Need some info on running

Lately I’ve been thinking about my lack of endurance. I’m in pretty bad shape, cardio-wise. I might be able to run a mile, but I wouldn’t be good for much afterwards. That’s no good, I’m thinking.

So I’ve been looking around the net, trying to find some info. As you might expect, I’ve found lots of info, but none of it is exactly what I’m looking for. All the sites I look at seem to be going on the assumption that running is the only serious activity you do. This is no good for me, cause I lift with my legs, and I don’t want to give that up.

My goals are modest–I’d like to be able to run two or three miles without being exhausted afterwards, and at a reasonable speed. Where’s a good place to look for info? What’s a good program? I know next to nothing, so anything would be most appreciated.

My advice, as a runner for nigh unto 30 years and as one who has run 31 marathons, one ultramarathon, and some triathlons, is to start out running and walking for 20 minutes. Go out and jog until you get tired, then walk until you are refreshed, then jog again, etc. For 20 minutes, until you can jog the whole 20 minutes. Then you can increase it to 30 minutes. This should cover the distance you seek. In the meanwhile, I’ll search around and see if I can come up with some good beginner’s links. has a link for beginner’s running, which is a schedule on an Adobe Reader download. It is down towards the bottom in the middle and towards the left of the middle.

Thanks for the link!

I figured something like the program you suggested in your first post was what I should go for. Any suggestions as to what’s an appropriate speed? I’m gonna stick with a treadmill, cause there isn’t a patch of flat ground anywhere near here–it’s all hills.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with brisk walking instead of running, either on a treadmill or a sidewalk. Especially if you are just starting. Just keep it up for at least half an hour.

Personally, I have to switch from walking to running somewhere around 4.5 miles per hour. And anything over 5 miles per hour (a very slow jog) gets my heart rate well into the aerobic zone. And at that pace I don’t get sore legs the next day.

The Air Force basic training requirement for 2 miles is 18 minutes. Running 3 9 min miles would put you in above average shape.

You have to get your HR up to at least 60-70% of maximum. (The usual formula is 220-your age for your max, but that’s only for sedentary people, which will work if you are a beginner.) The problem with walking is that you don’t get your HR up that high. True, you will burn as many calories, but you won’t get much fitter, at least after a while. At first, if you are not at all in shape, walking may get your HR up high enough, but after a while you will need to start jogging or running.

The pace should be comfortable, but you should try for a pace that will get your HR up to at least 60% of max. You don’t need a heart monitor. Just check your pulse occasionally, say after the first 10 minutes, and then every 5 minutes thereafter. As you get more fit, you will have to increase your pace to get your HR up high enough.

But above all, it should be comfortable. That’s why I say to start walking when it’s no longer comfortable. If it becomes a chore, you won’t keep it up. Many beginners stop because they try to do too much too soon.

Sore legs is known as DOMS: delayed onset muscle soreness. It is caused by microtears in the muscle fibers. You should not be bothered by soreness, to any extent, if you start slowly and build up. Eventually, you won’t get DOMS anymore, unless you run hills and you are not used to that, or do something that you are not used to.

A treadmill is a good idea if all you have are hills. I consider hills good training, and we don’t have any here in the lowcountry. But for a beginner, stick to the treadmill, and good luck.