Improving Your 5K

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Looking for some comments (Read 558 times)

    For those of you who have lost some weight at and have made it to the truly fit stage... if you could share your tips on what has worked and not worked related to running I'd appreciate it. Past: I have been in great shape... but that was a long time ago. Even when I ran cross country in High School I was probably 190 pounds so I was probably among the bigger/heavier runners out there. But I was able to run sub 18 5k so I was fairly fit. I had to quit running in High School due to stress fracture. But I think that was from being ignorant. I did not have money for the shoes and did not pay enough attention to preventing injury. I want to avoid those mistakes again. But now I am carrying extra age and extra weight. Now... I have been running off and on for 12 months. I have gone from dead stop to about 15 miles per week plus cross training on a bike to avoid being too hard on my body. I can run 5k in under 25 minutes which isn't bad considering I'm 39, and 220 pounds. I know I need to drop another 15 pounds and get my miles to 30 per week to improve. I think I can do all that and be running under 21 minute 5k in another 12 months. But... I have to avoid major setbacks. I know I don't have a lot of running history if you click "view log". I need to pretty much slowly build for another month or two before anyone can really see what I'm doing right or wrong. But if you can share any tips on what has worked for you in a similar situation or even what NOT to do I'd appreciate it. Last fall I tried to do to much. I was stupidly throwing in some speed work. I was remembering what it was like to be fit. Hah... what good is running Fartleks when you only run 10 miles a week. I'll tell you what... you barely improve and you risk shin splints. I got through that. And I've had some poor months where I was not consistent. But I'm pretty consistent now. Anyway, thanks for reading and for any comments.

    In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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    The voice of mile 18

      I'm not truly fit but my .02 change out your shoes after 400 miles - it stinks but these things do have a shelf life. I'm a fan of hill repeats - just booking up a good hill then jogging down and doing it again. start out w/ 3 then every other week add 1 more. run on the grass as much as possible it's less of an impact on your feet than asphalt/concrete. I'm also a fan of the fartleks too nothing fancy just 30 sec on 30 sec off a couple times then after a while graduate to 800 yds repeats on the track at race pace. builid your long run up slowly no more than 10% every other week. good luck and have fun
      4/18 Rutgers Half Marathon 7/20 Antrhacite Olympic Tri 9/25 chesapeakeman Ultra distance Tri Rule #1 of Triathlon Training/Racing - If Momma ain't happy nobody is happy http://community.active.com/people/Joe_h1/blog
        If you can run 21:02 in a 5k you are fit in my book. Thanks. I probably am another month or two from any speedwork. I think it would not really be helpful for me and might just increase risk of injury. I'm trying to be smart after having last fall be sort of up and down. I wasn't building a base correctly. For now I'm thinking I need to slowly build miles with occasional rest weeks. I'm around 15 mi/week know plus 20-25 bike miles. I'll plan to build to 25 run miles per week over the summer. I've got time. I am not in a great hurry if that simply leads to more problems for me. It is interesting that there is not a lot out there about how to transform from an out of shape person to a good runner. Considering there are millions of us out of shape people. John Bingham appears to be a good source. http://thepenguin.runnersworld.com/2008/06/clydesdale-advi.html Though honestly I don't think I should be a "back of the pack" runner for the rest of my life. I see no reason why I could not run sub 20 minute 5k in a couple years even if I'm 40+ and 190 pounds... it should be possible.

        In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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        I've got a fever...

          I've been in your shoes. I was fairly fast in high school. I raced at around 165lb and had a 5k road PR of 16:23. Fast forward to Jan 2007, and I was 36 years old and 220 lb. I was starting from scratch. I'm down to about 188-ish now, and ran 19:42 this past March. My recommendations: 1) Really focus on the weight loss. It hurt a lot more at 220 than it does now. I did it by eating a very diet-ish breakfasts and lunch (low-cal, no junk) and not getting second helpings at dinner. Also, diet soda only. 2) I have really steep hills where I live, so at first, my runs were hill walks. You might try walking on a treadmill with really high incline. No pounding, but a hell of a workout. 3) NO SPEED! Zero - zip nada. But you discovered that already. My old CC coach once gave me a winter training schedule to prepare me for the spring racing season. He was adamant about no speedwork until at least 40~45 mpw. Speedwork w/o base is like icing w/o a cake. Sure it's sweet, but too much will make you sick in a hurry. 4) Slow down and run more. If you want to get faster, you need to run more miles. Run slower, and you can run more w/o injury. Here are recommended training paces based on a 24:00 5k.
          vdot: 40.2 Type mile Easy/Long E/L 10:08 Marathon M 8:43 Threshold T 8:10 Interval I 7:32 This table shows the recommended running training paces for someone with a current vdot of 40.2. For more information about the types of training referenced, see here. These values are derived from Daniels' Running Formula, 2nd edition. Note that the new E/L paces are slightly slower than recommended in previous editions.
          It's very humbling for the formerly fast to run slow, but you need to do it if you ever wanna be fast again. Good luck!

          On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

            Thanks. I am starting to feel like a runner but I suppose I should concentrate on the weight at this point while slowly building miles. But... it sure feels like jogging at a 10:00+ pace is not really going to do much for my fitness. But I've heard other people saying the same thing about their "easy" pace so I guess it is not just me. I've read some of the info about Maffetone... I don't know if I could work out 5 times a week and never exceed 145 bpm heart rate. That's seems kind of extreme to NEVER push myself. I wonder if I could be that commited to not working out hard.

            In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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            I've got a fever...

              But... it sure feels like jogging at a 10:00+ pace is not really going to do much for my fitness.
              I know it feels like it, but if you do lots of 10-minute miles, pretty soon you'll be much fitter (and faster). Running slow gets emphasized a lot on this site, and for good reason. But that's just the vehicle you use to run more miles. More miles is what will get you fit. MTA: I agree with and understand the underlying principles of Mafftone (running slowly to avoid injury and build up your aerobic base), but I think it's a little too rigid. I'm also pretty skeptical of the formula -- as we've seen, 220-age is nothing more than a ballpark figure for your max HR, and I think Mafftone's 180-age has the same shortfalls.

              On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.