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5K Times, Speed & Treadmills

Sunday, December 18, 2011

emoticon RUNNING emoticon

I love running. Some days I take off and feel great the whole run, like I could run forever. It feels like I remember running as a child, easy and fun and exhilarating. Some days I take off and feel awful the whole run, like I just want to walk. It feels sluggish and hard. I struggle to breathe comfortably or find a good pace. But no matter which kind of run I have, I love them both. I've never come back from a hard run and wished I wouldn't have even gone. No way. It doesn't happen. I wish everyone could find some form of exercise that makes them feel this way.

Ever since I finished the Couch to 5K program I've been running a 5k around my neighborhood a couple times a week and jotting down my times. I finally put it into a spreadsheet for analysis yesterday. I'm an accountant and love numbers. Here's the results:

Pretty interesting! After I finished C25k I didn't have a new goal, just wanted to keep up that distance and possibly get faster and possibly it would start to feel easier to complete. It does feel a bit easier but I'm still ready to walk when I hit that marker.

To help with speed I've been doing this speed exercise on the treadmill once a week. I still can't complete the beginner level all the way through, but I am improving.

I prefer to run outside but when the weather doesn't allow for it, I hit the treadmill. I can't run as fast on my treadmill. I'm good at a 4.7 MPH pace for the 5k distance. That's fine with me, I just find it strange. I've always heard running is easier on the treadmill because it pulls you along a little. It's harder for me. Maybe because it's a steady speed where outside my pace probably goes up and down naturally. Or maybe it's just because the treadmill is pretty boring. Anyone else slower on the treadmill?

Next, I think I'll work on increasing my distance to 10K or being able to run for an hour. About the same thing. There's two programs I found but haven't decided on one yet. One called Bridge to 10K is like C25K in that it uses run/walk intervals. The other is called One Hour Runner where you increase you're running a time a few minutes every week focusing on one longer run per week.

Bridge to 10K

One Hour Runner

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TEENY_BIKINI 12/30/2011 3:32PM

    I love the way you describe running. Have a great New Year!!


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HGSGUY 12/28/2011 10:39PM

    So thanks for writing this blog, it has really helped me out! After I read a blog, I will often think about them for awhile. So I began to wonder why we run slower on the treadmill. For me, I decided, was because I push a button and I start to run. I didn't vary the speed much and just stayed in my "comfort" zone. Thanks to your blog, I have been pumping up the speed and pushing myself. I went from 6.5 to 7.5 fairly easily! Yesterday I planned on a slower (6.5) run for 5 or 6K and just kept going for my first non-stop 10K! Today I am taking a rest day and tomorrow plan to push the 7.5 mark. Your blog helped push to new speeds.

It will be interesting to see how it translates to race times outside! My wife got me running pants, so if the rain stops, I will have to go outside to run1\!

Thanks for the motivation to take my runs to the next level!!

Happy running, hope you have a great 2012!

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FANGFACEKITTY 12/19/2011 1:54PM

    I tend to run faster on the treadmill, although it is extremely boring. I started working with a running coach unofficially in June and he said the best way to build speed is actually to increase your distance. So if you wanter a faster 5k train your body to run a 10k (not necessarily super fast, he said go for a comfortable speed for the long distance and somehow that translates into a faster speed on the short distance). I don't know if that's what did it for me but once I started increasing my mileage on my long runs my short distance speed improved too.

My challenge now that winter is basically here (and I admit to being a fair weather runner) is keeping up the long runs on the treadmill. There are 2 treadmills at the gym that go for 100 minutes so I'm working my way back up to 12 miles so I can do another half marathon possibly in January. 100 minutes on the treadmill...very boring which is more of a challenge than the distance!

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ABISMITHY 12/19/2011 11:40AM

    I am not sure.... I use the treadmill the most as we have two small children and it's easier for me to run at home. I think that I am probably faster on the treadmill as it's more consistent.

I use intervals... I don't run constantly - I don't think I have the stamina, also I run a bit faster than you... I usually do intervals around 5.6mph, for about 8 minutes then a minute or two at a fast walk, 3.8mph... I need to get back on the treadmill as I've not done anything since the half in late November.

I use Runkeeper to track my runs online rather than a spreadsheet. You should ask for a GPS watch for Christmas!!! They are very geeky - they tell you where you went, how fast you were at each point, elevations everything... It's fun to analyse where you were faster and slower. The Garmin website then allows you to store all your history in your account and you can track how your going.

Wii zumba is fun too! I need to dust mine off!

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CEH1190 12/18/2011 7:14PM

  Great article, running can take us back to our childhood instead of the grind of pounding away on a treadmill. Very well written.


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LOVE7755 12/18/2011 4:38PM

    I am so much slower on the treadmill than outside. I realized that my MPH is higher outside than the treadmill.

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MYJOURNEY2BEFIT 12/18/2011 1:56PM

    I am also slower on the treadmill. I too am running on the treadmill at 4.7 mph with some work but totally do able & when I run outside my times are right around 34 minutes - just thought it was interesting that you are coming up with very similar numbers.

Way to Go Girl!

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ERICWS 12/18/2011 1:10PM

    I also find treadmill running harder and more physically and mentally demanding than hitting the pavement. So, despite all the seeming "expert opinions" to the contrary, I guess we know better!

I'm trying to keep up my "training" during the winter by exclusive treadmilling. Yesterday I ran 3.1 miles in 29:51 on the treadmill, weaving a few "fartlek" 7.0 sprints into a generally steady 6.2 mph at 2% incline. Feels good- I am pushing it a lot harder this year!

Good luck to you, and great blog!

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HGSGUY 12/18/2011 12:42PM

    Great job! I run on the treadmill a lot, like almost always. I need to move outside more this next year! I run a little bit slower on the treadmill, I am not sure how much different that is because when I run outside I am in a race and there are other racers. I always run with at least 1% incline on my treadmill, often more.

I have those same runs and a lot o runs where the first mile isn't much fun! I love miles 2 and beyond, the only way to get to them of course is to run through the first one! And I completely agree, the baddest bad run is better than the best not running!

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 12/18/2011 10:48AM

    I run slower on the treadmill too, I thought I was the only one!

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