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Runners, please advise - post-C25K confusion

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
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Question Runners, please advise - post-C25K confusion

Hello, lovely running chicks!

I'm a little shy to be posting about running, as I don't think of myself as a "runner" yet. But I'm trying! I completed C25K recently and now I find myself wondering what's next... I'm a lost graduate

Seems like lots of the C25K graduates go on to run races and/or run greater distances, like 10Ks and half & whole marathons... My goal is simply to run for fitness/pleasure ~30-45' 3x/week - and as a year-long goal to get up to running 10-minute miles. So the first part of that goal has been reached, and the second part may never happen, but I am wondering how to continue to improve.

I am up to 30' runs but I am still really slow (4.5 mph; 13.33-minute miles - yeah, I'm on a treadmill for now) and even at that speed, it's not *easy*. Maybe I was just in way worse shape than others who make it through the program

Anyway - I am wondering if you runners have any suggestions about increasing distance/speed [once I get comfortable with these 30' runs at 4.5, which hopefully will be in another week or so]. Like, is one easier to focus on than the other? And do you have thoughts on whether fast/slow intervals are a good idea, or is it better to slowly & steadily ramp up by 0.1 mph or 0.1 miles/week? Or is it all good, I just need to pick one?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I love reading the runners' posts; you guys are *very* inspirational and the reason I did C25K in the first place.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:29 PM   #2
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Hey Emma!

I finished C25K back in October, but I was even slower - like 3.7 mph tops... So now, I'm repeating the program but doing all of the running at 5.0 mph. I'm up to Week 5, which I've been stuck at for awhile because I'm doing each of the different Week 5 runs as a separate week - my body just isn't ready to do 20 minutes at 5.0 mph!

I think it all depends on what your goals are - I'm planning to do a sprint triathlon with a 5K run over the summer, so I want to focus on getting faster instead of running for longer. In the future, if I decide to do a longer race, I'll probably start a new program to work on that. If you're just thinking about running recreationally, I'd probably work on increasing speed gradually while running the length of time you're shooting for (ie - work up in .1 increments or so while running 30-45 minutes).

Good luck!
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:34 PM   #3
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drop body weight/body fat = free speed. Simplistic enough, but oh so true.....
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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Running for fitness is a great thing, but try a 5K race some time---you might get hooked!!! And don't worry about speed--lots of folks walk them.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:08 PM   #5
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The rule of thumb that I've seen over and over again in books, magazines, the Internet is - no more than a 10% increase per week. That can be either distance or time, whichever is easier for you to track (edited to add - obviously if you increase either time or distance, the other will also increase - I meant increase either your time by 10% or your distance by 10%, in order to keep track!). For me, personally, I increased my distance and didn't worry about time, because I wanted to run some 5k races. Now I can comfortably run a 5k in 35 minutes, so I'm working on my speed now - and that requires some speed workouts, intervals, some track time (yuck!). But as you run more, your goals will change - you may be a distance runner and move up to 10k's, half marathons, etc - or you may be a speed person and want to stay with 5k's but get faster and faster. I think the key is to take things slowly, increase steadily, and do what you love - running should be an activity you enjoy!

Last edited by julesp313 : 01-06-2010 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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Focus on distance primarily and speed will come. If you are running < 4 days a week I would start with that. Then mix it up. 1 day a week add 5-10 more minutes a week until you are running for an hour. 1 run a week try intervals at a fairly hard rate OR try running with a 4-6% grade for intervals. 1 day a week EITHER increase the speed a little overall, or increase the overall incline. 1 day a week keep it slow and easy. Then be patient!
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:17 PM   #7
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Lots of little suggestions and questions -- how is your heart rate while running? If it's high or low, you could be training more effectively. As a general rule, keep your heart rate from about 80% to 85% when you do your distance runs. For me, that's impossible! I run 85% to 95% for 50 minutes, and I'm not dead yet, but I'm not as effective as I could be.

Make sure you're well hydrated and not hungry (I think we all know that, but you'd be surprised how many folks don't), and set the treadmill a little higher every day for a week. Tell yourself it's for a mile only, then reevaluate at the end of the mile.

Do an interval day once a week, but don't stroll during your slow intervals. Run, then jog, repeat. I'm not real good at setting these up, so I don't want to say what you should do, but I'd go for two minutes of each and see how you feel. Do it for 30-45 minutes. I think this is probably the best thing you can do to increase speed, as far as training goes.

And yeah, the weight thing. When I think of how fast I could be if I wasn't carrying around 30+ pounds of excess fat, it kills me! I would be smokin' the skinny folks!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:15 PM   #8
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I know exactly where you're coming from Emma. I finished C23K as well, I can run for 30 minutes at 5 on the treadmill. Not super fast, and I don't really enjoy it, but I can do it.

Now, I'm focusing on increasing my speed. I will warm up with 1 mile at 5...then switch to .5 mile intervals at 5.5. Next day I'll do 1 mile warm up, and .25 mile intervals at 6. I still try to get 3 miles in a day, just in different variations.

I'll throw in a day of walking/high incline in place of running, and a day of true interval training on the stationary bike. So my 5 day a week routine is run/walk high incline/run/stationary bike intervals/run.

So it's basically like I'm stuck at week 5. But, it's getting easier. And I'm wore OUT when I'm done.

I'm looking forward to when I can run outside, and do more sprint intervals and more distance running, as this treadmill is the MOST tedious thing ever.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:23 PM   #9
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Thanks SO MUCH - I knew I could count on you guys to shake up some new ideas! I was stumped - and I feel like I pushed so hard to get where I am already and I don't want to get discouraged and just give up!!! I have learned through experience that I need a PLAN.

I like the idea of going through C25K again and keeping a faster pace. Maybe that's a good start, for the 9 weeks of the program, then I'll start to implement some of the other ideas. I am going to save all of these suggestions!

[ETA - what actually happened on my run last night: I did C25K using 6.0 (10-minute miles) for my running speed. The "walk" parts were either a fast walk or a jog, depending on how winded I was. After it ended, I was at my usual 2.2 miles, so I just kept going at my normal jog pace till I reached 3.1 miles. So I have done my first 5K! Only took me 43:20 with all the walking So yeah, it was more than a 10% increase but overall it was probably OK since there was so much slow time in there ]

Other notes:

I can't WAIT to get outside! That was my ultimate goal I had in mind - to have the ability to pop out for an ~3 mile run regularly. Possibly even with friends. I have NEVER run with a friend before.

I have to learn to take my heart rate accurately. The treadmill monitor said I was at 51! I suspect it is usually too high.

And re: getting the weight/body fat down. I KNOW. I'm tryyyyyyyyyying ... That's why I joined 3fc and that's why I added in running to get more exercise. I have changed so many things in my life and my weight is holding on for its life, so I am on the verge of being hopelessly discouraged ... I am technically not considered "overweight" (<150 lbs @ 5'6") even though I am 25-30 lbs over what my set point was for all my adult life and obviously had way too high body fat ... I will have my body fat percentage measured again next week and I can only assume that it has gone down after 6 months of exercising regularly ... If it's not I'm going to lose it...

Anyway, whatever, I am doing everything I can at the moment and this is why I have goals I can control - like running 30' 3x/week - rather than weight loss goals.

And I am beyond grateful to have a place like 3fc to vent and get advice. Thanks again, chickies -
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Mini-goal #2 (ala Beck Diet Solution): Lose 5 pounds again. Start date: May 1,2015. First 5 lbs took 21 days.
IP weigh-ins: W1 -2.8
~~~~Diet: low(ish) carb, mostly plant-based
~~~~~~~~~~~~Exercise: yoga and light ST and run/walk intervals
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Last edited by EmmaD : 01-08-2010 at 02:24 PM. Reason: update
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