Nov. 18th, 2013

darxus: (August 2013)
By time, not by distance. It is by far the most commonly recommended beginner running program:
http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml
http://www.reddit.com/r/c25k
http://tombenninger.com/c25k/

Why: Getting your body to adapt to regularly expending significant energy results in you having more energy. Which makes the rest of life easier and more pleasant. (And there are fine uses for extra cardiovascular stamina.) And I seem to be a lot happier when I have run recently.

A couple tips:

1) Slow down. A lot of beginner runners seem to be very discouraged by a counter-productive belief that running needs to be fast. Shuffling along is just fine if that's what gets your heart rate up. Getting out of breath means you're doing anaerobic exercise, which you can't do for as long, and does not have any more aerobic benefit than aerobic exercise (for a beginner).

2) Running (over-use) injuries are common, and usually easily avoidable, by paying attention to your body and taking a few days off when necessary. Know what the seven most common running injuries look like. I worry that rigidly sticking to training schedules and signing up for races causes people to avoid taking the days off they need, resulting in them ending up being forced to take months off.

Also, I feel like Couch to 5k (c25k) isn't great for seriously overweight people, who I suspect would often be better starting off walking.

I don't think running had anything to do with my weight loss. Exercise causes hunger, so you still have to do the calorie restriction. Counting calories works great for me.

Now I'm planning to work up to Bridge to 10k. Then probably one of Hal Higdon's marathon plans. Or maybe something more triathlon related. Sprint (shortest) triathlons sound kind of fun: swim 0.8 km (0.5 mi) + bike 20 km (12.5 mi) + run 5 km (3.1 mi).

C25k is a 9 week program that took me 25 weeks. I... don't really care.

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