See, as things sit, I usually get to work about an hour early.
And the building I work is is right next to a bike/jogging trail along the river.
So, with my MP3 player in hand, I want to start jogging for a bit before work. I figure if I can do it 2 days a week to start with, I can maybe start loosing weight.
So, running pants and shorts, I’ve got. MP3 player, I’ve got. Water bottle, I will get ASAP.
What I DON’T have is fancy running shoes, or $150 to get some. I will come February, but until then, I figured just some basic $30 “running shoes” will be fine. Especially since I’m not in training for a marathon or anything.
Sounds good, go for it! Just make sure to pick a good, comfortable pace. This means you should be able to carry a conversation (or sing along to your MP3s!) while running. Since you’re doing it right before work, you may want a way to clean up a bit before you start your day. An extra stick of deodorant and some baby wipes ought to do the trick.
Gotta second this. Don’t go cheap on the running shoes. Shin splints are not fun. You don’t have to spend $150 for the shoes unless you plan on winning the Boston Marathon. Go to a sporting goods store and find out what kind of shoe you need. There is one type for flat foot, one for normal foot one for high arch. You can get a good pair for about $50-80 depends on your foot and brand you choose. I wish you luck and a lot of fun.
Echoing this — I would go to a dedicated running store if there’s one in your area. This should be the type of place where they put you in some shoes, make you run around and test them (and also watch your stride).
IME, unless you have some terribly funky run, the shoes you get at a running store will not be much more expensive than shoes at a regular sporting goods store. The plus side is, that if you do have a terribly funky run which requires more expensive shoes at least you will know that before you start running with regular shoes and put yourself through hell.
Yes, in my experience, good shoes is a must from the start. Too bad I just realized mine have been packed away in anonymous box. I will soon be joining you in this. During my graduate career I put on more than a few pounds. I will now be going to live with my wife. I expect she will follow me with a whip as I run.
Amen on getting proper running shoes (saving $40 or $50 won’t seem like a bargain if you are limping), and a further recommendation to get some proper socks.
By “proper” I mean “No cotton”. Cotton socks will do horrible things to your feet (think “school of hungry piranha meets cow”). Go down to the local outdoors shop (REI or whatever) and get some comfy wool socks - they’re less than $10, make a world of difference and will last for years. I personally have had awful luck with some of the all-synthetic varieties (like Ultimax running socks) so I stick with wool/nylon blends. You don’t need heavy hiking socks, look for the medium-weight “trekking” socks. I’d also suggest buying a pair of polypro sock liners (they’re about $7). The combination will make a dramatic difference in comfort and cut way down on hot spots and blisters, which will make your workout more enjoyable. This all comes from my own miserable learning experiences many years ago. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you.
Good start for losing weight, but I also suggest Weight Watchers. It works. I am doing WW, it works for me, and I have also reached being able to do 1 hour 10 minutes of continuous running. I’m not fast, but I’m not jogging either.
[li]Start out slowly. No more than 30 minutes at a time, alternating 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Your goal is to be warmed up and a bit “pumped” up without being winded/tired/sore.[/li][li]Repeat at least three times a week.[/li][li]If something hurts, see a doctor.[/li][li]Get decent shoes. You don’t have to pay $150, but $30 probably won’t make it either. When in doubt, spend the money. Get shoes that fit, not ones that look good. If you can, go to a running specialty store. You won’t regret it.[/li][/ul]
After four weeks, you’ll probably notice a big difference in your stamina. At that point, you may be ready to start running the entire time. If so, again, no more than 30 minutes. If you’re not much more tired than before, you’re OK. If you are much more tired, step back a bit and do 3 minutes running to 1 minute walking.
Meanwhile, do WW or start watching your portion size. Vegetables, fruits, complex whole grains and perhaps a bit of meat and milk. Cut way down on sugars. Take a multi-vitamin, drink lots of water, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
Once you hit the 30 minutes of running mark, start slowly adding “volume”. I go by time, not by distance. Add 5-10% every week. Trust me, after three months or so you will probably be looking forward to your running sessions.
Running technique: fast “turnover”. Time it: every time your right foot hits the ground is one turnover. You should be doing roughly 90/minute, which equates to 15 every 10 seconds. Reduce your stride length in order to accomplish this. Practice touching your foot as lightly as possible on the ground, with your heel barely touching and all the weight on the ball of your foot. Try keeping your chin up and forward of your front foot’s toes. Good practice is to run barefoot on a artificial surface or grass. The only movement you have to think about is lifting your foot with the back of your leg, your hamstring. Everything is automatic. Think of lifting your feet up, not putting them down, and landing as softly as possible.
This is really not all that much to digest, but if you stick to it you could be running races before you know it. I hardly ever run in practice the way I run in a race. I don’t have to. Once you get to an hour and over on a regular basis, and your hear rate is 70% of theoretical maximum, then you can focus on speed. Until then, do long and steady (a coach used to call it LSD “long steady distance”) and you’ll be beating people who can go out fast but not keep up the pace.
I’ll be throwing a Pit Stick in the bag, but I don’t have to worry about offending anyone… I work alone in a cube, with nobody around for 2 floors for 99% of my shift. The babywipes idea is a good one though.
I’ll see if I can find a running store close by… would a normal sporting goods store be decen enough, or should I look for a Sporting Feet?
633squadron I am also going to be cutting calories via portion control. This, combined with an elevated activity level should see me doing quite well.
Someplace like Finish Line or Foot Locker isn’t likely to cut it. The people who work there generally are not trained to understand the biomechanics of running and how to properly fit someone. They’re trained on rotating stock and using the cash register. You really want a dedicated running store staffed by runners.
Also, for good advice on training programs, check out Cool Running’s Couch-to-5K program.
A lot of factors can affect your shoe selection, such as whether or not your foot pronates when you run. I have a neutral step, so I can get away without all the additional arch support. The typical teenager working at Footlocker isn’t going to be able to help you out with that. You need someone who has enough experience to be able to analyze your gait a bit.
Another theing to keep in mind, when you start out, keep your progress slow. Even though you may feel your heart and lungs are up to it, your joints will get really cranky. I think it’s supposed to be something like “don’t increase your run by more than 10% in a week”. So if you run 100 miles a week (What? You’re Superman!) then don’t increase it to more than 110 miles the follwing week.
I came in here to recommend that program, and the related podcast by Robert Ullrey. The music isn’t quite what I’d normally listen to, but I loved not having to watch the clock. It’s a good way to make sure you ramp up slowly. I made it to week four before I fell off the running wagon, and I was only a little sore the next day once. Good luck!
I only use my MP3 player on a treadmill. Too much going on running outdoors you can’t hear warning signs of bad stuff (bikes, dogs, warnings about rabid skunk…).
Last year I saw a jogger trot towards a downed powerline and then get in doo-doo for defying a cop’s orders (couldn’t hear the cop yelling at him). A street was closed to cars AND to pedestrians for a downed power line. He noticed the powerline at least. It was glowing like a thousand suns! <— needed shades
I don’t want to hijack, but I’m just curious about this point. I’m currently running ~20 miles weekly in run-of-the-mill cotton socks from Target and haven’t suffered any ill effects as far as I know. What exactly is happening to your feet? Perhaps there’s something wrong with your shoes?
Regarding the OP, count me among those who’d advise you to avoid the mp3 player for running, in general. It can be hazardous for outside running and inconsistent song tempos can prevent you from establishing a consistent pace. Naturally, pacing isn’t an issue on a treadmill, but carrying an unbalanced load- indoors or out- will throw-off your form and potentially cause you trouble if you start adding distance to your runs. Of course, perhaps you have one of those spiffy 1oz. flash-based armband-type setups? That’s probably fine. (My HD mp3 player is a few years old and weighs a ton!)
Anyway, as many others have said, good shoes are a must. Regardless of how much you stretch or how slow you start, it probably will hurt for a while-- don’t get discouraged.