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Exercise & Fitness: it’s a marathon, not a sprint


Iskaral Pust
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On 6/27/2022 at 7:14 AM, Chataya de Fleury said:

How achievable would a half marathon be? 

And, what’s the issue with going further? Is it leg pain, knee pain, do you run out of energy at mile 10? Those can al be fixed. Or is it simply the time commitment? Marathon training is truly a commitment.

I just started running (jogging, given this heat) again…furthest is 6.5 miles, and I am sloooow.

I could probably do one next spring. One issue though is I can't train during the winter unless I sign up for a gym, which at this point I probably should anyways. My home gym is pretty sweet, but all I've got for cardio is a stationary bike. 

Regarding my concerns, it's mostly a body type issue. I was a great sprinter in HS, but very average when it came to distance running. I once ran a sub five minute mile and a number of four minute ones on an elliptical, but after about four-five miles I can't maintain a fast pace and need to slow it down to 9-10 minute miles when running outside or on a treadmill. I'm guessing I'll probably need to average 12 minute miles to have any chance at completing a full marathon and I've never pushed myself anywhere close to that so I have no idea how my body will react.

And I have sorta, but not completely flat feet. Never affecting me playing sports, but I'm sure it will with distance running. I did do 3x30 with 30lb free weights the other day so that was pretty cool. 

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47 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Regarding my concerns, it's mostly a body type issue. I was a great sprinter in HS, but very average when it came to distance running. I once ran a sub five minute mile and a number of four minute ones on an elliptical, but after about four-five miles I can't maintain a fast pace and need to slow it down to 9-10 minute miles when running outside or on a treadmill. I'm guessing I'll probably need to average 12 minute miles to have any chance at completing a full marathon and I've never pushed myself anywhere close to that so I have no idea how my body will react.

And I have sorta, but not completely flat feet. Never affecting me playing sports, but I'm sure it will with distance running. I did do 3x30 with 30lb free weights the other day so that was pretty cool. 

Aaaah. Yes, you need to build mileage slowly. A few short runs during the week, then a long run on the weekend, always gradually building the mileage.

The running should be at a pace where you can carry on a conversation. Don’t worry about how fast or slow you are. Speed might come later, if you work at it, but your first goals should be to run the given distance and to be healthy while doing it.

My primary goal in a marathon was always that the ambulance would not be coming for me, and then to finish, and then a time frame.

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Got my arse kicked by Covid the past two weeks. I suppose I had to catch it eventually. I'm over all the symptoms now except the fatigue, which is still dragging me down big time. I feel like I want to sleep 14 hours a day.

Even before covid, I've hit a point where I've mostly totally given up on working out. I'm still staying active and trying to keep fit, but recently I've just been finding exercise for the sake of exercise such a mental drain. Iinstead I've been trying to embrace a lifestyle that keeps me moving as a matter of course. So unless driving is the only realistic option, I either bike or walk to get around. I still do sport with friends a couple of times a week, and paddle boarding once a week or so. Also thrown up a home pull-up bar so I just do random pull-ups and press-ups throughout the day.

It mostly seems to be working for me at the moment. It's been a big weight of my mind, letting go of the endless cycle of "I should be going to the gym" followed by either boredom if I do go or guilt if I don't.

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17 hours ago, Liffguard said:

Got my arse kicked by Covid the past two weeks. I suppose I had to catch it eventually. I'm over all the symptoms now except the fatigue, which is still dragging me down big time. I feel like I want to sleep 14 hours a day.

Even before covid, I've hit a point where I've mostly totally given up on working out. I'm still staying active and trying to keep fit, but recently I've just been finding exercise for the sake of exercise such a mental drain. Iinstead I've been trying to embrace a lifestyle that keeps me moving as a matter of course. So unless driving is the only realistic option, I either bike or walk to get around. I still do sport with friends a couple of times a week, and paddle boarding once a week or so. Also thrown up a home pull-up bar so I just do random pull-ups and press-ups throughout the day.

It mostly seems to be working for me at the moment. It's been a big weight of my mind, letting go of the endless cycle of "I should be going to the gym" followed by either boredom if I do go or guilt if I don't.

Sorry about the COVID.  Hopefully that fatigue passes soon.

I feel just the same as you on the general malaise, and I hear it from so many people I know: more fatigue in general, less energy and motivation to sustain an established exercise routine.

For six months now I’ve averaged 1-2 workouts weekly, including several weeks with nothing.  I’m still active doing plenty of projects around the house or going for walks but I often don’t have the energy for weight lifting when my usual window for exercise arrives.  And I’m definitely spending too many hours each week just stuck in front of a Zoom screen, or else exhausted after spending ten hours in front of a screen with hardly a break.  But I also hear about this fatigue from people who don’t work on screens or Zoom.

AFAIK I’ve never had COVID but it makes me wonder if I had an asymptomatic infection that is sapping my energy now.  Or perhaps this is the nebulous burnout that is so widely reported.   I realize that I’m in my mid forties now but this loss of energy happened very abruptly and steeply.

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I haven't trained for 10 months now for various reasons, main of which being a shoulder injury that can't seem to go away and I can't focus on getting that sorted out properly with all the other stuff going on in my life.

Two days ago I decided to finally go running at and did a half hour 5k run which. Today I repeated it, but tried to pace myself a bit slower so I can keep my heart rate lower. I suck at running based on my heart rate but I keep telling myself that sucking at something is the first step to being good at it so I choose to look at it that way.

Heat is insane, over 25ºC at 8AM, but I've dropped out of the routine of getting up earlier so I'll have to work on that as well.

The plan is to run for half an hour 3-4 times a week, focusing on the heart rate, for a while and then extend the duration, increase the pace, do intervals, tempo, distance, hills etc. Maybe even run a 10k or a half-marathon in the fall. Nothing set in stone, I'll just see how it goes and play by ear.

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45 minutes ago, baxus said:

I haven't trained for 10 months now for various reasons, main of which being a shoulder injury that can't seem to go away and I can't focus on getting that sorted out properly with all the other stuff going on in my life.

Two days ago I decided to finally go running at and did a half hour 5k run which. Today I repeated it, but tried to pace myself a bit slower so I can keep my heart rate lower. I suck at running based on my heart rate but I keep telling myself that sucking at something is the first step to being good at it so I choose to look at it that way.

Heat is insane, over 25ºC at 8AM, but I've dropped out of the routine of getting up earlier so I'll have to work on that as well.

The plan is to run for half an hour 3-4 times a week, focusing on the heart rate, for a while and then extend the duration, increase the pace, do intervals, tempo, distance, hills etc. Maybe even run a 10k or a half-marathon in the fall. Nothing set in stone, I'll just see how it goes and play by ear.

I’m doing walk/jog as I can tolerate, given the heat, for up to 6 miles. I generally jog the first mile (used to be the first half mile…improvement!!) and then walk/jog alternate for the remainder. I like 6 miles, it feels good. When I can jog the full 6, I’ll be ready to add more mileage.

You are correct in that “sucking at something is the first step to (getting back to) being good at it” (parenthesis mine) and also, keep In mind that you are kicking ass out of the version of you that would be sitting on the couch.

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On a more positive note for me, I’ve finally had my pool back in use these past two weeks (a patio construction project was hampering us) and it has been great to have that option available again.

Last weekend I swam twice and did two gym sessions.  That was the best exercise volume in months.  I’ll get at least that much over this long weekend too.

And I’ve stayed off the nightly desserts for several weeks again.  It gets easier after the first few days of withdrawal.

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On 6/30/2022 at 10:02 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

Just did a 9k run with my mate, my first run in a couple months :lol: no idea where I got the energy but I feel chuffed & hope I’ll continue ! 

Well third run this week tonight. I’ve decided to start couch to 5k, I was always embarrassed to before because I used to be a runner for years. But i have no fitness even if I have the annoying muscle memory which makes me think I can do more than I can :lol: so I’m starting at the very beginning and actually quite excited to see what happens with something so structured like this. 

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I've been slowly battling that stupid glute injury. Nine months after my marathon I finally ran 4 miles in one go this week! I'm still getting some stiffness and occasional pain in the glute, but it's much better than it was. I also started incorporating speed work the past 2 weeks with no increase in pain. Doubt I'll be in racing shape again this year, but hopefully by next year!

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On 7/12/2022 at 5:21 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

Miserable run today. HORSEFLIES EVERYWHERE. Any tips to repel them please? 

Yikes. The only thing I can recommend is something with a lot of DEET in it might maybe make them stay away? Maybe also make sure you are using an unscented soap?

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Oh how I HATE my body, how I hate absolutely everything about it! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it! Fucking seven hells...

Summer break has started. Before I was only able to jog on the weekends, now I jog every single morning. I'm trying to do situps every morning after I wake up and every evening before going to sleep. I'm trying to fit in my dumb bells and pushup somewhere in between whenever I have the time.

Doesn't matter, my body is still breaking apart all the time. I have massive neck pains going on for months now, I had briefly an enflammation on my eyelid last week and for several weeks now I'm fighting with an enflammation in my right index finger that refuses to go away. In addition to that I feel fat and flabby at the belly despited still weighing 56 kg at 170 cm height and yesterday my mother pointed out that I have spontaneously developed a double-chin when I look down that I can't unsee now anymore (especially since she keeps mocking me for it).

What the hell, body??? Why do I get to look and feel worse despite doing as much sports as I rarely did before?!? I have the strong suspicion after a bit of googling that the chin thing might be a muscle problem connected with my insane neck pain, so I now started some exercises against it that will likely be as futile as everything else I'm doing.

Oh how I hate my fucking body...

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1 hour ago, Toth said:

Before I was only able to jog on the weekends, now I jog every single morning. I'm trying to do situps every morning after I wake up and every evening before going to sleep. I'm trying to fit in my dumb bells and pushup somewhere in between whenever I have the time.

Jogging every single morning might not be as beneficial as you would think, especially if you don't vary your runs a bit. Doing the same workout over and over will rather quickly become less effective than it was at first. I would suggest setting yourself a goal, like a 5k run for start and finding a training programme for it online or maybe even joining a running club/group if there's one nearby.

There are better exercises for your core than sit ups and you can mix and change those as well.

Don't get too focused on running, think about other modes of training. If you're 56kg at 170cm height and still feeling "fat and flabby at the belly" you could be "skinny fat" in which case you'd be better with some sort of weight training to increase your muscle mass. Also, you mention summer break and your height and weight numbers suggest you're still in school (correct me if my assumption is wrong) so timing could be great for weight training, though I'd advise against improvising that yourself or looking things up online. You should get someone to look out for your technique and correct you when needed. I will repeat, look into different things, check what best fits your schedule, what you have available nearby, what friends you could to things with etc. Last but not least, find out what's most fun for you. More fun it is, more likely you'll be to stick with it.

1 hour ago, Toth said:

What the hell, body??? Why do I get to look and feel worse despite doing as much sports as I rarely did before?!?

It takes time for workout to give results, and you need to ramp up the intensity levels, not just throw yourself at it and try to tough it out while your body keeps giving you signals to take it easy.

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