Complete: ZERO to 20KM+ a week, and what I've learned

Finished Get Running? Tell us how you did, and chat with other Get Running graduates about what to do next!
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Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:02 am

Complete: ZERO to 20KM+ a week, and what I've learned

Post by Romeowns »

Name: Alex
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Age: 25

Started: 5th September, 2011
Weight: 90KG+ (I was over 95KG earlier, but I modified my diet in the 3-4 months prior to discovering C25K)

Finished: 31st December, 2011
Weight: 79KG

Photo - 15/01/2012:
These are the pants I was wearing a few months before I started, and I couldn't even button these up - I had to use my belt to hold them closed!

What can I say, I stumbled upon this App while I was looking for 5/5 star apps on my iPad and took a chance and downloaded it on my iPhone. Years ago I bought a pair of running shoes in the hopes that I'd one day use them, and now I finally had a reason. I've never been fit, I could never run for more than about 3 minutes without running out of breath and collapsing from lardo exhaustion. I started on September the 5th and absolutely struggled to complete Week 1, and continued to struggle until about half way through, when it started getting easier. The more tricks I learned the more I enjoyed it, and the easier it became. I won't kid you, there's been some hellish runs, and I've walked a few minutes in-between. But I've made sure to make it up, I even repeated a week there in the middle it was so tough! I lost a lot of weight between week 1-6, but now I've been adding a lot of muscle. So I'm static around 79KG and I'm happy. I didn't see ANY change in body measurements until I was nearing the end of the programme (so please don't expect to see a massive change right away!), now I'm losing a lot of fat now that I'm running 20KMs a week. Diet wise I'm eating home cooked stuff a lot more than I used to, chicken wraps, home made mexican etc, and wholegrain food REALLY fills you up (especially for breakfast).

Where I'm at now - 17/01/2012:
Right now I'm running non-stop 5KM every second night (plus additional 500m warm up, and 500m warm down walks), and I'm working towards 5KM in 30 minutes. I'm at 5KM in 33.5 minutes at the moment, and I hope to hit my goal of 30 mins in 3-4 weeks. Then I'll be targetting the 8KM distance.

The main things I've learned are:
LEARN how to run, do a quick YouTube of Pose running or Chi running. I DOUBLED my running ability over night by learning how to run properly. My legs didn't hurt after my runs anymore, I was using half the energy I otherwise would have, and my heartrate was much easier to maintain.

Get a Heart Rate Monitor. Would you drive from one side of the country to the other without a Speedometer and fuel gauge? When I got my HRM my running life became so much easier, for me, if my HR gets above 165, it's going to be very difficult to get it back down and I'm going to start running out of breath - under that and I can run comfortably for as long as I like. This is the best investment you'll make in running, I promise you.

Use a distance tracking tool. I use RunKeeper (FREE iPhone app with graphs and maps on their FREE website) as well as a Garmin FR60 HRM, that tracks distance and HR and uploads it to Garmin Connect. It's so much easier to visualise my runs and keep motivated if I've got valuable metrics I can refer to and compare.

Proper after stretching is critical. I was always really sore after my runs, and it would impact on my next one, making it worse and worse. UNTIL I discovered this stretching guide, from then on I was waking up great and leaping out of bed. Do it straight after your 5-minute warm down and I guarantee you'll feel better the day after.

Forget about pace! Please, whatever you do, do NOT go out there on day 1 and BLAST yourself! Run as slow as physically possible. That way you can ONLY improve and you won't get a gut-busting and totally off-putting introduction to C25K! Work on speed after C25K, and focus on running a static distance (3KM, 5KM etc) - that way you can actually see improvement. I don't even need motivation now, I can't wait for the next running day to roll around :).

Cheers - keep on running,
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: Complete: ZERO to 20KM+ a week, and what I've learned

Post by Jysmystry »

This is really useful info and i found it very interesting!

I suffer fro a lot of soreness and tenderness in my lower legs and the toutube videos on pose running are actually pretty compelling! When they slow it down you can see how tense their calves are in normal running and how relaxed when pose running. I am going for a run today at lunch so im going to try to run like this. They suggest you need to be trained to do it but it doesnt look so hard to me.

Thanks for these tips, they are great (and well done!)
You can run but you'll just die tired
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:28 pm

Re: Complete: ZERO to 20KM+ a week, and what I've learned

Post by Elizabeth2012 »

Wow what a story! Very encouraging and thanks for the tips.
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:21 am

Re: Complete: ZERO to 20KM+ a week, and what I've learned

Post by TheDogAteMyName »

Your story is very inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing.

I couldn't agree with you more about your hints and tips. I love my HRM and find it to be absolutely essential. The part about pace...dead on.

What a great post!!!
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:36 pm

Re: Complete: ZERO to 20KM+ a week, and what I've learned

Post by NeilHughes1 »

Great inspiring story and many valuable tips and lessons to be learned from your experiences.
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 4:44 pm

Re: Complete: ZERO to 20KM+ a week, and what I've learned

Post by Bigsvig »

Very helpful. Thanks!! (w4r1 done)
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