View Full Version : Need females input regarding running.
07-17-2006, 08:16 AM
I had posted this in the "over 35" forum and got a few responses, then I thought maybe here would be the best spot for it.
I'm a 41yo male and train with a 45 yo female. Best partner I've ever had!! anyway, we want to run a 5k someday and started training for it. My first general ? is ....what is a fair time/mile for most females? She's been struggleing with the running, everything else she has made big gains in, weight training, nutrition, cardio in the gym, but it's this running thing she just poops out, and we end up walking and the run and walk and run...and so on. Some times she gets a cramp under her rib cage (anyone have an idea what that is?) She is in great shape 5'-8" 135 and about 20% bf. she benches good weight we always do 4sets of 12 and she's looking real lean but I don't know what else to do for the runnning. Any thoughts on getting over this? Currently we are at about 11:30 min/mile. (that's the walk run part) I don't want to push to hard but I'm sure she has it in her. and I don't want to seem like the stereotypical male "c'mon suck it up!!" thing. On crappy days we work out in the gym on good days we run outside. She thought it would help to change the scenery.
Thanks for any support!
07-17-2006, 09:31 AM
With the cramping thing, is she getting enough water? I also get cramps if I eat too close to running. As for the time and endurance, that should come with time. How far are you running right now?
07-17-2006, 09:54 AM
My motto up until a couple years ago was: I'm not running unless something is chasing me!!! I hated it with a passion. A friend convinced me to try and run a 5k and for some reason I agreed. I went out after work one day to run so that I could get used to it, thinking 3 miles is no biggie. HA!!! I didn't even make it a quarter mile before I thought I was going to die! It took me a few months to get past that. I think a lot of the running is mental...once you see that you can make it past a certain distance it becomes easier. At least that's how it was for me. I ran a VERY slow mile at first. I think my first 5k was ~33 min. The last one I did was 25 min. It's just a matter of getting used to running, getting your breathing right and not getting too focused on the distance you have left. It just takes time. I wish her luck!
07-17-2006, 10:02 AM
Well when I run alone I run 2 miles non-stop. When we run together it's still two miles just takes longer because of the walk thing. We have early morning workouts we both have to be to work at 7:00 and our club opens at 5:30 so we get up and head in and by 5:35 we are usually running or lifting or whatever the schedule has listed. Sometimes she'll eat a banana before coming in and sometimes not. Should she be drinking more water? (myself as well) like I was saying we get up, get dressed and head in, not much time for breakfast, we eat after our workouts. I don't recall ever getting cramps in my stomach area like she gets. Like a diaghram spasm or something. Could a lack of water cause that? If I really pushed myself I could probably make a 9:30 min/mile for two miles but I don't know about 3 miles.. I want to help her I just don't know what kind of time we should be shooting for. Maybe I'm pushing to hard. We live seperatly, she's my workout partner not my spouse, I can find out more of what she has in the morning, but I would imagine she works out with an empty stomach like I do.
Hey thanks for replying!! I appreciate it.
07-17-2006, 10:04 AM
Some times she gets a cramp under her rib cage (anyone have an idea what that is?)
Those are side stiches. They can be cause by gas in the belly, food still in the stomach, dehydration.
Go to www.runnersworld.com and search for side stiches. They have some tecniques to help curb them. I know I get them often (sometimes even if I'm properly hydrated and don't have food in my stomach). I know sometimes I get them because I start out too fast...
As far as running with my hubby....he goes much faster them me (even when I was in "better" shape). He's just stronger, taller and his stride makes me eat his dust all the times. So we don't really run together...I'm a big believer of go at your pace...maybe you can meet up at the end?
that runner's magazine has a ton of training programs too....
07-17-2006, 10:30 AM
Wow!! in just three responses all my questions are answered!! You kids are the best!! I've got times to work with and now we know what the pain is.. side stitches...yep that's it. She'll be happy to know there are ways to help get rid of that. I know it hurts her alot. We realize that it's mental.. she has friends tell her that "you reach a certain distance and you forget about the pain and miles and all" she's been wondering "how far?" so she gets a little frustrated.
Thanks to everyone!! I may be posting from time to time in this forum on her behalf if that's okay?
07-17-2006, 11:05 AM
We have early morning workouts we both have to be to work at 7:00 and our club opens at 5:30 so we get up and head in and by 5:35 we are usually running or lifting or whatever the schedule has listed.
Ah ah! :) You didn't say you were running early morning!
Try (if your schedule allows) to run in the evenings. For whatever reason I suck at cardio in the morning (I can do the elliptical but running... awwww).
I can lift but running is almost out of the question...my performance is considerably less. And if I do run, I have to go a lot slower and I get fatigued a lot quicker.
Just an idea. See if the evening runs make a difference
My time on a 5K was around 33 min too (I think I got as fast as 26-27 min)
Ps. Side stiches are mental only to a certain point...I know sometimes I can run through them but a lot of times I end up bent in half .. and that's not mental.. it just plain hurts like hell :D
07-17-2006, 12:02 PM
I can run at night, I don't know that she would. We usually do pretty well on the ARC gliders and Ellipticals She'll do 45 min and I'll do about 35 min. something like 550 cal for each of us. I know what you're trying to say about the stamina part. Somedays, I just ain't got it. I'll stare off into space and then somedays she'll do the same thing!! weird.
I was trying to say that the "running" is a lot of mental preperation not the Stiches, I'm here to say that she hurts from them! to the point of swearing like a long shoreman!! while bending over grabbing her side. I feel bad for her.
Thanks for the advice.
07-17-2006, 12:28 PM
I actually run better in the mornings. An hour before, it would be great if she could get in a shake w/ a little whey, maybe some oats and a little bit of banana. Not a lot, but something would be good.
07-17-2006, 01:24 PM
I am lazy; I didn't read the responses thoroughly, but have you tried running with walking intervals?? You can shorted the walking component of it as she becomes more cardiovascularly fit.
Sometimes, I take a potassium supplement to help get rid of cramps, but with your partner, it sounds as if she just needs to build up her endurance.
07-17-2006, 07:30 PM
I take a potassium/magnesium supplement at night, and that helps a lot of cramping. This only works, of course, if you're drinking enough water. People lifting weights (men and women) need at least a gallon a day. If you're running on top of that, you may need more.
I find it hard to progress on running and weight training simultaneously if I'm on a higher volume program. If she's training hard and lifting heavy, her body might not be able to make great gains in running. Recovery ability greatly affects this. How often does she train legs with weights? How often does she run? Are you on any sort of running program or do you just play it by ear?
It may be something as simple as having her eat more daily. More calories = more energy (to a point). Maybe a sports drink/protein shake in the morning before your run.
Try different ideas until you find something that works for her.
Important note: make sure she's getting enough rest. With that kind of load (heavy weight training coupled with increasing run distance/speed) She's going to need at least one day, preferrably two days off weekly. And these should be low-stress days. How much sleep does she get a night? If you notice her performance going down on more than one occasion, it is probably time for a break. Upwards of one to two weeks of light training, or one week entirely off, to allow joints to build, muscles to heal and the endocrine/nervous systems to stabilize.
07-17-2006, 08:00 PM
The stentches could be a couple of things: too much water, dehyration, or poor posture w/ breathing. Since you all are not eating before your runs, I would guess she's dehyrated. I would eat at least a protein bar before your runs. If you all are running outdoors and the weather is warm, your are going to suffer from dehyration and lack of nutrients. As I was always told, a car doesn't run w/out gas! I person can't run w/out fuel--carbs & protein!
In order to make someone a faster runner, you need to do speed intervals. If you have a local track or high school tracks are the best way to increase speed. You can run 100m, 200m and so on, but time them.
You may want to check this out: http://www.coolrunning.com/cgi-bin/ubb/Ultimate.cgi
07-18-2006, 05:15 AM
Okay I hate to open myself up like this but... this is our normal "workout week" all times are 5:30 am unless noted.
Mon: Arc glider about an avg of 40min. Hill climb interval setting. med resistance. about 500 to 600 cals burned.
Tue: Weights..squats, bench press, calf raises and shoulder presses, biceps, if time allows then we do cable rows.
Wed: RUNNING! try to do 2 miles.
Thu: Weights... Leg flexions, triceps, leg extension, shoulder raises sometimes shrugs, lat pull downs.
Fri: lunges around the 1/8 mile track, then abs untill time runs out. (we quit at 6:10 am)
Sat& Sun: normal family house work stuff and doing whatever.
(Tuesday and Thursday, I go back to the club after work and finish the rest of my weight training, she does not.)
The nutrition part we have always struggled with. We both would hit the "wall" at about 9:30 am we would eat breakfast like toast and oatmeal cheese and all sort of combination there of. Protein shakes energybars You name it we tried it. I started a plan that seems to be working for me right now and it's (at 7:00am) cup oatmeal two scoops of vanilla protein powder, one small (lunch box size) of rice krispies all mixed in the oatmeal and one chicken breast. and then at 11:30 I would have one of the large cans of chicken breast from Sams and one (14oz) can of green beans. and then normal suppers (My father in law lives with me and he's not the healthiest eater but we try to make things that he'll eat.) Lasagna or pork chops what ever. She would have...oatmeal with protein and sometimes crackers and cheese sticks, 3 egg whites and then if she gets hungry before lunch she'll have pretzels and cheese. for lunch she'll have a turkey wrap and sometimes she'll have chicken salad. I can't get her to eat much more. She says she trying to follow this plan in Oxygen fit mag....I haven't seen it.
She tries to follow, 1 gram of protein/kg, I go with the 1 gram/lb. our carbs are in the 40% area of a 1600 and 2000 cal/day and fats are about 10% to 20% depending on the day. She gets bored with the whole nutrition thing and doesn't like to play that much. But she does know it's the only way she'll make gains. Hell I still struggle with figuring out what I need to eat and when!!
Now that my fingers are cramping!! this is about it. I would like to see her on a better nutritional plan, but I don't know what a woman needs as opposed to a man. And again I don't live with her so I can't see exactly what she eats although she is honest with me and will tell me if I ask. I have our last set of body measures I'll try to figure out how to post that. She's my best friend ever and I want to help as much as I can. We've been through a lot in our lives and she's a special woman to me so if you gals find something that I'm missing I'd like to hear. Thanks all!
(would like to know more about the potassium thing) how much when and why?
07-19-2006, 04:14 PM
I agree with Razzy in that you need fuel before all of that work. Running on an empty stomach I can understand, but lifting empty? That's just asking for lowered gains. A sports drink, protein shake, energy bar, something before you lift. Anybody feel free to disagree with me, but I'm a stickler for pre-workout nutrition. My protein shake and oatmeal/protein shake and sports drink/protein shake and cereal pre-wo meal is what keeps me going.
Correct me if I read this incorrectly, but are you only running once a week? Running is something you have to keep doing to build on it. For general fitness/cardio I see no problem with what you have, but if you're trying to build running endurance/speed then you'll only improve with more running.
I'd sacrifice the arc glider work and sub in running. Break things up; a slow, distance jog on monday and speed work on Wednesday. Although I wouldn't suggest doing sprint work and heavy leg weighted work side-by-side.
Army-style run training:
Monday -- distance you went previous Friday
Wednesday -- 30-60's, otherwise known as HIIT: jog for 60 seconds, run hard for 30, jog for 60, etc. Start at 5 sets (one of each forms a set). Either increase sets or increase time (ex. 60-120's).
Friday -- distance farther than you went Monday. Repeat this distance on Monday.
Backpacking. My little brother (also in military) swears that wearing a heavy backpack and going for a distance walk significantly improved his run time.
Now, if you really want to train for this 5k, realize that you might have to cut back on the weight training to a degree to prevent overtraining. Make sure you are both getting enough calories.
All of this is In My Own Opinion, and should be taken as such.
07-19-2006, 05:44 PM
Hi, I'm a 36yo female, and started running this past April. I agree with others who've mentioned wanting to die after that first 1/4 mile. :) However, I stuck with it, and am up to 1 3/4 miles at a pretty slow pace, probably a 13:00 mile. I'm also 5'0" tall, so the short legs might have something to do with my speed as well. :)
I, too, get stitches, and it feels like a knife is stabbing me in the chest. Nice to know it's just my diaphragm. I've had days when half my run is with a stitch. It sucks, but I just work through it until I just can't stand it anymore. It never goes away, I just hope it doesn't get worse until I've gone the distance I wanted to.
I've noticed that the more conditioned to running I am, the less often they occur. I'm guessing it's something that will gradually go away with time and training. My suggestion is for her to run more often, 2 or 3 days a week. If I only ran on Wednesdays, it would have taken me twice as long to get where I am now. In my opinion, she's not gaining much ground running only one day a week.
My training schedule in the beginning was M-W-F, running as far as I could. At first, that was 1/4 mile. :) Whenever that distance got easy (or easier), then I'd add another 1/4 mile. Sometimes that only took a week, sometimes it took 3 weeks. (I think it also depended on how much I was working, because I have a pretty strenuous job). I'm working 6 and sometimes 7 days a week, so sometimes I need 2 days off between runs, and try to hike or do yoga. I am also not doing much weight training, since my son is out of school and I can't get to the gym (I'm here for pointers before I get back into it). Which is okay, I wanted to focus on running over the summer anyway.
Hope this helps!
07-19-2006, 08:27 PM
Zinc/Magnesium are limiting factors in testosterone production. I mimic the store blend ZMA by taking 500mg of magnesium asparate. My mag pills are blended with potassium (same measurements), so I get 500mg potassium too.
These aren't recommendations; I'm just telling you what I take.
07-20-2006, 08:07 AM
Phoenix_Star: Congrads on running 1 3/4 mile! As I have stated earlier, I used to be a long distance runner. I can no longer run long distances b/c of my left knee. I still go out there and run 6-8 miles couple times a week--it makes me feel GREAT! Are your training for a specific run?
I just wanted to tell you, it's better to run longer at a slower pace, than faster. Also, are you running 3 days a week? On your rest days, you may want to think about something that will help you increase your speed. Have you thought about biking? If you think about it, as long as your legs are moving faster, it will only help you run faster.
As far as lifting...since your not able to get to the gym, I would just do push up & dips. Your legs will shape from the running. You may need to train your upper body and push up and dips will shape them nicely.
Are you sure they are stentches or pain in your throat that burns all the way down? If it's the pain that burns, it's your breathing pattern. This will change, once your body realizes that it needs more oxygen to help you breath better.
Supplements: I tottally agree on the Magnesium, it's a muscle relaxer. I generally take this before any workout sessions. I, too, take other supplements (vitamins) throughout the day.
07-20-2006, 08:09 AM
For those of your who are trying to run a 5K, here is a training guide. They also have other training guides--10k, Mini, & Mary. They also vary from Beg, Inter, and Expert.
07-20-2006, 08:48 AM
Cool, lots of info,
just what we need. I'm working out a new "weekly program" that will allow us to run more than once a week. She's on vacation right now, so I won't be able to let you know how this all works untill she's tried it for a while. The 30-60 run/sprint sounds like fun, not sure if my new "go go gadget" sports watch can do such a thing but we can come up with something close I'm sure. I'll ask her if she takes Magnesium. Thanks for that tid bit.