ups, crunches there are so many, you don't have to married one particular routine alternate but "DO SOMETHING" stop using excuses, either you exercise and lower you calorie intake or be a couch potato and stop complaining about your weight.
dsjohndrow wrote 134 months ago:
@Natika - it is not recommended to run everyday, but I have worked my way up to this. I already had a knee injury. So shorter runs are more comfortable. I wish I could run 5K 3 times a week!
dsjohndrow wrote 134 months ago:
@Hannah - you go! I missed mine in August due the knee injury, but I am thinking November.

@Clipper - damn, what a shame. I hope they feel better!

@VJ - that right, get moving or shut up. ;) Sorry about the cancer stuff, I am sure that is awful. Prayers!
thirtyandthriving wrote 134 months ago:
Very well said. :) I am on week 2 of C25K. Also Knee problems---29yo
dsjohndrow wrote 134 months ago:
@30 - 29, I am 53! Come on, you can do it!.
mum_of_three wrote 134 months ago:
Thanks for a fantastic blog. I am just at the Run half a minute walk a minute stage but I know that I will get back to the place where I can run 5K again (despite having had the valved replaced in my heart!!!).
ERSW wrote 134 months ago:
I love your story, I run also.. I currently have ice hot on my knees as they throp from my ran today. I will take your advise.. You are halarious.
val071418 wrote 134 months ago:
You mentioned that the incline on the treadmill gave you plantar facitis...I have the beginnings of that as well and have actually found doing a 3.5 speed doing incline intervals of 3, 8, 13, and 18 hurts me less than jogging at a faster speed, 4.0-5.0. Just wondering if you have any info on why the incline gave you problems?? I don't know much about much but just how I feel. Also, I have had surgery on my knee years ago and that might be a factor for me, the running really jars my knee too much sometimes, but I have been working up to it. small runs at a time! Thanks for sharing all this info!! Keep up the good work!
Slimmer_J wrote 134 months ago:
Thank you so much for the tips! I am training for a 5k and feel I am pushing myself to much and I am starting to dread it instead of enjoy it. I was so excited to be doing it and enjoying it but think I am just doing to much to quick. Your tips helped!

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