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SAILOR64 SparkPoints: (20,017)
Fitness Minutes: (6,854)
Posts: 519
12/5/13 10:57 A

Dear Motivated,

Science is neither theoretical nor esoteric. I was coached by some of the best coaches in the world of swimming and running for more than 10 years and have passed that knowlege on to hundreds of athletes at all levels over the past 25 years.

Workouts created since the days of Jesse Owens were based on science, they just didn't know it at the time. It is science that has created new ways of training and better athletes.

If you don't understand it, don't knock it.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,437
12/5/13 5:53 A


Running out of energy can certainly be an issue over long distances (eg. marathon), but is very unlikely to be the problem over just 4 miles.

While fast v slow twitch can have an impact at competitive and elite levels, I suspect that the OP's problems are likely more due to fitness and overcoming mental blocks, than such micro muscle issues.

Let's focus on the more likely causes and solutions here, rather than the more theoretical and esoteric.


MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,437
12/5/13 5:14 A

Many comments here reflect mixing up you running workouts, and I'd certainly agree with that. Many runners will aim at an overall weekly program combining a speedwork run (often involving intervals), a tempo run where they try to maintain a fast consistent pace, often over 2.5-4 miles, and a long slow run where they try to build some distance, while sacrificing some speed. OVerall, such a program builds both your fitness and endurance.

As for distance, I agree with the suggestion of mapping a new route of 4.5 miles (preferrably a long loop, so that by the time you reach the point-of-no-return and are 'committed' to running home, you are still well within your existing limits.


CARRIENIGN SparkPoints: (99,042)
Fitness Minutes: (81,373)
Posts: 493
12/5/13 1:41 A

If you want to go further, go slower. If you want to go faster, you'll have to start doing speedwork. Building your distance endurance may also help your speed with short runs, but speed work is the best way to work on speed. Google training plans made for someone with your goals.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
12/4/13 10:21 P

I have a friend who was stuck at 5k (so, just over 3 miles) for a long time. We started running together once a week, and her first goal in running with me was to break that barrier. I mapped out a new route for us that was 4 miles, and just didn't tell her when we passed the 5k mark. It turned out to be just a mental block for her, and we're now up to 6 or 7 miles in our weekly run together.

I recommend planning yourself a new route (I use ),maybe less hilly if that's an option, and trying it out. Go a little slower than you do for your regular runs, and you might just surprise yourself!

SAILOR64 SparkPoints: (20,017)
Fitness Minutes: (6,854)
Posts: 519
12/4/13 1:37 P


There are many different ways to run faster and run farther, there are also ways to run farther faster. It's all about the science of running. There are many things that effect how fast we run, conditioning, weather, terrain, fuel and muscle make up. Yes, how our muscles are made up determines how fast and how long we can run.

We have two kinds of muscle fibers in our bodies, coincidentally referred to as Type I and Type II with Type II also having 2 fiber types a and b. Type I muscle fibers are also referred to as "slow twitch" muscle fibers and Type II fibers are referred to as "fast twitch" fibers with II-a fibers called "moderate fast" and II-b fibers being called simply "fast." I have attached a link below.

To run faster, you have to practice running fast and developing fast twitch muscle fibers. This fibers are what gives a distance runner a "kick" at the end of a race.

As to running longer, and therefore farther, this may be a matter of running out of fuel rather than a matter of conditioning. After a certain amount of exercise the body will run out of energy reserves and tap the energy in the muscles themselves in order to continue performing. This may be why you are so "exhausted" to borrow your words. While it is important to pre-hydrate before working out, it is also important to "fuel-up" before a long run or refuel while you run. I have included a link to Cool-Running and what they call "The runner's Diet.

I wanted to find a link that wasn't trying to sell supplements as I am not a big believer in supplements for non-world class athletes. This program seems to take a balanced approach to nutrition which is why I chose it.

I have started you off, now it is time for you to pick up the baton (like the running reference?) and go with it.

Good luck in your journey.

Jonny Mac

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
12/4/13 1:07 P

Maybe these links help.

Are you running everyday or just 2 or 3x/week? If you are running everyday, then maybe you could trade a run for a brisk walk or bike ride or some other activity (cross-training)?


ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,844)
Fitness Minutes: (186,878)
Posts: 15,780
12/4/13 12:25 P

slow down. Add gradually, maybe 5-10 minutes per week.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (195,897)
Fitness Minutes: (292,213)
Posts: 26,970
12/4/13 11:21 A


How long have you been stuck at 4 miles ? If it's only been a few weeks, you may just need to give your body (cardiovascular system) more time to increase its stamina.

One thing I would suggest if you want to get past 4 miles is to slow down your pace. Try running at 11 or 12 minute miles. Don't fatigue yourself on hills if you want to see how far you can go. You can save your hill runs for another day.

Don't exhaust yourself early in your runs, pace yourself to see how far you can go. When I was training for my first half marathon, it was recommended that I only increased the length of my long runs no more than 10%. So, if you're currently running 4 miles, then you shouldn't go farther than 4.4 miles. If 4.4 seems like too much for your body can handle, then try for time. If it takes you 45 miles to do four miles, slow down your pace to see if you can last for 50 minutes. Don't worry about distance. try for time only.

Many runners pick time over distance or speed. As LEC noted, intervals are the best way to increase speed. but, as the old cliche goes,"how do a get to carnegie hall ? "

Practice Practice Practice.

If you keep running, your strength, stamina and endurance will all increase with TIME and regular practice.

Be patient with yourself and your body.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
12/4/13 11:04 A

So when you run, you're doing the same route at about the same exertion level? Also, how many times a week are you running?

My thought would be to make one run a speed workout, one run a distance workout, and the other relatively easy.

For the speed workout, try running intervals where you run *fast* for about 30 seconds and slow down for a couple of minutes then repeat how ever many times you want. You'd probably end up running a shorter distance that day, but that's ok. Another idea would be to use the run to one of the hills as a warm up, run up the hill as fast as you can, and jog back down. Repeat 10 times or so, then jog back home as a cool down.

For the distance workout, you'd want to be running at a pace a bit slower than normal and just try to go longer each time, even if its only by a block. But don't increase the distance by more than 10% or so each week.

And for the easy workout, just do your 4 mile route and keep the pace easy and your body loose.

FGESCHWI Posts: 56
12/4/13 10:53 A

Hey runners,
I love running, it's challenging, and hard at some points, but it makes me feel great, and that's why I love it so much! I love a good challenge! I hate the treadmill, and love the outside, and that's where I run all the time. Rain, sun, or snow. (but I am happy to admit that I prefer good weather, and that it's harder to get myself out when it is nasty out :) )
Anyways, I have a route through my city which is exactly four miles. It has a few major hills that are still really hard to do, but by now I am able to run the whole thing. I have been able to do that for a while now, and now I am stuck. I have no Idea how to improve speed and distance. Because of the hills I end up at an avg pace between 10 and 11 min per mile. By the time I get back, I am exhausted.
I managed to improve to get to 4 miles, why does it seem like I can't move past that?
What do I have to do in order to increase speed and distance? Or at least one? If I have to pick i'd like to run farther before I can run faster?
Any tips or tricks? :)

Thanks for your help guys!

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