Running/c25k help wanted: teach me to run!

Hello runners,

I had a bit of an ah-hah moment this morning. I started c25k again this morning (third time lucky! But better to have started yet again than not have started at all). I'm doing it on the treadmill because of various medical issues, and yeah, I know you have to up the incline.

Anyway, this is going to sound really stupid, but nobody has ever taught me to run. It has never come naturally to me. I just sort of bumble along. I'm a little over 6'1" so I'm not one of those people who can just glide into a room and move gracefully, and have been overweight my whole life which doesn't help the awkwardness.

This morning I was on the treadmill and for the first time I can recall, I tensed my abs while I ran. Normally I just sort of flop all over the place and am an uncoordinated mess, but I found that holding my abs firm kind of made me feel more together, and less like I was going to get a stitch. It also gave me something to focus on besides being out of breath!

So my question is this: is tensing one's abs something that serious runners do as a matter of course, and something I should have figured out on my own 31 years ago, or was I doing it wrong this morning? Because it felt better, but then it was only a relatively short, slow jog. Does doing that over a longer run tire you out?

Are there any other simple posture or movement tricks that I need to know? Someone please, teach me to run!!!

Thanks, and enjoy your day! :)


  • natalie412
    natalie412 Posts: 1,039 Member
    This site will tell you all you need to know:
  • vanessalillian82
    vanessalillian82 Posts: 350 Member
    Thanks! :)
  • cwsikes
    I've never tensed nor not tensed my abs. I just run. I do notice though that after very hard races (especially distance races) that my abs are pretty sore for a few days. I do try to make sure I'm not overextending my legs and that I'm am landing with my center of gravity over my foot, but I never pay attention to my abs.
  • MACrisci
    I just read your post and it was me asking the same question about 2 months ago. I'm 44 yrs old and didn't know how to run. I have always worked out but I could never run, so one day I got pissed to say the least and decided it was going figure it out. So far I'm 2 months into it. I am am getting closer to reaching my goal of being able to run a full mile. For me, its huge. I would go on to all the websites you can, google beginner jogging tips, it help me tremendously. I concentrated on form first, breathing and now distance. You will have some ups and downs but don't get discouraged because your next time you might hit an all time best. Good luck to you!
  • Stage14
    Stage14 Posts: 1,046 Member
    The site listed above a great place to figure out all of the nuances. One quick trick that some runner friends taught me (I'm doing c25k too!) is that if you are worried about your form at some point while running, put your arms up straight over your head for just a second. It repositions everything to where it's supposed to be and drops your shoulders back down if they're creeping up. You feel pretty silly doing it, but it really does work!
  • Mokey41
    Mokey41 Posts: 5,769 Member
    Things I've learned:
    Keep your core upright, shoulders back (probably what you're doing tensing your abs)
    Keep your arms loose, near your waist, and don't use them as a propulsion device swinging them across your body, it's a waste of energy.
    Keep your hands loose, not in a fist. Had a coach that told us to imagine holding crackers and you can't crush the crackers.
    Land on the ball or midfoot, don't heel strike. Heel striking is a great way to end up with shine splints.
    Make sure your feet are pointing straight ahead, not turned in. Knees don't like your feet turned in.
    Breath deeply and try to get a breath to step ratio going. It helps not get a side stitch. If you do get a stitch breath really deeply and/or hold your arms over your head. Looks stupid but it works.
    Don't stare at your feet or too far into the distance. Keep your neck neutral.

    Basically, relax. Let your body flow and develop a rhythm and pace that you can sustain. There's a difference between sprinting and running.
  • IowaJen1979
    IowaJen1979 Posts: 406 Member
    Runners' World website has great articles for beginners. It helped me with breathing and with correcting my form:

    I was the same way - I had no idea what I was doing! Once I corrected my form I never got shin splints again.
  • AglaeaC
    AglaeaC Posts: 1,974 Member
    Join the C25K group if you want daily support from people in your situation! That's how I'm on W7 now.
  • marz42
    marz42 Posts: 223 Member
    You are not alone. I want to try to run too and I'd also like a coach. Even just get to where I can run a mile. I tried little sprints while out walking, but I feel sooo self conscious (and winded) I end up stopping. The sidewalk is also uneven and street full of cars so I probably want to try somewhere else as a beginner. I wish I knew of an indoor track somewhere I think that would be ideal. Looking into treadmills too. I've got an exercise bike recently but its a treadmill that I really want.
  • SavvyGurl0528
    SavvyGurl0528 Posts: 228 Member
    I"m restarting C25K and felt the same way. This info has been really helpful! Thanks!