Fitness
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Do you have to run for a long time each time?  For example, I have never been very good at running. I can do a combination of walk and jog, but not straight running. I would really like to be able to do more running as my main cardio workout as well as for toning my legs. Well, last night I went for a jog around my neighborhood and jogged straight for 7 minutes...my best time so far, LOL! 

After my straight jog, I did walk and jog combination for about 10 minutes, and then I did some plyometrics in my driveway and then some leg workouts inside, for a total 35 minutes.

I felt pretty good with the jogging I did, but at the same time, I feel like if you don't jog or run for longer periods, that it won't be really effective. I am really going to work on increasing my time, but would like to know that even doing 7-10 minutes a day or every other day, along with some other exercise, will be enough to help me burn some of the fat around my stomach and thighs =)

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there's nothing wrong with seven minutes, but you can definitely go longer if you slow down. you can also use intervals to build up your endurance. trying running three or four minutes, walking one, and repeating four or five times.

running is mostly mental. once you can run for 20 minutes without stopping, there are no limits to what you can do.

I am so glad you asked this question!
Go to Google immediately and type in Couch to 5K Cool Runnings, cool runnings being the website it's on.

It starts you off easy, it's free, it's a guaranteed nine weeks of a structured fitness plan, but only three days a week, and it seriously changed my life. I used to be lucky if I could run a half a mile in 15 minutes (okay, walk a half mile, I'll be honest), but at this point I can run almost 17 miles a week by running 35 minutes 5-6 days a week (about 2.85 miles in 35 minutes, including a warm up and cool down walk).

If you don't like the walk run suggestions given above, try this to increase your distance/time running: Start with tiny steps, almost running in place, and get your breathing in rhythm with your steps, in a 2-2 ratio (breath out for two steps, in for two). After a few minutes of that, you should still feel totally comfortable like you could do it for a long time. Then increase the length of your stride a bit, but keeping the same rhythm with your breath/steps. You'll feel the need to take deeper breaths at this point, but should still be able to keep going in relative comfort. If you increase your step length too much, you will feel that you aren't getting enough air, and should shorten them up some (back to your comfort level).

The reason that this works is that breathing deeply, 40-45 breaths a minute, is a good breathing rate for many people, and you should be able to take at least 160 steps/min. If you feel the need to breathe every third step (1-2, or 2-1), you probably are "overstriding," taking too long/slow of a stride.

note: this doesn't work on hills!

I know what you are talking about. Right now I can run about 30-40 seconds before my stomach starts to bounce and pull hard on my back.

My routine is to jog a little longer, if I can, but keep up my speed while walking.

Just so you know, I am a smoker and about 125 lbs over weight, so just runing across the street in the crosswalk is an accomplishment for me.

My 2 cents of advise is do the best you can, a little more each time and before you know it you will be running for your entire work out and not even notice it. That is what I believe will happen to me. It took along time to gain the weight, it will take a while for the weight to come off, so slowly I will be able to run further and so will you.

Good luck and keep trying your best and you can accomplish anything.

I'm doing Couch to 10K (it's a 13 week running plan with 3/week runs). So far, I really like it. It's slow but the most important thing is pacing myself so my body doesn't rebel. I'm able to run on the treadmill for 30-45 mins straight but the ability to run on the TM doesn't necessarily translate to the outdoors. However, outdoor runners can run on the TM. I've decided that I wanted to become a runner (it's free and it's a great workout). Right now, I'm on week 3 and I'm looking forward to being able to run outside for 6.2 miles without walking.

Thanks everyone for the great advice!  I am happy with my "slow" jogging pace, and have been able to add 3 minutes to my last 7 =)

I understand that I will have to take baby steps and not over-work myself or my body.  I can't run everyday either for now, because I am headache prone, and all the pressure and jumping motion isn't good for my head.

One thing I noticed that helped was having music!!  I did much better when I had my husbands' Ipod with me, and also at night when it was much cooler than during the day.

I would have to buy some kind of pedometer maybe to be able to calculate exact distances as far as miles or whatever, because I have horrible mental GPS, LOL...

I looked at the couch to 5K, and I'm going to try that out....but not alone. I think it would be something fun to do with a buddy, so we can motivate eachother!!

Original Post by danetty757:

I would have to buy some kind of pedometer maybe to be able to calculate exact distances as far as miles or whatever, because I have horrible mental GPS, LOL... 

That's awesome that you've already increased it to 10 minutes. You're on your way.

As far as calculating distances, there are a number of websites that have free mapping available. I hope it's ok to post these links - I use them myself for mapping my runs.

www.gmap-pedometer.com

www.mapmyrun.com

www.dailymile.com

Among others.

Good luck!

The best way to get toned is with interval training, personally I prefer it on the treadmill, you can tweak your times, but you should try to do it 3 times a week and no more.. maybe just do your regular running on other days

basically what interval running is is sprinting for around 30 seconds then walking/jogging for a minute and going back and forth 3-5 times, its all about changing your pace and tricking your body, its why alot of basketball players are so ripped.

Original Post by itlstl:

The best way to get toned is with interval training, personally I prefer it on the treadmill, you can tweak your times, but you should try to do it 3 times a week and no more.. maybe just do your regular running on other days

basically what interval running is is sprinting for around 30 seconds then walking/jogging for a minute and going back and forth 3-5 times, its all about changing your pace and tricking your body, its why alot of basketball players are so ripped.

 While, yes, interval training is an excellent way to improve fitness. I would be hesitant to advise sprints to someone just starting out. A walk/jog interval training program (like the Couch to 5k) is a great way to start out for someone new to running but doing sprints or speed intervals can lead easily to injury.

In addition, doing speed intervals 3x a week can also be conducive to injury for even seasoned runners. When you've already begun to build up your running endurance, HIIT (what itlstl seems to be describing)  once a week or up to two times a week is a great way to build strength, speed, and fitness.

Basketball players are also seasoned athletes with Physical Therapists available at they're beck and call. Jumping right into intense activity is a recipe for injury.

Original Post by themachine:

Original Post by itlstl:

The best way to get toned is with interval training, personally I prefer it on the treadmill, you can tweak your times, but you should try to do it 3 times a week and no more.. maybe just do your regular running on other days

basically what interval running is is sprinting for around 30 seconds then walking/jogging for a minute and going back and forth 3-5 times, its all about changing your pace and tricking your body, its why alot of basketball players are so ripped.

 While, yes, interval training is an excellent way to improve fitness. I would be hesitant to advise sprints to someone just starting out. A walk/jog interval training program (like the Couch to 5k) is a great way to start out for someone new to running but doing sprints or speed intervals can lead easily to injury.

In addition, doing speed intervals 3x a week can also be conducive to injury for even seasoned runners. When you've already begun to build up your running endurance, HIIT (what itlstl seems to be describing)  once a week or up to two times a week is a great way to build strength, speed, and fitness.

Basketball players are also seasoned athletes with Physical Therapists available at they're beck and call. Jumping right into intense activity is a recipe for injury.

I dunno, haha, I'm not much of a runner either, I do work out quite a bit, but I hardly ever run and ive been doing intervals for the past few weeks no problem, i usually go up to 14 mph before im toast but i have gone from 11-15 once. meaning walk for 1 sprint at 11 for 30 seconds, walk for 1 sprint at 12 for 30 seconds, etc, I'm no expert but i think it would be okay as long as you dont overexert yourself, knowing your limits is important, I would think it would matter more on what the condition of your body is in, how old you are, if your overweight or not and how flexible you are, although i have to say my flexibility is pretty bad as well...

Wow, that does sound pretty extreme to me, too, itlstl!  You say you're not much of a runner but you can go to 14 mph!  You know that's a 4 min 16 sec mile pace!  Are you sure you're not mistaken?  For one thing, I've never heard of a treadmill that can go that high.

Ron

Yea, at my old gym they only went up to 12 but this xsport gym i just started at has ones that go up to 15, its only 30 seconds though for my last set so technically i might be able to go for a bit longer if i only ran at 14 or 15 from the beginning, but I dunno, for now I'm just going to use it for interval and maybe in a few years I'll be able to run a 4:30 mile, it would be pretty cool

i done my first run of 5.6 miles on sept 21st 2010 & it took me 1 hour 16 minutes but the other day i done a 7 mile in 56 minutes (huge improvement)

i started out at 15 stone 7 pounds now im 15 stone 10 pounds im heavier but thinner

http://runkeeper.com/user/ritson

Hey, when I started running, I could barely make it a full minute running, and the five minute recovery period just flew by. You build up pretty quickly.

But be careful. Running is very stressful on the musculoskeletal system: pounding on the joints, impact on the connective tissues, and large amounts of repetitive stress all add up. It takes about three weeks for your cardiovascular system to adapt, and upwards of three months for your tendons and ligaments. Your legs supposedly grow new capillaries for up to three years. So take it easy and pay attention to your body, and enjoy!

@cnichols2000

So how is it that when i first tried running last summer, i was able to run a total of 25 miles total, with little to no running before that?

Original Post by itlstl:

So how is it that when i first tried running last summer, i was able to run a total of 25 miles total, with little to no running before that?

 I'd say then you're probably a freak of nature - but in a good way!! I'm kidding but you probably have a very athletic background to begin with. Most first time runners have to start in small increments and work up slowly. Other people are frankly just "born that way".

For example: Those who's ancestors have lived in a mountainous region or high altitude regions for many generations are often born naturally with an increased lung capacity and larger hearts in order to function in a higher altitude (Napal or Tibet as an example). Thus when you put them up against one born to function at sea level, they naturally have a higher endurance and althletic ability because they're bodies are more efficient at getting oxygen to the bloodstream.

Original Post by itlstl:

So how is it that when i first tried running last summer, i was able to run a total of 25 miles total, with little to no running before that?

 You measured wrong.

Haha no way, I mean I'm sure mapquest isnt dead on but it had to be at least 20 miles total, the store i ran to was about 4 miles a way, and i ran there walked around ran back for 2 days during the week, and the other store i ran to was a mile and half and i ran there and back 3 times

Original Post by itlstl:

Haha no way, I mean I'm sure mapquest isnt dead on but it had to be at least 20 miles total, the store i ran to was about 4 miles a way, and i ran there walked around ran back for 2 days during the week, and the other store i ran to was a mile and half and i ran there and back 3 times

 If you ran 4 miles, then stopped running, then ran some more later, the first time you tried running your ran 4 miles.

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by itlstl:

Haha no way, I mean I'm sure mapquest isnt dead on but it had to be at least 20 miles total, the store i ran to was about 4 miles a way, and i ran there walked around ran back for 2 days during the week, and the other store i ran to was a mile and half and i ran there and back 3 times

 If you ran 4 miles, then stopped running, then ran some more later, the first time you tried running your ran 4 miles.

 Haha yes, that would be 4 miles. If you're althetic already, that doesn't seem unreasonable.

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