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Now what?
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Shayna
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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:33 pm    Post subject: Now what? Reply with quote

I ran cross-country in high school, but I didn't run at all in college until a few months ago. So I took about 2 years off, got fat, and decided to take it up again. I've worked up to running 2-3 miles straight without any discomfort or injury, and I am definitely feeling more healthy! But now I am wondering where to go from here...

On my high school cross-country team the general idea was "more is better," but I ended up really hurting my body and getting burned out. I like the running I have been doing, and I don't want to get stagnant with just running the same workout every day, but I also have no interest in training for any type of big race. A 5K would probably be the furthest I would want to race.

For the casual runners out there (or for people who have been casual runners at some point) what kinds of workouts keep you interested and improving, without making running your life? Should I up my mileage? Speed train? Do a 5K or two? I'm kind of lost here... so I want to know what has worked for you. Smile

Thanks!

Shayna
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Dan
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Joined: 22 Mar 1999
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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More is better, sure, but as you found out, only up to a certain point. What that point is varies for every runner. I would suggest 5-7 miles a day as a good recreational target, with a few "fun runs" (i.e. road races) thrown in to keep things enjoyable. Try new running loops, run fast for a few minutes here and there in your long runs, hit the track on occasion to mix things up...

Dan
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Shayna
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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, I will definitely keep that in mind. In fact, if I can work up to doing 5 mile runs a few days a week by the end of the summer I will feel that I actually accomplished something! I'm also starting to cross train. Biking has been my primary transportation for a while now and it has been fun to throw in a more intensive bike workout once a week or so. Plus I am trying out "swim conditioning" for an athletic credit when I get back to school in September. Maybe one of these days I will do a triathlon? Who knows...

Anyway, thanks for the tip!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're getting regular running in, biking is a great supplemental activity. By itself, it doesn't do a whole lot unless you're really cranking out the miles, but in addition to running, it keeps the heart and metabolism working throughout the day without much added pounding on the body.

Dan
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AM_Runner
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few races are always fun as both you and Dan suggested. I would also suggest if you enjoy that sort of thing (you mentioned XC) to get a good proportion of runs on soft surfaces like trails. Have some fun fartlek type workouts from time to time. No need for it to be structured just have fun with it. Oh heye theres a hill or some sort of marker let me run hard to it - working your way up to a set of these type of surges can also be fun and a good way to increase fitness while keeping it enjoyable.
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Shayna
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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally I run 4-5 days a week and 2-3 miles a day.

I don't consider it a workout to bike to work or to the store, but once or twice a week lately I have biked 10-15 miles on days I don't run (as an alternative workout). It takes me about an hour, and I keep my heartrate above 160bpm for most of that hour, so I think its a pretty good workout.

Unfortunately, it has been so hot here lately that I have been running indoors on a treadmill for most of my runs, and I think that may be why I am getting bored with running. I like the treadmill in some ways because I can set a good pace and stick with it for the entire run (as opposed to my usual speeding up and slowing down according to my level of fatigue). But running outside is much more refreshing. I wish I were more of a morning person so I would just run before the sun heats up my favorite trail!

Maybe I could get some reflective gear and run later in the evening when it is cooler instead of after work at 5:30. Do any of you run outside at night? I'm also more wary because I am a woman in my 20s... but I do live in a safe neighborhood... hmm...
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eww, summer treadmill running... That would kill my motivation, too. Definitely try mixing it up with morning/evening runs to beat the heat. That or try and find a shaded park.

I find that it takes a couple of weeks to acclimate to running in the heat. After that, it's not nearly as difficult. It's just a matter of bearing out that initial period that feels incredibly daunting.

Dan
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AM_Runner
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I absolutely detest running in the heat and humidity here... However there is one thing I hate more - Treadmills... yuck

I would say definitely mix it up... If thats what you have to do thats what you have to do with the treadmill - Just ask Christine Clark... eh... Did most of her training on the treadmill and not only won the 2000 OT's but finished 19th in Sydney... but she had the opposite isssue living in Alaska.
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