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Returning to Running (after 30 years!)

bambu1012010-05-01 21:10:56 +0000 #1
Well, I have a brand new pair of good-fitting running shoes, and got a copy of the Chi-running book, and I'm eager to get started again.

I am 54 years old, I have not run in close to 30 years, although I have done other things during that time period, like x-c skiing, walking, aerobice, Pilates, snowshoeing, cycling, weights, etc. I am also heavier than I was in 1978 - I would like to lose 20 pounds, and have some minor arthritis in my feet.

I am planning on starting out with a walk/run program, and then increase the running part very slowly. The Chi-running book seems good, but I wonder if this is something I can learn from a book? There are no workshops or certifed instructors within a 3 to 4 hour drive from me, so I am considering getting the DVD. The checklist in the book of all the things to remember seems overwhelming, at least at this stage. I have done most of the "learning" exercises they recommend, but putting it all together is another matter.

Does anyone have experience learning the Chi-running techniques on their own? And can all you runners out there recommend any other good running books or websites for women ?

kiwi girl2010-05-01 21:13:07 +0000 #2
I'm not all that familiar with chi running so can't really answer that part of your question. Does your book have a suggested program of building up your run/walks? I am using this 'couch to 5 k' program to get back into running after about 15 months off (I ran a half marathon in Feb 07 but then hadn't been for a run until last weekend). My fitness level starting this was a bit of cycling and walking (I don't have a car so walk and cycle everywhere) but not much of a conscious exercise program for a year or so

I'm using these podcasts for the interval prompts
baskingshark2010-05-01 21:22:32 +0000 #3
I also used the coolrunning C25K, followed by the "hal higdon spring training" program - which I got from hanging out on the coolrunning boards (now part of the boards, which don't seem to be quite so good these days).

I was starting out over 40 for the first time and one thing I found is that the programs took a lot longer for me to complete (instead of three months for C25K, it really took more like 8-9). For a long time, I felt like I was doing something wrong, but after hanging out on the running boards, I realized that the programs are really only a starting point and that I wasn't the only one making such slower progress. Nothing really clicked for me until almost a year in and then I started to feel like a runner.

I have a running log on and that site is very good for getting advice from really experienced runners and there's a lot of fun people on those boards too - many of them are self-described "back of the packers" and some are really fast. There are also lots of discussions, blogs and advice on the Runnersworld website.

I have practically every book ever written on running (a lifelong habit of buying a book about it, rather than actually doing it) and after reading them all from cover to cover (hal hidon's books are good and john, the penguin bingham's books also) and I've realised that they all pretty much say the same thing. The main things are "go slow", "progress at your own pace" and "just get out there - no matter what your age, weight, pace etc. you'll have company".

Now, one thing that does make me mad is that it's practically impossible to get any kind of running shorts with anything between a 3" inseam and capri-length. If you're like me and you don't want your thighs on show, the summer doesn't have a lot of options!
OakLeaf2010-05-01 22:12:41 +0000 #4

Originally Posted by baskingshark

it's practically impossible to get any kind of running shorts with anything between a 3" inseam and capri-length.

Whole thread: forums.teamestrogen....owthread.php?t=22210 about short tights, right here.
wavedancer2010-05-01 21:55:30 +0000 #5
I am just getting into running also and have been using the Couch to 5K program along with Robert Ullrey's pod casts. It's a really good way to get started but I also echo the caution to go at your own pace. It is taking me MUCH longer to get to the 5K than I thought.

I have also been doing Chi Running and I think it is really key to my being able to run. I am totally new to running at age 59, although my fitness level has been pretty good through cycling. About 8 weeks into my walk/run program I started to get some pain at the top of my hip (IT band or gluteus medius) and Chi Running really helped me discover what I was doing that was most likely causing the problem. (Needing to stabilize the pelvis, avoid over-striding and heel strike). I started out with the book but I did take a workshop. I don't have the DVD, but if I couldn't take a workshop I think I would use the DVD. I am a visual/kinesthetic type of learner and also have a hard time learning a physical skill just from reading about it.

In the workshops one of the universal challenges of everyone there was to avoid over-striding and heel strike. In that way it seems to be most different from "power running." The other thing that most of us were not doing was really letting ourselves lean from the ankles to allow gravity to do the work of propulsion. I agree that there are a lot of things to focus on, but maybe just choosing one at a time and trying to keep awareness of it for a portion of every run will help.

Good luck! If you use the DVD, let us know how it works for you.



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