Beginner -- treadmill to 5K ??

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Niatum, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Niatum

    Niatum Guest

    I am a beginning runner -- just started running about 7 months ago. When I started I could only run
    about 60 seconds at a time. I am a 56 year-old female who was fairly sedentary before this year. I
    would love to try a 5K, but I'm nervous. I've run a mile outside on the road, but I have only done 3
    miles inside on the treadmill, and that was just this month for the first time. (The roads in my
    town are very busy and have no sidewalks) My pace averages between 11 and 12 minutes on the
    treadmill. There is a 5K race in my hometown on New Year's Day that I'm thinking of trying. What can
    I expect in terms of transferring my treadmill workout to an actual outdoors race? In my short
    experience, running on a road is much harder than running on a treadmill. A few months ago I tried a
    1 mile Fun Run and finished at the end with a bunch of 5 year-olds. My friends tell me "just do it,
    don't think". But I'm shy and nervous. Should I wait until I have done more training? Am I rushing
    things? Any suggestions or advice? Thanks !!
     
    Tags:


  2. In article <[email protected]>, niatum wrote:
    > love to try a 5K, but I'm nervous. I've run a mile outside on the road, but I have only done 3
    > miles inside on the treadmill, and that was just this month for the first time. (The roads in my
    > town are very busy and have no sidewalks) My pace averages between 11 and 12 minutes on the
    > treadmill. There is a 5K race in my hometown on New Year's Day that I'm thinking of trying. What
    > can I expect in terms of transferring my treadmill workout to an actual outdoors race? In my

    Fitness transfers.

    You don't learn to pace yourself by running on the treadmill -- so you need to go outdoors to
    learn this.

    The treadmill does not provide variation in incline unless you explicitly tell it to, whereas the
    road does.

    The treadmill surface is reasonably "fast" -- faster than dirt road, but slower than pavement.

    > short experience, running on a road is much harder than running on a treadmill.

    See above. Are you timing yourself/checking pace ? There's a good chance that you're running faster
    on the road. You can set the pace on a treadmill to a speed you know you can handle, then switch to
    "autopilot". Not so when running on the road -- you need to be able to maintain an appropriate pace.

    > A few months ago I tried a 1 mile Fun Run and finished at the end with a bunch of 5 year-olds. My
    > friends tell me "just do it, don't think". But I'm shy and nervous. Should I wait until I have
    > done more training? Am I rushing things?

    Follow your friends advice.

    But try to get some time running outdoors too, so that you learn to pace yourself.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  3. Dot

    Dot Guest

    niatum wrote:

    > I am a beginning runner -- just started running about 7 months ago. When I started I could
    > only run about 60 seconds at a time. I am a 56 year-old female who was fairly sedentary before
    > this year.

    Welcome. I'm 56 female also although I've been fairly active with hiking most of my life.

    I would
    > love to try a 5K, but I'm nervous.

    Go for it! Great way to start the New Year :)

    I've run a mile outside on
    > the road, but I have only done 3 miles inside on the treadmill, and that was just this month for
    > the first time. (The roads in my town are very busy and have no sidewalks) My pace averages
    > between 11 and 12 minutes on the treadmill. There is a 5K race in my hometown on New Year's Day
    > that I'm thinking of trying. What can I expect in terms of transferring my treadmill workout to an
    > actual outdoors race?

    People's experiences differ. I know Donovan finds the treadmill slower than outdoors. I find it
    faster unless we kick in the hills (although my only recent experience has been for short segments
    of circuit training), although my outdoor times include traffic light stops, snow, etc. and probably
    aren't that accurate. Regardless, it will be a different feeling.

    Three things will be different, most likely. 1. The surface will be harder and less even - both
    hilly as well as surface bumps, holes, etc.
    2. You'll have to pace yourself. 3. Weather / footing. Depending on where you are, you may be hotter
    than inside air conditioned room or colder / cooler than heated room temperature and have snow /
    ice on road. Since you didn't mention snow, I'm assuming you're some place without it.

    Is there a park or some trails nearby that you could safely train on to get some outdoor experience
    - at least for pacing and maybe something a little firmer and uneven than tread mill. Sometimes
    early in the morning, esp. on holidays, the roads are almost empty. Depending upon how comfortable
    you were with the 3 miles on treadmill (and how many times you've done it and frequency of running
    in a week), you might want to consider a run / walk method for the actual race. Pounding on pavement
    may provide more stress than you're used to, and taking a 30-sec to 1 min walk break about mid-way
    may be helpful. But you may not need it if you've been comfortably running 3 mi a few times a week.
    (you just indicated you'd done it for the 1st time this month)

    If not, a couple thoughts for race day. Have fun! Try to maintain a conversational pace. Don't try
    to hang with the bulk of the runners, as they will likely be going too fast for you.

    In my
    > short experience, running on a road is much harder than running on a treadmill.

    That's not surprising. I find trail running the most pleasant, followed by roads, then treadmill,
    then water running. My speeds, however, are slowest on trails, then roads, then treadmill, and the
    road surface is by far the hardest - unless snow covered. A big thing is learning to keep an even
    pace or effort level if there's hills. When on treadmill think about how that pace feels to your
    body and your breathing. Try to replicate that outdoors. Try maintaining a pace where you could talk
    with someone running with you.

    A few months ago I tried a 1 mile Fun Run and finished at
    > the end with a bunch of 5 year-olds.

    But you finished. How many others didn't make it to the start line? (rhetorical)

    My friends tell me "just do it,
    > don't think". But I'm shy and nervous. Should I wait until I have done more training? Am I rushing
    > things? Any suggestions or advice?

    Listen to your friends! Just do it! and Enjoy it. Some people overthink things and won't do an event
    until they're sure of finishing in the top x%. Others are more adventurous and train enough that
    they're sure they can finish and enjoy the challenge of the training (I'm with this school of
    thought and happily contribute to the tail end of the pack). Then know more about training for the
    next event. You'll learn a lot by doing things.

    Be sure to post a race report and let us know how you did :)

    Enjoy!

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  4. My wife took up jogging in late April this year. She is 55. In late May she did her first 5 k (an
    all women's race with 10,000 entrants) and enjoyed the goodie bag so much that she did another 5 k a
    month later and then in late July two 10ks, two 8 ks and a 5 k in one week (the "Etape Bornholm", a
    combined running and holiday experience that has to be tried to be believed). In October she did a
    13.3 k, and tomorrow she's running the annual club handicap 5 k. In April she's aimning to do her
    first ½ marathon (in Berlin). So there's no reason why you (or anyone) should be shy or nervous. A 5
    k is often like a big party, and if you do manage to come last, well, guess who'll get the biggest
    round of applause? It won't be mocking applause, either. It'll be respect.

    Our club mainly trains on forest trails and then on the roads as the race season approaches. So I
    understand your difficulties in finding running routes outdoors. How about driving out to a park and
    running on the paths there occasionally? You'd better find somebody to run with you, though ...

    Otherwise, set your treadmile incline to 1 or 2; or if your treadmill is programmable, choose a
    session that focusses on your heart rate (you'll need a chest belt transmitter for this) once a
    week. Donovan will be able to explain the do's and don'ts of this better than I can (come on, D!).
    You can play arounds with the treadmill to make it less boring over longer distances; start by doing
    a mile slowly and then two miles a bit faster, finishing with another slow mile, for example.

    Good luck! Jonathan

    "niatum" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I am a beginning runner -- just started running about 7 months ago. When I started I could only
    > run about 60 seconds at a time. I am a 56 year-old female who was fairly sedentary before this
    > year. I would love to try a 5K, but I'm nervous. I've run a mile outside on the road, but I have
    > only done 3 miles inside on the treadmill, and that was just this month for the first time. (The
    > roads in my town are very busy and have no sidewalks) My pace averages between 11 and 12 minutes
    > on the treadmill. There is a 5K race in my hometown on New Year's Day that I'm thinking of trying.
    > What can I expect in terms of transferring my treadmill workout to an actual outdoors race? In my
    > short experience, running on a road is much harder than running on a treadmill. A few months ago I
    > tried a 1 mile Fun Run and finished at the end with a bunch of 5 year-olds. My friends tell me
    > "just do it, don't think". But I'm shy and nervous. Should I wait until I have done more training?
    > Am I rushing things? Any suggestions or advice? Thanks !!
     
  5. Dot

    Dot Guest

    Jonathan Sydenham wrote:

    A 5 k is often like a big party, and if you do manage to come last,
    > well, guess who'll get the biggest round of applause? It won't be mocking applause, either. It'll
    > be respect.
    >

    I'd 2nd these party comments. All the races I've been to - either volunteering, watching, or running
    - the last few finishers get at least as much applause as some of the faster ones. For many people,
    it's their first race and a very encouraging environment.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  6. The Messiah

    The Messiah Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote in message

    When it comes to dainty treadmill running, you're taking advice from the daintyest. Finally, a
    subject he IS qualified to answer.
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, Jonathan Sydenham wrote:

    > Otherwise, set your treadmile incline to 1 or 2; or if your treadmill is programmable, choose a
    > session that focusses on your heart rate (you'll need a chest belt transmitter for this) once a
    > week. Donovan will be able to explain the do's and don'ts of this better than I can (come on, D!).

    Sorry, not familiar with this. I just bring my own heart rate monitor to the gym. Which works for
    me, because I'm just interested in *monitoring* my heart rate, I don't use heart rate to adjust
    treadmill speed (this is similar to an approach "Roger 2k" used for racing -- using the HRM for data
    collection / analysis but not for pacing).

    > You can play arounds with the treadmill to make it less boring over longer distances; start by
    > doing a mile slowly and then two miles a bit faster, finishing with another slow mile, for
    > example.

    One thing I've found good for variety is to experiment with the hill programs. But these are very
    challenging, best to start at an easy level of difficulty (the level usually determines how steep
    the hills are)

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  8. Perdy Tired

    Perdy Tired Guest

    "niatum" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am a beginning runner -- just started running about 7 months ago. When I started I could only
    > run about 60 seconds at a time. I am a 56 year-old female who was fairly sedentary before this
    > year. I would love to try a 5K, but I'm nervous. I've run a mile outside on the road, but I have
    > only done 3 miles inside on the treadmill, and that was just this month for the first time. (The
    > roads in my town are very busy and have no sidewalks) My pace averages between 11 and 12 minutes
    > on the treadmill. There is a 5K race in my hometown on New Year's Day that I'm thinking of trying.
    > What can I expect in terms of transferring my treadmill workout to an actual outdoors race? In my
    > short experience, running on a road is much harder than running on a treadmill. A few months ago I
    > tried a 1 mile Fun Run and finished at the end with a bunch of 5 year-olds. My friends tell me
    > "just do it, don't think". But I'm shy and nervous. Should I wait until I have done more training?
    > Am I rushing things? Any suggestions or advice? Thanks !!

    Definitely do it!

    But I'd be prepared for possibly three things that may happen...
    (1) You may have some equilibrium issues if the majority of your running has been on the 'mill. That
    is, your mind may not be used to the actual motion of your body with respect to your
    surroundings. In the past I've experienced this quite often when returning outdoors after
    extended lengths of 'mill running. Dizzying and annoying.
    (2) Your pacing may be considerably different (faster or slower) than on the 'mill. This could be
    due to a poorly calibrated 'mill or I've found that I would struggle to maintain the 'mill's
    place, whereas on the road, it was just as easy to slow down.
    (3) You may find yourself using some different (and possibly un-trained) muscle groups than when
    you're running on the 'mill. I don't know the science behind this, but in the past I've always
    found the return outdoors after extended lengths on the 'mill to utilize different muscles
    (especially my calves).

    Of course, now I run outdoors year 'round and no longer use the 'mill.

    Perdy.
     
  9. Jojo

    Jojo Guest

    Your pace will be much slower on the road than on a treadmill. So what! Go out there and run/walk
    that 5K. It is a great experience!!! The crowds are fun and full of energy. Take your time, and
    don't injur anything and have fun. jojo
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>, Perdy Tired wrote:

    > (3) You may find yourself using some different (and possibly un-trained) muscle groups than when
    > you're running on the 'mill. I don't know the science behind this, but in the past I've always
    > found the return outdoors after extended lengths on the 'mill to utilize different muscles
    > (especially my calves).

    The "science" behind it is that you use your calves when you run uphill. To make these work on the
    treadmill, you need to use the incline. Running up a 10% grade on the treadmill should be more than
    sufficient (-; You can actually get very good hill workouts out of a treadmill.

    Another aspect to it is that if you're training on an unstable surface (snow, rough trails, grass),
    you will probably work some of your stabilisers more than you would on a more even surface (like
    pavement, track, treadmill or dirt road)

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  11. Perdy Tired

    Perdy Tired Guest

    "Donovan Rebbechi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Perdy Tired
    wrote:
    >
    > > (3) You may find yourself using some different (and possibly un-trained) muscle groups than when
    > > you're running on the 'mill. I don't know the science behind this, but in the past I've
    > > always found the return
    outdoors
    > > after extended lengths on the 'mill to utilize different muscles
    (especially
    > > my calves).
    >
    > The "science" behind it is that you use your calves when you run uphill.
    To
    > make these work on the treadmill, you need to use the incline. Running up
    a 10%
    > grade on the treadmill should be more than sufficient (-; You can actually
    get
    > very good hill workouts out of a treadmill.
    >
    > Another aspect to it is that if you're training on an unstable surface
    (snow,
    > rough trails, grass), you will probably work some of your stabilisers more
    than
    > you would on a more even surface (like pavement, track, treadmill or dirt
    road)

    I'm not sure I buy the incline explanation regarding the calves, since I used the incline feature on
    my treadmill. I would think it was more of a fact that the 'mill didn't have a decline feature? The
    stabilizer portion of your explanation makes perfect sense though. I have not encountered too many
    stones, roots, curbs, etc. while running on the 'mill! ;-)

    Perdy.
     
  12. Topcounsel

    Topcounsel Guest

    >Your pace will be much slower on the road than on a treadmill.>So what! Go out there and run/walk
    >that 5K. It is a great experience!!! The crowds are fun and full of energy.>Take your
    time, and don't injur anything and have fun.

    Well said. Most times, there's some of all types entered (old ladies, tykes, middle-age weekend
    warriors, kick-ass XC runners, maybe even a few elites). As a first-timer you may want to try to
    line up at the start with other runners who will be at or about your intended pace. That way you
    won't feel like you're in the way as folks are going around you, and conversely, you won't find
    others to be in your way.
     
  13. D wrote:
    > Sorry, not familiar with this. I just bring my own heart rate monitor to the gym. Which works for
    > me, because I'm just interested in *monitoring* my heart rate, I don't use heart rate to adjust
    > treadmill speed (this is similar to an approach "Roger 2k" used for racing -- using the HRM for
    data
    > collection / analysis but not for pacing).

    You can usually find a programme which allows you to enter the max and min HRs you want to apply for
    the session, the max speed you want to do, and the distance or time you want to run for. The
    treadmill will take you up to your pre-.set max by gradually increasing the speed (never exceeding
    your cosen max) and incline. Then it takes you down again and if you're in average shape it tells
    you "Great recovery!" as your HR drops to your chosen minimum. Next -- if the time/distance you've
    chosen allows it -- it starts bumping you up again, etc. etc. It's a very controlled sort of
    interval session, a bit like the hills programs but with the safety valve of your pre-set max HR. J
     
  14. Niatum

    Niatum Guest

    Thanks to everyone for the encouragement!! I have one last question before I sign the application
    for the 5K. I've read, or heard, that I'm supposed to stay to one side of the road, so the faster
    runners can pass me easily. Does it make a difference if I stay to the left or to the right?
    Thanks!! Nia
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, niatum wrote:
    > Thanks to everyone for the encouragement!! I have one last question before I sign the application
    > for the 5K. I've read, or heard, that I'm supposed to stay to one side of the road, so the faster
    > runners can pass me easily. Does it make a difference if I stay to the left or to the right?

    I've never heard of this.

    What you're really supposed to do is line up in order of pace (so if you're a slower runner, line up
    near the back). Simply put, if you're not going to finish in the top 100, don't liine up in the top
    100. That way, the faster runners never have to pass you (since they start in front of you) As one
    of the "faster runners", I don't really care what side of the road the 10 minute milers use, but
    they should not be lining up in front of me at the start.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  16. Dot

    Dot Guest

    niatum wrote:
    > Thanks to everyone for the encouragement!! I have one last question before I sign the application
    > for the 5K. I've read, or heard, that I'm supposed to stay to one side of the road, so the faster
    > runners can pass me easily. Does it make a difference if I stay to the left or to the right?
    > Thanks!! Nia

    I'm a slow runner also. What I do is line up at the back - as far back as I can get without fighting
    the other slow runners for the absolute back (this has happened). Depending upon how crowded your
    event may be - some have 1000s, some have 30 or fewer runners - and road / trail width, I hang back
    for a little bit until congestion has thinnned, then methodically run *my* race without worry about
    others. Then start passing the people that went out too fast. I'll have to admit to enjoying this,
    esp. on the uphills :)

    FWIW, I don't run with other people enough to avoid getting sucked into their pace when I run
    events. That could be an issue for you also if you run mostly on treadmill, but if you can find
    someone with similar pace expectations (keep in mind that either of your expectations may be slower
    or faster than reality), you might be able to run near them and benefit from their experience at
    pacing. Chatting with someone during a race can also make sure you keep the proverbial
    "conversational" pace. If you're a more sociable person than I, then you may not want to put quite
    as much effort into avoiding congestion as I do ;) But the one race where I feel I didn't run as
    well as I could have was the one where I got sucked into another's pace. My best race I hung waaay
    back (downhill start). OTOH, I've only run a couple races so far and never a 5k road race so not
    sure how this works there or if it's an issue.

    At least this has worked in my races where we have about 200 runners on trails. If there's a lot of
    walkers, this wouldn't work since you'd likely have walkers behind you - except for the race walkers
    that will likely be faster. If there's an uphill start, the crowd will spread rapidly. Downhill
    starts tend to go out more congested.

    I'm not sure about road protocols since I run trails, but I would tend to stay to right and have
    anybody that passes pass on left. But that's just me.

    Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Good luck. Look forward to your race report.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  17. Gary Speed

    Gary Speed Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > I've never heard of this.
    >

    of being a dainty treadmill jogger, he won't steer you wrong. Just ignore his advice to dress like
    Liberace for the race, only he does that.
     
  18. Drlith

    Drlith Guest

    "Dot" <[email protected]#att.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > FWIW, I don't run with other people enough to avoid getting sucked into their pace when I run
    > events. That could be an issue for you also if you run mostly on treadmill, but if you can find
    > someone with similar pace expectations (keep in mind that either of your expectations may be
    > slower or faster than reality), you might be able to run near them and benefit from their
    > experience at pacing. Chatting with someone during a race can also make sure you keep the
    > proverbial "conversational" pace. If you're a more sociable person than I, then you may not want
    > to put quite as much effort into avoiding congestion as I do ;) But the one race where I feel I
    > didn't run as well as I could have was the one where I got sucked into another's pace. My best
    > race I hung waaay back (downhill start). OTOH, I've only run a couple races so far and never a 5k
    > road race so not sure how this works there or if it's an issue.

    I've only run a couple of races (meeting my goal both times of not finishing last), but I found it
    very helpful to find a person or group with similar paces and goals. It's possible to pick someone
    who's too fast, too slow, too erractic--and thus fail to run run your "best" race, but even so, I
    think finding a buddy or a small group makes that first race or two a more memorable experience. And
    when you're at the stage when your goals consist of (a) finishing, and maybe (b) not finishing last,
    running a memorable race may be more important than running an optimal race. And I say this (oddly
    enough) as someone who--even during club training runs--in general prefers to run alone.
     
  19. Dot

    Dot Guest

    DrLith wrote: And when you're at the stage when your goals consist
    > of (a) finishing, and maybe (b) not finishing last, running a memorable race may be more important
    > than running an optimal race.

    Right. And this is the point of view I made my statements from - finishing in one piece :) Although
    my goal in last one was to not walk - pretty basic goals. I *did* say I was slow ;)

    The ones where I ran alone, I was fairly even paced (no distractions) and finished in good shape,
    little pain, etc. The one where I was afraid of getting left behind and tried to keep up, I ached
    for 3 days, had stitches, walked where I probably didn't need to, etc. (but I will get my revenge on
    that course some day) And this was *not* my first race.

    My races are generally less than 200 people (30 on the 1st one), so the tail of the pack may only
    have a few people widely spread. My easy trail race pace to date is about 12 min/mile. In larger
    races where there's more people, there's likely to be more people near the back also to pace with,
    so that may work in this case if it's a large race.

    What's also a possibility is that there may be others who are capable of running faster, but may
    hang back and help some newer ones pace so they don't burn out. Somebody may decide they'd rather
    chat and run with somebody new than to get their best time.

    There's also the reality that what one plans to do in one's first race doesn't always happen, so
    just get out and run and insert walking breaks as or if needed and enjoy :)

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
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