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Why is my running not improving? (Read 3973 times)

Sardonic


    I've been slowly training to run a 5K since January of this year. This means, running 2-3 times a week. Well, running might be a bit of a stretch. I run for a while, then walk, then run. 3 times a week is the most I can do before my shins are agony. In January, I could only go a minute or two at most of running before I had to slow it down. I kind of expected this because I haven't been active in a long time. I'm not overweight, but definitely not in shape. Now it's almost June, and I can barely run longer than 5 minutes before I have to slow down to a walk for a few. I'm currently doing a 5K in my run/walk in about 45 minutes. The thing is, I feel like I should have made much more progress by now. I run fairly regularly (2-3 times a week), except when I get shin splints (which is happening with more frequency lately). Mind you, I wouldn't say running regularly really started happening until the middle of March. Is this normal progress? Should I be farther than 5 minutes at a time? Am I being too impatient with myself? Is there something I can do to help my time without running, so I can give my shins a break? Hoping some runners who have been where I am might have some tips or advice and some encouragement that if I keep going, a real 5K is not impossibly off in the distance. Smile


    Feeling the growl again

      If you have to stop and walk, you are going too fast.  Slow down as much as you need to in order to run more or less continuously.

       

      The shins should improve with time, and while nothing is as good for your running as running, any high end aerobic activity (biking, swimming) will help you to some extent.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        On the positive side it's pretty obvious that your running has improved since you started 6 months ago.  You can run over twice as far at a time as you could when you started and you are able to run more times a week.  I do think you are being too impatient with yourself.

         

        As far as future gains are concerned I have a couple recommendations.  It sounds like your shin splints are the biggest thing preventing you from running more.  There are many theories out there of what you should do about this.  I am very opposed to the "get some bigger (more control) shoes" idea when it comes to shin splints.  I believe that shin splints are mostly due to weak muscles in the lower leg and wearing shoes with more control does nothing to improve your stength, it just covers up the problem (for a while). 

         

        I would recommend icing, stretching and strengthening.  On the days your shins are too sore to run, go for a bike ride and then spend some time stretching and icing.  Go barefoot around the house as much as possible.  Do some easy leg exercises while you watch TV or surf the net.  Just search for lower leg exercises and you will find many easy to do strength and flexibility drills.

         

        Then just continue to slowly increase your run/walk ratio and weekly mileage.  As far as a 5K in your future, why wait?  You will have plenty of company in the 45 minute range (and a bunch of people behind you).

        Colonial 200 Relay Sep 20-21 -

        Smithfield Hog Jog 5K 12 Oct -

          . . . t shin splints are mostly due to weak muscles in the lower leg and wearing shoes with more control does nothing to improve your stength, it just covers up the problem (for a while). 

           

          I would recommend icing, stretching and strengthening.  On the days your shins are too sore to run, go for a bike ride and then spend some time stretching and icing.  Go barefoot around the house as much as possible.  Do some easy leg exercises while you watch TV or surf the net.  Just search for lower leg exercises and you will find many easy to do strength and flexibility drills. . .

           

          This is very, very good advice. If you can make many small changes such as going barefoot in the house, doing calf raises while you're cooking, trying to taking stairs two at a time etc. the small benefits will add up and you'll have done a lot of strengthening work without realising.


          Consistently Slow

            If you have to stop and walk, you are going too fast.  Slow down as much as you need to in order to run more or less continuously.

             

             

             +1Slow down.

            Run until the trail runs out.

            2013***1500 miles

            50 miler

            Race Less Train More

             

            Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

            "The Marble in The Groove"

             

            unsolicited chatter

            http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

              In my mind your problems 'seem' to be from trying to run too fast (already mentioned by everyone).   I 'think' often shin splints are from trying to push it too hard and overstriding.   Im not a coach or expert and am just saying what I think, so take my advice accordingly....

               

              Solution - from my perspective (and for what it's worth).

               

              Try to run more days per week -- 7 if you can -- but definitely at least 5 days per week.    

               

              Slow down - Make a real effort to run at a pace that seems really SLOW to you.   What I mean by slow is that if one of your friends sees you running you feel a little embarrassed (if they make a comment about how slow you look then you're just about right - but might want to slow down a tad more <until they start laughing - then you've got it>Wink.......REMEMBER the TALK TEST when running - make sure you can run at a pace for which you can carry a conversation (and I mean something "IMPORTANT" like if Ryan Hall will ever win a major marathon).   Remember the tortoise and the Hair

               

              Dont try to go too far or build too fast  - If 5 minues is the best you can do right now then go EASY for 5 and then extend it to 6 - then 7 and on and on ---- BUT, I think after you slow down, you'll find you will be able to run a lot more minutes.....

               

              Think minues not miles - train in terms of minutes run today and not in terms of miles run today - dont worry about or think about how far you have run, only think about how many minutes you have run....

               

              Running is a long term building process and everyone is different in their application....but the main thing is to make sure to start at your level, run as many days as possible and run within your ability...and alway be pushing just a little bit so that you can/will improve..  As you get stronger you will be able to increase minutes/miles and you'll naturally get faster...

              Champions are made when no one is watching

                It might be helpful to know your age and weight and how many years you were sedentary before starting to exercise; also if you haveany medical conditions which might impede your progress.

                 

                Of course, individuals vary widely in how well they respond to training and you may take longer than most.

                It would be interesting to know if you have lost any weight since January as that might show the effects of your training. I seem to remember I lost about 10lbs in the first 5-6 months and then thought I was slim, but was really still 25lbs overweight.

                PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                    10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                 


                A Dance with Monkeys

                  If you have to stop and walk, you are going too fast.

                   

                  It depends on the runner and the baseline fitness.  Somebody who is just starting out and who has limited fitness may only be able to run for short distances between walks, and somebody who is still a slower runner @ 12-13 m/m cannot really slow down any more and still be running.

                  JimR


                    I was a year before I could cover 5k.

                      First off  keep at it!  Your doing great.  Now the second part is if you are keeping a log of your runs.  It would be helpful to be able to see how you are doing and what you are doing.

                       

                      We all start somewhere.  I started block by block and built up from that.  My first 5k I just had two goals.  Run the whole way and not be last. 

                       

                      You've gotten a lot of good advice on here.  I'm not sure I would suggest doing more days of running though.  Slowing down is excellent advice.  Way to many people run to fast.  I run a lot of miles in the 9-10 min pace.  People love to run faster but that is how you get hurt.  Don't worry about the speed and just build up slowly.  It all takes time.  Plenty of time to get faster once you get the mileage down.  The only way you are going to run more miles or get faster is to get rid of that shin pain.  The only ways to do that is run easy or don't run at all.

                       

                      Best of luck with your running.  You would be surprised how many people would love to be able to run 3.1 miles much less to do it in 45 minutes. 

                       

                      Happy running.

                      2014 Goals: (Yeah I suck)

                      • Sub 22  5K
                      • Sub 1:35 1/2 marathon 
                      • Sub 3:25:00 Marathon

                        I understand running to be a balance of 3 different components (I'm sure that there are more, but I'm a simple man)....

                        To run, every individual needs to balance (1) the heart, (2) the lungs, and (3) the musclular / skeletal body.

                         

                        Therefore, with this thought process, it may be that on any given run at any given time:

                        1. the heart rate may force a "time out"

                        2. the lung volume may force a "time out"

                        or.

                        3. the muscles / bones may force a "time out"

                         

                        For beginner athletes, interval training helps balance the 3 components in a manner that prepares their activity at a higher intensity for a longer period of time.  The gradual development of these components is a key to their development as an athlete.

                         

                        I don't believe that some of the items mentioned here are accurate (running too fast if need to stop and walk...).  Speed is not the issue.  Preparing the body for the rigor of activity is the issue if they're not properly prepared for it.

                         

                        I've been there.  I've done that.  It worked for me.  I'm not a Boston Qualifier, or super stud athlete, and I know that I don't speak with a lot of authority, but I do speak from experience as it relates to going from inactivity to activity.

                         

                        Cheers,
                        Brian 

                        2014 Goals:

                        #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                        #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                         


                        Feeling the growl again

                          It depends on the runner and the baseline fitness.  Somebody who is just starting out and who has limited fitness may only be able to run for short distances between walks, and somebody who is still a slower runner @ 12-13 m/m cannot really slow down any more and still be running.

                           

                          Given the description by the OP, it seems they should be at a place where this is a reasonable suggestion.  It is more common than not that beginners have not learned their effort level yet and go too fast when they could go longer if they would slow down.

                           

                          I would advise running 15m/m if that is what it takes....it keeps the HR at a steadier level and over time they would naturally speed up.  Even if it is slower than one could walk quickly....it's still running.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                            I was in a similar situation to the OP when I started running.  I ended doing LHR training (there's a Low Heart Rate group on this site).  My slow point was the day where I managed to run a 19 minute mile.  It was at night in the winter, so not many people saw it. 

                            Sardonic


                              First, I want to say thanks for everyone who haas given me feedback! It's way nicer than the answers I was getting on yahoo answers *shudder* I hope I can answer a few questions that have come up. I'm currently 26, female, 5'3" and somewhere in the range of 140-145lbs. I haven't checked in a while because my numbers haven't really been dropping quickly and I don't want not losing weight to be an excuse to get discouraged with this whole running business. It was the reason I started, but has stopped being the reason why I am still going! I've never really been active at all. At least, not in the "30 minutes a day" sense. A few years ago I played slow pitch and a few years before that I played soccer. But really, in the last couple of years I have done nothing besides walking to the car and to my desk at work. No wonder I've been so lethargic. I definitely feel the advice about running slower, but I feel like I'm barely at a jog as it is. Maybe it's my perception of my speed, but it's like if I go any slower, I'm just going to be walking fast. Perhaps I should include more of that into my weekly! Its also probably pertinent to mention how high my heart rate gets. When I check my monitor after 5 minutes at my (fairly slow) pace, it's usually somewhere in the mid to high 180's. I know that's pretty high, but it's not causing me pain or anything, I just feel like I can't keep running at that point. I've heard from a few people that I should just keep going when I feel that way, and the endorphins will kick in, but I am little concerned about keeping my heart rate that high. Resting, it's about 78. I have a Runkeeer account that I log my runs on. I believe it's available to the public here: runkeeper.com/user/143849446/profile Lastly, shoes. I went to a specialty shoe store (the running room) to get fitted for shoes. They're really super light acics, so maybe I need something more substantial? Again, thanks everyone for the advice so far! I'm soaking it all up.


                              Consistently Slow

                                Your log needs to be public. What is your pace per mile? HR at 180 means you are going to fast no  matter what pace. My training pace for over  2 years was around 13:00. Marathon time this year 3:57:56. Slow down ,get  in the distance, get in the miles and speed will take care of  its self. Smile

                                 

                                PS:Come for a visit in the LHR forum.Slow is what we thrive on.

                                Run until the trail runs out.

                                2013***1500 miles

                                50 miler

                                Race Less Train More

                                 

                                Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                                "The Marble in The Groove"

                                 

                                unsolicited chatter

                                http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

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