Starting to run again, 13 years later

I've always been a poor runner.
Comperably of course.
I was in the Army 13 years ago and was a poor runner, but still made my PT score requirement (18 minute 2 mile at the time)

I've gained a lot of weight since then, but have gone down from 224 to currently 184. Lots and LOTS of walking epic distances. I plateaued.

To continue progress, I've started running again. As a 34 y/o 184 pound female. I can do pretty far distances since I walked so extensively.
Today I ran/walked 5.5 miles averaging a 13 minute mile.

I honestly have no frame of reference, or idea what my distance and times should be, or even how good/bad this baseline is.
All of my weightloss was accomplished by meticulous calorie counting, both in and out. I've got Fitbit, appropriate running shoes with support tailored to me specifically, and a running belt for water/ect. . I like guidelines. I thrive on them.

I am undereducated in this.
C25k seems like a low goal at this baseline.



  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    Think about what you'd like your goal to be? To run a 5k, 10k, half marathon?

    Then tailor your training for your goal.

    There are loads of plans you can follow once you decide what you want to do.
  • SeattleBebop1
    SeattleBebop1 Posts: 26 Member
    Hi there, you're really not doing bad at all. I got back into running earlier this year, and I think I was starting out around 13 minutes per mile too (at a lighter weight, although my terrain is pretty hilly).

    If you want a goal, these articles below might help you figure out what is "average." It seems like you've already done your research, but please be thoughtful and aware of your knees as you get back into running. In the past, I've had a tight IT band, so I'm taking time to roll it with a TriggerPoint foam roller after every run.

    "In 2016, the average American woman using the Strava app ran 4.6 miles per workout with an average pace of 9:55 minutes per mile. " (Says it's 9:30 average.)
  • IDeserveBetter
    IDeserveBetter Posts: 59 Member
    I can only do half a mile before walking so far. I already feel reeeeaaaally slow.

    This is good advice
  • LadySaton
    LadySaton Posts: 500 Member
    I can only do half a mile before walking so far. I already feel reeeeaaaally slow.

    This is good advice
    That’s okay, I feel slow too. 🤣 Believe me though, some people will be impressed with even your beginning speed. There’s always someone slower and, in the same vein, always someone faster!
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    I can only do half a mile before walking so far. I already feel reeeeaaaally slow.

    This is good advice

    Starting c25k half way through might be a good place to start
  • emmamcgarity
    emmamcgarity Posts: 1,577 Member
    I’d recommend going with a structured program to avoid injury. I realize c25k may seem like a low goal given your previous experience but injury would have a big impact in reaching your goal. I just finished c25k last week and am now able to run 2.5 miles in 30 continuous minutes without walk breaks at 52 years old.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    C25k is a starting point. Then c210k, then your next goal.
  • IDeserveBetter
    IDeserveBetter Posts: 59 Member
    I'm going to do a program, but also separate runs.
    I ran/walked six miles yesterday. I DO want the stamina, but the distance matters to me too
  • VioletRojo
    VioletRojo Posts: 594 Member
    If it were me, I would do C25k and walk the balance of the 5.5 miles to keep the distance. Once I'd finished C25k, I'd work on running the remaining distance. And remember that the running portions should be so slow that you could maintain a conversation while running. I think that's totally doable.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    Agree ^^
    Follow the program as written and do extra walking if you want to. Do not add in extra runs. That's a recipe for disaster.. Fatigue and risk of injury. You have plenty of time. You can start at week 4 of c25k, and then move on to Bridge to 10k. That will take about 3 months, then you have years after that to keep building. Set a goal to get there safely rather than quickly.
  • firef1y72
    firef1y72 Posts: 1,579 Member
    LadySaton wrote: »
    I can only do half a mile before walking so far. I already feel reeeeaaaally slow.

    This is good advice
    That’s okay, I feel slow too. 🤣 Believe me though, some people will be impressed with even your beginning speed. There’s always someone slower and, in the same vein, always someone faster!

    I agree with @TavistockToad c25k is a great place to start to extend the time you're running before walking, I believe the zenlabs c210k also starts at about the same point (although you can skip ahead).

    But there is nothing wrong with using walk intervals it's actually a bone fide run method. I run/walk as part of my strategy for long runs/races. Running for as long as I can (managed 13miles in Sunday's marathon) then reverting to run/walk intervals.
  • AudreyJDuke
    AudreyJDuke Posts: 1,093 Member
    Great ideas!!!
  • IDeserveBetter
    IDeserveBetter Posts: 59 Member
    So, I followed (some) of the advice here.
    I ignored the c25k because I haven't ever really done well with THAT much one-size-fits-all sort of thing, but I slowed WAY down.

    When I posted, as you can see up thread, I wasn't able to do more than half a mile before stopping. Decided to run (jog) pretty much as slowly as my body would allow (I found 'go as slow and my body will let me' is a really good repetitive cadence for me) and the first time I went up to 1.2 miles before walking at all.
    I did it as part of a LONG run.
    Ten miles.
    Based on my experience with distance walking, I knew I have the endurance,just not for running. I had some pretty spectacular results. Ten miles with 13.38 splits.

    Next run was shorter, just over four miles; but I was able to run the first two without stopping. Major progress.

    (Screenshots attached).

    I AM having a different issue though, and I'm torn. I'll create another response as this one is already getting bogged down by length and numbers.

  • IDeserveBetter
    IDeserveBetter Posts: 59 Member
    So, here is the issue.
    Since December 2017 I've lost 40 pounds.
    Major progress.
    But that does include a period of gaining most back and losing it again, so ups and downs related to life circumstances.
    Now, I'm plateaued.
    I thought that going from distance walking to running, thus raising my heart rate would solve that issue. Not so.

    Despite seeing major improvement on the running aspect with times and endurance, I'm still fluxuating between the same four pounds......for the last ten weeks or so. Having said that, my resting pulse is lower than it has ever been.

    I think I know why, but I over think things.

    1: I'm not allowing myself enough rest. I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around exercise more and eat less isn't gospel.

    2: I realize that the huge deficits I'm recording (my food recording is very accurate. I'm very practiced and suuuper careful with it. How I lost 40 pounds) may not exist. I understand that once you hit a peak, you stop burning calories despite what my Fitbit versa might record

    3: I academically know I need to vary my exercises; I've started incorporating some weight training and I'm about to start yoga, but I'm having a hard time not doubling those days up with cardio instead of giving cardio a break. I'm not internalizing the lesson

    4: I'm unsure if I should be eating less, or more. If the deficits are accurate, eating more may help because of avoiding starvation mode. If they aren't, I may barely have deficits at all. I'm aware muscle weighs more, and I AM seeing tape measure differences, but not big ones.

    I don't really know what I'm asking.
    I'm probably going to consult a trainer and a nutritionist for more educated insight.

    Pictures included for posterity:

  • IDeserveBetter
    IDeserveBetter Posts: 59 Member
    Forgot picture
  • emmamcgarity
    emmamcgarity Posts: 1,577 Member
    Weight loss is more related to diet than it is to exercise. How are you currently tracking your calories in? How long have you been consistently logging your food? How long has it been since you lost weight.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,277 Member
    edited April 2019
    Those cals burned seem extremely high. For running the calculation of cals burned is weight in lbs x 0.63 * distance in miles, for walking it is Weight x 0.30 x distance. so if you are doing intervals your 10 miles should be between 552(based on all walking) and 1159 (based on all running).
    The 1,300 cals yours shows assumes it is all running and is gross cals (doesn't back out what you would have burned had you did nothing). which is the difference between 1,300 and 1,159. most likely your realy calorie burn is in the 800-1000 cal range
  • Marjael
    Marjael Posts: 106 Member
    edited April 2019
    You’re already running about 6.5 minutes at a time before walking, so if I were you, I’d find a c25k or c2510k program and start the program at the week that closest matches that 6.5 min interval. The program will help you build up your stamina. Once you’ve got stamina, then you build on that by developing a weekly plan that includes 1 speedwork (intervals, tempo, etc), 1 steady pace long run, with the rest of your weekly runs being easy pace runs - and increase your combined weekly distance by only 10% to minimize chance of overuse injuries. Heavy weights and yoga are great compliments to the running.

    For the plateau (they suck!) - have you been taking your measurements monthly? Sometimes with a plateau, (it seems to me, no scientific back up here) the body seems to cling to a weight number for no reason sometimes and retain water or whatever, but the tape measure tells a different story as the waist or hips or upper arms still go down a bit despite the stubborn scale. If the tape measure is going down, eventually the scale will catch up.