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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Run -Tips&Training plan

I was 295lbs when I started 'running' on the treadmill....OWIE! BUT POSSIBLE!

I was 265lbs when I "COMMITTED" TO BECOMING A RUNNER! My Goal was to build an endurance of 3 miles. Thinking 3 miles of fitness could represent a healthier person and give me a fitness base I could be proud of.

So I won't hurt, my lungs burned, I could barely run a minute and I felt fat and unworthy.

I started in January 2010 in the winter which meant dedication to the treadmill.

Where my fat arse would run next to pretty skinny girls and athletic men. Where I felt embarrassed for even waddingly fat self and shaking all my jiggles for everyone un-enjoyment. Boy...see the negative thoughts that went through my head.

They go through yours too, don't they?

If not good~! If so, Please STOP! Don't let that stop you. As a thin/fit person I LOVE seeing a big person on the treadmill striving and working hard toward change.

Maybe you were one of the lucky people that I've walked up to and said "you know, I see you running and I just want to tell you Good Job and Keep going, I too was where you are now" and I spit out 'great job' to complete strangers on the track...regardless of size!

No matter your Pace you will be a runner!

I started my runs at 4.5-5.3 depending on how I felt.

I run/walked an entire 5k 3-4 days a week for 3 months till I taught myself how to run.

I developed a Training Plan (loosely) as Part of a Sports Coaching Management Class I took in college and I'm going to forward that to you today.

Please understand beyond just getting out of your own way mentally, know that you are challenging yourself and this mental strength is what will define you in your running adventures. This test of strength can encourage and inspire your own self. Be prepared to rock the core of true strength inside your heart/sole/body as your body begins to tell you "what the FUCK are you doing to me" cause believe me when you are overweight/obese you are doing more than the thin person trying to lose because you my friend are carrying all that extra weight and it makes you that much more powerful and stronger ♥ Respect!

When you feel weak and you want to give up and you feel you need to vent or talk, e-mail me, talk to me, talk to others, find a running partner go crazy with running talk and just let yourself explore and feel what you need to but DON'T EVER STOP RUNNING...KEEP TRYING! I promise you it does get easier!

I have my amazing husband who inspired me ......and he was there for me and I talked his ears off and he talked mine off too. What a great support. If you can find your spouse to be your running partner, let me just tell you...UH-MAZING experience for the both of you! Whether you have been together a short time or a long time(16 years with my runnerboy) it will be just another thing to bind your love and commitment together closer ♥

SHOES- if your knees hurt, you are likely wearing the wrong shoe. Please get fitted at a local foot store, you may need stability and that will reduce your risk for injury, this is hard enough don't hurt yourself. P.s. even if they fit you and they still don't work and you are getting foot/arch/ankle/knee pains PLEASE, I BEG YOU PLEASE take the shoes back and try another pair. You should NOT have any pains! aches and some soreness from the running/weight but never in wanna say "owie" pain! Got it! Fleet them they are GREAT!

REST- I know you are excited but take time for those muscles fibers to repair themselves! something I still have to tell myself and my husband has to knock in my obsessed runners brain!

ICE- feeling sore/achey, use that ice baby!

SELF MASSAGE- get a foam roller, buy the 'stick', use your hands, make your significant other do it ( I do....BOOM!) You will massage the ache, loosen the muscle, increase the blood flow, work the water off your muscles and reduce inflammation!

Learning to breathe comfortably when you run is a task for all runners learning to run or trying to get faster!Head up,shoulders relaxed,spine tall start w/ brisk walk concentrating on breathing fully,pick up pace trying to hold the same breathing pattern,you'll be amazed how if you pay attention and try you can control your breathing.You can count or pay attention to the number of strides you take per breath to help you.Some may find it easier to inhale w/ 3 strides and exhale with 3 strides.

I have so much more information now to follow if you want to read!

I hope you succeed in your Running :)

♥Connie's Novice Running Training Program♥

So You want to become a Runner? You keep hearing about how wonderful the sport of running can be. You actually might be asking yourself “what is all the hype about?” There are certainly many physical and health needs that are met when you become a runner, but most importantly what each runner learns is mental strength and the amazing mental self awareness gained through training. As I help you to condition to a level in which you can run a 5k you will learn earning this foundation of mileage can propel you into longer distance running and offer you an amazing fitness base. When you begin this training program I want you to remember that you will struggle greatly but it’s the place of struggle that you will find yourself. You will build strength, endurance and a greater capacity for cardiovascular activity. You may even become to discover things about yourself that you never knew existed and if this happens then you will have tapped into a true running passion, one of which I hope you can run with for the rest of your life!

Before I give you a training program to follow, first let me offer you some interesting facts about how your body actually operates and exactly what is required from your body in order to achieve success in the sport.

Did you know that:

- The power to move comes from 640 muscles in your body

- The engine of your body - the heart is an amazing muscle that beats about 100,000 times a day

- The circulatory system fuels the muscles and body parts, removes carbon dioxide and lactic acid (which are by-products of running)

- As you become a runner (especially a distance runner) your circulatory will become highly efficient and your blood will pump twice as much blood per beat than an average person.

It’s important to note that in order to perform any sort of aerobic activity your body will need energy. Most the energy in our body comes from foods we eat. This food turns to chemical energy that fuels the muscles in the form of glycogen. As your begin to learn to run your body will learn to store and use fuel more efficiently. Your cardiovascular/respiratory/hormonal systems will become more efficient with delivering oxygen and fuel to the muscles and remove carbon dioxide and other wastes such as lactic acid.

So How do you Start, you might be asking! I first want to begin you with training yourself to increase your energy and muscular fitness prior to race season (or perhaps you have an idea of very specific race you want to begin training for! Just be sure you can give yourself at least 3 months if you have never run before to prepare for a 5k) The act of running is indeed very simple. There is not to much attention that needs to be focused on anything of real concerns as you begin to build up your strength and cardiovascular endurance. Those acts within itself are the first and only real challenges. You will follow a simple routine which includes the following: Warm Up- Stretch- cardio- cool down - stretch.


I want you to always include a warm-up on your work-out days. A warm up will be a walk slowly into a light jog- gradually increasing the pace to a middle intensity. The benefits of warming up will allow your body temperature to increase gradually, the blood will begin to flow through the muscles, you will gradually build your heart rate, increase the rate of nerve impulses that affect the efficiency of your muscle movements as you run. Warming up will allow all of these great benefits as well as reduce your risk for injury.


Stretching your muscles only after your warm up. Just as crucial as in any part of your new running lifestyle. It’s a must. I want you to warm up with a walk for at least ten minutes prior to your run/walk routine. Once you have warmed up your muscles I want you to focus on gently stretching your muscles and work on your range of motion. This is something I always want you doing and focusing on as a warm up and cool down. Remember to breathe normally, do NOT bounce your muscles, hold each stretch on both sides for 30 seconds at the edge of discomfort in the muscle (but no pain).

Here as some visual stretches to help you maintain flexibility and reduce injury: Repeat each stretch two or three times:

1. Wall Pushup #1

Stand about three feet from a wall, feet at shoulder width and flat on the ground. Put your hands on the wall with your arms straight for support. Lean your hips forward and bend your knees slightly to stretch your calves.

2. Wall Pushup #2

From the previous position, bend forward to lower your body to waist height. Bring one foot forward with your knee slightly bent. Lift the toes of the front foot to stretch the muscle under the calf. Stretch both legs.

3. Wall Pushup #3

Put your feet together, rocking back on your heels with your hands on the wall and your arms straight to form a jackknife with your body. This stretches your hips, shoulders, and lower back.

4. Back Scratch

Grab your elbow with the opposite hand and gently push the elbow up and across your body until your hand reaches down to "scratch" your back. Gently push on your elbow to guide your hand down your back as far as it will comfortably go, stretching your triceps and shoulders. Stretch both arms.

5. Hamstring Stretch

Lie down with one leg straight up in the air, the other bent with foot flat on the ground. Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot, and gently pull on the towel as you push against it with your foot. Push only to the point where your muscles contract. Stretch both legs.

6. Quadriceps Stretch

Kneel on your knees (without resting back on your heels). Lean back with your body erect and your arms to the side. Hold for 15 seconds.

7. Heel To Buttock

Stand on one foot, with one hand on a wall for balance. Hold the other foot with the opposite hand and raise the heel of the lifted foot to the buttocks (or as close as comfortably possible), stretching your quadriceps. Keep your body upright throughout. Change legs and repeat.

& 8. Hip & Lower Back Stretch

Sit on the ground with your legs crossed. Lift your right leg and cross it over the left, which should remain bent. Hug the right leg to your chest and twist the trunk of your body to look over your right shoulder. Change legs and repeat (i.e. looking over your left shoulder).

9. Iliotibial Band Stretch

Lie on your side with both legs bent in running position. Bring the bottom leg toward your chest and then bring the top one back toward your buttocks, so that the running position of your legs is exaggerated as possible. Hold for 30 seconds then flip sides and repeat.

& 10. Hamstring & Back Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hug your shins to your chest to stretch your hamstrings and lower back.

11. Bridge

Lie on your back and, with your feet flat on the ground, lift your hips up until your body forms a flat plane. Repeat this one ten times for 30 seconds each to stretch your quads and lower back.

12. Groin Stretch

Seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward and gently press your knees toward the ground.

Cardio- Running

Monday- Cross Train- cardiovascular activity (spinning, swimming, elliptical)

Tuesday-rest & stretch

Wednesday-run/walk for 40minutes, leg strength training

Thursday-rest & stretch

Friday - run/walk for 35 minutes

Saturday- muscle strength training & stretch

Sunday- run/walk for 45 minutes

It’s crucial that when you run, walk you will be working at your own pace and at your own discretion. I want your intensity to be more about endurance over speed. This will reduce your risk of injury. I know you likely have the desire to be fast but first I train you on distance and not time. The best earned part of running- is listening to yourself and learning that YOU control how much you want and can give to your individual work-out. There is a freedom to running that I want you to learn to take ownership of. I am not going to tell you how long or far you should run on those days. As a new runner you will be learning that you will endure good moments in running where the legs and body feel amazing and in sync with another. You will also endure days when you will run/walk where you will legs that feel like lead and your energy levels are depleted. This is normal and to be expected. This is called training for that reason! So how do you know if you are putting in enough effort or perhaps too much effort? The answer is to learn your target heart rate. When you wake up in the morning I want you to measure your resting heart before rising. Now in order to find your maximum heart rate take 220 and subtract your age in years. If you are 30, your Max HR is then 190. I want you to train at no more than 70% of your Max HR. When you walk and run. I want you to begin to set mini goals for yourself in your run/walk routine. If you ran for 15 minutes on your last run, I want you to add a few minutes to increase your endurance. You are in the drivers seat and you will take ownership of your level of effort. As you have learned to run at least 25-30 minutes there are some key components that I want you to begin to concentrate on more completely and they include: breathing, holding your head up and keeping your shoulders slightly back.


Take the time to cool down properly. I know we live in a past paced life, but we need to remember in order to become a physically fit person we need to take care of ourselves, each step is equally important. Your cool down after your run will include a fast paced walk down to a steady slow walk. The gradual decline in pace will allow your body to remove lactic acid from your muscles to aid you in recovery, reduce muscle soreness, reduce the risk of blood pooling into the lower body that can cause you to become light headed or dizzy. Be sure to stretch our your muscles in this phase as well as it will return the muscle to optimal length and aid in recovery to reduce muscle soreness.

You may reach the ending of your training season, fully capable of running a 5k easily enough where you feel you want to move forward with increasing your physical fitness to include further distance. Or perhaps you will have reached this level of physical fitness feeling happy in your new energy levels, your decreased health concerns and feel like you would like to maintain this fitness level. As with all physical fitness you will need to continue with working at the level at which you have trained yourself. If you begin to discontinue training you can easily de-condition yourself. The outcomes of your physical training will include: improved use of oxygen in your muscles, body fuel efficiency, increased size of muscle fibers, increased number of capillaries feeding your muscle blood (oxygen), more efficient respiration, heart pumps blood more blood and decreases your resting heart rate, improved body composition, stronger bones/tendons/ligaments/tendons.

Advanced Pre-Season-Peak Season Training

As you progress in your training I would like you to consider the following running techniques to gain further endurance and faster speed in the next phases of your training. Please continue to run 3-5 days a week, incorporating at least one of the following running training techniques below. Gradually increase either your time/distance by 10% each week. Every couple of weeks, taper down your runs to allow extra time for recovery.

Pace/Tempo training-

Interval Training-shorter distance, higher intensity training session. Run at about 85-89% of your max HR. Each burst lasting about 1-2 minutes then switching it up to run even faster for 90-95% of Max HR to work the anaerobic system.

Fartlek Training-This is my Golden Ticket to you to get out there and just have some FUN! Running is supposed to be fun and with a word like “fartlek’ you can surely have some fun when you tell people you went out and run one today! Fartlek is a Swedish word for Speed Play. Slower exercise with bolts of speed intervals followed again by slower speed. It’s a form of active recovery and you will greatly find that through time with Fartlek training that you will begin to recover with a faster pace (if you want!)

Sprint Training-

Fuel Yourself

It’s important to note that in order to perform any sort of aerobic activity your body will need energy. Most the energy in our body comes from foods we eat. This food turns to chemical energy that fuels the muscles in the form of glycogen. As your begin to learn to run your body will learn to store and use fuel more efficiently. Your cardiovascular/respiratory/hormonal systems will become more efficient with delivering oxygen and fuel to the muscles and remove carbon dioxide and other wastes such as lactic acid. Since you are a new runner and you will be training in the aerobic energy systems its important to note that your body will create enough energy for your to fuel your run through the foods you eat and extra fat storage in the body. Your energy fitness will increase through time and endurance. There are new rules for when you advance into lactic acid threshold hold training and that can be further discussed.

Fitness Testing:

Before you begin my Running program I would like for you to take a few simple fitness tests to determine your fitness level. At the end of the 3months (or after you have achieved the goal of running an entire 3.1 miles non stop) I want you to re-take these tests to evaluate your progress.

Sit and Reach Test: after a warm-up sit down, legs extended to your front. With a yard stick between the legs; measure the distance at which you can bend over and reach with your finger tips. Do not bend your legs. Write down your measurement, re-evaluate after training program to determine progress.

50 Yard Test : create a 50 yard course, warm-up, start the sprint and record your time. Re-evaluate after the training program has ended.

Stair Sprint Test:

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