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Who does a bit of running on the side?

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  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    norvernrob wrote:
    ......Although I haven't done a run for so long (in fact it's longer than I thought - I helped my mate train for the army when we were 19, I'm 38 now so 19 years without running) I've been a postie for 18 years so walk 7-8 miles a day including today - walking up all the stairs in the flats was ok, walking down was interesting :lol: so it's not like I work in an office all day then suddenly decided to do some exercise.

    The difficult thing for me now is fitting in running with cycling, I train on the turbo/go for a ride 3 times per week so realistically I'll only be able to fit one run in and have enough recovery days - hopefully that will be enough to get used to it as I really enjoyed it.
    Ah, your high volume of walking is probably making a big difference. I was starting to suspect you of being an 18 year old, then read you were within a year of me. That sounds like a very impressive start to running regardless. I hope you enjoy it.

    Combining sports has become a bit of a challenge for me recently too. I've done lots of duathlons and some adventure races in the last few years but never took them very seriously. Essentially I've been a mediocre cyclist who can run a bit. However I've signed up for a marathon in April and a half Ironman at the end of this summer. I've never run more than a half marathon before and have never done a triathlon. So at the moment I'm trying to increase my running endurance while maintaining some bike fitness and learning to swim again after a layoff of about 28 years (when I was 10 or 11). In reality the bike is getting a little neglected for the time being. 3 runs, 2 swims and 2 cycles a week is fairly demanding when you previously only did 3 or 4 cycles, only one of them a long one.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,410
    Well I certainly won't be doing any triathlons or ironman events that's for sure! Kudos to you for those, I am tempted to enter a duathlon in March which is a 4.5k fell run, 6k road run then 30k on the bike. My main target though now I've realised I actually like running is to do a 10k in under 50 minutes within a few months.
  • Hi, I find this interesting as I've approached the issue from the opposite direction, being a runner for decades but only taking cycling relatively seriously (i.e. road bike, riding over 40 miles in one go) in the last 5 years.

    Running is still my main sport in terms of training (around 50 to 70 miles per week) and competing - anything from 5K up to half marathon plus the odd bit of cross country.

    The point made already is a good one - the cardiovascular system and muscle group/biomechanics involved are two different things. Cycling will develop the first but not the second. I recognise this as I can power up hills relatively comfortably (small, light frame) and recover quickly but find it difficult to keep the power going on the flats.

    The biggest differences are in the impact involved and the use of core and upper body for stability and forward movement. Running easy and/or off road (trains versus tarmac) until the system adjusts may help.
  • prhymeateprhymeate Posts: 792
    Thanks again for the replies. I've been for 4 runs now, the first three being 2.5 miles and the last one 3miles. For the last three runs I have done 1min running and 30seconds of walking, which has been so much better for my legs compared to the first run and they feel fine the following day.

    I'll gradually increase running time and reduce walking time, although the idea of completing either distance without stopping even a couple of times seems pretty distant for now. I can feel my ankles/feet almost tiring and feeling heavy towards the end of the last few 1 minute run segments.

    This might be a stupid question, but does anyone have any basic tips on running style? I hadn't really thought about how to run, I've just gone and done it. I'm not running around like a headless chicken, but are there things I should be an eye on, such as my posture etc?
  • handfulhandful Posts: 917
    The best advice I can give is small steps and if you want to go faster try to do so by quickening your stride without lengthening it by much. Your choice of walk/run wouldn't work for me, I repeat my advice from earlier in the thread, set yourself a time target to run however small and try to stick to it even if it means slowing to little more than walking pace. Then gradually increase the time. You will be amazed how much further you will run in the same time after a few runs.
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  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    prhymeate wrote:
    Thanks again for the replies. I've been for 4 runs now, the first three being 2.5 miles and the last one 3miles. For the last three runs I have done 1min running and 30seconds of walking, which has been so much better for my legs compared to the first run and they feel fine the following day.

    I'll gradually increase running time and reduce walking time, although the idea of completing either distance without stopping even a couple of times seems pretty distant for now. I can feel my ankles/feet almost tiring and feeling heavy towards the end of the last few 1 minute run segments.

    This might be a stupid question, but does anyone have any basic tips on running style? I hadn't really thought about how to run, I've just gone and done it. I'm not running around like a headless chicken, but are there things I should be an eye on, such as my posture etc?
    Sounds like you're doing fine.
    I think the run/walk approach is very wise for getting started. You can gradually shorten the walk portions as you get more comfortable maintaining the run. In reality it probably won't take long at all before you're comfortable running continuously but there's no rush. I did something similar when I got started. Part of the reason ties into your second question about running style. Not a silly question at all, in fact an unusually good one. Most people seem to think running is running and don't worry much about technique until they get competitive. Now's the time to develop good habits!
    I agree with the previous post - don't overstride. Keep your cadence up and your steps short. This can feel odd at first but again you get used to it very quickly. The aim is to land mid-foot or slightly to the front of the foot with contact with the ground being made beneath you not out in front of you. This also reduces vertical movement (bouncing?) and heel striking (landing heel first). Some people get away with heel striking can cause problems and makes you very dependent on heavily cushioned running shoes - which I've come to despise!

    When I started running first time around in 2008 I just got out and ran worrying only about distance and pace. I was using typical thick heeled, motion control running shoes intended for mild over-pronators as directed by the gait analysis guys at the local running shop. I was running with a fairly low cadence and I'm sure I was heel striking badly. I ended up with knee problems and despite several attempts to re-start running my knees kept causing problems. That's how I ended up cycling instead. I loved cycling and stuck to that for a few years and then gave running another try on the side. When I started running again in 2012 I decided to try minimalist shoes. I did lots of reading up on "barefoot" running before I started so I had a good idea of the pros and cons and what to be careful of getting started. I used Merrell Trail Gloves (and still do) which have no cushioning just a thin rubber treaded sole and there's no rise from the toe to the heel. Initially these felt strange, though not unpleasant, but they definitely forced me to run with higher cadence and avoid heel striking because you can feel the ground and you know to some degree by feel when your technique is clumsy. Heavily cushioned shoes don't provide that feedback and allow you develop bad habits without realising it. Plenty people run fantastically well in conventional running shoes but I think it's despite, not because of them. Anyway, you need to take it very slow starting off with minimalist shoes as your feet, achilles and calves need to do some adaptation. So I started off walking short distances of say 2.5 or 3km with a run of 400m or 500m in the middle for the first session. Then I added a couple of hundred meters each outing until I was running more than walking. After a few weeks I was mostly running and I increased the distance. Then I was running non-stop. While this sort of approach is pretty much essential with minimalist running it' a good idea for newcomers to running too, especially if you're past your no longer a kid.

    The shorter run periods allow you concentrate on your technique and avoid you getting fatigued and losing form. You can think about what you're doing during your walk segment and then tweak the next run or experiment with posture and pace. After a few outings when you start stringing together longer run segments or running the whole session non-stop, you'll have developed an awareness of how you run and some good habits that will stay with you.

    In summary, my (non-expert) advice would be:
    - Take short fast strides aiming to make contact with the ground beneath you, not ahead of you.
    - Concentrate on picking your feet up behind you rather than pushing off (sounds odd but i found it worked well).
    - Aim to land mid foot or slightly on the fore-foot when cruising, You'll automatically move to the fore-foot when you sprint.
    - Run/walk intervals are IMO a better way to start than a very low paced continuous run which tends to foster poor technique.
    - Enjoy yourself. Don't make it too much like hard work and don't worry too much about pace initially.

    I don't know if you wanted all that but perhaps it's useful! :wink:
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    On the topic of running style, I would suggest having a look at chi running. There's some good explanatory videos on You Tube. Basically, it involves learning how to run with a mid-foot ground strike and bent knees while leaning forward slightly instead of landing on your heels and leaning back with locked out knees. The theory is you can run more efficiently without jarring joints and getting injured. It was originally developed by ultra running specialists to help them run hundreds of miles without getting tired or injured but is a good technique for shorter runs as well. My wife went on a day-long chi running course and was impressed. Now I've started using chi techniques and I think they work.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Mercia Man wrote:
    On the topic of running style, I would suggest having a look at chi running. There's some good explanatory videos on You Tube. Basically, it involves learning how to run with a mid-foot ground strike and bent knees while leaning forward slightly instead of landing on your heels and leaning back with locked out knees. The theory is you can run more efficiently without jarring joints and getting injured. It was originally developed by ultra running specialists to help them run hundreds of miles without getting tired or injured but is a good technique for shorter runs as well. My wife went on a day-long chi running course and was impressed. Now I've started using chi techniques and I think they work.
    Yes the Chi running technique is pretty much the same as what I've been doing although I don't like the way the Chi guys describe stuff and their poor grasp of physics. It may achieve the desired running style but some of their claims are simply inaccurate (specifically their suggestion that leaning your whole body forward slightly gets you free energy from gravity - nonsense. It just maintains balance. If they talked about it purely in terms of ideal posture that would be fine but the energy stuff is silly and scientifically indefensible)
  • Thanks, that's some great advice and I really appreciate it. I'll take a look at some of the chi running videos and try and concentrate a bit more on my style. I'm aware that small habits can make quite a difference in cycling so I'm keen to try and pick them up early on. I don't enjoy it as much as cycling, but I do enjoy it and it's nice to have a difference exercise to do that is a bit more accessible during the winter after work.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    prhymeate wrote:
    Thanks, that's some great advice and I really appreciate it. I'll take a look at some of the chi running videos and try and concentrate a bit more on my style. I'm aware that small habits can make quite a difference in cycling so I'm keen to try and pick them up early on. I don't enjoy it as much as cycling, but I do enjoy it and it's nice to have a difference exercise to do that is a bit more accessible during the winter after work.

    Best of luck with your running. Just increase distance and pace gradually and maybe try to work in a few hill reps and intervals to vary your training. Consider doing park runs. And, even better, try entering a race. Most running clubs offer volunteer-run races locally at a fraction of the price of commercial races which I think, like some sportives, can be a bit of a rip off. Improving your performance by training and then testing yourself in a race is really addictive!

    I went for a 30-minute run yesterday in the ice and snow of the Welsh/English border hill country where I live. I passed a chap on a road bike caked in muck and salt gingerly descending a treacherous frozen road and was so glad I'd left my bike at home.

    As for chi running, I'm not qualified to comment on Ai's criticism of the physics behind it - my professional training is in writing, not science - but I am an experienced and quite successful competitive runner and believe the style and techniques recommended by chi running instructors are well worth considering as a way of avoiding injury and being able to run further with less effort.

    It's sad that so many cyclists think of running as a chore or something that they would never be able to do. It's a bit like cyclists who hate going up hills. If you can overcome the psychological barrier and have a go at it, you could well find you love it.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I've found that when I'm hammering the turbo - I don't get a lot of time to run - but my running speed is good. Probably cos I've a good few years of running and the cycling helps me improve my cardio system ?
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Yeah you have to be careful going from cycling to running if you don't have a history in it.
    Yesterday for example I went out and my lungs could carry me faster than my body was capable of. Everywhere was sore and I wasnt going too mad either.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,033
    Didn't fancy turboing this evening, too icy to cycle outdoors, so did a nice 14km run to get a bit of fresh air - that's why I like running :)

    5:22min/km, despite some icy pavements.
  • mid-foot striking (not heel striking) has its merits. although drastic form changes can also cause injury. just take it easy. build up slowly. conversation pace for 30 minutes. once that gets easy throw in some hills. change up the terrain, grass is nice on the joints.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    jordkl wrote:
    mid-foot striking (not heel striking) has its merits. although drastic form changes can also cause injury. just take it easy. build up slowly. conversation pace for 30 minutes. once that gets easy throw in some hills. change up the terrain, grass is nice on the joints.
    I'd start with a lot less than 30 minutes if you're changing your style drastically.
  • My 2p worth in relation to style at the outset is just run how you feel most comfortable. There are aspects of the 'ideal' style that you may want to try out - e.g. having your foot strike the ground immediately under your body, relax arms at the shoulder and allow them to move freely to counterbalance your stride. But generally your body will find the most efficient style for you.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    My 2p worth in relation to style at the outset is just run how you feel most comfortable. There are aspects of the 'ideal' style that you may want to try out - e.g. having your foot strike the ground immediately under your body, relax arms at the shoulder and allow them to move freely to counterbalance your stride. But generally your body will find the most efficient style for you.
    I disagree
    Many, many people, especially those starting running later in life, do not naturally develop a comfortable and efficient running style. If we started running as kids in bare feet and kept it up throughout our lives this might well be true but running in shoes of one sort or another, often designed to alter feel and movement, and starting off as adults with preconceptions about what running looks and feels like and how fast we should be going, I don't think we can or should have confidence that we'll automatically adopt the best style for ourselves.
    It's a nice idea but I don't believe it's true for adult runners, especially in conventional running shoes.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,410
    I went out for my second run after work this afternoon, I didn't realise I was running quicker than last time until I got home - 6.2km in 29.30, legs are a bit tight so I've given myself a massage and will ask the mrs to give me one (ooeeer :lol: ) later after a hot bath.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/250300635

    Running slowly just isn't working, I do it for about 10 seconds then get bored silly and have to run at a pace I feel is ok. I'm the same with cycling, bimbling along just isn't my thing.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    To stop yourself getting bored, you can try a few training tricks to boost speed and fitness. Fartlek is a good way to start. Find a target such as a tree or lamp post and sprint to that, run easily for a while and pick another target. For a really tough workout, try 30:30 intervals. Warm up by jogging gently for five minutes and then do 10 minutes of 30 secs hard, 30 secs easy, and then warm down for five minutes. I guarantee you will find that exhausting. Once you get more proficient, try a second set of 30:30 intervals. Finding a companion to run with can also ease the boredom.

    Road running can be a bit dull unless you are concentrating on a training plan. But running off-road is a lot more interesting and puts less strain on your body. I've just come back from a one a a half hour run with the dog over high moorland just across the border into Wales and back. It was such a joy to run in crisp snow, ice and frozen ground with blue skies and glorious views all around. The exercise rush and fresh air have put me in a really good mood even though I wasn't pushing hard. I used to work in a town but it was quite easy to find interesting mixed terrain routes to run in parks and footpaths after I'd finished for the day.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,410
    ^^^^^Thanks, there is a valley just behind my house that the Trans-Pennine trail runs through so I'll have a run up there and have a look at a new route.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Unless you find yourself getting injured - I'd not bother changing running style. I know barefoot was trendy last year but you have to transition very very very slowly. Real baby steps.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    norvernrob wrote:
    ^^^^^Thanks, there is a valley just behind my house that the Trans-Pennine trail runs through so I'll have a run up there and have a look at a new route.

    You obviously live in fell running country. To my mind, that's the best running there is. The fell racing scene is friendly and informal, races are cheap to enter and the feeling of satisfaction in being able to run in such terrain is immense. Yes, it's really tough, but I always motivate myself by thinking that although I'm suffering, everyone else is as well. All you need are a pair of fell running shoes. And lots of fell runners are also cyclists.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I really like trail running/mountain running. Like Mercia Man, I find it much more enjoyable than the road. The inconsistent terrain keeps your concentration focused and also stops you getting sloppy as you have to maintain your balance and adjust your stride constantly. I think perhaps it does your core some good too.
    Unfortunately most of my running in winter is after dark. I suppose I could get a head torch but as yet I haven't tried running trails in the dark, plus I have fewer nearby than I used to having moved last summer. Must go look for new routes.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    cougie wrote:
    Unless you find yourself getting injured - I'd not bother changing running style. I know barefoot was trendy last year but you have to transition very very very slowly. Real baby steps.
    If you're already a runner I'd agree. However, as I mentioned above, I don't think we necessarily have natural running styles worth maintaining!
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    Mercia Man wrote:
    norvernrob wrote:
    ^^^^^Thanks, there is a valley just behind my house that the Trans-Pennine trail runs through so I'll have a run up there and have a look at a new route.

    You obviously live in fell running country. To my mind, that's the best running there is. The fell racing scene is friendly and informal, races are cheap to enter and the feeling of satisfaction in being able to run in such terrain is immense. Yes, it's really tough, but I always motivate myself by thinking that although I'm suffering, everyone else is as well. All you need are a pair of fell running shoes. And lots of fell runners are also cyclists.

    Thought I better clarify this. If you do decide to enter a fell race (and I highly recommend it) you will not be allowed to run without special kit. The rules were tightened up this year. Depending on the category of race, you will need waterproof hooded jacket and overtrousers, hat, gloves, compass, map and emergency food.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,410
    Mercia Man wrote:
    norvernrob wrote:
    ^^^^^Thanks, there is a valley just behind my house that the Trans-Pennine trail runs through so I'll have a run up there and have a look at a new route.

    You obviously live in fell running country. To my mind, that's the best running there is. The fell racing scene is friendly and informal, races are cheap to enter and the feeling of satisfaction in being able to run in such terrain is immense. Yes, it's really tough, but I always motivate myself by thinking that although I'm suffering, everyone else is as well. All you need are a pair of fell running shoes. And lots of fell runners are also cyclists.

    Two of my riding buddies are actually mainly fell runners and their 'bit on the side' is cycling. And yep, in Sheffield close to the Peak District so definite fell running country!

    I just don't know if I have the time to commit to much and not affect my cycling. I've got a 3 year old with another on the way and we both work full time, so it's going to be tricky to do both.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    I find cycling helps my running, and running helps my cycling. The advantage of running is it doesn't cost much money and it's relatively easy to fit in a useful 30-minute running session after work, in the lunch hour, or in the dark - times when most people would not want the bother of getting out on a bike. I'm retired now but I used to find running a great way to work off all the stress and hassle of a day at work. Now in my life of leisure, I exercise five or six days a week and my main decision is whether to run or cycle!
  • ai_1 wrote:
    My 2p worth in relation to style at the outset is just run how you feel most comfortable. There are aspects of the 'ideal' style that you may want to try out - e.g. having your foot strike the ground immediately under your body, relax arms at the shoulder and allow them to move freely to counterbalance your stride. But generally your body will find the most efficient style for you.
    I disagree
    Many, many people, especially those starting running later in life, do not naturally develop a comfortable and efficient running style. If we started running as kids in bare feet and kept it up throughout our lives this might well be true but running in shoes of one sort or another, often designed to alter feel and movement, and starting off as adults with preconceptions about what running looks and feels like and how fast we should be going, I don't think we can or should have confidence that we'll automatically adopt the best style for ourselves.
    It's a nice idea but I don't believe it's true for adult runners, especially in conventional running shoes.

    Thanks. I accept that's your opinion and experience. But I know plenty of runners who have tried to conform to an ideal style of running and ended up in pain or injured because biomechanically it wasn't right for them.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    I did my first two runs in 6 months this week in prep for my first 5k park run today.

    12th overall with a 19.10

    Bit depressing that I am potentially a better runner than rider on no training.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    AK_jnr wrote:
    I did my first two runs in 6 months this week in prep for my first 5k park run today.

    12th overall with a 19.10

    Bit depressing that I am potentially a better runner than rider on no training.

    Congratulations. A great time. I wouldn't be depressed if I could run that quickly. But I bet you'll feel a bit stiff by Monday! You've clearly got the physical ability. I'm sure you could get down to even quicker times at 5k and longer distances with structured training. Enjoy your ability at running as you get better and better. I know some on this forum would disagree, but my feeling is that cycling and running are a great combination.
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