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  • Posted: 8 Mar 2015 19:06


    I have decided that I am going to take up running. Largely because I want to increase my fitness level and not give up eating cakes and biscuits!

    I went for my first run this morning and managed 17 minutes at a slow to moderate jogging pace. I am going to try and build it up little by little. I have been told that the best thing to do is interval train while running (change pace every few minutes). Does anyone have any general advice on getting going or recommend any running apps or sports watches to help with training?
  • Posted: 8 Mar 2015 19:11

    Re: Running

    I used to run and loved it, even though it's not the best choice of exercise for someone with arthritis. Lots of people I know use the Couch to 5k app, and Fitbits are really popular now as well. I used to alternate running and walking, although I timed how long I could run for using a basic stopwatch, I wasn't training for anything specific so I never measured distances or anything. I just ran til I was thirsty, then I stopped at Starbucks :)

  • Posted: 8 Mar 2015 19:39

    Re: Running

    Firstly, good on you! The first run is always the worst, it's great that you're motivated!

    Interval training is brill to boost cv fitness and help your body move more economically, you'll find it helps improve your aerobic capacity quite quickly. If you have access to a treadmill then it's easy to do interval training, especially simulating hills. However, it's even easier to do interval training outside.

    The intervals depend entirely on you. For example, I usually jog x 1 minute, run fast x 1 minute, jog x 1 minute then walk x 1 minute and repeat. However, as my strength and fitness improves I tend to drop the walking minute and just run/jog.

    Google "fartlek". It's a Swedish word meaning speed play, it's so simple. While out running you simply say to yourself "I'm going to sprint to that lamppost in the distance", you're basically using landmarks and listening to your body to make the intervals as long or as hard as you want.

    Short/fast intervals will improve your overall speed if you're planning on entering races, and longer intervals of speed will improve your endurance and overall aerobic fitness. Along with interval training, don't forget to do normal paced runs to consolidate.


    As well as interval training, doing strength exercises in the gym or at home will also improve your running ability and technique. And don't forget to stretch before and after!!!


    Do you have a local Park Run? If you're not familiar with these then it's a 5k run held every Saturday morning in loads of locations round the country. You can take it as seriously or not as you want! I find they're good for motivation, you get all ages/shapes/sizes and there's real camaraderie. At the start of each run there's a presentation where t shirts are given out for milestone runs. And afterwards they give out cake! It's a timed run so you can check your time after and aim to improve the next week.


    With regards to apps I use Strava and Nike+ on my phone. I use them both as I prefer Strava for stats and Nike for the lady who tells me how great I'm doing and how far I've gone.


    I use a Garmin forerunner10 watch, it's quite basic as I'm not very advanced. It tells me everything I want to know though, time/distance/split times. It doesn't give you heart rate but I'm not too fussed about that.


    Have a look at for some good running articles.

    Good luck!


  • Posted: 8 Mar 2015 20:13


    Thank you to you both. Really helpful advice. Going to look into those apps and also Fitbit. I have heard of Parkrun but think I will have to work up to that standard! Will look up the interval training too.
  • Posted: 8 Mar 2015 20:17

    Re: Running

    Another one for parkrun, you'll be able to find one near you on the website. If it's anything like mine the people running it have set it up for people like you and are full of helpful local info, encouragement and advice. 

  • Posted: 8 Mar 2015 22:08

    Re: Running

    NHS Couch to 5k app and Parkrun...and invest in some specialist running trainers and some twin skin socks!

  • Posted: 8 Mar 2015 22:17

    Re: Running

    There is Nike training which my daughter does.....

    Along with 5Ks

  • Posted: 9 Mar 2015 6:14

    Re: Running

    I started couch 2 5k last year and found it really achievable, would definitely recommend it. 

    I had zero fitness too!

  • Posted: 9 Mar 2015 13:30

    Re: Running

    Park Runs are fantastic and dont be put off with whatever level of fitness you think you are, I currently have an achilles injury so can only walk the park run each week, but still with plenty of incouragement from other runners.  I use both Strava and Runn Keeper via my phone.

  • Posted: 10 Mar 2015 23:38


    Thanks for all the advice. Went on my second run this evening and managed 22 minutes at a jogging pace speeding up to running for a few minutes at intervals with a minute walk mid way through. Managed to go 2.4 km according to my app. It's actually easier than I thought. Have downloaded the Couch to 5k app but might start it at week 4. Very pleased with myself and it's actually quite good fun! You lot have inspired me.
  • Posted: 11 Mar 2015 15:28

    Re: Running

    Fabulous to hear, Helen. Glad you've got the bug!

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