Gas station without pumps

2018 May 28

Starting jogging

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:31

As I announced at the end of February (in Twenty-eighth weight progress report), I plan to start running again, with the goal of running  Bike Santa Cruz County’s  12km run on 26 August 2018 at Wilder Ranch.  It has been four decades or more since I did any real running, so I’ll have to work up to it slowly (adding 1 km a week).

I started out this weekend by jogging around the block (1.1 km) each day.  My times are not great: 5:30–6:14, which is 10.7–12.1 km/hr, or an 8–9-minute mile pace, but my goal for the summer is just to build up my legs until I can run 12km, not to get particularly fast.  Even back when I jogged on a regular basis, I was not fast.  I’ll be very pleased if I can hold a 8-minute-mile pace for 12km by the end of the summer, without injuring myself.

I plan to continue doing the 1.1km every day this week, increasing to 2km next weekend.  Eventually I’ll start alternating between long and short days, perhaps even adding a rest day each week for recovery, but while my distances are so short, I might as well do them every day.


  1. My advice is to give yourself permission to go slower than that. When I was running in high school and college, 8 minute miles would have felt slow to me. (I used to run 5K’s around 16:30.) I run 3-4 times a week now, and usually turn in 9:30-9:50 miles. When I’m in a race, I’ll go faster, but under 9 minute miles is still plenty fast for me.

    I think we’re of a similar age (I’m 55). I figure running, at whatever pace, is better than not running. My favorite running slogan that I’ve seen on a shirt, “One day I won’t be able to run. Today’s not that day.”

    Comment by Mark Guzdial — 2018 May 29 @ 08:03 | Reply

    • I’m about 8 years older than you, and I haven’t run (except when I’m late for class or to catch a bus) in 40 years, so I was pleased that I could run a kilometer at an 8-minute-mile pace. I probably will slow down as I increase the distance.

      I’m a little out of breath after a kilometer, but it is my legs, not my lungs, that are limiting me at the moment. Bicycling does not use exactly the same muscles that running does, and I am getting a little stiffness in muscles that I’ve not used much in years.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2018 May 29 @ 08:15 | Reply

  2. As the race director for the event you are aiming for, my main feedback is “yeah!” As a long-time runner with lots of friends who run in the 50+ category, I can say that my experience tells me the hardest thing about running is not the discipline needed to get up to 12 km, but the discipline to do it in a gradual way that doesn’t get you injured. Eight minute miles are probably a little fast for not having run recently, and running on pavement. Your bicycling lungs will trick you into thinking your non-running legs are capable of more than they really are. At this stage, I would encourage you to run a little slower and focus on form. There’s a lot to say about form, but the overriding advices to think about the physics of your body and aim to minimize pounding on joints.

    The “Run by the Sea” 12K is on 95% dirt. So another thing you want to do in your training is to run off pavement. The best place to do it is at Wilder Ranch itself. You can bike out on the path, lock your bike up in front of the bathrooms, and do the Old Cove Landing Trail, the 2.3 mile trail that goes alongside the ocean. Until you’re ready to run that full distance, it’s also a great place to do the run walk run strategy. If you want to add hills, you can also run the Meder Street path, which is now “unfortunately” half paved. Going up that, turning right to go past Meder Street Park, and then down the Bay path would be a nice loop.

    Comment by whatisron — 2018 May 29 @ 09:41 | Reply

  3. For an old fart (65) who used to run a lot (marathons and ultras) 8 min miles are great, after a year of training. Try for 10s, they will not damage anything if you are only in halfway decent shape. I am not sure you have done this but buy new shoes, from a store that specializes in running, not Walmart. Achilles tendinitis ended my running for good, probably caused by running too much, too fast, without proper recovery and on old shoes. Have fun. Wish I could run with you.

    Comment by gflint — 2018 May 30 @ 06:50 | Reply

    • I plan to get running shoes in about 3 weeks when all my grading is over (I have about 98 more hours of grading to do this quarter). There is a running store that has been recommended to me on the other side of town, and several people have recommended that I look at the Altras brand of running shoe. I plan to get shoes with substantial sole padding (very different from the thin-soled shoes and barefoot running of my youth), because much of my running will be on pavement.

      For now, I’m using the footwear that I have that has the most padding and fits my feet best, which happens to be a pair of Teva sandals.

      I’ve been doing a little stretching each day, to try to regain some of the stride length I’ve lost over the years—biking to work does not involve as large a movement of the legs as running. The muscles that have gotten tight are the calf muscles and one on the inside of the thighs at the top (the adductor longus? adductor brevis?). They are not painful, but I can feel them being tight, particularly when I get up after sitting for too long.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2018 May 30 @ 07:42 | Reply

      • Since the race is 95% dirt and you are more of a biker than a runner look for a shoe with more drop than the Altras. Something like the Brooks Cascadia. Zero drop shoes like the Altras are great if your calf and Achilles are well stretched or you are young and flexible. The Cascadias also make excellent hiking/backpacking shoes. Ages ago I used to sell running shoes. The Cascadia was the go-to shoe for all purposes except long distance pavement. Just a little heavy for that. Since you are going to a running shoe store there should be no worries about getting the right shoe for your ability and use. When you get those shoes ask about light weight wool socks. The new blends are so much nicer than cotton.

        Like whatisron said be sure to do some running on trails, off pavement. It is definitely different and is much easier on your feet and joints. A lot more fun too.

        Comment by gflint — 2018 May 30 @ 08:37 | Reply

        • I’ll look into the Brooks Cascadia as well.

          For the next 3 weeks, I’ll mainly be running from my house (because of scheduling constraints), which means running on pavement. I’ll do some trail running over the summer (probably mostly on campus, but I might check out Wilder Ranch and Pogonip trails also). I don’t plan to start trail running until I get some shoes, as sandals have a tendency to get bark, gravel, and twigs between my foot and the sandal even when I’m just walking on trails.

          Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2018 May 30 @ 08:42 | Reply

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