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Hi all, this is my first post, so I thought i'd just introduce myself and give you some rough background info, before I tell you about my plans and ask for some help/suggestions :)

I'm 22, and would say i'm not particularly 'fit'. I have never really participated in any kind of regular sporting activities, although a few years back, I played badminton about 3 times a month, cycled to and from work (about 2 miles), and also went to the gym about 3 times a week. But then I got a new job, and my gym partner moved away, so both the cycling and gym work went out of the window.

While I was doing these things, I did lose a fair amount of weight (and some flab!) and I did start to develop some muscle tone. I found that I could really push and motivate myself (which was pretty surprising!)

A few years on, and i've realised that i've become pretty inactive. The only exercise I currently get, is my 30 minute walk into work, 5 times a week.

So after some serious thought (I am prepared to make a pretty big lifestyle change!) and some investigation, i've decided to to enter the world of running (and will be joining a local gym soon).

In preperation, i've bought a heart rate monitor, partly so I can track my progress, gauge my fitness level and hopefully motivate myself (and also because i'm a gadget freak ;). I've also invested in some good running shoes.

I've come up with a starting plan (interval training) and i'd be grateful if you could let me know if you think it's a realistic/efficient plan and hopefully offer some suggestions. :)

---------45minute interval training plan---------
Stretches 30secs each (Calf, Hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, glutes)

5 minute warm up walk(?) (to 65% MHR)

2 minute run @ 85% MHR \
Repeated 8 times (totaling 32mins)
2 minute walk/jog (?) @ 65% MHR /

5 minute cooldown walk

Stretches (as before)
-------------------------------------------------

From what i've read, when training within heart rate zones, I shouldn't be aiming for numbers (in my case, 65% = 129bps, 85% = 169bps) but instead, I should be aiming for a feeling instead. I'm not sure which method is best, I guess i'll start with my interval training, ignore the numbers, and just see what kinda numbers I get ?

Also, how should I go about progressing this training plan? Should I increase the running times while leaving the walking times as they are, or maybe increase both the running and walking times? Or maybe I should start to include long runs at the end of each week?

I guess my short term plan at the moment, is to improve my overall fitness and lose some flab from my chest/stomach before I join the gym.

I'd be grateful for any feedback, any help and suggestions will be gratefully recieved :)

(I also have some diet-related questions, but I think i'll save those for later!)

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looks like you've done your homework. good luck putting the plan into motion.
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Hi there! Welcome! I'm fairly new to this forum, too. Joined up about a week ago. Great group of folk here and very welcoming. I'm guessing that once you identify yourself as a "runner" all the other runners out there wanna be your FREND cuz all those "normal" people out there won't listen to them talk about running! :D

Fairly new to running too. Decided in February some time that I was going to run the Chicago Marathon and so put a schedule of races together to get me there. Not going to WIN any of them just as motivation. So far, I've done three of them, and I'm here to tell you, for me, that's what it's all about. Ok that and the fact I look damn fine in a pair of shorts now thanks to all that definition.

No, seriously, racing is more of a "religious" event than a competitive. one. I've set a goal for myself, but now I get to meet with all these other people that have been trying to do the same kind of thing I've been doing, and we're all just going to run. That's all. Run. For the heck of it. To see how long it takes. Go figure. And when you're doing it with THOUSANDS of people all at the same time, suddenly that two hour run you did a few weeks ago somehow doesn't feel quite so lonely. We're all bozos on this bus, I end up thinking, and I get to be a bozo right along with em!

I found consistancy was the key for me. That is, committing to doing it on a regular basis, not ok one week, off the next, half the next kinda stuff.

Ok gonna be quiet now.

BEST of luck you're off to a GREAT start and even just deciding to do it is a HUGE step!

Brian
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Welcome Caracal!

:coach:

looks like you got a pretty good plan there.

Don't be afraid to "tweak" it...by that I mean...if it's easy...make it tougher, and if it's too hard...back off a bit.

You have made a great decision, and one you won't regret, if you stick to it.

Welcome to runningforums.
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Welcome Carcal!

Im a newbie too.. but the gang here is GREAT!!!

I am doing the Couch to 5K plan over at Cool Running myself. I am on week 4 and I LOVE IT! And I always hated running before!

You might want to check it out.. someone posted the link I believe...
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:wavey: Welcome! I highly recommend the C25K program also, I'm a graduate of that.

Watch out though, running's addicting!
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Welcome Caracal, <btw i love the name, i be a cat person myself > :wavey:

I love to give advice on topics i feel i know. SOOoooo

On the numbers, yup nice to know them, is it something set in stone?? NO!!!. your pulse can can change according to your health, stress level, hydration and other factors. so do not set yourself to the fact that you need to be at specific numbers. to gauge your progress follow you resting pulse. first thing in the morning take the pulse. since your a gadget person i'll let ya use the HR too. just after you put it on lay in bed for 20 mins then take it. use the lowest number in the 20 minute reading.

a good rule of thumb for "feeling" your aerobic zone is if you can carry on a conversation with mild difficulty then your good, if it is easy then run harder if very difficult back off. you can look at your HR to see where the numbers are for you at these levels while your getting a feel for your new endeavors. Do not feel intimidated here even the advanced folks ask basic questions too.

Good luck,
Chuck

Cappy can make a spreadsheet too for you to track your progress.
he loves spreadsheets
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Welcome Caracal, :wavey: I love to give advice on topics i feel i know. SOOoooo On the numbers, yup nice to know them, is it something set in stone?? NO!!!. your pulse can can change according to your health, stress level, hydration and other factors. so do not set yourself to the fact that you need to be at specific numbers. to gauge your progress follow you resting pulse. first thing in the morning take the pulse. since your a gadget person i'll let ya use the HR too. just after you put it on lay in bed for 20 mins then take it. use the lowest number in the 20 minute reading. a good rule of thumb for "feeling" your aerobic zone is if you can carry on a conversation with mild difficulty then your good, if it is easy then run harder if very difficult back off. you can look at your HR to see where the numbers are for you at these levels while your getting a feel for your new endeavors. Do not feel intimidated here even the advanced folks ask basic questions too. Good luck, Chuck Cappy can make a spreadsheet too for you to track your progress. he loves spreadsheets Hehe thanks for all the kind replies :) Re: the gadget comment - Heh nice piece of equipement! Mine is here Just gotta get to grips with the damned software :D I think i'm going to take my watch out, and get some sample rates, while im walking, jogging, running and while at rest, does that sound a sensible way to start, rather than using the 'generic' MHR? Ohh, another thing, what 'zones' should i use for my interval running, 65-70% when walking, then 80-85% when running ?! Thanks again :)
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OK, i've just managed to get my watch software up and running (damn blue-screens!). I just monitored my resting heart rate for the past 5 mins, see the pic HERE. (between 69 - 82bps, is that 'OK' for a resting HR?) I plan to follow this up, by doing some jogging and running, to see what results i get, can anyone suggest a good method of doing this? Should i just jog for 2 mins, then run for 2, then check the results? Thanks :D
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Just done a 15minute sample as well HERE

Results are slightly higher
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Welcome,
The only :twocents: I can really add are to not get frustrated if you don't see continous improvements. It takes time. Keep on getting out on the roads or trails or treadmill and keep on putting one foot in front of the other. As you do that you will break through that wall and see some great improvement.
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Yeah I hear ya :D
So can anyone suggest a good method to guage my HR zones? I'm tempted to just go out and walk for 5 mins, jog for 5, then run for 5, then have a look at my HR results.....
Failing that, i'm just gonna use the 220-age method..... :?
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Warning, finding your max heart rate is sucky.
1. Find a nice hill.
2. Warm up with an easy pace for 10-15 minutes.
3. RUN up the hill full-on. Check for max HR at top of hill. jog back down
4. Repeat step 3 for another 3 or 4 times.
5. use the highest HR that your watch shows at the end of each hill.
222 - age isn't a very good way to find your max. I'm 33 and my max HR is 203. 220-33 would give me 187.
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yeah PH is right, finding MAX is a major pain. his method is ideal for finding it out. at 37 my supposed MHR is 185, my HR reads regualry up 202. hence 202 is my max HR.

from there do the percentages.

on the topic of the Resting HR. that looked like, by the time stamp, to be a mid-day count? if so that is not really a resting HR, it's more what they call the Ambient HR. the resting should be done early morning with minimal motion involved. 60s-80's not bad for an ambient, 80's is a wee high for a resting HR though.
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Yeah that was taken while I was sitting at my computer, after work.
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