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running: how much to begin with?

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Postby BrunoM » Sun May 30, 2010 10:37 am

Not really an answer to your question, but how did you recover from the patellar femoral syndrome?
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Postby foweyman » Sun May 30, 2010 11:23 am

A commonly used gradually increasing training schedule is to go for a long once per week (with shorter runs during the week) and increase the length of the long run one mile each time.

Without knowing the exact nature and severity of your injury, (heck, even if I did know) it is difficult to to say with much certainty if this is "safe" for you. My own experience with patello-femoral syndrome is that it would come and go independently of my activity level. I've been fortunate to not have any problems for the past 20 years despite have a quite ragged patellar cartilage. From what I've read, this is not an uncommon situation.
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Postby peladoboton » Sun May 30, 2010 1:26 pm

My advice, being one who has come in and out of shape quite a bit in the last few years, is that initially, less is more.

In the face of previous injury, I start at a level that makes me feel bored for at least two weeks. For running this means about five 2-mile jogs in a week. From there I live by the running rule of adding only 10% of your previous week's milage in distance.

Sounds weak and boring, I know, but it has kept me out of injury and allowed me to run my 26.2's with no problem.

The other trick for injury prevention and running is to walk a few blocks before and after you run every time.
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Postby CClaude » Sun May 30, 2010 2:34 pm

peladoboton wrote:My advice, being one who has come in and out of shape quite a bit in the last few years, is that initially, less is more.

In the face of previous injury, I start at a level that makes me feel bored for at least two weeks. For running this means about five 2-mile jogs in a week. From there I live by the running rule of adding only 10% of your previous week's milage in distance.

Sounds weak and boring, I know, but it has kept me out of injury and allowed me to run my 26.2's with no problem.

The other trick for injury prevention and running is to walk a few blocks before and after you run every time.


The 10% increase is a commonly used progression scheme. Personally if you can do 5K x 3 times a week, do that for two weeks, then on the third week add a another day of 3-5K. On the fourth week repeat the third week.

week 5: do 3days at ~5K and do a day with 6-8K for a longer run.
week 6 do 2 days at ~5K and do 2 days at 6-8K but seperated by days with 5K.
week 7: repeat week 6.

and so on and so on.

As you progress and you are upping your mileage, have weeks where you aren't increasing the stress so your body can get used to it. Above all, listen to your body.
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun May 30, 2010 3:33 pm

I have been running competetively off and on for 26 years, the last 16 trail running, trail racing and ultra marathons. I can't speak specificially to your injury, but wiill offer my insights on training and using running to train for mountaineering.

1) Start off slow. Better to run too little and feel like you could run more than run too far and feel like you never want to run again.

2)Find some trails, preferably hilly trails and do many of your runs there. You will be less likely to develop stress induced injuries like shin splints. You will be more prone to rolling your ankles though, so buy some good trail running shoes which offer better foot protection and lateral stability. It is ok to walk the steepest portion of the hills; the best trail runners in the world walk the hills.

3) Don't run the same run every day. Variety is key. Aim to work into your schedule the following runs:

a) Do at least one long, slow distance (LSD) run a week. This is a run at least 90 minutes long where you keep your heart rate in the lower aerobic range. Sometimes called a 'conversational pace' you should be able to maintain a conversation with someone while running. You will probably have to work up to 90 minutes; aim to increase the length of the LSD by about 10% a week. Work up to doing 3 hour runs. There is probably no need to run for more than three hours unless you are specifically training to do an ultramarathon

b) Do at least one 'tempo' run a week. Aim to run for between 60 and 90 minutes at a 'race' pace. Since you are not planning on racing, you will need to figure out what this pace is, but you should be breathing hard the whole time, yet never go into oxygen debt.

c) Do one interval work out a week. You can do this at the local high school track but I find for climbing purposes an old school stair master machine is awesome. Set the resistance to your correct weight. Turn up the speed all the way for 90 seconds then slow down and recover for 3 1/2 minutes, then go all out for 90 seconds, then slow down for 3 1/2 minutes. Aim to do 4 cycyles your first workout (20 minutes), increasing by one cycle (5 minutes) every other week or so until you can train for 45 minutes. If you are doing this right, no matter how fit you think you are, after 45 minutes you will be a puddle on the floor.

d) The above workouts are hard and will take a lot out of you; don't do any of these runs back to back, instead do short, easy 'recovery' runs in between. Aim to run between 30 and 60 minutes at an easy pace. Make sure to stretch well afterwards.

f) Don't neglect a good strength workout a couple times a week that involves core, upper body, and legs. Check out Bodyresults.com for some good hints.

d) Try to walk up a big hill (2000 - 3000+ ft elevation gain) with a weighted back pack once a week if you don't get out alpine climbing that week.

Have fun,

EB
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Postby Ze » Sun May 30, 2010 5:13 pm

I just want to add that if you have access to trails / dirt / grass, mix in running on those (especially when getting to longer runs). Much more forgiving than asphalt & concrete, and you'll be much more likely to sustain high mileage runs and reduce risk of injury.
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Postby CClaude » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:02 am

ExcitibleBoy wrote:I have been running competetively off and on for 26 years, the last 16 trail running, trail racing and ultra marathons. I can't speak specificially to your injury, but wiill offer my insights on training and using running to train for mountaineering.

1) Start off slow. Better to run too little and feel like you could run more than run too far and feel like you never want to run again.

2)Find some trails, preferably hilly trails and do many of your runs there. You will be less likely to develop stress induced injuries like shin splints. You will be more prone to rolling your ankles though, so buy some good trail running shoes which offer better foot protection and lateral stability. It is ok to walk the steepest portion of the hills; the best trail runners in the world walk the hills.

3) Don't run the same run every day. Variety is key. Aim to work into your schedule the following runs:

a) Do at least one long, slow distance (LSD) run a week. This is a run at least 90 minutes long where you keep your heart rate in the lower aerobic range. Sometimes called a 'conversational pace' you should be able to maintain a conversation with someone while running. You will probably have to work up to 90 minutes; aim to increase the length of the LSD by about 10% a week. Work up to doing 3 hour runs. There is probably no need to run for more than three hours unless you are specifically training to do an ultramarathon

b) Do at least one 'tempo' run a week. Aim to run for between 60 and 90 minutes at a 'race' pace. Since you are not planning on racing, you will need to figure out what this pace is, but you should be breathing hard the whole time, yet never go into oxygen debt.

c) Do one interval work out a week. You can do this at the local high school track but I find for climbing purposes an old school stair master machine is awesome. Set the resistance to your correct weight. Turn up the speed all the way for 90 seconds then slow down and recover for 3 1/2 minutes, then go all out for 90 seconds, then slow down for 3 1/2 minutes. Aim to do 4 cycyles your first workout (20 minutes), increasing by one cycle (5 minutes) every other week or so until you can train for 45 minutes. If you are doing this right, no matter how fit you think you are, after 45 minutes you will be a puddle on the floor.

d) The above workouts are hard and will take a lot out of you; don't do any of these runs back to back, instead do short, easy 'recovery' runs in between. Aim to run between 30 and 60 minutes at an easy pace. Make sure to stretch well afterwards.

f) Don't neglect a good strength workout a couple times a week that involves core, upper body, and legs. Check out Bodyresults.com for some good hints.

d) Try to walk up a big hill (2000 - 3000+ ft elevation gain) with a weighted back pack once a week if you don't get out alpine climbing that week.

Have fun,

EB


I agree with doing a Tempo run and an interval session each once a week once you have a base. Once you can comfortably run consistantly aim at quality over quantity. Once you get a base from which you can work from.


I agree with ALMOST everything that ExcitableBoy has said. Personally, I disagree with the three hour run though. Ninety minutes to two hours should be the most, most people should need to do. If two hours don't make you tired you should be increasing the pace during those two hours. There is not many things most people do that they need to do three hour training runs. While I worked at Guidant (now Abbott Vascular) in Santa Clara, California, I used to run with a coworker at noon (and he was the SECOND best runner of the group), but I don't remember Alex Tilson doing runs like that when he he set the US 50K record, when the US record was faster then the world record. I fell out of touch with him but would talk about helping Alex out when he wanted to break the 100K world record.

Also on top of the strength training Excitableboy suggests, strongly consider hip flexor and extensor exercises and knee strengthening exercises with a bosu ball. Explainations of the exertcises can be found on the web far better then I can explain them. Studies have shown that strengthening the flexors/extensors will decrease the rate of running related injuries.
Last edited by CClaude on Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Joe White » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:41 am

CClaude wrote:
ExcitibleBoy wrote:I have been running competetively off and on for 26 years, the last 16 trail running, trail racing and ultra marathons. I can't speak specificially to your injury, but wiill offer my insights on training and using running to train for mountaineering.

1) Start off slow. Better to run too little and feel like you could run more than run too far and feel like you never want to run again.

2)Find some trails, preferably hilly trails and do many of your runs there. You will be less likely to develop stress induced injuries like shin splints. You will be more prone to rolling your ankles though, so buy some good trail running shoes which offer better foot protection and lateral stability. It is ok to walk the steepest portion of the hills; the best trail runners in the world walk the hills.

3) Don't run the same run every day. Variety is key. Aim to work into your schedule the following runs:

a) Do at least one long, slow distance (LSD) run a week. This is a run at least 90 minutes long where you keep your heart rate in the lower aerobic range. Sometimes called a 'conversational pace' you should be able to maintain a conversation with someone while running. You will probably have to work up to 90 minutes; aim to increase the length of the LSD by about 10% a week. Work up to doing 3 hour runs. There is probably no need to run for more than three hours unless you are specifically training to do an ultramarathon

b) Do at least one 'tempo' run a week. Aim to run for between 60 and 90 minutes at a 'race' pace. Since you are not planning on racing, you will need to figure out what this pace is, but you should be breathing hard the whole time, yet never go into oxygen debt.

c) Do one interval work out a week. You can do this at the local high school track but I find for climbing purposes an old school stair master machine is awesome. Set the resistance to your correct weight. Turn up the speed all the way for 90 seconds then slow down and recover for 3 1/2 minutes, then go all out for 90 seconds, then slow down for 3 1/2 minutes. Aim to do 4 cycyles your first workout (20 minutes), increasing by one cycle (5 minutes) every other week or so until you can train for 45 minutes. If you are doing this right, no matter how fit you think you are, after 45 minutes you will be a puddle on the floor.

d) The above workouts are hard and will take a lot out of you; don't do any of these runs back to back, instead do short, easy 'recovery' runs in between. Aim to run between 30 and 60 minutes at an easy pace. Make sure to stretch well afterwards.

f) Don't neglect a good strength workout a couple times a week that involves core, upper body, and legs. Check out Bodyresults.com for some good hints.

d) Try to walk up a big hill (2000 - 3000+ ft elevation gain) with a weighted back pack once a week if you don't get out alpine climbing that week.

Have fun,

EB


I agree with doing a Tempo run and an interval session each once a week once you have a base. Once you can comfortably run consistantly aim at quality over quantity.

Personally, I disagree with the three hour run though. Ninety minutes to two hours should be the most, most people should need to do. If two hours don't make you tired you should be increasing the pace during those two hours. There is not many things most people do that they need to do three hour training runs. While I worked at Guidant in Santa Clara, California, I used to run with a coworker at noon (and he was the SECOND best runner of the group), but I don't remember Alex Tilson doing runs like that when he he set the US 50K record, when the US record was faster then the world record. I fell out of touch with him but would talk about helping Alex out when he wanted to break the 100K world record.

Also on top of the strength training Excitableboy suggests, strongly consider hip flexor and extensor exercises and knee strengthening exercises with a bosu ball. Explainations of the exertcises can be found on the web far better then I can explain them. Studies have shown that strengthening the flexors/extensors will decrease the rate of running related injuries.


good stuff here...and add in regular stretching into the mix would be helpful....
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Postby battledome » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:49 am

Tempo runs are great and all... but we're talking about someone who has a history of over-use injuries.

Forget quality workouts like intervals, tempo runs, and long runs for the time being. The best thing to do is to start SLOW... painfully, embarassingly slow. Waddle, don't run. And don't do many miles. Never increase mileage by more than 10% per week.

Work up to 20-25 miles a week, and stick with it for 6 months before you do any tempo training at all. It may seem like a long time, but if you're planning on being a runner for the long haul, 6 months is nothing.

If you are patient, you can enjoy running for a long time... if you're impatient, you'll just wind up hurt.
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Postby jniehof » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:13 pm

Couch to 5K is pretty much my religion...give it a shot.
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Postby chugach mtn boy » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:22 pm

ExcitibleBoy wrote:d) Try to walk up a big hill (2000 - 3000+ ft elevation gain) with a weighted back pack once a week if you don't get out alpine climbing that week.

Given the injury history you describe in the OP, you'll want to be careful about working your way up to this, and about how you do it. I suggest you don't do it on stairs (use a mountain--the stride is more natural for the knees) and that your weights should be gallon jugs of water so you can empty some or all of them before descending.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:07 am

Start with Power Walking.
When you're ready, throw in some jog-walk-jog-walk...
You'll know when it's time to move into jogging, and running.
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Postby battledome » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:05 pm

KristoriaBlack wrote:Nine weeks to work up to running 3 miles!!!! That can't seriously be necessary.


I recently started over after a layoff of 3 months due to the birth of our first child. I started at 9 miles - three days @ 3 miles each. Then I built by adding 10% (or a little less than 10%) each week. The big thing for me is to take rest breaks every four weeks. You can't build week after week with no recovery unless you're a 19 year old.

I'd recommend at least 6 weeks at 20-25 mpw before you start thinking that you have enough base for quality workouts. And then, I'd only add one quality workout at a time - either a long run or speed work.

Maintain that quality workout for 6-8 weeks, then slowly introduce another. I always think it's safer to build a long run before adding speed... but lots of 5kers do speed first.

I know that this seems ponderously slow, but a conservative approach will ensure that you don't get hurt again. It's better to only run 9 miles a week than to run 0 miles because of an injury.
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Postby WouterB » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:04 pm

Although they are in Dutch, these schedules are incredibly good and easy. You should be able to understand most of it without too much trouble. If you need one translated, I'd happily do it, but I'm not translating all of them for the fun of it.

0 tot 5 km in 7 weeks
0 tot 5 km in 10 weeks
0 tot 5 km in 12 weeks
0 tot 5 km in 14 weeks
Schedule to maintain 5 km
Schedule for 5 to 10 km
Schedule for 10 to 15 km
Interval training
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Postby Scott Wesemann » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:38 pm

I started running about a year ago to get into better shape for mountaineering and a year later I am totally hooked. Like you I hadn't done much running since high school, so I was starting in decent shape, but not great.

I started doing 2 mile runs about 3 times per week and then slowly just started adding miles. I would say the most important thing is to listen to your body and do what feels right. If you're doing too much your body will let you know.

Also, be very careful with hill work. I started running a lot of trails and noticed that the more I was running up and down hill the more issues I had with my knee (ITB) and that required me to strengthen my hips and start stretching more, as well as rolling my ITB with a foam roller.

Another helpful tip is to do as much cross-training as possible. You will be surprised (I was) by how much you use other parts of your body, like your core in running. Develop a training program that involves core, strength, and cardio training. Again, listen to your body and don't overdo it.

Trails trails trails!! The road beats you up, plus running trails is more adventurous and fun. I usually incorporate running with hiking and climbing where I can.

I'm now running 20+ miles at a time on trails and absolutely loving it. It is almost as addicting as climbing and I think I will be doing it for the rest of my life.
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