exercise/running

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by zblaxberg, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. zblaxberg Guest

    zblaxberg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    #1
    1st question-Hey so I'm 18 and about 6'2 and 155lbs and I'd say I'm in decent shape. But I really want to be able to run 5k races and other stuff. I was wondering if anyone has tips for getting endurance up or how to run long distances because I can only go for maybe 1/4 of a mile and I feel like I can't run anymore.

    2nd Question- I really want a pack of abs. I'm willing to work hard for it and I usually workout like 2-3 times a week but it doesn't seem to be doing me any good. Any suggestions as far as abs or just bulking up in general and getting muscular?

    By the way there isn't any motive behind this except for the fact that I'm very self conscious and would like to be in better shape. I come from a long line of diabetics and people with heart disease and it's better to start now and get in shape.
     
  2. walangij macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    MI
    #2
    Hey it's awesome to hear you wanting to improve your health, always great to hear!

    So Q1) I have no expert advice for this, only experience. So when I started running when overweight I found it very hard to run 1 mile, but this is because I was overtaxing myself and running to quickly. I just slowed down the pace, and after that, increased my distance. As I became healthier, I increased my pace as well until I could run 1 mile in 6 minutes fine. From reading that you're in pretty good health, I'm sure it'll be a lot quicker, just remember to not go too fast, keep a good pace that you can manage. Are you getting cramps or shortness of breath after 1/4 mile?

    Q2) So for a pack of abs, first things first, it can only be done with proper nutrition which can be found everywhere on the web these days so do a search but don't believe everything. Friends who have abs say that getting them is 90% nutrition, 10% training (and a few percent genetics) and for getting abs, proper nutrition is key. Since you are doing 2-3 workouts a week, are they all exactly the same and how many sets/reps are you doing? What amount of time do you have between your workouts? Are you working out your lower body and doing compound movements? Also, most likely your lack of gain is because you are not eating enough. So once again nutrition is key.
     
  3. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #3
    1) Start slow and steady. Run for a mile, walk a half mile, run a mile, do a cooldown. Set a milage goal for the week. This isn't something to work TOWARDS but instead a number you reach every week until it is easy to hit. Then up it by five miles for the next week.

    2) Sit-ups, crunches, pushups. Make sure to stretch and also do arm workouts, chest workouts, etc. You can't just focus on one part of the body, you have to work everything.
     
  4. zblaxberg thread starter Guest

    zblaxberg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    #4
    1- I do tend to get really cramped/ a lot of pain in my stomach from running and maybe I should try slowing it down a little more just to see what happens.

    2- I try and do 2-3 full body workouts( i'll go like monday wednesday thursday or something like that) . I'll do about 30 minutes of cardio whether it be on the treadmill or another machine and then i'll go to free weights for bicep curls and other upper body exercises. Then to the ab machine which basically assists you in doing crunches I usually have it at 70lbs and i'll do 3 sets of 10 reps.
     
  5. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #5
    I've been a long distance guy since the 80's. There are some avid runners on MR at various distances. I know Mad Jew may have some things to contribute, and emw just finished a half marathon over the weekend.

    Anyway, I'd say step one, if you haven't already invested in a good pair of running shoes, get some good running shoes.

    If you're in pretty decent shape, at 18, once you're confident that the shoes you need give you proper support, start out with some slow jogging. Start slow. That's the first, fundamental mistake made by long distance beginners. Then build up to 3 miles or 30+ minutes of continuous jogging for 4-5 times a week. Do this for several weeks, and your body will probably let you know what's next.

    Watch for heat, and be sure you're well hydrated. Find some good stretching techniques for pre and post runs.

    Congrats on making a good investment in your health. Good luck.
     
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #6
    Q1. just run. It will get up longer over time. When I got back into running it was a struggle for me to run even close to mile and the more I ran the easier it became for me to do it.

    Q2. Remember getting a 6-pack and it still be healthy for you is genetics. Most people simplely can not get the well defined 6 pack and it still be heathy for them. It requires getting you fat pretty low and our mussels are not exactly shaped that way.

    For me personally the bad running bugs me because back in Jr high I could run a 7 min mile with out breaking a sweat and I could keep going. Now I would be lucky to be able to run an entire mile. I used to have some more mussel mass on me.
    As for my current build. I am 24, 6'4 and 154-156lb (depending on when I weight my self during the day)
     
  7. mattscott306 macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    #7
    Thats about the best advice you'll get. I've been following that for about the past month- there's definitely an improvement over where I was when I started running.
     
  8. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    Yeah six packs are very genetic, basically how your body carries fat. I know a number of people who are in better shape than I am but have no definition, but I can get a nice pack with a few weeks of regular pushups (works your abs more than you might realize) and crunches.

    If you're really looking for ab tone, vary your exercise...crunches, crunches with some weight, hanging from a bar and tucking your knees to your stomach, laying on your back and lifting your legs in the air, etc. You can add a little sideways motion (crunch just to left/right of your knees) to work your obliques as well.

    Also, when you start to run more, you'll probably get a lot hungrier...carbs are your friend!
     
  9. walangij macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    MI
    #9
    Q1) if you get cramps, then yea probably run slower and try to get into a cadence with breathing, the greatest advice like others have said is start slow, you're body will adopt and soon the cramps will be gone.

    Q2) Sounds like you are on a good track. I suggest that you do your cardio after your workout b/c I have found that when I do cardio before I am unable to lift as much. For abs, crunches are ok, the bicycle exercise is an awesome ab exercise, just google it and try it out. Also some other excellent ab exercises:

    1. Pushups! - your abs stabilize you, and it also helps you build the stabilizing muscles in your back. Pushups are excellent and there's many variations. (like OutThere said, a great exercise you would not expect)
    2. The plank -google it, great core exercise for abs and helps you lift more
    3. The Side bridge -google it, great exercise for core strength and obliques
    4. I find crunches to be inefficient, weighted crunches are ok, but I think that these exercises will ultimately be more beneficial in reaching your goal. I've seen people do hundreds of crunches a day for a couple years with the only result being that they are very good at crunches.

    Like others have said, getting a 6 pack is some genetics, but you can get some great flat abs w/o a six pack and look great. But still nutrition is still the key. proper nutrition is the difference between getting cut and lean and just getting big fat and bulky. I cannot emphasize how important proper nutrition is. It will benefit you in reaching your goal and staying health the rest of your life. Most problems with weight/health are not solely b/c of the lack of exercise. The majority of these problems is from improper nutrition.

    With your workout plan, it looks spaced well, are you doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, pullups/chinups? These are staple exercises and are great b/c they use so many muscles as you do them. The Bench Press is also a staple, but it can potentially lead to injuries so be sure that you are not trying to lift too much, remember than proper form with lighter weights is much more beneficial than lifting a bunch with improper form (and will minimize injuries). Also a great tip is to go to the gym or wherever you workout with a small notepad and record your exercises, sets, weights, reps, and such, you'll see some great improvements other than the size of your muscles which can be deceiving.

    When you are more established in your cardio as well, I will suggest trying out some High-Intensity training, it'll help you carve out your abs and get more definition. But as the name suggest, it is very taxing on the body. So I'd suggest that first, you do as others say with running. Is your goal to be a distance runner for competitions? or just for overall health and improving your physique? in the future, High intensity training would benefit you in the latter once you are ready for it.

    A key thing for all this is to be persistent and not give up, it separates those who want to look like someone who has a nice physique to being someone who is healthy, content, and has the physique that reflects that.
     
  10. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    and remember to stretch AFTER your run not before. It's a myth to stretch before. Stretching cold muscles is bad.

    Warm up before you run. Walk. Speed walk. Jog. Then run.

    Then cool down and STRETCH.

    You seem to be in fine health. If you're worried about your family's genes, you can ask your doctor about that. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you're really healthy if you've received a bad cholesterol gene for example.

    If you just want to run to run, go for it. Don't run and work out for 6 pack abs for vanity sake though as others have said.
     
  11. mattscott306 macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    #11
    Stretching cold muscles is bad, but taking a five minute walk and then stretching your muscles is good. It gives you body a chance to warm up, and then you can loosen your body, reducing risk of injury.
     
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #12
    It drives me nuts how much people will strain and struggle to get that all mighty six pack and think having very clearly defined mussels is the key to everything. Normally it is the 6 pack everyone wants and they refuse to think they are thin until they are get it.

    Just they will not list to well to me because like you I can get one with very little effort. I am on the slightly under weight side. and then they tell me I have no room to talk. At the same time I have my own stresses to deal with on it. Both my bother and sister bulk up with mussels a lot quicker and larger than I do. Would I like to be able to do that hell yeah but I also know that I just can't. I am not built the same way as they are.
     
  13. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #13
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #14
    I think it's easier for some people than others, but here's what I think about abs: You'll get nice abs after you start running heaps. That's it. I have a rather low body fat simply because I run 2-3 times per week. Everyone thinks I was lifting weights and stuff because I was getting more defined, but I hadn't. Then I started going to the gym (and doing weights) 1-2 times per week AND running (outdoors) 2 times per week, and it shows. Funny thing is that I still don't do sit-ups and yet have a 6 pack, or an 8 pack if I tighten my abs.

    However, your results may vary. All I can say is that if you want your abs to show, running and other cardio is a good first step.
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #15
    I started running in my 20s, with bad experiences running when I was in high school. I broke it down much more -- like running 1/10 of a mile, walking 1/10, ..., and then slowly increasing the ratio of running to walking (e.g. making it run 1/5 of a mile, walk 1/10, or run 1/10, walk 1/20, etc). That happened to really work for me. It took me a while of doing this to get to the point where 2-3 mile daily runs were not too bad, but to be honest, once I got there, breaking subsequent walls (like from being able to run 2-3 to 6-7, and from 6-7 to 12-15, and finally to a marathon) were not nearly so bad.

    I think a big plus you have is that you sound like you already have a very lean physique naturally -- a lot of people are going to have tremendous difficulty weighing 155 at 6'2". It's going to be much easier for you to pick up running than someone who weighs 20-30lbs more than you do at that height.
     
  16. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #16
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    There's some excellent advice in there. I have to admit that I am not very good about stretching (and apparently sufficiently genetically blessed to not suffer from my bad behavior), and I also ran hundreds of miles on a pair of Nike XC shoes that didn't even fit right. :eek: But it would've been better for me to stretch more (I'm a little better now) and have gotten reasonable shoes in the first place. :D
     
  18. true777 macrumors 6502a

    true777

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Location:
    California, Austria, Arkansas
    #18
    Like most others have said, start SLOW and steady, be persistent (running everyday or at least every other day would be best), and give it time.

    Also, if you are a smoker you should try to quit if you are serious about getting in shape, and alcohol is also bad.

    Regarding building muscle mass, nutrition is key. Make sure to have enough LEAN PROTEIN in your diet!!! That is, eat lean chicken breast, turkey breast, egg whites, beans, low-fat dairy products, and soy. Also, eat lots of vegetables and make sure to drink enough fluids. Eat some good carbs (whole grains, not sugar!), and very little fat, and in combination with exercise this should be a sure way to get lean, mean, and packed.

    When looking at food labels the first thing I look at is the ratio of protein to carbs & fat. Ideally you want as much protein as possible. If you are not great at getting protein, you can try whey protein powder that is low-fat and low-sugar.

    Stay away from muscle-gainer powder shakes and muscle snack bars since they are mostly loaded with sugars and fats.
     
  19. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #19
    Getting a six pack is all about body fat. Everyone has abs and if you have very little body fat covering them, they will show. The more fat you have covering your abs, the bigger your abs need to be to be seen. How your body stores fat (genetics) is a major factor to how hard you will have to work, but no matter how bad your genetics are, you can get a six pack with proper nutrition and good aerobic exercise. Exercises which work your core will also make a difference -- things such as push-ups and the plank are great but any exercise which gets your body moving a various directions where your core muscles are required to stabilize your body will do wonders for your midsection.
     
  20. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #20
    I've run more than a dozen marathons, run about 40 miles a week and have never stretched a day in my life. Walking about a half-mile before and after a run is normally very sufficient.

    Not to say that stretching at other times is not a good way to increase your flexibility, but it's also how most people injure themselves.
     
  21. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #21
    I smiled reading this. Give it time. :) Seriously, a walk down is not bad, but not specific enough to target genetic or structural issues that a good stretch routine can address.

    Anything mentioned previously about stretching assumes that good stretching technique is used. The most frequently violated technique I've seen novices do is bounce in to a stretch. Not good.

    •Warm up before you stretch.
    •Hold each stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds. As you become more flexible gradually increase the time to 1 minute.
    •Don't stretch to the point of pain. You should feel tension, but not pain.
    Don't bounce when stretching. This can cause muscle pulls, or worse yet, muscle tears.
    •Make sure you breathe. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
    •Stretch all of your muscles for best results. The muscle groups to stretch are: lower back, upper back, chest, shoulders, rear thighs, front thighs, hip flexors, calves, shins, neck, arms, and wrists.
     
  22. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #22
    I have; I'm in my 40s. ;)

    Like I said, stretch if you like, but be really, really careful. I have friends who ruined their entire seasons stretching.
     
  23. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #23
    He's right on the mileage. I used to run competitively in high school cross country and track and field. I'm not quite that crazy anymore in college, but I still do on occasional a half marathon here or there.

    I think the most important thing equipment wise is to find a runner's shoe store like tortoise and hare (for michigan). You really need someone to tell your if you're an over pronater or under pronator and get the proper pair of shoes. Additionally, it is essential for your to mix your distance runs with intensive cardio. I prefer bleachers (some people call them stairs), you can find training techniques online.

    As for your abs, doing bleachers and running hills will help, but the most important thing is diet. Also, I've found that taking GNC Pro Performance CLA after every meal (I eat about six meals a day at around 500 calories each meal) really helps to get your abs to appear.

    Even if you do all of the above though, you still might not get as big or as defined of abs as you want to. Depending on what stage you are in your life, you may want to try something more extreme. I recommend a Muai Thai fighter training camp. It will almost certainly get your bigger and more cut at the same time, but it is kind of extreme because you will probably get beat up all the time.
     
  24. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #24
    Ah yes, my advice would be to stop. Now. Before you get hooked and start running crazy-ass distances when you're 38 like me. Next thing you know you'll be training for marathons and buying Fuel Belts and Body Glide instead of an iPhone.

    It's a dangerous path to follow, and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Sure, you're 18 now and care free. But soon you'll be in your 30's and aching to get that last 5 miler in before "the big race." Then you'll just be aching.

    Save your knees. Save your ankles. Save your back.

    Buy an AppleTV, a bag of Ruffles, and watch the next marathon from your couch.
     
  25. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #25
    Truer words have never been spoken.
     

Share This Page