Well, most days.
In the past two and a half years, I went from someone who huffed and puffed after a quarter-mile to someone who has ran a handful of 5ks and 10ks, three half-marathons, a 10.5-mile trail race and a 16-mile trail race. I'm someone who's training for a fourth half-marathon and looking toward a full.
And despite thousands of miles logged, I'll be the first to admit that I am not an expert.
Just wanted to put that out there before I answer your running questions.
Robyn asked: I am planning my training schedule, and for the first time have a speed goal, not just "survive a marathon without dying." I have the long, slow run thing pretty much down. But how fast are you doing your weekly short runs, intervals and tempos, relative to your goal pace?
I am sort of ashamed to admit this but I totally wing it when it comes to running on a pace. For tempos, I run comfortably hard and for intervals, I do almost all out. Wouldn't recommend it.
What would I recommend? McMillan Running Calculator. The site allows you to input your best time, and it will give you paces for different workouts. It's best to have a race, such as a 5K to use, to give you numbers but you can also use a goal time.
For example, I'm training for the Martian Half-Marathon in April. I could put in my best half time (1:54:12) but I was at peak fitness and had trained to go sub-2. I will not be going sub-2 this time, not 9 months after a baby. I think my realistic goal will be 2:10, 2:05 if I'm having a good day. For a 2:10 half, I should be doing long runs at a 10:58 to 11:58 pace; weekly short runs at 9:56 to 10:13; tempo intervals at 9:31 to 9:56; and 400 repeats at 2:03.5 to 2:10.6.
Notice I said should.
When I was training for my sub-2 half, I did most of my long runs far faster than I should have because I was doing them with Mark. Also, my intervals were far faster than dictated because I was so nervous about meeting my goal. Most coaches would not suggest this, and I'm pretty lucky that my body held up and I didn't get injured.
Anonymous asked: I started training for a 5K on December 1st (I started the Couch to 5K program). Just this past week I started jogging for 25 minutes...straight! Albeit at a 3.8 mph pace. But that's okay. I've only jogged outside once though (on a trail by my house). The rest of the time I've been on a treadmill. To be honest, I'm scared to death to run "in the real world" (on the roads). I'm so self-conscious. Did you feel that way when you started running/jogging? Do you have any tips for me to overcome this feeling?
Yay for you! It doesn't matter how fast you go as long as you go. Twenty-five minutes is no joke.
I was definitely self conscious when I first started running. Even as a more experienced runner I wondered what people thought. I wondered how much my butt jiggled or how slow I looked.I wondered if I had the right form or had the right clothes. One day, when I was running at the track in 900 degree weather, I stripped down to sports bra and shorts. I was so self conscious because I have extra skin and not flat abs. After spending one too many minutes worrying, I decided that people could snark if they wanted but I was the one out there. I was the one running and doing the best I could do.
No matter what you do, people will judge you. Let them judge you for doing something good for yourself.
Leah asked: This is slightly off topic, but, have you ever had any issues with your knees that prevented you from running when you first began this journey? Or did you wait to run until after you'd lost some of the weight?
People are going to hate me but I have been very lucky to run pain free. Sure, I've had my fair share of aches but nothing crazy. My biggest problem was shin splints and runner-up was knee pain. I noticed that things got better as the weight came off (I didn't start running till I was in the 180s) and after getting good shoes.
It's so important to invest in yourself and go to a specialty store where they can fit you for shoes. Good support and cushion, in my opinion, are vital for a beginner, and shoes from Kohl's or even Dick's won't provide those.