Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On Running.

I have never liked running. I have also never been very good at it (I'm SLOW). In high school, when we used to do conditioning for basketball, I'd worry so much about it that I'd physically get sick.

But somehow, I've also always really wanted to run a 5k. So, I've started the Couch to 5k program a number of times, but have honestly never finished. I get up to the point where you're supposed to be running 3 or 5 minutes at a time, and I give up. I'm not really sure whether it's a mental thing or a physical thing.

Anyway, you may have noticed on my sidebar that I've started the Couch to 5k thing up again. I haven't really been taking the prescribed days off, because for me, it's usually better to get into the habit of doing something nearly every day. If I start out only doing something three days a week, it's easy for me to get busy and not take the time.

It's been going pretty well so far. I followed this tutorial on how to make my own "podcast"/mp3 with my own music and voice prompts instead of using the ones you can download online with the crappy techno music, and that has been really nice. I don't have an iPhone, so previously, if I wanted to use my own music, I had to watch the clock the whole time, and that's not good for me--again, I think it's kind of a mental thing for me.

Last night though, I did the Week 3, Day 1 workout...and I'm back into the 3 minute runs. I stopped for 5 seconds during the second 3 minute run, but other than that, I finished. I have to admit's a little bit discouraging...if I'm having a hard time running for three minutes, a 5k seems so out of reach!

Also, I'm getting major shin splints, which sucks. My shoes are less than a year old, so I don't really think it's them. I got some arch support inserts (I have freakishly high arches) and that helped a bit the first day, but they're back to hurting a lot...maybe at this point I SHOULD start taking a day off in between runs. But, I'm not convinced that it's not something I should just "push through" either.  Any magical shin splint recommendations?!

Also...what's your favorite song to run to? Right now, I love "King of Anything" by Sara Bareilles  and "Til I Collapse" by Eminem for the longer runs, but I need some new ideas!


  1. Hey! This is Me&Mr.T! I have been running since March and completed the C25K program. I have tons of advice for you! First... TAKE THE DAYS OFF! As a beginning runner, you can get hurt (shin splints and more!) much faster if you don't rest. Do something like yoga on your days off, so that you are still into a routine.

    I also went by the phrase "if not now, then when?". I couldn't give myself an excuse.

    You also need to make sure you are wearing the right shoes. Find a place that will fit shoes for you. This will help prevent shin splints. And if you are running indoors on a treadmill, run at a 3% incline. It will help. What stopped my shinsplints was running outside (but I seem to be opposite of everyone).

    And if you planning on running the race, run outside! You will be so grateful! It will be a big shock to run a race if you've only done indoor running. It is much harder.

    As for the music... I've found that I like to listen to slower music instead of upbeat music. I need the upbeat music in there here and there, but I really like to listen to Dashboard Confessional, Paula Cole (her "Rhythm of Life" is a great song to run to!), etc.

    Please find feel free to ask if you have any questions! It is a great program! You can do it!

  2. As a non-runner runner, I totally get you! I wouldn't dare subject you to my horrible taste in music but I thought I'd suggest a book I'm reading right now. I know you love reading so this might be right up your alley. It's called "Born to Run"...I'm only half way through but my understanding is this book has taken injured, worn out wannabes and turned them into ultra-marathoners. I haven't gotten to the physiology part of the book but I've taken some of the tidbits and implemented them into my running. I've been battling a sore left knee from carrying Eli around and yesterday after running in the way the book describes, my knee didn't bother me anymore.

    Just something to think about...good job on your efforts!

  3. good for you. i'm the same about running - never been able to get into it. sorry about the shin splints - i have to advice for that! but hope it gets better for you and stay positive!! i'm sure you can do it!

  4. Congrats on getting out there! I just started running this year too and have a 5k and 10k under my belt. I'm looking at trying my first half marathon this fall. I have major hip flexor pain I am trying to figure out. I find I miss running when I don't do it! And, I outside when you can!

    As for songs, my favorite right now is The Cave by Mumford and Sons.

  5. I used to run track in high school.
    As far as the shin splints go, they are no joke. It's definitely important to be fitted for shoes (by someone who knows what they're doing- not someone working on commission) that are right for you- don't just go into Foot Locker and choose a cute pair. For me, that made a big difference. But even then, shin splints don't stop hurting until you take away the impact, so I would do a lot of my workouts and training in a swimming pool. Good luck to you!

  6. You have to read "The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training". It's hilarious. Even though she is training for a marathon, her advice is good and her writing is funny enough to make you want to do get up and run too.

    And I listen to the most random music while I run - things I wouldn't normally listen to - but those that make me want to sing along like Katy Perry or other random upbeat songs. I recently got the advice to do audio books, but haven't tried it out.

    And if you haven't heard about it, Map my Run ( is a great resource to find a local route that's the right distance for your training.


  7. Definitely don't run every day, since you're just starting out. Shin splints are a very common 'too much/too fast/too soon' injury. I'd suggest doing some sort of cross training on your non-run days - cycling, yoga, even just walking. As for treating the shin splints, ice, stretch your calves, and look up some strengthening exercises for tibialis anterior.

  8. I've done to C25K before and I know what you mean about not wanting to take days off. But it really is important. I got horrible shin splints at the beginning too because I was running more days than the program called for.

    As far as music goes, I need something really upbeat. Brittney Spears, Justin Timberlake, basically club music. Though there are some G. Love and Special Sauce songs that really get me going (I76, Stepping Stones, Recipe).

  9. Oh good for you for sticking to it!! The other people are right, you do need to take days off. Make sure your shoes are the proper fit for you. STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH and ICE. My shin splints kept me from running for a couple of weeks. No fun at all. Hope it clears up for ya.

  10. Oh and my favorite song in my running play list is "How Far We've Come" by Matchbox 20.

  11. I spent my younger days as a ballet dancer and a runner... so I am no stranger to shin splints. Definitely take days off. You need full rest days now and then, but on your days off from running try out some impact-free cardio, like swimming, or at least try to do some kind of exercise. Toe taps help with shin splints... they help build that muscle. Just lift your foot off the ground and tap your toe on the ground as fast as you can for 15-30 seconds at a time.

    I was a sprinter in high school and couldn't run distance to save my life, but I did couch to 5k a couple of years ago. I took my time with it, though... if I needed to repeat days or weeks I did. I can now run 3 miles no problem. Strength training helped me a lot... squats, lunges, etc. and so did swimming (helped with my lung capacity & my breathing in general).

    Best of luck and DON'T GIVE UP!

  12. Your shoes are very important when running! I am not a huge fan of running either but I have worked in the shoe industry for the past 7 years. You'll need to spend money for good quality shoes. And I do not recommend Nike. Also sad but true, running shoes are only intended to last about 6 months. The cushion mates down and becomes less shock absorbing. Which could be a factor in your shin splints! I hope this helps a little!! A good salesperson is not pushy!!

  13. Hey! I started running this year with couch to 5k and finished it (after failing to finish it before), and I'm running a half-marathon next week. I second the previous advice of taking days off--I've now been running for about 10 months and have had various injuries. Rest helps, running more doesn't. Also, I started by using the treadmill for most workouts because I have small children, but I found that I'm much less prone to shin splints if I run outside, so I started trying to find times to run outside when my husband could watch the kids. So definitely mix up the surfaces you run on.

    Keep going! You can do it...I can still remember a workout at the end of Week 4 when I decided to just keep running on the last interval until I got tired, and before I knew it, I'd run for 12 minutes! That convinced me I could do it. I also realized that I really enjoyed the walk breaks when Couch to 5K got to the point of running 25-30 minutes straight. So once I finished, I switched to Jeff Galloway's Half-Marathon training, which allows for liberal walk breaks. I actually run a little faster when I take walk breaks, and it makes it more enjoyable for me on long runs, so you might consider that if you enjoy the walk breaks. Good luck!


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