newbie question about increasing distance/speed (Read 560 times)

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    I stumbled upon this site and find it the least preacy and pretentious out of the majority of the running sites I lurk. I thought this would be a safe place to ask this question.


    I believe I have officially caught the running bug at 29. I consider myself a cyclist and so much so that I rode my bicycle across America in 2008 and when I ended the ride, I was at 220 lbs. Here it is, four years later and I tipped the scales (two months ago) and at alarming and very sad weight of 280. I got back on the stationary bike and am now down to 250 (along with eating healthier and giving up craft beer).


    Funny thing happeded about two weeks ago, after riding the cross country setting at level 8 on the bike, I walked over to the treadmill, feeling good, and put the pace at 6 miles an hour. Amazingly, I could keep it. And I kept the pace for three laps. I know that's not a lot but for a beginning runner (possibly the epitome of the beginner runner), I thought it was pretty good.


    So I ran 3 laps, walked 1. I repeated that three times.


    I guess my question is, is there a good rate to increase by? Add a lap weekly? Add .5 mph more (6.0 to 6.5 to 7.0)? I don't really have a goal, I just love the fact that I can run and that I like dropping all this 'sad' weight I've accumulated.


    Thanks and I look forward to becoming a part of this community.

    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      Congratulations on committing to a better you.


      General advice seems to indicate that not more than a 10% increase is recommended per week.  Also, it is often better for new runners to go by time, rather than miles -- since really what you need to do is just extend your time on your feet, and the endurance of your heart.


      More specifically, you should probably look into a "Couch to 5K" training program.  C25K is usual abbreviation.  That will give you some variety to your workout, and keep you in a safe tolerance for body adjustment.


      Sounds like you're on the right track.  Good luck!

      2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

         The C25k plan that Stadjak mentioned is good.  A less formal approach might be to just keep with the same sort of run/walk thing you've been doing until you're doing it for 30 minutes a few times a week (slow down if you need to in order to accomplish this).  Once you're there, start slowly phasing out the walk breaks.  That is basically what the C25k program is. 


        I wouldn't even think about increasing speed until you're able to run for 30 minutes without a problem.  


        I agree that it sounds like you're on the right track, except for this: 


        giving up craft beer).



        Come on, man. 


        Good luck, and welcome to RA.

        "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

        Jack Kerouac


          Another useful peace of advice I picked up was while running was to always have variety. This will help you with your base and spice up the running a little bit. So since you started with 3 laps 3x running try to do 5 laps 3x then drop back down to 2-3 3x the next time.


           Another example would be if you wanted to run for 2 hours in one week. That would be an average of  17 min of running a day.  So monday- 17 min, Tuesday- 22 min, Wednesday- 12 min, Thursday- 17 min, Friday -12 min, Saturday - 22 min, Sunday- 17 min. Make it look like a roller coaster, this will help you with your base and keep your body on its toes about what your doing,


           Congrats on the progress you have made thus far.  

            first off  WELCOME!



            to summerize the good advice already posted:  focus more on slowly progressing time running & shortening the walk breaks.  Do not worry about increasing pace-that comes a little later.  In fact it may even be a good idea to slow your pace even more if you need to extend your continuous running times.   Your rate of progression is your own.   Progress at a rate that you can handle comfortably at this early point in your running.  Pacing & all that other fancy termed w/os come later.  Be consistent & have fun!!