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In addition to all the great advice you've already received, I would also consider doing some interval work. I usually measure these runs by time, not by distance. You can sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for a minute (repeat for a total of 20 minutes) or run at a fast pace for a minute, then jog slower for 2 minutes (repeat for a total of 20 minutes). When I do this, my heart is usually pounding through my chest in no time. But doing this for one of my three weekly runs makes a difference for me (after a month or so).
You might also consider doing some more vigorious cross training on your off days. If you don't already do anything, start walking. Then after a month or so try biking, swimming, dancing, using an eliptical, etc. once a week in addition to your three runs.
It sounds like you've hit a running plateau. Now it's time to challenge your body to do more. Don't underestimate yourself. You CAN do it!!!
Edited by: BECKYBEFIT at: 9/27/2012 (10:54)
~Loving Life in the Mountains~
"Every great success is ultimately the triumph of persistence" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes in order to run further one must run slower.
When miles are added to one run a week or one run every two weeks.... coaches often suggest that - the long run be run at a slower pace.
The purpose of endurance training has a different objective that speed training.
"It's not how old you are, it's how you are old."
"I am still learning." Michelangelo
When running is the "easiest" for me, is when I am consistently running 3x a week: one tempo run, one shorter at a comfortable pace and one long slow run. Its that variation that keeps my body challenged and fresh. And, if you want 3 miles to feel easier, you gotta run more than 3 miles.
I don't run much over the summer (I hate running in the heat) so I feel like I start over every fall. I will agree with Nancy though, you tend to adapt a little quicker each time, but it does play mental games on you when you feel like you're running hard...at a pace that was "easy" just a few months earlier.
Patience and Fortitude - Mom
There ain't a thing I've faced that's been too much for me - Classified "Inner Ninja"
In order to run, faster/farther, you must run faster or farther. This is called the Principle of Specificity. The longer (year-wise) you run, the more time you can take off without losing too much of your running ability, but when you took so much time off last winter, while you made the adaptation sooner than when you did starting off, physiologically your body had to adapt to running again.
Remember too that as a runner you are constantly moving the bar higher and in doing so, you are going to have some difficult days. This is why it is very important to be consistent with your training, but not so much that your body does not adapt to the rigors of the sport.
Hang in there!!!
I have been running since last September. I ran my first 5K in December. Didn't do half bad for my first time. I'd say it was only 2-3 months during the winter that I didn't run because I'm not a fan of cold! I did start back up and have been running 2-3 times a week. I did another 5K in July which I did better. But felt like I was dying. What I just don't understand is how I can be running roughly the same distance (2-3 miles) every time we go out, but I feel like I'm not getting any better? yes, during the 5K I push myself, assuming its adrenaline or the fact that there's so many runners not sure lol but all other times I run at a slower pace. so my question is what am I doing wrong?? I know everyone has good days and bad, but mine seem to be more bad than anything! not as concerned as speed, just would like to be able to run a little further. Any tips?
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