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How long does it take for beginners to build up a running base (Read 389 times)

augeleven


    Hello, I'm a new runner with no previous athletic training other than some hiking.  I started the c25k program  in the beginning of the year, and since then I finished a 5k and and a 10k.  I felt that I couldn't sustain long runs going into the 10k as in I could run 5 miles, but then the next time I tried I could only run like two with getting sore knees or shin splints And having to not run for a bit.   I have been running around 10 miles a week.  Three or four runs between two and three miles at a time.  I have also been running/walking 3 minutes on 1 minute off every other run in an attempt to get used to running a little faster.

     

    I've been at this almost four months and I figured that my base would be bigger by now.  I don't feel like my body is toughening up past the initial c25k phase.  My log is open if anyone wants to look.

     

    thanks in advance!

    GinnyinPA


      When you're building your base, don't worry about speed.  As you do more miles, your speed will go up.   If you're doing 10 miles a week now, begin adding 1/2 mile to one or two runs each week. Run slow and easy.  If you're doing 3 days a week now, change to every other day, so some weeks you're running 4.  When that is comfortable, add another day.  Don't do sudden big jumps in mileage, and do lower mileage weeks every three or four weeks.   (i.e. 10, 11, 12, 9, 12, 13, 14, 10).  Mix up the mileage - some days run 30 minutes, some 45, some 60+.   Do cross training on some of your off days (walking, bike, swimming, weights, yoga, etc.)


      day after day sameness

        It sounds like you may be expecting too much from the training level you have going. If your log is fairly accurate, you've run a total of 110mi this year in 42 runs.  In round numbers that's an average of under 3mi once every 3 days.

        Not all that bad...and certainly better than not training, it has to be helping your fitness.  It IS good for you, and it IS having positive effects. But that's not going to get you to longer runs which are easier...simply because you're not training in a manner that will build base.

         

        This isn't meant, in any way, to sound discouraging.

         

        Simply put...to build your base miles beyond where you're at currently, you'll need to run more miles.

        Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

          Have you been to the LRS (local running Store) for shoes? It is so so important to make sure you have the right shoes to help prevent the aches and pains. It is also a good idea to stretch before and after your run.

           

          Good Luck!

          First Race

          Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago November 4, 2012 30:17

          Second Race

          Penguin in the Park 5K Decatur Illinois March 23,2013 27:08

          Scott

          augeleven


            Milktruck, when you say more miles, do you mean overall or per week?  When I run more than 12 or so miles in a week, my knees hurt and I end up having to stop and take days off of running.  I guess the gist of my question is how long does/should it take my legs to harden to running more?

            On my off days I do circuit bodyweight exercises and bike or do intervals on a heavy bag.  I feel like my lungs aren't the problem but my joints.  I bought my shoes semi-randomly, so I'm thinking I may go to the local running store today and see what they say.

             

            Thanks everybody for their input!


            Mmmmm...beer

              I would make your goal right now to run more frequently (which of course will increase your overall mileage).  I think that increasing my frequency first and then my distance helped me improve quickly.  I read an article that said after more than 3 days off, you start to lose some the adaptations that your body builds up from running.  I see a lot of breaks of 3+ days in your log.  I would shoot for more consistency in your frequency, work up to 5 days/week, then start adding distance to each run.  That's what I did, you can look in my log back to last April and see how I ramped up my frequency/mileage.


              There's going to be some soreness as you increase, be mindful of whether it's just soreness or actual pain that might indicate an injury.  If it's just regular soreness, keep at it and it will lessen as you run more.  If it's pain, then you'll need to look at what might be causing it.  Also, make sure to keep it nice and slow, there is no need for any focus on pace/speed now.

              -Dave

              My running blog

              2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

              cookiemonster


              Connoisseur of Cookies

                It is also a good idea to stretch before and after your run.

                 

                 

                 

                No, it's not.

                 

                Stretching cold muscles prior to one's work out increases your chance of injury.  Do not stretch cold muscles.  A gradual warm up is better for your muscles.  This can take the form of brisk walking prior to running or even start out at a slower than normal, easy, slow jog prior to speeding up to your normal run pace.

                 

                Stretching warmed up muscles after your workout is personal preference.  It works for many people.  There are many people who just don't do it.  Find what works for you and go from there.

                ***************************************************************************************

                 

                "C" is for cookie.  That's good enough for me.

                  Milktruck, when you say more miles, do you mean overall or per week?  When I run more than 12 or so miles in a week, my knees hurt and I end up having to stop and take days off of running.  I guess the gist of my question is how long does/should it take my legs to harden to running more?

                  On my off days I do circuit bodyweight exercises and bike or do intervals on a heavy bag.  I feel like my lungs aren't the problem but my joints.  I bought my shoes semi-randomly, so I'm thinking I may go to the local running store today and see what they say.

                   

                  Thanks everybody for their input!

                  Not milktruck, but It will vary with individuals as to how quickly they adapt. Part of that may be any form issues or muscle imbalances. Some people may be able to add 10% to their mileage each week, while that will kill others. Others build in small jumps, then adapt for a few weeks.

                   

                  Getting properly fitting shoes from a running store where they can watch you run can be helpful in getting the right shoes.

                   

                  In 4 months, you're just starting to crack the surface of adaptations. Many people spend that much time every year adding to their base, which accumulates over the years to a certain extent.

                   

                  More consistency is also good, but whether to increase frequency or duration first may be personal. I had some foot/ankle weaknesses when I first started, and 3 days/wk then every other day (alt 3/4 days/wk) then 4 days worked well for me. That allowed flexibility with rest of life and Alaska winter (which is when I did most of my running - fieldwork during summer).

                   

                  Enjoy yourself.

                  "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                  Chasing the bus

                    I also wonder how much age should be factored into adaptation? I mean, a 50 yo body is probably not going to adapt as quickly as a 20 yo?

                     

                    I initially started just running, thinking harder, faster and more was better. I got better quickly, initially, so it must work, right? Then I started getting slower, hurting, and just feeling tired. Started reading and learning about base building, and backed off. It has taken me 7 months to build back up to feeling good with 30 mile weeks, never mind my slow pace. That includes several small, overuse and bad-form caused injuries. I would probably be further ahead if I'd gone slower, and managed to stay injury free... I'll be 50 this fall.

                     

                    John

                    “You're either on the bus or off the bus.”
                    Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


                    day after day sameness

                      Milktruck, when you say more miles, do you mean overall or per week?  When I run more than 12 or so miles in a week, my knees hurt and I end up having to stop and take days off of running.  I guess the gist of my question is how long does/should it take my legs to harden to running more?

                       

                      Looks like there's been lots of good input for you from others , so I can't add too much other than highlight a few points I agree with:

                       

                      - Aches and soreness are normal, work through them. But if you have pain, stop. Find the issue.- More time on your feet always helps, so consider walking some miles on those off-days in place of / in addition to bike and x-train. Walking will build you up much the same as running without the pounding of running.

                      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                      augeleven


                        Thanks for everybody's input.  I think my plan of attack will be to keep my runs the same ish length but shoot for 4 then 5 days a week (maybe four consistant weeks of each) and a trip to roadrunner to see if I need new sneakers.


                        Mmmmm...beer

                           

                          Looks like there's been lots of good input for you from others , so I can't add too much other than highlight a few points I agree with:

                           

                          - Aches and soreness are normal, work through them. But if you have pain, stop. Find the issue.- More time on your feet always helps, so consider walking some miles on those off-days in place of / in addition to bike and x-train. Walking will build you up much the same as running without the pounding of running.

                           

                          Good point on the walking.  I don't log it, but I walk 3-4 miles a day in addition to my running, I figure that has to have helped.

                          -Dave

                          My running blog

                          2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

                          Coastal


                            Since you are having pains, look on running websites such as Runners World to find runners exercises.There are some pretty good physical therapy type websites with exercises, too.  Core work and hip exercises are what you want.  You'll find things with names like hydrants and bird dogs.

                             

                            Much of the time the pains are caused as a result of muscle imbalances, and doing the exercises will help correct the problems. Quads can be out of balance, hips are notorious for causing issues, a weak core can cause problems elsewhere.


                            flatland mountaineer

                              You are doing great. When I started I only ran 3 days a week, and found adding another day or 2 even if only a mile or so helped. You are getting good advice, just go slow and enjoy the ride, you have only been at this for 4 months and you have to rest of your life to enjoy this sport. Measure your progress in years not months, we are all a study of one and one size does not fit all but most beginners will take 3-4 years before they start to reach their full potential. Also finding the right shoes are important, gait analysis may be helpful but it may also take some experimentation and study. Good Job and keep after it!

                              The whole world said I shoulda used red but it looked good to Charlene in John Deere Green!!

                              Support Ethanol, drink the best, burn the rest.

                              Run for fun? What the hell kind of recreation is that?  quote from Back to the Fut III

                              augeleven


                                I figured that I would post a follow up to my question for the benefit of all of the beginner lurkers out there ( I can't be the only one).  My plan to up my miles per week before asking the question was to run 3ish times a week and keep pushing my runs longer.  This led to sharp knee pain and caused me to miss my runs and not progress.  I took the general consensus to up the frequency of my running to 5 times a week.  I also cut back how far each run was.  After twoish weeks of running 5x a week my kneecaps feel better.  I  had weird pains in other muscles (ankles, glutes, etc) but they were dull DOMS type pain, and not sharp pains and I ran through them.  I plan on continuing this and build my runs much slower than I did earlier in the year to avoid injury.  I hope this helps anybody struggling with what I was in the last two months and thanks for everybody's input.

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