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Running: Quantity vs. Quality?

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Old 09-09-2008, 05:32 AM   #1
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Question Running: Quantity vs. Quality?

My girlfriend and I are very new to running. We just started Week 3 of C25K tonight and started thinking about how we were jogging, so I came here for advice from some more seasoned runners

When it comes to a jogging/running training program (like C25K), is it better to concentrate on making the times, no matter how slow you run, or is it better to train at a decent speed? I ask this because we can do the times (3 minutes jogging this week) but we are jogging pretty slow! I don't know our exact speed because we jog around the neighborhood, but we guessed it's about twice as fast as we walk.

So we go pretty slow and don't pick our feet off of the ground too high. Our form is probably terrible. Should we work on running faster (better?) for less time, or is it ok to jog very slowly so we can make it to the 3 minute mark? We just want to train the best we can.

Thanks so much for any advice!
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:41 AM   #2
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im not an expert but i would say its best to follow the plan and go for distance, One thing i learned when i was running is it takes time for your body to get used to running, muscles to strenghten. Also it takes a while for your breathing to feel right, when all this is practised, you will automatically go faster because your body will find the running easier.

at the moment im concentrating on trying to run 30mins without walking at all. my mind knows i can do it, its keeping working on my breathing to realise i have the inner organ power to push me that far.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:14 AM   #3
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When you're first starting out, the most important thing IMO is consistency --establishing a regular running/jogging routine. Speed is not important at this phase. If you goal is is to run a certain distance, then you work to gradually extend your run length, no matter how long it takes you to go that distance. If your goal is a "time" goal, then just go out and move that amount of time, no matter how far you get. If you are consistent, you will see improvements over time. My philosphy is to work to achieve the distance first, THEN worry about speed later.

As far as form goes, people tend to naturally find their own style. You'd be surprised at all of the different running postures you see during races! And some that look awkward to me, still move right along just fine. Just try to keep a relaxed, erect upper body. If you tense your arms or shoulders, that's taking energy away from your run. Your pace should be comfortable enough so that you can talk while you go, you may be huffing a little (that's normal), but you shouldn't be panting so hard that you can't talk. That's how you know you're trying to go too fast.

The most important thing is to just get out there regularly and move!! Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freethetoys View Post
im not an expert but i would say its best to follow the plan and go for distance, One thing i learned when i was running is it takes time for your body to get used to running, muscles to strenghten. Also it takes a while for your breathing to feel right, when all this is practised, you will automatically go faster because your body will find the running easier.

at the moment im concentrating on trying to run 30mins without walking at all. my mind knows i can do it, its keeping working on my breathing to realise i have the inner organ power to push me that far.
Yeah, I can definitely tell my body is getting used to running, although slowly. I could barely run for 1 min straight when I started and now I can run 3 min. Baby steps

Good luck on the 30 mins! At the point I'm at, I can't even imagine, haha!
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBN View Post
When you're first starting out, the most important thing IMO is consistency --establishing a regular running/jogging routine. Speed is not important at this phase. If you goal is is to run a certain distance, then you work to gradually extend your run length, no matter how long it takes you to go that distance. If your goal is a "time" goal, then just go out and move that amount of time, no matter how far you get. If you are consistent, you will see improvements over time. My philosphy is to work to achieve the distance first, THEN worry about speed later.

As far as form goes, people tend to naturally find their own style. You'd be surprised at all of the different running postures you see during races! And some that look awkward to me, still move right along just fine. Just try to keep a relaxed, erect upper body. If you tense your arms or shoulders, that's taking energy away from your run. Your pace should be comfortable enough so that you can talk while you go, you may be huffing a little (that's normal), but you shouldn't be panting so hard that you can't talk. That's how you know you're trying to go too fast.

The most important thing is to just get out there regularly and move!! Good luck!
Thanks so much - this was very helpful. In the past I've been really terrible at actually sticking to a schedule, so I'm really proud of myself for going into my third week.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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I was a runner years ago, and have picked it up again.

In my experience, I have found that in the beginning it is more important to focus on distance. Speed and time comes later.

As you lose weight and your body becomes more efficient at running you will naturally begin picking up speed, and see your times coming down.

When that happens you will know it's time to kick things up a notch, either by working on your speed or adding distance.

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Old 09-09-2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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Go as slow as you need to to make the distance you want. Speed will come later.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:16 AM   #8
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I finished the C25K program a little while ago, and while I can go 30 minutes (40 now since I finished) without stopping, I never could do 5K in that time. I could only manage about 3 (I would later drive my route and track the kilometers I ran that way). I concentrated first on endurance, now I'm trying to concentrate on speed--I just started C25K again at week 1 but I do an easy jog in the walking parts and sprint during the running parts.
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