Getting fit

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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 19th, 2006, 5:14 am

OK, the time has come again where I'm thoroughly disgusted with how out of shape I am, so I'm going to start my running programme. I did this for the first time years ago when I hadn't exercised for... well... years.

Brian and I were living in different countries then, but we did it together, anyway, and after each run reported back to each other and complained how hard it was, or how good it felt, etc. It was very motivating to do it with someone else.

I've done the programme many times since then and think it's excellent. There are lots of these "C25K" (Couch to 5km) programmes out there. I like this one because it builds up very slowly and one only has to commit to 30 minutes' time every two days.

Alessia and I both decided to start today, and I'm sitting here with my running gear on, and wondering if anyone else would like to join in. If you do, please post below!

-----------------------

The programme lasts for 10 weeks. You go out every other day, always for 30 minutes in total. At the end of the ten weeks, you can run comfortably for half an hour without breaks (around 5km/3 miles).

Notes: You should always warm up by walking briskly for 5 minutes. "Run" here means a slow jog, really - you should be able to talk without getting out of breath, or sing along some music, or do language programmes like I do. "Walk" always means brisk walk.

Equipment: trainers, running gear (t-shirt and jogging bottoms will do - don't dress too warmly!), a stop watch or a watch with second hand that you can watch to time yourself.

Week 01: Run 2 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 6 times.
Week 02: Run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times.
Week 03: Run 4 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Week 04: Run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Week 05: Run 6 minutes, walk 1.5 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Week 06: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Week 07: Run 9 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Week 08: Run 13 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
Week 09: Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 2 times.
Week 10: Run 30 minutes, walk 0 minutes

If you've never done any sports at all or are very overweight, you may want to start by doing these two build-up weeks (again, going out every other day):

Build-up week 1: Walk *briskly* for 30 minutes
Build-up week 2: Run 1 minute, walk 4 minutes. Repeat 6 times.

--------------------------

Other notes: Make sure you drink plenty of water before you go. For this short distance, it's not necessary to take water with you. Also, drink at least half a litre (2 large glasses) of water when you get back, to re-hydrate.
Obviously, you shouldn't run on a full stomach.

If you have any medical conditions or haven't exercised for a while, you should consult your doctor.

OK, I have procrastinated enough now and will actually go out for my run!
Last edited by Gesine on February 4th, 2008, 4:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Stephan
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Post by Stephan » February 19th, 2006, 7:47 am

i started yesterday again too. I didn't do anything for the complete winter.
Last year my peak jog was 2 hours - yesterday the 20 minute jog totally exhausted me. It's a pity how fast you can loose your fitness by sitting around. Sitting must be bad bad bad for the health.
I?ll be with you gesine and post, whenever i was jogging. You will motivate me greatly too.

I wish my mom would do as you do for her health. But she won?t get her butt up. I am pestering her all the time, and i proposed to go with her too. 5 minutes at start and slowly advancing. You can so greatly increase your "feeling" in day-to-day life. But to no avail. :(

When i started to work-out, it felt so good not to be out of breath at the top of the train-station-stairs anymore. And you always feel your strengthened back. You can stand longer and stand more stable and move differently. It just feels so good, its totally worth it. Not to mention the rosy shine on your skin. :wink:

A good idea too is to use one of those heart-rate monitor watches for jogging / cycling / workout people. You can often get them at the fuel- or coffee station around the corner. It's not because you wanna become a fitness-junky but because you wanna do it sanely.
Thing is they will most probably totally change the way you train. Before i had one of them, in my young eagerness, i ever jogged WAY WAY WAY too fast, on sport-medical terms. This heart rate monitor showed me that i was exceeding the senseable hearrate of 160 bpm the whole time, ever. And i was shocked, really shocked, at how SLOW i had to go to be in 160bmp. Even when i don?t wear it anymore i now jog differently and more senseable. I recuperate faster and feel "fresher" afterwards. I also think the training effect was better that way.

And now for a fresh start....into spring.
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RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 19th, 2006, 9:25 am

Heart-rate monitors can be an invaluable tool in helping to get fit. When I was training for my Denali expedition last winter, I used it religiously at the gym, on winter climbs and any time I was doing physical exertion. We've all seen the heart-rate monitors built into treadmills, stair-stepper and elliptical runners at the gym but most people don't really know what they mean.

As Stephan has pointed out, we tend to crank our heart-rates up higher than is necessary during exercise, depending of course on your goals for the exercise. To have a basis for what zone you need to be in, you have to know what your maximum heart rate is. This is a fixed number set by genetics and your level of fitness does not influence it.

There are three general categories of heart-rate performance: fat-burning (lower range), aerobic (mid-range) and anaerobic (higher range). Gesine's plan would be one that starts out with interval training of fat-burning/aerobic and builds toward aerobic. Extending the running (or jogging) period up to an hour is going to put you into periods of anaerobic.

When I am out on alpine climbs, I am often on the go for twelve hours a day while carrying a pack and gaining elevation. I will say that if you have the chance to incorporate stairs or hills into your jogging program, you will see remarkable progress. Hill climbing (especially while carrying a load) will whip you into shape faster than any other type of exercise.

A good book that I've used in the past to understand heart-rate zone training is: Sally Edwards' Heart Zone Training

Alas, I too let myself get out of shape this winter. It is the first winter in many years where I did not lead winter climbs or go up any frozen waterfalls (I usually have headed up to Banff/Canmore in Canada for that pleasure). But I did take a brisk three-mile walk through Discovery Park yesterday with my son and it was he who was breathing hard on the upslopes and not I!

So I guess I might join in on the fun here!
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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 19th, 2006, 9:31 am

Oh super Stephan, I'm so glad you posted! I went out today and I'm pretty knackered (which is good). I started in week 5 of the programme because I figured I still had enough 'residual fitness' left in me. The first 5 minutes were so easy that I was tempted to run on, but on the last 5 minutes I could hardly make it. I definitely started out too fast - one always does. Running is all about pacing oneself.

Brian has a heart-rate monitor - he stuck with it after our first programme (whereas I'm on and off) and has run marathons by now. I run with my Pimsleur language programmes - every few seconds one has to repeat a sentence or word. If one runs too quickly, it shows straight away. In the beginning, to keep the heart rate down, the speed resembles crawling more than running!

Pity about your mother. I say the same to mine. Even the time argument ("I don't have time to exercise") doesn't wash, because everyone has 30 minutes every other day.

The mean thing about it is that *until* one starts exercising, one feels this great reluctance to do anything - there's always something more enticing to do. This, although one *knows* that one will have more energy, feel better, get fit, healthy, lose weight, improve skin tone etc etc. It's amazing.

Well, I'll go and enjoy my endorphin high now... :) Tomorrow is a rest day, then I'm off again.
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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 19th, 2006, 9:42 am

Great, Robert! (We posted at the same time) I'd love to try alpine climbing. My family always went to the seaside for holidays. Once I went to a holiday camp in a valley in the mountains, and hated the claustrophobic feeling. Much later, a friend took me on a hike from hut to hut in the German/Austrian mountains (we crossed the border up there, a little gate in the middle of nowhere). It was exhilerating. I was doing martial arts at the time and had been training for a belt, so I was very fit.

I've also once tried an indoor climbing wall and that was great fun, too. Excellent for overall fitness, combined with some aerobic exercise.

Usually with the running programme I build up to 30 minutes in 5 or 6 weeks (could do it more quickly but find it more beneficial to build up slowly - I don't want to feel exhausted all the time), then increase up to 40-60 minutes about 3 times a week, with a longer run every now and then. Since I started doing my language programmes, I enjoy it even more - takes away the drudgery and allows me to find time for something I also want to do. The lessons are 30 minutes each, so it's a perfect fit! :)
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Stephan
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Post by Stephan » February 19th, 2006, 10:18 am

Thanks for this thread, gesine, i just went out again. Second time this year. I think this is the start.
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pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 19th, 2006, 11:50 am

I don't run anymore, Gesine, because I have continuing pain in one hip. But I do go on the treadmill every other day and walk fairly fast on a varying incline. I started (again) last June and have built up quite a bit. (I was doing more of a slant, but it was contributing to my hip pain, so I moderated it.) I'm now doing 68 minutes at a time. After that, I do stretches, weights, and other strength-training exercises.

I would do more if it weren't that I get very tired when I overdo it, and there's this stupid hip. I've been to the doctor about it, and I think it's getting better, but I'm reluctant to do anything to jeopardize that situation.

Funny thing, about 4 years ago, I was running and doing major hikes. Just a few years later I am able to do quite a bit less. Probably it's as you say: when you've got a buddy doing it, you tend to do more. My husband exercises intermittently, so that isn't working for me right now.
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marlodianne
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Post by marlodianne » February 19th, 2006, 12:18 pm

Gesine wrote: running gear (t-shirt and jogging bottoms will do - don't dress too warmly!),
:lol: It was -20C yesterday! Plus wind chill! Not only was I freezing in sweaters and winter coat and mittens, I had an asthma attack just walking from the library back to the car.

(cold and wind are one of the many triggers that will make your airways suddenly turn off, when your lungs are toast)

For those who can't get outside, or are self-conscious or whatever, I suggest: just dance.

No special training, no lessons, no rules, no equipment. Just get alone in a room, turn up the tunes, and keep moving for 20 minutes to a half an hour. Slow or fast, it all counts as long as you're moving. Sip water as you go, 500 ml to 1 litre, at least. But sip it over time, so you won't have it all sloshing in your stomach. Ew, 'cause that never feels good. :P
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kri
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Post by kri » February 19th, 2006, 1:17 pm

marlodianne wrote:
Gesine wrote: running gear (t-shirt and jogging bottoms will do - don't dress too warmly!),
:lol: It was -20C yesterday! Plus wind chill! Not only was I freezing in sweaters and winter coat and mittens, I had an asthma attack just walking from the library back to the car.

(cold and wind are one of the many triggers that will make your airways suddenly turn off, when your lungs are toast)

For those who can't get outside, or are self-conscious or whatever, I suggest: just dance.

No special training, no lessons, no rules, no equipment. Just get alone in a room, turn up the tunes, and keep moving for 20 minutes to a half an hour. Slow or fast, it all counts as long as you're moving. Sip water as you go, 500 ml to 1 litre, at least. But sip it over time, so you won't have it all sloshing in your stomach. Ew, 'cause that never feels good. :P
Hey Marlo, that's a great idea. It's just as cold out here, so running is not such a good idea, especially since some of the cold is windchill. Man I know how that is to be standing facing a gust of wind, and just not being able to beathe 'cause the wind makes it impossible. Not sure how that works but it does.

I spend a lot of time at home while my fiance works...perhaps that's my way to get back into shape. Man I so miss how fit I was when our car was broken, and we had to walk everywhere. The winter's over, so I don't have that excuse to not be in shape anymore. Plus, I miss dancing!!

Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 19th, 2006, 4:03 pm

Minus 20C! Can thin-skinned animals survive in such cold? ;) Actually, I know there is a big running community in Alaska - they race regularly, too, in the winter - all dressed in hats and gloves and such, and with spikes on their trainers!

Still, I don't like running in winter. It's only because it's starting to get warm here now that I'm getting into gear once more. During the winter I become a slob, even here where it never gets colder than 13C.

Today I dressed in long (very thin) trousers and a thin, but long-sleeved, technical shirt. Brian warned me it would be too warm, and he was right - the sun was glaring down and I over-heated, which added to my exhaustion. In Catholic Malta, taking off one's shirt isn't really the done option for a girl (even if wearing a non-bra-like bra, if you see what I mean), so I suffered and cursed myself...

Paula - treadmill counts! :)

Thanks for posting, everyone. This is very motivating.
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kri
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Post by kri » February 19th, 2006, 4:32 pm

Gesine wrote: In Catholic Malta, taking off one's shirt isn't really the done option for a girl (even if wearing a non-bra-like bra, if you see what I mean), so I suffered and cursed myself...
See now, this is what people who aren't used to cold weather (and drastic changes in weather) don't learn. Layers girl!! Then you can take off your clothes, tie it around you and still be wearing clothes! Wear two (or three if it's colder) shirts that would equal the thickness of the shirt you'd wear without running. Then you can dress down as you warm up, without freezing in the beginning. It might stop your running but...what do I know I'm not a runner :)

Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 20th, 2006, 3:05 am

Ha! You're talking to a sailor here... do I know about layers... :D

Actually, I try to avoid layers for running, because one always has to lug the extra weight around... and every gram counts :D And in the UK I would have taken the shirt off. I was wearing one of these sports tops - they have them for yoga and aerobics and stuff like that. It would have normally constituted another layer but... not on a Sunday afternoon in Malta.

Good thing though, of course, layers. Especially when they're breathable and wicking.

My legs feel a bit stiff today... ah well, it'll get better.
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Stephan
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Post by Stephan » February 20th, 2006, 6:59 am

damn, jogging has been to cold for me yesterday. i am down. aching throat, dizzy, need bed.
to be honest it was just a matter of time, i wondered how i got through whole winter without flu. probably because i never was outside and with people. now flu demands late tribute.
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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 20th, 2006, 10:45 am

Oh Stephan, so sorry to hear that. Hope you'll feel better soon - take lots of pain killers... :)
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RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 20th, 2006, 10:49 am

Feel better, Stephan!

I ran the bluff trail yesteday at Lincoln Park along the Puget Sound.

Stats, including walking warm-up and cool down:
  • Distance: 3.5 miles
    Energy Expended: 1033 kcal
    HR Avg. 149 bpm
I'm mulling over renewing my gym membership now that rain is back in the forecast. Plus, you can get a lot of cardio done in a gym without worrying about getting hit by a car or catching the flu!
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