Running with Someone on Their First 5K

@Pigglies (9336)
United States
October 3, 2009 12:15pm CST
So I'm helping one of my friends train for a 5K now that she wants to do one, and I for once am the experienced one who has already been there and done that, lol. I think I may have started her out a little too fast though because she hasn't trained a whole lot and the 5K is still about 4 weeks away. This morning I took her out to run a continuous 3 miles, timed. She made it to 1.5 miles and gave up. She said she still feels like she can do it, but said running on a track was harder than she thought. I'm kind of concerned that she won't finish. She couldn't even walk an extra 1.5 miles, she just stopped. But there are still 4 weeks to go and I'm trying to remind myself that for my first 5K I only trained for 6 weeks. I went from someone who hardly ran ever in my life, to someone who could finish a 5K running the whole time. So 4 weeks should accomplish a lot. I think the track can be hard because you just keep seeing the same thing and wanting to quit. So I'm going to take her to a park trail of known distance next time I think. And next time the goal will just be 2 miles so that I don't discourage her.
2 people like this
5 responses
• United States
3 Oct 09
Brava! you have gone from a non jock to a runner to a trainer! Wish her luck for me.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Oct 09
Next thing you know I'll be inspiring you to run over the internet. ;) I think I was so out of shape before that now people are like, "if she can run, I can run!" LOL, sad but probably true.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 09
Sadly no. I am not into running. I must be getting the exercise I need at work because I am now the size I was when I was in highschool! I'll always be your cheerleader though. That's as close as I'll get.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
6 Oct 09
Well, you're doing better than me if you're the size you were in high school. I weight about 50 pounds more now than I did in high school. Maybe not that bad, but it's pretty bad!
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
16 Oct 09
how's the training going?
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
16 Oct 09
Right now not as good as planned unfortunately. It's been rainy here and while I still ran once in the rain, she would not go for that. She told me we'd end up sick. And while obviously the rain is not what made me sick, I hate that her point is somewhat proved. I feel like I'm getting sick with something and so I've stopped doing much of anything for the past 2 days just to try my best to not end up getting completely sick. Some jerk came to work with the flu which is all well and good for him, but not so good for the rest of us. I'm trying my best to fight it off! Provided I don't totally feel horrible on Saturday morning we may do a 2 mile run together. Well, actually the plan is that I'll do 4 miles and she'll do 2 (if she finishes early she can stretch or something, she doesn't actually take twice as long as me). I figured that if I'm alongside her, she wants to keep up and pushes too hard and then loses all of her energy. If we start at different points and just stay running on our own (it's a half mile loop course that I found), then we'll cross each others paths so I'll know she isn't lost, but she won't feel like she's slowing me down and needs to speed up. Oh hey, I thought of you when I was at that marathon bike tour... I finished in time to see the half marathon finishers. Some guy in the top 20 was barefoot, ran it in around 1 hour and 20 minutes. Crazy! The announcer joked how he'd never get a sponsorship from Nike.
@syndibee (799)
• United States
16 Oct 09
I just put my shoes on this week for my training. I stepped on another itty shard of glass that got stuck in my foot and it took me 4 days to get it out. I need to find a track to train on barefoot I think, but it will wait until spring as it's starting to get cool here now. I was talking to other barefooters and they were telling me pretty much to tough it out that it'll get better but I want to enjoy running, it doesn't necessarily have to be barefoot. I can't run in my vibrams though. My feet are real narrow and the toe compartments really pull apart my baby toe making it hurt. I'm back in my nike frees right now. Tomorrows run will be 8 miles I hope. Still hoping for a half marathon in Dec.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
17 Oct 09
Ouch, that sounds painful! I always want to try running barefoot on the track, but then I get grossed out because so many people spit on it. I have tried in my Vibrams though. Yeah, they do pull the toes apart and I wish the toe compartments were shorter for the little toes and longer for the big toe because I often get my toes bent back due to the weird excess. But I guess that would have to be too custom. My little toe eventually got used to it. But in the store I tried on the classics and it was horrible. Really pulled way too much. The KSOs aren't as bad on that but I'd rather have the classics. I've been in my Nike Frees mostly but now I'm thinking of getting the New Balance 800. It's made for landing midfoot and has more cushion which my feet seem to need to do more training. I'm somewhat thinking about doing a half marathon in January. And I'm actually crazy enough to want to do a marathon in March too! But only because I really really want to go through that course and they don't have a bike tour offered. Darn those people, lol. I am not sure I'm ready though or will be.
• United States
12 Oct 09
The first, crucial step to reaching a goal physically is to see your ability when starting training. Your friend only made it half the distance on their first attempt. The three essential aspects one must possess in order to complete a physical task are muscles, cardiovascular endurance, and a strong mentality. If your friend feels sharp, shooting pain in their muscles after running then it has to do with their muscles. If they feel like their heart and lungs are about to burst then it's a cardiovascular setback. Most importantly, if they say, "I can't do it," or anything of the sort during or after a workout session then they don't have the mentality. However, if your friend gives up because they are feeling extremely dizzy then it may not be their mentality. If they tell you that the environment around the is spinning, they are seeing stars, they suffer a sudden blackout or total loss of any of the five senses, then they should STOP! All of the above could be due to a few factors: 1. Dehydration; I've seen this time and time again with my friends and opposing competing athletes. Staying hydrated is the most important thing when taking part in vigorous activity. Water helps keep things moving. Without water your body will overheat and you will pass out. When running a planned 5K, like the recent Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure, there are usually designated areas where water is passed out to runners. This is to prevent runners from fainting and suffering minor brain damage as a result. So, when running for a prolongued period of time bring along a bottle of water. If you start to feel any of the above symptoms then you should drink water. However, don't wait for the symptoms to show up. Every few minutes you should be drinking water. You may not notice that you are sweating while running because the wind brushes it off but when you stop you should feel an almost immediate sensation of persperation. In short, DON'T FORGET WATER! 2. Cardiovascular system, Breathing is another fundamental part of running. Inhale through the nose, if allergies aren't preventing you from doing so, and exhale forcefully through the mouth. Exhaling shouldn't last more than a second. If it does you're breathing to slow. Some runners find it best to "breath with their feet." Basically, they breath in harmony with the movement of their feet. Two strides to inhale and two to exhale. This will vary between running pace and length of strides. If you aren't breathing properly then the oxygen supply to your brain and muscles will be in short supply and will lead to a painful collapse onto the pavement, track, gravel, or any other running surface you are running on. As I said before, a runner's mental state is the most important. If you think you can then you inevitably will. When I first started running I used to give up by slowing down or immediately stopping, like your friend. I have a feeling that he/she could've ran a solid two miles without stopping but they didn't have the mentality to perform it. Another important factor when running is to have a constant, steady pace. If you had your friend try to keep up with you then that's no good. They need to find their own pace. Start them off by running a mile timed then slowly improving it. Although it's only 1/3 the distance you're training for it's a much easier distance to find your personal running pace on. If your friend has enough energy to sprint that last 100-200m then they weren't running fast enough throughout. Maintaining a constant pace will give a better time than slowing up and speeding down at certain parts of a race. When training for an endurance type race you surprisingly don't simply run endurance-length paths. Anaerobic distances, like the 100m dash, are as equally important. This is to help build muscle AND train your cardiovascular system, (heart and lungs). So, one day that you train you should run a couple miles and the next day you train you should run 100-200m sprints. 6-8 sprints followed by a leasurely cooldown is good. Vary the sprint distances too. For instance, one sprint day you run 8 100m sprints then the next sprint day you run 6 200m sprints. Increasing distance: Your partner could only complete 1.5 miles the first run. The next time you run increase the distance. .5 miles added on per every two weeks is ideal. If they can increase more then great! Keep in mind, though, that their time per mile ratio should be consistant every increase in distance. For instance, if they ran 1.5 miles in 12 minutes the first time you trained and ran a 2-mile run in 20 minutes after the first two weeks then they didn't run hard enough the 2nd time around. DON't FORGET!!!!! Warm up and stretch before performing your training. A warm-up should consist of approximately 5 minutes of slow-paced jogging, or powerwalking if you aren't in good shape, followed by 5-10 miuntes of stretches. A warm-acts as a means of waking up your body. It gets the blood flowing and everything ready for exercise. It also relaxes the muscles so that you can stretch them more easily. If you stretch muscles without warming up you're risking pulling or tearing a muscle, which could take weeks to heal and, in more serious cases, requires surgery. Don't forget to stretch before AND AFTER every exercise session. After finishing your running session you should follow it up with a 5 minute cooldown and a brief stretching session. The cooldown allows your heart rate to get back down to your normal, resting heart rate. This will prevent your heart from pumping to much blood to your muscles and brain. When your muscles and brain get too much blood they stress and become inoperable. This means that you risk fainting if you don't perform a cooldown. After a cooldown you should stretch your muscles. This will reduce pain and soreness later and keeps your muscles loose. If you don't stretch after a race then your muscles could become really tight later that day and that's no fun to go through. This is all the stuff I've learned from taking courses in fitness and health and from some of my athletic trainers, one who won a silver medal in the Olympics! Good luck to both you and your friend. :D
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
13 Oct 09
Thank you so much for this excellent and very detailed advice! I am kind of worried about that "I can't do it" attitude as you mention. Because I will push myself, but I think she isn't trying as hard as she could right now. This week our "long" run together will be 2 miles, and so that she doesn't try to speed up (before I let her set the pace, but with me alongside so I think she felt bad and tried to speed up), I am going to take her to a looped walkway so that she can stay behind and never end up getting lost but not have to worry that she's holding me back (which I don't really mind, since it's nice to have a slow run every so often). I'll try to get her to do some more speedwork on her own. That is a smart idea, and she'll do that too I'm sure because she loves shorter distances. I wonder how breathing through your mouth affects your body while running? I ask only because with myself, I cannot breathe through my nose. I never have been able to. A doctor once told me if it bothered me, I could have a surgery to correct that because it's just a bone that blocks it. But I didn't really want to have surgery unless I needed it.
• United States
13 Oct 09
I'm glad to hear that you're willing to help someone else with something that benefits them so much!:P If she is trying as hard as she can but isn't able to complete the distance then it's obviously a physical hinderance. While running alongside her don't forget to encourage her. Things like, "It's just another lap", or "You're almost done," always helps, especially when you've just started training. As for breathing through your mouth/nose: I've seen a lot of runners that inhale and exhale through their mouth and it's fine. It's better for you if you inhale through your nose but if you can't then you aren't missing out on a lot. Oh, I almost forgot, when you/she is running sprints, it's best if you don't wait longer than a miunte between sprints. With too much time between sets you're body doesn't get the full benefit of each sprint. Lastly, I'm sure you know that diet is also key when it comes to obtaining and maintaining a heightened physical state. So, don't forget to keep the carbs high. Foods like pasta, etc. always help with keeping energy up. Since complex carbohydrates are then main source of energy when performing long distance runs it's good to make sure that they included in your diet. Eating meals with high amounts of carbs the night before a run will really help as well. Again, good luck with training your friend, from one runner to another. :D
@GardenGerty (118117)
• United States
4 Oct 09
It sounds as if you are traoining yourself to be a trainer. That is a good thing, as it will also help you analyze your own running.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Oct 09
I don't know about that... but I have been trying to catch my mistakes early. I was disappointed when I couldn't do barefoot running. But I still learned a lot about better footstrike from that experience. With my friend right now, my main goal is just to help her complete all these miles. She sort of thought that 3 miles was shorter than it really was.
• United States
3 Oct 09
4 weeks, it can be done! Just add .5 miles a week and she will be there. Let her take a walking break every once in a while. After the first 5k that she runs, maybe she will get more committed and really want it. I think it's good to take her off the track, which is too repetitive and boring. And working it up with only 2 miles is good too! Good luck, coach!
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Oct 09
That's the crazy thing, when she stops she just stops. I'm totally not used to that, because for me I will stop running but then I could walk forever. Maybe she just needs a much slower pace. I know she is worried about being last place, but I told her since it is a running and walking event that really there isn't a danger of that. There always seem to be a couple very overweight people at these things so there is going to be someone who takes well over an hour. I'm estimating my friend could do at least 45 minutes or less. Do you think once a week is enough training for her? Or should I try to push her to train another day on her own?