Exercise! - I need running help ... I think

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03-09-2007, 04:37 PM
Ok, I think I need some help. I started running in Jan 07, 5 days a week. I run (currently) 2.75 mi on a teadmil at 4 miles per hour. I am increasing my distance by a "half a lap" each week and am aiming for a 5k. When I see what other are doing, it seems like what I am doing is pathetic!! I know I could run further (could do 5k now, but not 5 days a week), but I thought it would be better to take it slow. If I go faster though, I wouldn't be able to go as far. My 1 mile is basically 14 some odd mins! How do I go faster but still be able to add to my distance. I just seem unusually slow compared to most people. Any help? Thanks. Jelly

03-09-2007, 04:52 PM
I'm no expert (and still learning myself) but here's what I know. First of all, you're basically already doing the 5k. 2.75 miles is about 4.5 km.

Second, I was told and am following the advice to work on distance or time, but not both. I also started running in January and have slowly worked up to the 5km. Now I'm working on my speed. I adjust the treadmill speed up and down to get a good cardio workout and to eventually get faster.

I know it's working for me because to start I couldn't go above 4.5 mph on the treadmill but now I run at about 5.2-5.4. Like you though, I look at other people in wonder. I've seen more than one person running beside me on the treadmill at speeds of between 7 and 8+ mph. Craziness. :dizzy:

So basically, who cares how you are compared to others. Decide that if 5km is your goal, keep working on the distance (ignore the speed completely) and when you are comfortable doing the 5k, slowly work on your speed.

Not sure if this helps but keep me posted because I'm basically in the same boat!


And oh yeah, be proud of your accomplishments...it's great!

03-09-2007, 05:54 PM
I worked on speed when I started running. I got it to 10 minute miles. But I could NEVER seem to get more than 3 miles in. So I got on a treadmill where I could pace my run and set it to 14 minute miles. It was the first day I managed to do 5 miles. And I'd been running a lot longer than a couple months, about 5 to 6 days a week.

Some people are going to go faster, some further. Some just need more work. It's true what elisa said, you work on either speed or distance...one at a time. But you may never do an 8 minute mile, or run 10 miles. If your body can't take it, it just can't. But that doesn't mean don't try. You may one day do it. Just don't get frustrated if you can't.

I work with heart limitations and so I try not to compare myself to what others can do. Three miles a day is more than enough for me. I may never win a race, but at least I know I've run some. ;)

03-09-2007, 06:31 PM
What really helped me increase my endurance and speed when running wasn't running at all, but swimming. Swimming is a fantastic cardio workout because you have to hold your breath while you do it. I try to swim one day per week and every week that I do it I see a noticeable improvement in my running. If you have access to a pool, I definitely encourage you to try it.

You could also try alternating short sprints with walking (e.g., 1 min sprint, 1 min walk for 5 to 10 minutes). I do this when I swim (3 sets of 4 one-lap sprints alternating with slow laps) and it seems to really help. When I run on the treadmill I always try to do at least 1 min on my fastest possible speed. Another thing to try would be to increase the incline you run on. Once you get used to running on an incline, when you lower it, you'll be able to run faster. (And then when you compare yourself to others you can feel smug about the fact that you run on an incline, because most of them probably don't ;) ).

Finally, unless you are trying to win a race, I wouldn't worry so much about what anyone else is doing. So long as you are working hard and getting your heart rate up, that's all that matters.

03-09-2007, 06:57 PM
First off for two months in you are doing EXCELLENT. Not pathetic at ALL. I know people who took YEARS to be able to run that far. You dont want to change too much too fast. Mixing it up can help prevent boredom though

The following is all suggestions on how you MIGHT want to proceed..they are just examples of possible ways, but certainly you are doing awesome if you just continue on as you have been for awhile.

If you would like to work a bit on speed (this is COMPLETELY not necessary at this point) then ONE day a week warm up at your current pace for 10 minutes. Then increase your pace SLIGHTLY...maybe to 4.3 for 1-2 minutes and return to your normal pace for 2-3 minutes. Do 2-4 intervals like that, then cool down at your normal pace. This day can be shorter than the other 4 days. See how it feels. On your ONE speed day a week, play with pace. Find a pace that you can do the 2 minutes without struggling too much and that you can feel recovered from after your return to normal pace.

On your other 4 days maintain your current pace and keep adding distance until you get to whatever your comfortable goal/workout time. (i.e. 3 miles @ 4 mph is 45 minutes--that is a really good length for a cardio workout)

When you are comfortable running THAT distance on your normal days try mixing things up a bit. Perhaps:

Day 1 - keep going at 3 miles @ 4 mph (baseline day)
Day 2 - do 3 miles @ 4.1 mph (push the speed day)
Day 3 - do the speedwork day
Day 4 - do 3 miles @ 4 mph (baseline day)
Day 5 - do 3.2 miles @ 4 mph (push the distance day)

Eventually you might get to a point where you say HEY...I can move my baseline up a notch and proceed. But on the day I try to run farther, I stay slow. On the day I try to run FASTER I run shorter. etc.

Hope that helps some... dont get too overwhelmed. Pick ONE thing to do and do that for a few weeks and see how it feels before you change something else. :)

03-09-2007, 08:17 PM
try doing interval training. Run the speed you ususally run and every 5 minutes or so do 90 seconds on an increased speed and then go back do to your usu. spped and then repeat.

03-10-2007, 12:44 AM
Jelly -- You are doing great!! Heck I only run 3 days/week, and I've been at it for 3 years, when I do more I get sore joints.... Don't compare yourself to anyone, you are who you are and will do differently than anyone else. You've gotten some great advise, I can't really add more to it. Keep up the great work...