Exercise! - Need Some Running Support




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kikinyc
08-07-2007, 12:56 PM
I'm new here and could really use some support from you runners out there.

I started running consistently (4x per week) a little over a year ago, and finished my first marathon on 5/27/07. Being about 30 pounds overweight and not a natural runner, I was able to finish the marathon with a combination of running and walking (similar to Jeff Galloway's plan) in 5:49. Having conquered that goal, I've now decided to cut back on distance and try to become a better, faster runner.

The tough part is that I'm seeing very little (if any) progress. I seem to be stuck at approx. 11:30/mile, and running three miles without walking is still hard. The good news is that I've been really focused on correct running form and am no longer plagued by the knee and ankle pain I experienced while training for the marathon. But I'm still... so..... slooooow.

Can any of you more seasoned runners give me some advice? How long did it take you to feel comfortable running? Did you feel comfortable only after significant weight loss? Should I just keep shuffling along?

Thanks in advance for your help and support!


YP1
08-07-2007, 01:08 PM
First things first - well done on your marathon.

Come over and join us on the Cool Runners thread, there seem to be a few people marathon training at the moment as well as people just starting out.

I have found myself getting faster as I've got more experience running, and have trained better. I was always relatively fast, even at higher weights, but even so I managed to take almost an hour off my first marathon time in my second.

The difference is probably more the way I trained than simply sticking at it long term, although that base is essential for having the knowledge of when to push yourself and when to ease off a bit. The first time round I kind of assumed that it was meant to hurt, the second time I learned to appreciate when my body was telling me to rest. I joined a running club which really helped me - there are runners of various different speeds and I've run with most of them at one time or another (except the really fast ones).

At the end of the day, some people find it easier than others. I find it easier to go fast than some people I know, but equally I know that I could never dream of reaching the speeds that some people at running club clock up regularly. The main thing is to enjoy it, and if you're going to measure your progress at all, measure it against where you've come from rather than where other people are, or where you think you ought to be. Completing a marathon at all is a huge achievement which most people will never manage.

BlueToBlue
08-07-2007, 06:13 PM
I'm not sure if you have access to other cardio equipment, but what helped me increase the distance I can run without stopping to walk and also my speed wasn't running but doing other types of cardio. When I first started running, I could only go a mile or so without stopping to walk and it took me 45 minutes to go three miles. Then I started having problems with cramps so I gave it up and started doing all my cardio at the gym (elliptical machine, stair machine, running on the treadmill, and swimming). It was probably nine months to a year before I tried running outside again, but when I did, I was shocked to discover I could run over 6 miles without stopping and that it only gook me about an hour.

Swimming especially seems to improve my running; I often see a noticeable difference in how fast I can set the treadmill during the weeks that I also include swimming in my exercise.

If you don't have access to cardio equipment, then may try running intervals. Run as fast as you can for a minute, then slow or walk for a minute, then fast as you can for a minute, etc. etc. Maybe do 10 to 15 minues of intervals a couple of times a week. Beside improving your cardio endurance, there are a few studies that show that interval training is more effective at reducing belly fat (and isn't that something all of us are trying to reduce).

Also, I always run faster with my iPod. ;)