View Full Version : So who here can teach me how to run? Any tips wanted!

01-21-2009, 06:00 PM
I am a terrible runner. Always have been. When I've been at my fittest, when I've been rowing for miles six days a week, when I've supposedly been an endurance athlete, and when I have had to run for crosstraining I've still been ****. I seriously think I am biomechanically not made to be a runner. For such a simple movement, I seem to lack the skills if not the fitness.

But now I need to run.

And I'm no longer an endurance athlete. I did no real exercise for a few years then got back into strength-training in a big way. However, as my competitive side has come out, and my general fitness improved I've been looking for things to do. I did a bit of running over Christmas because my family's home is away from prying eyes and there was nothing else to do. I persevered for maybe 30min at a time, but slowly. And uncomfortably.

I'm tempted by a 5k or 10k run, possibly for charity. If it goes OK, I'd like to maybe do a triathlon or something. Swimming, cycling, sounds fun. But did I mention how much I suck at running? :rolleyes:

So I put it to you, oh citizens of WBB to give me some advice! Any tip, technique, training plan or tablet will be considered!

I'll start with some really obvious questions:
Lean forward/back or upright?
How much do I lift my feet?
How do I make it feel easy, nice, comfortable? Seriously, what's the deal with that boundless, floating stride runners have?

Oh, and I'm 22, 6'3 and weigh about 193lbs. I used to be over 200 but I've thinned out a bit as I've upped the cardio and eased off the weights. I want to push back up to about 215 later in the year. One thing at a time though.

01-21-2009, 06:50 PM
To eventually achieve a "good" running motion, you want to try to eliminate unnecessary and inefficient behavior.

You do not want to 'bounce' up and down any more than you have to, energy wasted go upwards does not propel you down the sidewalk.
As far as posture I would say slightly forward and upright, but not standing straight up.

In lifting the feet and carving out a stride, it really depends on the person. While it isn't beneficial to extend your legs as far as you can in great leaping strides, a short stride isn't helping a distance runner. Find where you are comfortable at for the moment, and try elongating it and see how that feels.

Swing your arms as you normally would, but don't flail them around and look like a lunatic. Less is more here.

I doubt everything will come together overnight, but start small with some short runs and give yourself time to ramp up to your goals. make sure your shoes fit properly and provide enough cushioning/support. Hope this helps

For some running is an enjoyable experience, a meditation of sorts. For others, it is downright punishment. Don't force it on yourself just because it seems like the right thing to do. There are plenty of ways to shape in good cardiovascular shape, find one you enjoy/excel at.

01-22-2009, 05:01 AM
Hey Tikiman,

Just checked back and you've actually given me some pretty good advice. I know it sounded a bit stupid but I was just looking for anything really. I mean ideally I'd have a coach to go through this but any basic tips are more helpful than you think.

I get what you mean about finding other ways of staying in cardiovascular shape, but running is such a basic skill that I'd like to be at least competent y'know? Plus there are sponsered runs all the time so it would be an easy thing to do occasionally and raise some money for charity. I don't want to be amazing but I'd like to be able to go for a run and feel comfortable, rather than just get through it by grit and determination. I'm still going to lift (and get bigger) but I don't think middle-distance running is going to detract too much.

I'm going for a 40min run tonight with a female friend who claims she's not that good. I'll report back.

01-24-2009, 06:01 AM
So the other night I went for a 40min run with a couple of female friends. It was fine. Easy in fact. I really wanted to speed up and run ahead the whole time. I think the problem is that I've talked myself down a bit, so although I'm a worse runner than I should be for my general fitness level, I'm still better than a lot of "fun-runner" types, or girls who go jogging a few times a week. I'm just not as fast as I think I should be so when I try and run at that pace I tire out too quickly.

The question now is how to get better. There's a 5k at the end of March that I'd like to work towards. 5km really isn't that far so I want to keep up my weightlifting and just have this as something extra.

My current plan is something like this:
Monday: Squats (+assistance)
Tuesday: ~5k run fast
Wednesday: Power Cleans/Bench
Thursday: ~40-60min run comfortable
Friday: Deadlifts/Back
Saturday: Some sort of running
Sunday: Off

Does this look reasonable? Should I do more cardio on weights days? I'm not seriously training here so I'm not concerned about doing the absolute best training for the fastest possible time. But I do want to have a sensible plan that enables to put in a good effort, have a good time, and hopefully maintain or improve my strength.

Any advice?

01-24-2009, 09:16 AM
If you're going to weight-lift three days a week only, I would recommend splitting it up ( Back/Biceps, Legs, Shoulders/Tri/Chest) or something similar. You can also do a full body workout every other day.

As for the running, I would focus more on the overall time and pace, rather than the distance that you are running. Here is what I tend to do for running only if going every other day (leaving out the lifting)

Day 1 - 35 minutes at about a 7-7.5, mixing in some hills possibly
Day 2 - off
Day 3 - 35 minutes at 7-7.5 pace again, taking it a little bit easier
Day 4 - off
Day 5- 20-30 minutes (depending on conditioning) of 8.5-9.5 pace, mixing in some intervals if you can handle it
Day 6 - off
Day 7 - 40-55 minute slow pace, long distance run. This should be an enjoyable experience. If you feel good, keep going and push yourself for more distance.

I usually stretch before and after running, with a 3-5 minutes cool down at the end.

I am by no means an expert on this, and some would recommend not taking a break after doing intervals, and doing the longslowdistance run the next day.
Generally I see how I feel each day, and try to vary the intensity/duration/location when I am running. That being said, some days I don't feel great and need to kick my butt anyways. Mixing in some biking or swimming on the off days is a great way to recover and build supporting muscle.

I would advise checking out runnerworlds.com , they have a great free feature that will plan out a running program for you depending on the times you run now and what you want to achieve.

01-29-2009, 09:49 PM
also make sure to slack every part of your body that you can. keep your face jello. theres no need to exert extra energy in tensing yourface because of the pain or whatever. dont keep your hands stiff as hell, allow them to slack a little bit. stride out as much as possible, distance or sprinting.