Platypus' Beginners Guide to Running

Soldato
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Oh no, really sorry to hear that. Especially with being unable to rest it and ice etc.

Have you got any kind of bandage you can wrap around it for support/compression?

Have these knee wrap things used for squatting someone gave me years ago that I never used, very bulky but I'll just try that.

Also put these CEP socks that are almost knee high with calf support.
 
Soldato
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Have these knee wrap things used for squatting someone gave me years ago that I never used, very bulky but I'll just try that.

Also put these CEP socks that are almost knee high with calf support.

Hope it’s doing better today.

Had my first off road run today up to Darwen moors.
Was absolutely brilliant being back on the trails. My ankle held up pretty well even on some pretty technical rocky terrain. Only dodgy bit was a downhill on some uneven cobbles covered in leaves so felt I could’ve done the same as @neoboy but luckily all is well.

Came home and my Silva Trail Runner Free head torch had been delivered. I think I mentioned above but I got very lucky here. I think a reseller messed up their listing as I got the “ultra” version which should be around £110 for only £64.
Only downside is that one of the plus points was the rear red light for safety, however it only has that using either AAA batteries or the hybrid 1ah battery. The 4ah battery doesn’t offer that and is quite heavy.

It’s great for a backup but I think I’ll look to pickup the 1.5ah hybrid battery for my main use and only use the 4ah version on long runs.
 
Soldato
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Yeah, not much better as it's swollen on both sides of the ankle and getting all blue/purple now. Just keeping fingers crossed I didn't tear anything as that's really going to put a damper on things.
 
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Associate
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Sounds painful! I've noticed there are a lot of leaves around now so can see how it would be easy to roll your ankle if you're not careful. Been 5 days since I last went for a run, feeling very unmotivated and I'm not sure why. This is what I was worried about. Going to drag myself out tomorrow after work :)
 
Soldato
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@SPG i know you're a big advocate of 80/20 running. I've recently started reading the book after having it on my list for ages.

One thing that i'm struggling with is trying to stick with it. I've mentioned it over previous posts but even though i feel like i'm taking it easy on runs, i'm still bouncing between Z3 and Z4 at 155-160bpm

Not sure if it's purely lost fitness, but i simply can't run in Zone 2, even zone 3 is hard to stay in when i'm out for an hour. My resting HR is around 45 which is fairly low by all accounts, however even the slowest of slow paces sends it up to 155-160 and that's currently around 11 minute miles which feels really slow.

My HR seems to sit in the following zones

Resting ~45
Stood up/pottering around the house ~80-90
Walking ~110
Running Starts around 140 and then creeps up to 160 whilst maintaining easy conversational pace. Spikes up to 170 when i go up any kind of incline, but then my all out sprinting HR tops out around 185. So i seem to have a really narrow window between easy level and the top.

I've been running around 5 years now, so even accounting for some lost fitness i would expect a much better base level of CV fitness, but this pattern has been largely true all the way through my running life. I don't really know what i could do to improve it. To stay in zone 2, i'd be stopped every minute or so to walk and recover.

Any thoughts would be good.
 

SPG

SPG

Soldato
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I had all of that and it was nothing short of frustrating when I started running over 5k. It took a great deal of mental discipline to follow the program and was a good 3 months before I started seeing the benefits. Things that i would say to anyone are

Work out your zones properly, however you choose to do Age, Resting HR, Lactic threshold etc.
Garmin zones are different to 80/20 so you have to fiddle in the Garmin app to set them up properly.
Use a HR strap, wrist based on watches are rubbish really really rubbish for activity.
Any hills will cause a spike, be prepared for them, slow the pace down and when you need to walk for zones walk.

I will say in the 12 months of using it for my Ironman I never picked up any running related injury's when following 80/20 its just progress goes backwards before it goes forwards. The science behind has been proven so many times now. Its just works but its also hard as in sticking with the rules.
 
Soldato
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Cheers, yeah it's definitely the sticking to it that i'm finding frustrating. I've slowed my pace from ~9:30 to 11 minute miles, but that doesn't seem to have really changed my HR, it still sits at 160bpm regardless. The only way to get it to drop is to stop and walk every few minutes which definitely feels like it's more negative that positive.

What i think i might try and do is increase my bike ride frequency/length. I can happily do an hour on the bike covering ~13 miles and sit at 140bpm. Presumably by doing that 3 times a week on top of running then i'm increasing my low intensity work by ~3 hours which then offsets the runs which are harder to keep at a lower level.

I guess the problem i have is that with training for a specific event in March, i can't really afford to take the kind of time to implement it properly as i need to really be building up long distance stuff fairly rapidly. Perhaps once that's done i'll have a much better level of fitness and can start really implementing it properly. I definitely feel like even though my HR is in zone 3/4 i can maintain a conversation (i often sing along to music to make sure). Could be that you're right on the zone setup. I'll have a look into my Garmin zones.
 

SPG

SPG

Soldato
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Bike HR is its own thing and no good for running, They are vastly different as your not exercising 60% of the body requirements when running. Between now and March is great base and build block. I actually bought the 80/20 program from Training peaks if that helps and it syncs with Garmin Calendar perfectly.
 
Soldato
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Found a cracking video which shoes what i've let myself in for.


Shows the extent of the scrambling which looks very do-able. What it does show however is just how brutal the terrain is.

@Dup you mentioned the Lakeland 50 was rocky and painful underfoot. How does it compare?
 
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Soldato
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Ouch. Sounds nasty if it’s turning bruised. I suppose if you can bear weight on it then it’s a decent sign.

Now the actual foot is starting to swell a lot too, but I can basically do a calf raise on it already so can't be a break. Don't really fancy minor injuries unit trip, just spend hours and not much they can do if it's not broken so just wait for this swelling to start going down at some point this week.

Reckon it was the my Mizuno trainers getting revenge on me for never liking them and literally using them for the last time that day :p
 

Dup

Dup

Soldato
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Found a cracking video which shoes what i've let myself in for.


Shows the extent of the scrambling which looks very do-able. What it does show however is just how brutal the terrain is.

@Dup you mentioned the Lakeland 50 was rocky and painful underfoot. How does it compare?

Wow, those views. I'm jealous.

Lakeland has a few sections like in the latter half of the first minute which get old quick with tired feet, but there's also a lot of road/track sections to break it up. None of those scrambles though, Jacobs ladder is about as close to that as it gets which is rocky but just a normal climb. That's the last section though so your feet are already fed up.

Main thing is not falling on your knee and doing some damage due to the jagged rocks, you shouldn't notice discomfort in your feet as much until you finish. I tripped in dark on Jacobs ladder and finished the race bleeding becasue I was just letting them fall wherever and dragging myself over. For a couple days after I felt like I was still running on the jagged rocks even when sat still, weird feeling :D


It'll be a tough event but those scrambles don't look too bad. Doesn't look as exposed as a ridge with the possibility of a long fall, so as long as you have the head for it, you'll be fine.
 
Soldato
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I agree, it's made me feel a lot more re-assured about it. My wife considerably less so after i showed her! Good point about falling on jagged rocks though. I managed to fall on flat tarmac last time i was there :D

What looked heavily exposed from a few photos in the distance don't look too bad up close. I'm still going to head to the Lakes for a few trips around Striding Edge to build up a head for heights as it's not something i'm brilliant at!

I imagine shoe type will be quite key, i might give a local running shop a call and see if there are any specific trail shoes which are either more cushioned or offer better protection as i'm due to change them soon anyway. Maybe the Hoka Speedgoats since they do a wide version or the Innov8 Trailfly.

On the plus side, i've convinced the wife that we should treat it as a holiday so rather than me flying out on the Friday and coming home Sunday, we're going to go on the Thursday so i get all of Friday to rest and then stay the following week, so i can get plenty of time submerged in the pool :D
 
Associate
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I'm guessing that there wasn't too much effort involved in making it a holiday in Spain? I can see it being a much easier job than somewhere like the Lake District or Wales :D
 
Soldato
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Haha well true.

The other plus side is that in my method of budgeting, we have all money which goes into one pot and then transfer some out into individual spending pots. A bit like we'll children and get spends each month. The benefit of her coming means the flights come out of joint spending and not my own money :D

Have also ordered some poles. Quite looking forward to using them, but i'll feel a bit of a numpty using them on the local flat trails! A friend has some really fancy £150 Leki ones he offered to lend me, but i don't want to take the risk of breaking them through mis-use.

These seem really good for the money
https://harrierrunfree.co.uk/products/helvellyn-carbon-z-poles?variant=32266477568097

They could probably be a bit lighter, but i'm not really the kind of person who needs to worry about 200g of extra weight!
 
Capodecina
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So I completed my first half marathon for several years on Sunday. Nice experience, and my time was 2:10:38, so about 10 minutes behind what I wanted. It was in a beautiful location [Richmond Park] and pretty much all of the people there looked really experienced [and really good]. "No fat women in comedy suits", as my wife remarked.

I attribute my slower-than-wanted time to a few things and notes to improve for next time:

1. I didn't bring any music. This was a BIG minus, since I could constantly hear runners panting behind me and it affected my concentration. As well as that, music does help spur you on.

2. I was wearing a shirt that said "1 hour 55" from my last time, which just put extra pressure on myself. Another runner even asked me if I was a pacer [ahem].

3. Too few gels - I took one every 40 mins, I really should have had one every 30 mins.

4. Better shoes - I was wearing a pair of Adidas which are fine for 5-10k, but not anything more. Really I need a good pair of Asics.

5. Doing a course that was made of several laps [four laps of 5k each in this case] was kind of off-putting since I obsessively kept timing myself. In the future I should just do a one lap course, or at least get a watch that lets me pace myself. I did the first three laps in good time, and started seriously slowing down on the fourth to the point where I was basically going at about half of my previous pace.

Another interesting note - I saw some people walking or sitting down. Mentally i thought they was doing badly, but later they would pass me to the finish line! I had NEVER considered the run/walk approach - and don't plan on doing it myself - but it did teach me something about better, more consistent pacing.

Here's to the next one. I'm planning another half [even if I just do it myself] in Jan and a full marathon sometime around April.
 
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Soldato
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Great work. Just getting out and doing it is an achievement after a few years. You certainly got superb weather for it, although maybe if it had been raining you'd have been faster as would've wanted to get it over with :p

I agree on a lapped course, i'm not a far either which is why i've been put off the Manchester marathon.

It's an interesting one on the run/walk method. There was a really good post by @D.P. just before i did my first marathon so would be dated around March/April 2019. He pointed out that the difference between running around the pace you were (~10 minute miles) and a fast walk at ~15 min miles isn't actually very much over a couple of minutes but the decrease in energy expended is pretty large. So by running say 0.85 miles and walking 0.15, you probably wouldn't be much slower and you could probably run slightly faster in the running section.

For some reason people who run seem to have a huge aversion to slowing down/walking and think they're failing if they do, but in reality it can be a better strategy. It's the same when it comes to hills in Trail running. You often see people try and run up fairly steep hills and look on the verge of death at the top and need to stop and recover, however the people who just walk up at a brisk pace get to the top feeling fine and are then ready to run straight away and aren't actually much slower up the hill anyway.
 
Capodecina
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For some reason people who run seem to have a huge aversion to slowing down/walking and think they're failing if they do, but in reality it can be a better strategy. It's the same when it comes to hills in Trail running. You often see people try and run up fairly steep hills and look on the verge of death at the top and need to stop and recover, however the people who just walk up at a brisk pace get to the top feeling fine and are then ready to run straight away and aren't actually much slower up the hill anyway.

I will admit that I did walk for about a minute in the fourth lap. We were going up a hill and it was dreadfully painful. I thought "this is one of the worst things I've done in my life". I did feel a bit better afterwards, in fact, I was probably encouraged a little to do so by a sign that said, "don't feel bad for a bad mile" and I thought, "oh, I'm allowed a bad mile then!"

I think it's an interesting strategy. I saw a girl in the fourth lap walking and playing with her phone, and I thought, "that's an easy pass" so I passed her and then she shot past me a couple of minutes later. As you say, the difference between energy expenditure with even jogging and walking can be quite large and I have ALWAYS thought that walking is failing, so will grind it out even if it's painful. I would prefer to keep running so I think proper pacing is better.

That said, what is the better strategy for hills, especially steep ones? Walk or slow jog?
 
Soldato
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That said, what is the better strategy for hills, especially steep ones? Walk or slow jog?

During a race/long run i'd pretty much always walk these days (well maybe not a 5k/10k), when i did the Grizedale marathon it really hit home when after about the first half a mile we came to a fairly steep hill and virtually everyone in front of me was walking up. Historically i'd always run up something like that so early in a race but it highlighted that it's a much better strategy to just walk up because of how tiring hills are when trying to run up them.
Sometimes i'll try and attack it to build strength/stamina but it's not really the best idea due to how fatiguing it is.

This is a TED talk by a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule and at around 4:20, he talks about being out for a run, when he sees an elite runner get to the bottom of a hill and walk rather than try and run up it.

https://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_s..._train_like_the_worlds_best_edurance_athletes

I also remember listening to a podcast with some ultra runners where he talked about how he always tried running up hills (and i'm talking really steep ones here), and yet once he changed strategy to "hike" up the hills he actually found he was overtaking some people trying to run whilst using less effort as it's just a much more efficient method of ascent.
 
Capodecina
Soldato
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During a race/long run i'd pretty much always walk these days (well maybe not a 5k/10k), when i did the Grizedale marathon it really hit home when after about the first half a mile we came to a fairly steep hill and virtually everyone in front of me was walking up. Historically i'd always run up something like that so early in a race but it highlighted that it's a much better strategy to just walk up because of how tiring hills are when trying to run up them.
Sometimes i'll try and attack it to build strength/stamina but it's not really the best idea due to how fatiguing it is.

This is a TED talk by a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule and at around 4:20, he talks about being out for a run, when he sees an elite runner get to the bottom of a hill and walk rather than try and run up it.

https://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_s..._train_like_the_worlds_best_edurance_athletes

I also remember listening to a podcast with some ultra runners where he talked about how he always tried running up hills (and i'm talking really steep ones here), and yet once he changed strategy to "hike" up the hills he actually found he was overtaking some people trying to run whilst using less effort as it's just a much more efficient method of ascent.

Great post, very interesting. Thanks Martyn. This 80/20 rule, how does it work?
 
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