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Need help figuring out my running strategy (Read 165 times)

Heidi P


    Hi,

    I'm new to running but in relatively good shape physically. I spin 4x per week and do some strength training at least 3x per week. I'm 39 years old. I run maybe 2x per week and it's just 2 or 3 miles here and there. I ran my first 5k in March in 26:30. I ran a 5 mile race in May in 42:19. I finished my 4th 5k last week in 24:28. I started running as a means of supplementing my other workouts but I'm really enjoying it. It takes every bit of effort to run with those times, though. I am absolutely pushing it to the limit and can barely breathe when I finish, yet alone carry on a conversation. I'm sure this sounds crazy, but I don't know how to slow myself down. My legs feel like I can keep going at that pace even when my chest is begging me to take it easy. My body doesn't feel sore when I finish but I'm completely out of breathe.

     

    I don't know whether to keep going at that pace and wait for my body to adjust, try to slow myself down, add distance, whatever...I'd like to try a 10k in the fall and I know I'll need to make time to run more frequently. Any suggestions? Should I focus on making it through a 5k with ease before adding distance?


    Not dead. Yet.

      It takes every bit of effort to run with those times, though. I am absolutely pushing it to the limit and can barely breathe when I finish, yet alone carry on a conversation. I'm sure this sounds crazy, but I don't know how to slow myself down. My legs feel like I can keep going at that pace even when my chest is begging me to take it easy. My body doesn't feel sore when I finish but I'm completely out of breathe.

       

      That sounds spot on for a race.  When racing you should be pushing yourself to the limit.  No talking allowed!

       

      When you increase the distance though, you will need to slow the pace.  And that's not always so easy when you feel great at the beginning of a race.  It takes a lot of practice to know your pace for any race by feel, so I use a Garmin watch to help me keep pace.  I generally start running a race about 1 minute per mile too fast before I check my Garmin and bring it back under control.  I learned early on that going out too fast sucks balls!

       

      I'd like to try a 10k in the fall and I know I'll need to make time to run more frequently. Any suggestions? Should I focus on making it through a 5k with ease before adding distance?

       

      I think everybody here is going to tell you to run more.  If you can start running regularly three or four times a week, you will see huge improvements in your times.  While training, run nice and easy most times and then do some fast running once in a while.

      How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

        Hi,

         

        My legs feel like I can keep going at that pace even when my chest is begging me to take it easy. My body doesn't feel sore when I finish but I'm completely out of breathe.

         

        I don't know whether to keep going at that pace and wait for my body to adjust, try to slow myself down, add distance, whatever...

         

        This is the correct way to race.  It is way too fast for normal training runs.  Your description sounds like you have plenty of strength, but low aerobic fitness.  The remedy is to run more often, slowly enough to carry on a conversation.  That might be  painfully slow for the first few weeks.  Stick with it, even if you are passed by little old ladies with walkers.  The speed will come naturally.

        hectortrojan


          As others have mentioned, we need to learn to run slow when we want to increase mileage. Your most of the runs should be at comfortable pace when you are increasing the mileage. You should able to have conversation with person running next to you. It doesn't need to to be coffee table type of conversations, but other person should able to understand easily everything you are saying. Focus of it and you would able to run easy very soon.