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Increasing endurance and speed

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Author: Message: Sort First Post on Top

SparkPoints: (51,961)
Fitness Minutes: (26,258)
Posts: 827
4/28/13 9:58 A

Others have said pretty much everything I was going to, but what the heck, I'll offer my two cents, too. :)

I think a 30-minute 5k after not quite three months of running is fantastic. (FWIW, I've been running for almost a year and am not there yet.) In just three months, you are still a beginner--it takes six months to a year for your body to adjust to the stresses of running, so be patient with yourself. As was already said, the best thing to work on for now is endurance, not speed. I have found that my speed has increased as my "long run" (still only 5-6 miles, but improving) has gotten longer.

I run "serious" races (timed, with prizes) at least once a month, and I am very competitive...but I am competitive with myself. The top finishers in my area tend to come in somewhere around 16 minutes, and I will never be there--but that's just fine. As long as I keep improving, I'm winning, as far as I'm concerned. I agree that if you check the results for last year's running of your race, you'll have a good idea where your time will put you. (I don't know what your division is, but around here, that time would be somewhere in the top half, assuming you're female, and possibly in the top 33-40%.)

I also want to strongly agree that you shouldn't use ankle weights. They can really mess with your gait, stride, and all that other good stuff, and are a recipe for injury.

Posts: 347
4/28/13 8:24 A

Beginner runners should primarily focus on building up endurance before adding speed work. Running 10 minute miles are great...don't be disappointed at all. Buy a book on running and you'll see that runners build up their abilities over YEARS. Don't expect to be at your peak level in a few could take 10 years. I would recommend to keep on racing and add one long run to your regimen once a week. For instance if you run for thirty minutes twice a week, run for 60 minutes the third day. You'll be amazed at how much easier the shorter runs feel.

I can tell you're a competitive person. Remember the people you're competing against have been doing this for years. You're main competition should just be yourself.

Edited by: JCWIAKALA at: 4/28/2013 (08:25)

Posts: 973
4/28/13 1:20 A

Lovemouse, thanks for raising this topic - it's an issue I've been mulling over in recent weeks.

I have always worked out for as long as I can remember and so have a pretty good base level of fitness. However, since just after Christmas I've been taking my running more seriously having signed up to do a 5k race at the end of June.

For a few weeks now I've been stubbornly stuck at being able to run comfortably for one hour. I'd like to increase that but for some reason by the time I get to that point I'm ready for home and don't seem to be able to add any more time or distance to my run.

I cover about 5-6 miles in that hour, depending on which route I take. Whatever route I choose it is hilly as I live in a hilly area, but some routes have steeper hills than others. So as far as hills go, I have had plenty experience of those!

I've also had a go at speed intervals, and have had moderate success.

I'm not too sure now whether to keep on trying to increase my time and distance, or to incorporate more speed work instead, so to cover the same distance in less time.

SparkPoints: (1,711)
Fitness Minutes: (621)
Posts: 1
4/27/13 11:54 P

Ooh, yeah, I second the non-ankle-weight thing. Please don't do it.

Second of all, don't be disappointed with your progress. I know someone else touched on this, but be proud of yourself. Your pride in your accomplishments will build your confidence and encourage you to tackle bigger goals. Interval training, hill training, cross training, weights...there are a great number of things you can do. Congratulations on being so successful so early in your running "career." Use that momentum!

SparkPoints: (96,652)
Fitness Minutes: (98,078)
Posts: 12,999
4/27/13 10:47 P

do NOT run with ankle weights. You could injure yourself very badly.

The easiest way to inprove speed as a beginner is to increase your mileage. One day a week, run longer, but make sure it is a slow, easy pace.

fwiw, I couldn't break 30 minutes in the 5K until I got my long run over 10K. And I still don't run 5K easy training runs in under 30 minutes. I was just mentioning this morning to my running buddies that in 6 years of running, I have only knocked off 30s/km off my long run pace, but I have made HUGE improvements on race day.

Training is not the same as race day.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 4/27/2013 (22:49)

SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
4/27/13 10:41 P

Aw that was sweet, thanks!!! You put a smile on my face!

Hey one more question...has anyone ever heard of running with ankle weights. At the last race I was at, I saw that a girl seemed to be wearing ankle idea why except that maybe she wanted to give herself an extra challenge. I wonder though if that would make it harder so that then you would get used to the extra challenge and then when they are off, be extra fast without them? Just wondered. I've never ever ran with ankle weights before, but it seems to make sense in theory..?

Edited by: LOVEMOUSE82 at: 4/27/2013 (22:43)

Posts: 703
4/27/13 10:36 P

You've only been running since February and you're already doing a 30-minute 5k. I seriously don't get the disappointment. I think you are doing awesome.

For improving time, I would go with intervals and hills two times a week. I like doing tabata intervals on the treadmill. I'll set it at 8 or 8.5 mph and hop on and off the side rails, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 4 minutes. I run on pace and do three or four of the tabata drills during a 40-minute session. It really helps with increasing your VO2 max. Hills are good too. Uphill increases power and downhill boosts stride rate.

Check the times from last year's race winners to see if you really have a shot. Around here, it seems the same group of elite runners win all the races with times that I'll never hit no matter how long I'm at it. And no matter what the outcome of your race, you've already won the prize of better health.

SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
4/27/13 10:01 P

So I've been running since the beginning of February and it seems like no matter what I do I can't get any better or 5k is still a disappointing 30 minutes. At first I tried not to worry so much about speed and most of my fellow spark member friends encouraged me not to anyway since I was pretty much a beginner but I really do feel like I'm ready to kick it up and I just can't seem to get any better no matter what...,,my next actual5k race is the beginning of June so I have just a few weeks to see what I can do till then...this one is a bit more serious than the last, timed, and prizes *yay* for the top 3 in each age group. I'm going to have fun no matter what but I'm ready to bring a bit of a competitive spirit too. I don't know if a 30 min 5k is good enough to win anything, and my main goal really is to have fun...but I'm just looking for the best way to go about increasing speed as well as endurance,, I feel very **stuck** in this 30 min rut, it's just not getting any if I were to go for one mile, I can, at best, go 8-9 mins, but I guess I just can't do that consistently enough throughout a how can I increase endurance to keep up that speed for the 3.1 miles? Thanks for any advice!

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