Posts Tagged ‘beginning running’

Dennis the zombie slayer has been having a successful week of training and is well on his way to outrunning any wayward zombies. After our initial meeting, I decided on a running plan for him that he can do at the track located right up the street from his house. The track offers a cushioned surface that will be easier on his knee than cement or black top, and Dennis likes being able to walk there and back. He is also stretching before and after working out to help increase his flexibility and prevent injuries or pain, especially in his knee.

Dennis has been following his plan with dedication plus doing extra every day to meet his goal of burning 400 calories each workout. Here is his basic training plan:

  • Walk two laps to warm up
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
Total distance: 3.5 miles
I told Dennis to aim for 10-minute mile pace and he has been staying on track with running speeds ranging from 9-minute mile pace to 10-minute mile pace. Today his average running pace was 9:20-minute miles and he increased his running speed by the end of the workout, a good sign that he has energy left. He added some extra walking at the end of today’s workout as well as a stride — or burst of speed for a short distance — for the last 200 meters. He then walked home to stretch, satisfied with burning more than 400 calories during the one hour and 6-minute workout.
Dennis has been continuing to use his Cardio Trainer app on his Android phone to calculate his calories burned, distance and time. He also got new running shoes — Asics Numbus 12 — from the mall, which were bothering him in the heels by the end of the workout, and gave him blisters. The shoes are for neutral to high-arched feet so the store advised him to get the wrong shoes because Dennis has low arches and needs more arch support and motion control features. I advised returning them or exchanging them for a better fit.

Being as popular and successful as she is, Yessi has been quite in demand and busy, so we’ve parted ways for some of our workouts. But Yessi continues to follow her running program, and I can even peep her stats as she posts her Cardio Trainer results on Facebook. Yessi said she has been getting through the workouts pretty well and following the plan of increasing her running minutes and decreasing her walking. She has been running in the evenings instead of the mornings and ran especially fast one night when it got dark in a sketchy area. I know that feeling~ nothing like fear to make you run faster.

Here is a summary of what Yessi is doing for her third week of training:

  • 5-minute walk to warm up
  • 7 minutes running
  • 3 minutes walking
  • 7 minutes running
  • 3 minutes walking
  • 7 minutes running
  • 3 minutes walking to cool down
Total workout time: 35 minutes
Yessi has no major complaints or concerns at this point. She said she has been running along side the paved running path — in the grass — sometimes to get a softer running surface and prevent joint pain. Her Cardio Trainer app also helps her stay on track and know when to start and stop her intervals.

Related posts: Phone Apps to Track Your Runs

Dennis near the St. Charles High School track after our first workout.

“I want to be able to run in case of a zombie attack,” Dennis says, of his training goals. Besides fending off zombies, Dennis wants to lose weight before his 35th birthday on August 2. “I feel like if I’m out of shape when I turn 35, I’ll be that way for life,” he says.

Dennis’ goal is to lose 30 lbs. He currently works out lifting weights a couple of times a week as well as uses the elliptical machine at the gym regularly. Dennis tore his ACL in his knee a few years ago, and has gained weight since then, he says. He’s never been much of a runner but is willing to give it a try to get in shape. His doctor has approved running as a form of exercise for him, and I am monitoring to make sure he doesn’t experience any knee pain from our training.

Our first training session helped us both glean background information and allowed me to come up with a training program that would work well for Dennis. We did a lot of stretching and Dennis wore his knee brace, and we ran on a soft surface — a track and then grass — to ease pressure on his knee. I recommended he run on a track or dirt trail to minimize the pressure on his legs, as well as get new shoes (he says his are old and worn) with motion control features and extra arch support because Dennis says he has low arches.

Dennis training plan for his first week of workouts (with five workouts per week) is:

  • Two laps walking on the track (or .5 miles on the treadmill)
  • One lap running on the track (or .25 miles on treadmill)
  • Two laps walking
  • One lap running
  • Two laps walking
  • One lap running
  • Two laps walking
  • One lap running
  • Two laps walking to cool down
Total distance: 3.5 miles
Total running distance: 1 mile
Notes: Dennis is naturally athletic and tends to run at a fast pace and take on more than he can handle at times. I am trying to help him build endurance and maintain a steady pace by aiming for 10-minute mile pace during the running segments. So far Dennis is doing well and is looking into phone apps (considering the CardioTrainer app for Android phones, which Yessi uses) to help measure his pace and time while running.

Yessi and me in the parking lot after our run.

Yessi and I tackled some tough trail running today at Faust Park. Yessi said she did not feel too good and her sinuses were acting up, making her sound pretty gravelly. But being the running Nazi that I am, I still made her run.

The nearby track was in use so we went to Faust Park and tackled the never-ending hills along the back woods trail. I was hoping we’d have our walking sessions for most of the uphill part because our first run was mostly downhill. But no such luck — we wound up on a long, gradual, never-ending hill during the second run and Yessi stopped to walk for about 45 seconds toward the end of the hill. Even though I was running next to her, I was as slow as her walking pace. It was a really tough hill and I was relieved Yessi was willing to run to finish the interval once we crested the hill. And even though she said she felt bad on the hill, she said she was up for completing the workout and doing another 6-minute run, which we did on flat grass and sidewalk.

Yessi stayed determined once again today and I’m proud of her for sticking through a tough workout, especially when she wasn’t feeling too good.

Here is our tenth day’s workout:

  • 5-minute walk to warm up
  • 6 minutes of trail running at an average pace of 10:57-minute miles
  • 4-minute recovery walk
  • 6 minutes of hill running at 13:22-minute mile pace
  • 4-minute recovery walk
  • 6 minutes of grass and sidewalk running at 11:18-minute mile pace
  • 4-minute walk to cool down
Total time working out: 35 minutes
Total running time: 18 minutes
Total Distance: 2.35 miles
Trail: Faust Park
Conditions: Partly sunny, 80 degrees
Yessi: Had sinus problems this morning but did not try to get out of the workout. We tackled some really steep and long hills in the woods at Faust Park. Yessi walked a little at the end of the second run but then jumped back into gear to finish the rest of the workout. She really hung in and I’m proud of her for sticking it out. In the future, I’ll avoid these grueling hills until our bodies adjust to the heat and Yessi is feeling better.
Follow Yessi’s progress with Runstreet’s Training Tales.

Baby geese along the trail at Creve Coeur Lake today.

Yessi is officially a runner! We decided this today after our humid, sweat-drenched run in which Yessi ran for the longer intervals — 6-minute sessions — with a shorter walk period in between — 4 minutes. Yessi said when she used to run by herself, she would jog for 6 or 7 minutes then stop and walk to finish the workout. But now she can do three 6-minute sessions with just a short walk between each one. And in almost 90-degree weather! On top of that, Yessi’s pace has been pretty steady, with her increasing the pace today in her second and third runs, an indicator of good endurance.

I am really excited for Yessi and glad the running program is boosting her stamina. We are definitely on track for the 5K in June.

Here is our ninth day’s workout:

  • 5-minute walk to warm up
  • 6 minutes of running at an average pace of 10:23-minute miles
  • 4-minute recovery walk
  • 6 minutes of running at 9:27-minute mile pace
  • 4-minute recovery walk
  • 6 minutes of running at 9:59-minute mile pace
  • 24-minute walk to cool down
Total time working out: 55 minutes
Total running time: 18 minutes
Total Distance: 3.72 miles
Trail: Creve Coeur Lake path
Conditions: Sunny, 88 degrees
Yessi: Was out of breath after the longer running sessions but did not slow down her pace. She actually got faster in the last two intervals, probably because she was warmed up. This is a great sign and means she had energy to spare at the end.
Follow Yessi’s progress with Runstreet’s Training Tales.

Yessi and I missed our run this morning because of the rain, but Yessi made me proud and not only did the run on her own this evening but also added extra running time, per the master plan.

Here is her account of the run, which is much more entertaining than my posts:

Ok so I did the walk 4 minutes, run 6 minutes deal. It was KILLER! I forgot I need my ipod if I don’t have someone talking to me! lol. And it was sooo humid, I was dripping sweat even worse than yesterday. But I was wearing better fabrics today, hehe. And a kid at the park (probably 15 years old, tops) yelled, “nice ass!” as I ran past him. Awesome.
I also found out that my cardio trainer app can talk to me as I’m running, every 2 minutes, so it kept telling me how far I’d run and how fast I was going. My walking time was about 3.5 miles per hour and my running time varied between 5.5 and 6 miles per hour. The highest I got was 6.3 miles per hour. I guess that means, on average, I was running at a 10-minute mile pace.
Here’s what happened on day eight:
  • 4 minutes walking
  • 6 minutes running at about a 10-minute mile pace
  • 4 minutes walking
  • 6 minutes running at about a 10-minute mile pace (this is when I got the fastest… up to 6.3 miles per hour, so a little under 10-minute pace)
  • 6 minutes walking (I didn’t do this on purpose… my boss called me right in the middle of my break to congratulate me for my rank and stuff. I told him I was in the middle of a jog so he cut the conversation short, but it still took me 2 minutes over my break)
  • 6 minutes running, this was my slowest time, probably closer to 12-minute mile pace. I ALMOST gave up, but instead I just slowed down.
  • 4 minutes walking (at some point during this walk, I turned my cardio trainer off) I’d like to note that it took WAY longer than 4 minutes for me to catch my breath and stuff, I was SO winded. So I started stretching once the 4 minutes were up.
Total time working out: 36 minutes
Total running time: 18 minutes
Total Distance: 2.6 miles
Trail: Spanish Lake path
Conditions: Cloudy, 77 degrees
Yessi: Did an amazing job on her first solo run of our training program, and on a difficult day with humid weather at that! I’m so glad Yessi slowed down the pace instead of walking when fatigue struck, as maintaining a jog is important to improve your running condition and overall fitness level. I’m so proud!

Follow Yessi’s progress with Runstreet’s Training Tales.

Yessi looking out over Art Hill after our sweaty run in the humidity.

Yessi and I kicked off her second full week of training by running in Forest Park this morning. We jogged on the scenic yet hilly main trail, beginning at the softball fields and passing by the zoo and running down the hill along Skinker Boulevard. We finished by walking up the hill by the Art Museum, passing the zoo and returning to the softball fields. The temperature was in the 70s and extremely humid, so we wound up drenched in sweat. It took us a while to get back to our starting point, so we had a nice, relaxing walk at the end.

We stuck with the 5-minute program of alternating walks and runs and I used my lap feature on the Garmin watch to get a more accurate reading of our pace for each interval. Yessi kept up a pretty steady pace, averaging around 10:45-minute miles, which is commendable, given the hilly nature of the course. She recovered quickly and is ready to do longer run sessions tomorrow.

Here is our seventh day’s workout:

  • 10-minute walk to warm up
  • 5 minutes of running at an average pace of 10:2o-minute miles
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of running at 10:51-minute mile pace
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of running at 10:15-minute mile pace
  • 31-minute walk to cool down
Total time working out: 1 hour, 6 minutes
Total running time: 15 minutes
Total Distance: 4.25 miles
Trail: Forest Park main path
Conditions: Sunny, 57 degrees
Yessi: Said she did not have a lot of energy from not sleeping much the night before, but once we began, she ran steadily and easily, it seemed. She did not seem to get out of breath at all, which is a great of improvement. The trail got pretty hilly in some places, which accounts for our slightly slower pace today.
Follow Yessi’s progress with Runstreet’s Training Tales.

Yessi and I ran on the Creve Coeur Lake trail today and enjoyed the sunshine without the usual May heat. We began with a 5-minute walk to warm up then did our usual combination of 5 minutes running, 5 minutes walking. Once again Yessi was ready for a fourth run so we added in an extra 5 minutes running before walking a cooldown.

Yessi and I have been rollin' out early for our morning runs.

Yessi said she is sore from the week of workouts and can feel the burn in her legs and glutes. She has been working hard and is doing a lot of pole dancing and walking with another friend almost every day as well. Despite all the activity, Yessi never stops to walk during our runs but keeps on going. She’ll have a much-deserved break this weekend before we step up our run durations next week.

Here is our sixth day’s workout:

  • 5-minute walk to warm up
  • 5 minutes of running at an average pace of 9:50-minute miles
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of trail running at 10-minute mile pace
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of running at 10-minute mile pace
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of running at 10:12 mile pace
  • 10-minute walk to cool down
Total time working out: 50:32
Total running time: 20 minutes
Total Distance: 3.32 miles
Trail: Creve Coeur Lake path
Conditions: Sunny, 57 degrees
Yessi: Was tired from a full week of running, dance and walking workouts but she stuck with the program and did the full workout, plus the extra 5 minutes of running to complete the full trail loop. We will step up the program next week and do 6- to 7-minute runs. The longer our run durations become, the fewer number of runs we will need to do in a workout. I am excited for Yessi’s progress so far and for our 5K in June.

Yessi's self-portrait after our trail run today.

Yessi and I did some trail running today to give our legs a break from hard trails and to enjoy a change of scenery. We started with 5 minutes of walking to warm up (it was chilly for May, in the 50s) then ran for 10 minutes before walking another 5 and then running for 5. We had not run for more than a 5-minute stretch yet but Yessi did great on the 10-minute run. We kept a steady pace and she did not have trouble completing the run. Our pace times were slower than usual, which is normal for trail running because of all the twists and turns and small obstacles.

Here is our fourth day’s workout:

  • 5-minute walk to warm up
  • 10 minutes of trail running at an average pace of 13-minute miles
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of trail running at12:05 pace
  • 5-minute walk to cool down
Total time working out: 30 minutes
Total running time: 15 minutes
Total Distance: 2.05 miles
Trail: Creve Coeur Park bike trails
Conditions: Sunny, 53 degrees
Yessi: Is doing so well! I have no doubt she will be ready for next week when I add more minutes to the running segments. We also have picked out a 5K race to train for, the I Love Forest Park 5K run on June 26.

Yessi and I ran at a high school track today and she completed the same course as the first day with an even faster average mile time. We did a 30-minute workout and covered about 2.5 miles.

Yessi ready to run.

Here is our third day’s workout:

  • 5-minute walk to warm up
  • 5 minutes of running at an average pace of 9:36-min miles
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of running at 9:35 pace
  • 5-minute recovery walk
  • 5 minutes of running at 10:15 pace
  • 5-minute recovery walk
Total time working out: 30 minutes
Total running time: 15 minutes
Total distance: 2.5 miles
Trail: Parkway Central track
Conditions: Sunny, 60 degrees, slight wind
Yessi: Keeps getting faster. She said she felt out of breath by the end of the last run segment but she kept up a pretty consistent pace.
She said her abs are sore from the running and she was surprised she’s been getting an ab workout running. I’m really proud of her for running so hard and continuing to push herself. I don’t want her to exhaust herself and try to go too fast though, so tomorrow we will do a relaxed pace trail run. Yessi got some shoe inserts from Champs Sports and she said her ankles have beet feeling better (they started to hurt after Day 1).