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ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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11/30/11 9:40 A

I wish the OP had had the guts to keep posting on here about what she was doing. My guess is that she long ago gave up her quixotic quest to go from someone who could barely walk 3 miles in an hour to a world-class athlete in less than 3 months' time!

BLONDIEGRRL Posts: 1,174
11/29/11 10:51 P

Well I've been running for about 18 months now and my PR for the 5K is 26:18. My goal is to get my time down to 24-25 minutes, and I think I may be able to do that by spring.

The OP is probably running 3-minute miles by now. LOL

Edited by: BLONDIEGRRL at: 11/29/2011 (22:52)
ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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11/29/11 2:16 P

That thread about the person running a half-marathon without training for it reminded me of this thread. The OP should be running 6-minute miles by now, right?!

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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10/21/11 11:37 A

I thought I would check in here- where is the OP?

Isabel, here's to hoping you changed your goal to that of just being able to complete a 5k, and that you're doing well with that goal.

OR, if you have now shaved 20+ minutes off of your 5k time and can now run 9-minute miles en route to your sub-20 minute 5k goal, post how you have made the transformation so quickly w/o injury!

REVSERENA SparkPoints: (0)
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9/24/11 3:45 P

Hi Isabel.

I started training at the beginning of July and ran my first 5K race today. I did most of my training on a track, and the race was on a cinder path, but it was not flat (as advertized). There were also places where the path was flooded and I had to run through mud. I am feeling very proud of running the full distance, even though it took me 43:20 to finish.

I hope that you will train, and train hard for Dec. but I pray that you will monitor your progress with an eye toward what you can do without injury. Set your goal of running a 5K by race day. Set your goal speed for that race when you are a couple of weeks from the race and can decide for your self what is possible. None of us can accurately predict your potential speed from a sparkpeople post.

Showing up the person who humiliated you may have put a fire in your belly, but fire can burn if you aren't wise about how you use it. Keep the goal of beating their time, but remember Rome and a runner weren't built in a day. If you really want to show them, you are going to have to play it smart. To get where you're hoping to go you need to be committed to that goal for the long haul.

Best of luck to you! Keep on running!

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/24/11 1:47 P

Isabel, how are you doing since your last post?

BLONDIEGRRL Posts: 1,174
9/21/11 3:54 P

I trained for a full year before I ran my first 5K (granted, a ran a lot less during the winter months), and I finished in 27 minutes. If you've never even run before and you're setting your sights so high, I'm afraid you might injure yourself.

It's important to have goals, but really isn't simply running the race itself enough of a goal to start? Remember the time it took you to complete the race, and then build upon THAT time for your next race.

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/21/11 2:26 P

We haven't heard from the OP in a while. I wonder if this was a serious thread or not?

Hopefully she has learned something- that just finishing the 5k should be seen as a major accomplishment for her.

It would be interesting to see how she is doing.

PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (48,308)
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9/21/11 2:24 P

My post on the Ottawa Race weekend 5k looking at age 30-39 females show statisically less than 2.5% of the age group will break the 20 minute for 5 km. Only 5 of 1083 Runners were below the 20 min mark and another 4 were 20 and change. The reason I put this forward was the 5 km at the Ottawa Race weekend will have a broad cross section of runners and will give a good statistical representation of Female runner in the age group.

So this shows the results for the broad cross-section attracted by a 5km event held during a major race weekend event.

HEYBUTT Posts: 769
9/21/11 1:48 P

The catch with The Biggest Loser marathon is, all the contestants are in the same boat (all morbidly obese) so the playing field is a little more level.

With the OP here, the person who's time they are wanting to compete with could be a naturally fast runner or could be very fit (by comparison). So that's an extra strike against the OPs success.

As for TBL's marathon being "sensible" the show isn't known for being "sensible" as a whole. At least they're saving the marathon for the END of the show, so the contestants will have a fair chance to get ready (or even opt out if their bodies just can't do it for some reason).

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/21/11 1:35 P

Of course, it doesn't help much when "The Biggest Loser" sets as a season-ending event a 26.2 mile full marathon for its currently morbidly obese cast.

This will keep me watching the show- but I wonder how sensible a goal that is!

I happened to stumble upon a web site citation recently, too- apparently the guy went on to a runners' message board and talked about going from nowhere to a 50 km event in 3 or 4 months. Then he wrote a book about it.

I wonder if each of these could actually be more doable than this goal! The goal on the show and the goal for the book author appeared to be just to finish. This goal is to finish with championship-level speed!

9/20/11 7:08 P

". I do some time run fast enough to beat it for some sections of my regular runs."

Hey! Just wanting to make sure that you are only doing this on speedwork. Most people go too fast for their daily, should be easy, runs and limit their progress. I use
for effective pace training. Learning this, and the physiology behind it, totally changed my running. I'd been running for a decade and got so much faster, and it is why I went into coaching. It's so simple but counterintuitive and people hurt themselves and their times by working harder (when they shouldn't be.)
You didn't ask, though, so feel free to ignore this. :)

To OP, if this is sincere - Your motivation is fine. Set an eventual goal to break 20 minutes. However, in 3 months... I seriously doubt this will occur. If it does, you have a future in running. I've still not quite broken 20 in the 5k (lots of knowledge but not a lot of natural talent) and I've trained hard. (To be fair, for distances, but still.) And I have won several local 5ks, and my age group many times more with what speed I do have.

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/20/11 6:22 P

ditto on all of your post, Thai! You put it perfectly! And HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on the new you found in January!!

THIA2010 Posts: 24
9/20/11 5:38 P

I began my new lifestyle in January of this year and my life is forever changed. I have lost nearly 50 pounds and this week I signed up for my first 5K walk/run being held this Saturday. And I shall do just that. Walk/run..........My time is not as important as me accomplishing one more unthought of feat such as this:) What ever you do, please do it for yourself. You are your most important asset!!!!!!!!!

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/20/11 1:11 P

5k Your Way Walk/Jog Training Program - just joined this to print off some training to follow each day. It will be fun to watch and make time with this, I think!

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
9/20/11 12:59 P

Papamike - love the standard deviation mention. I'm a big data person (it's my job!), so the #s to back up statements warms my heart.

VRS8440 Posts: 4,016
9/20/11 11:59 A

Sounds Interesting

PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (48,308)
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9/20/11 11:45 A

During the Ottawa race weekend 2011 5k there were 1083 Females age 30-39 the average time was 36:24 with a Standard Deviation of 7:33 thus 95% of runners were between 21 and 51:30 mins.

5 of the 1083 runners were below 20 mins. and 4 more were somewhere in the 20 min and change range. Therefore of all the 1083 runners who ran the event only 9 were able to meet the goal you want to set for yourself. Some of these will be new runners but some will be experienced runners doing a 5km for other reasons.

Hopefully this gives you some idea of how tough a goal a 20 min 5km is, and how difficult it would be to prepare for it in only 3 months.


ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/20/11 10:35 A

I have to admit, I almost think this thread's OP is a "put-on". I've never seen anyone with a goal like this, or the motivation stated. But, everyone's different?

That said, I think the clear SP message from everyone is to do your best, exercise correctly, eat soundly, and build yourself up the right way w/o getting hurt......,71

An article I stumbled upon about overtraining or overdoing it. Might be worth a read. And assuming the motivation stated is true- why give someone else so much control over you? i could give a rat's you-know-what about that kind of thing. Assuming he humiliated you recently, he continues to control you by your drive to top him- giving him more power.

Just not worth it to strive for what is almost certainly an unattainable goal.

Train for and run your 5k on December 17. But for your own good, don't worry about a sub-20 minute time!

PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (48,308)
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9/20/11 5:20 A

I had difficulty focuing during my Qigong this a.m. My distraction was this post

I have been a runner for about 2 years. I was already running 250 - 300 km a month before I became a runner (for me that is the point where running was part of who I am, verses something I did).

My first 10km race was faster than my first 5km, that is I took less minuts to do my first 10km than I had taken originally to do 5km, I had doubled my speed. (the point where I could actually go 5 km)

I have run 3000 km in 12 months.

I have had one running injury and that was caused by an accident.

You are looking at going 3 times as fast in three months

Speed increase is not linier it is exponential. Everyone has some limit as to how fast s/he can go. If this were not the case then records would be broken every day. So going from 57 to 54 is different than going from 25 to 22 which is also very different than going from 22 to 20

Getting my PR to 53 min for 10 km was an acommplishment. However, I have not beaten that pace in a race since. I do some time run fast enough to beat it for some sections of my regular runs. As we run faster, it becomes more difficult to gain more speed as we are slowly approaching our limits. (That does not mean we shold not try, it just means no one can increase his/her speed forever.)

I am now 57 my grandson is 15. I used to out pace him, but now he sometimes out paces me. As the years pass he will continue to get faster for a while, I will be hard pressed to keep my current pace. I will be delighted each time he beats his popie in a race.

Good luck on your goal, please pay attention to your body and first and formost run injury free.


PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (48,308)
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9/20/11 4:32 A

57 Min 5km to 20 min 5km in 3 months. This should be easy, that is if you do not do yourself serious harm in the process and get laid up with an injury. You have had advice form some good runners.

Most running injuries are from either doing too much too soon and/or bad form. Running takes time to build up the various body parts, and it take dicipline.

I am sorry if I sound a bit negative, but as a runner, I know that the first task for new runners is to develop a soldi walking base. Walking quickly for 30 to 60 min. Next would be a sensible walk run program.

I run a fair bit, I lost a little weight, my running goals are running efficiently and injury free.

I have run with my son and grandson in a 5 km, wiith my grand son in a 10km and half. I intent to be running with my grandson's kids one day. To do this, I need to run smart and safe.

I looked at your sparks page to she what you have done and how you have progressed, it was not helpful as there is no info, that does not mean you have not done anything, it just means that since 2010 there is nothing recorded.

You motivation to beat a runner at his/her own game and to do it in 3 months is in my opinion a plan for disappointment and posiblely injury.

Please do not get me running I love running, I encourage people to take up the sport, I also know that early injuries can stop people form running, and can even stop them for exercising.

You have some good advices from som experienced runners, I will be currioius to see if you will take it to heart and setup up a plan based on experience.

Good running and be careful out there.


PS be very careful out there.

Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 9/20/2011 (05:07)
ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/19/11 3:51 P

You can go from barely 3 mile-per-hour walking to RUNNING a su-20 minute 5k if you put your mind to it?

Get real.

KOZMOE6 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/19/11 3:27 P

You can do whatever your put your mind to. Good luck!!!

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/19/11 3:26 P

And I agree with you, nana- do your best. Strive for a personal best, and improve your health/fitness.

That in my opinion should be the REAL goal for those of us who have started running as part of our fitness plans, and want to use 5k's for motivation.

To try to humiliate someone else is crazy negative motivation- negative motivation does work, but will in my opinion take a major toll on one's psyche.

But to try to strive for a ridiculously difficult goal in a very short period of time is in my opinion recipe for injury at best.

NANA2THREEGIRLS SparkPoints: (30,996)
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9/19/11 3:20 P

I signed up for the SP virtual first attempt at jogging/running ever and I am 44 years old and weigh 206 lbs. I don't care if it takes me all day as long as I finish. I know I can walk it in 45-50 mins so I'll be happy if I finish in 35 but won't be disappointed if it takes me longer.

MJKIRK Posts: 76
9/19/11 3:06 P

Shoot for the moon at worst you'll land amongst the stars!!!

I totally understand being humaliated and wanting to do something about it!

But please remember - Primum non nocere.
(Means "First, do no harm")

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/19/11 2:56 P

PS- I looked back at the results from the race I did a week ago. A 20-minute time would have placed you in 20th place out of 200+ runners.

There were plenty of very experienced and physically fit runners who timed between 20-25 minutes.

My first "training" 5k time was in April, and I timed myself at just under 40 minutes. As i said, last week, I broke 30 and scored a 29:37. I feel awesome about that. I stuck to a pretty regimented plan for myself that involed 3-4 days' running, decent (but not perfect) nutrition, and rest.

No offense intended again, but you could really hurt yourself if you strive to attain a goal that would drive you to destroying your body. You will need plenty of rest to let your muscles, etc., recover from being beaten up by runs you are not used to.

If you are serious about sub-20 and feel you must strive to be a championship-caliber runner, I'd put that goal for December 17, 2012, maybe even 12/17/2013. Give yourself 15+ months to consistently get in shape the right way and build up greater endurance, strength, and speed.

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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9/19/11 2:37 P

No disrespect intended, but running a 5k in under 20 minutes is something I've only seen very experienced runners who do longer distances, as in marathoners, etc., do.

I've also seen younger perople, as in high schoolers and college-aged runners, do that.

I have been working my way up to my 5k's since 12/2009- I know, i take my time- and I feel great about where Ive come from and how I have done.

I have done 2 "official" 5k's, and my PR is 29:37. It was a real challenge for me.

I have a third 5k this weekend- and am hoping to be around the same time.

Under 20 minutes is crazy-fast. Who cares what anyone else says about you? Why should you worry about another runner's time? You can rub it in his/her face if you must by just improving yourself and completing a 5k- maybe you will be walking some of it. That is no failure.

Why exactly do you need to worry about others?

I admit that in both of my 5k's I felt a major urge at the beginning to keep up w/ the pack, and fought it off. My 2nd 5k I kept a nearly constant pace to get my time, which was very rewarding personally.

Why not just seek personal achievement, rather than worry about trying to attain serious "runner athlete champion" times?

Maybe they'll come for you- I don't know- but what a crazy goal! No offense.

9/19/11 10:38 A

To ensure your own safty and welll beining you really should set a 6 month initial training for running. To try and push your self to fast and you will end up giving up.
What does you DR say about this? They have a better idea of your general health and can provide good basic guidelines for you to follow.

HEYBUTT Posts: 769
9/19/11 10:28 A

There's nothing wrong with your motivation. Especially since you're well aware of what's motivating you.

But why not also be kind to yourself and set up levels of success? I'd set three levels of achievement. The Grand Prize could be "whooping so-and-so's time". Second Place: run the whole race. Third Place: finish.

One thing to keep in mind when doing running training: Don't neglect the rest of your body. On your "off" days from running, maybe get in some strength training (if you don't already). Building a strong core and upper body will make running easier (running isn't all legs and lungs).


MICHELLE8Q SparkPoints: (47,181)
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9/19/11 9:50 A

That sounds possible, but I'd be happy for something much slower. A quick walk would be about 42-48 minutes, a medium jog (for a woman) would be about 32-35 minutes.

MUMMYUK2 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/19/11 9:20 A

I think you are setting yourself up to fail, having goals are is great but they have to be achievable and I don't think this one is

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
9/19/11 2:51 A

Everybody's motivation is different. If that's what's driving you now, then fine.

However, sub 20 is a VERY fast time for a 5k. If you really want to beat this person's PB it's going to take some serious training and dedication. My husband is a very fit little bunny and his goal this year was to beat 20 mins.

It might be something you could do in 6 months to a year, maybe, with enough dedication and focus on quality food, and quality training. But not in 3 months, no.

Start first with "finish a 5k" then move on from there. Keep that other goal in mind as a longer-term goal, but it shouldn't be something you focus on right now. It's simply too ambitious.

LADYVALK SparkPoints: (210,567)
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9/18/11 3:55 P

I think that it is great to set goals and I have done a few 5k's this year as a walk/run.. I am signed up for one next month and my goal is to run the whole thing. I have been working more on my endurance right now and I can run 1 1/2 miles w/o stopping.. longer if the conditions are better. I figure that if I can finish my 5K in 36 minutes I am going to be extremely happy!!

ISABEL2010 Posts: 17
9/18/11 3:50 P

"How did you come up with sub-20-mins in the first place? Why did you think that was a good goal?"---Unident

I was humiliated by someone, a runner. I want to beat their googleable P.R which is 20:50.

You'll all tell me that's the wrong reason to be motivated but that's why I'm so motivated.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
9/18/11 3:38 P

It's great to be motivated. But as others have said, you need realistic goals. How did you come up with sub-20-mins in the first place? Why did you think that was a good goal?

Try, for your upcoming one, a goal simply of "to run the whole thing". No walking, and no time goal at all!

Then, for subsequent races, base your time goals on previous time goals. If you run the whole thing and it takes you 40 minutes (sorry, but even the 25-27 suggested is WAY fast), then the next race you do you can aim for sub36min - a 10% improvement. :)

As you train for future races, you'll get an idea of how fast you're making progress, how fast you can realistically go, and what an achievable yet challenging goal for the next race really will be, for you personally.

ISABEL2010 Posts: 17
9/18/11 3:27 P

Thank you for so much constructive feedback.

I pushed myself today and was able to do the distance in 53 minutes. I was red faced, out of breath, and my legs felt like jello. They probably looked a little like jello too.

When I tried to jog a few yards, I could really feel my body fat heaving up and down. It was a terrible sensation. Hauling that weight at a sub 7 minute mile pace is hard to imagine.

I looked at past race results and you are right that a sub-20 would place me in top 3 for my age group. I know it's crazy. I'm just so d@mn motivated though. I have to try.

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/18/11 11:53 A

Isabel, I am not expert but want to share that I worked on Prevention's "Couch Potato to 3 Miles in 3 Months" jogging program one summer. It took me longer than the 3 months, but I did it! I don't remember my time per mile. I was just focused on working up to the 3 miles. It did set times to run, walk, recover in to get you to "jogger status."

Do I run now? No, not really. I injured my knee while testing for my red belt in karate, so I power walk with a couple of jogs on each of three legs of my daily 3.8-mile wog. Running a 5k is on my bucket list of things to accomplish. Hoping my knee will keep getting better so that I may check it off some day - fast or not - but DONE!

Keep working on your goal and listen to your body. =o)

PEDAL-PUSHER Posts: 6,501
9/18/11 9:14 A

First, 57 minutes is NOT a waddle. It is over 3 MPH, which is great for a beginer, my first was 62. I have seen 6 minute miles (not by me) so a 5K in under 20 minutes IS possible. Can YOU do it? Only YOU can answer that question. Amidst all the comments that say you can't, I just want to add my two cents. If you want it as a goal, go for it. You may not reach it, but you will know that you TRIED, and there is always the next time! You should know your body well enough to know how far you can stretch your limits.

There is so much of LIFE I would have missed out on if I had listened to those who told me I couldn't do something, and I would probably still be morbidly obese and on a ton of medications.

Enjoy your race, I felt the thrill of crossing the finish line with every one. Compete against no one but yourself, and no matter the outcome, have the satisfaction of knowing that you DID YOUR BEST.

GRRARRGH SparkPoints: (33,430)
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9/18/11 8:39 A

Honestly, I think that's a little optimistic. Sub-20 minutes is a really fast pace. Most people never get to that pace, much less within aces months of starting to train. That's under a 6:30 pace, which is incredibly fast. Since you have such a short time to train, I would make your goal for this first race just to run the whole thing. Work on your endurance first, then work on your speed.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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9/18/11 4:29 A

Great job on setting a goal for yourself, even if it does seem a bit optimistic. To put your pace in a different perspective, right now you walk a mile in about 19 minutes. Finishing a 5k in 30 minutes would mean doubling your pace to about 9:30 min/mile. A lot of things change when you move from walking to running: your breathing, your stride, the way your foot hits the ground, etc. So the transition from walking to running isn't as necessarily straight forward as we all would like.

When I started running seriously in March, my end goal was to run the full 5k without stopping and it took me about 4 months to get there and finishing in under 30 minutes took a lot of mental and physical effort. Most of the beginner running plans on Spark and elsewhere generally work towards running a 30min 5k in 8-10 weeks. Maybe have a goal of running a 5k in 3 months and then worry about time for your next goal? Good luck!!

CRISPY20 Posts: 342
9/17/11 11:49 P

I don't think that's a reasonable goal at all. I just checked the race results for one of the 5ks I did earlier that year, and a sub 20 minute time would pretty much place you in the top 3 of most age divisions for that race. From never running before to winning a race is asking a bit much. That's under 6:30 minutes per mile pace, and it would be very hard to get to that pace in under 3 months. You should set goals, but more realistic ones. If you can run a mile, you can get a better idea of what a tough but doable time goal would be for you.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
9/17/11 9:39 P

No. I don't believe that speed is possible given where you are.

How far can you run consistently right now? Are you looking at the couch to 5k? One of the lessons people learn quickly is that they have to slow down to be able to build endurance.

Goals are great - but they need to be reasonable.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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9/17/11 9:33 P

Goals are good; but not when they risk injury or failure.

A little googling tells me that a more realistic time for a first time runner is 25-27 minutes. Why not aim for running the 5k, without worrying about the time? One you've done that, you can aim for cutting your time.

Don't get hung up on times; unless you're a serious runner, times don't mean much, especially if you have no personal best to beat. Run a race first; complete it. Then, start racing yourself to improve your best time.

But take your time... pushing yourself too far, too fast is going to only end in injury or failure.

RRONSMAN31 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 117
9/17/11 9:17 P

I would strive for more realistic goals. I have been running on and off for 4 years - and this year I have been running consistently since January, and I have only shaved 1:17 off each of my miles... and I weight 178 (and i'm 5'6"). I finished a 5k this morning with a personal record of 34:53, a 11:14 mile pace, which is amazing for me.

Not saying that some day you won't be able to run it in under 20 minutes... but maybe start with running the whole thing without stopping... and keep working from there.

Best Wishes to you!

ISABEL2010 Posts: 17
9/17/11 8:23 P

Thank you for your replies, both of you. I've always needed very specific goals. Running or exercising just for the sake of fitness isn't specific enough for me. Whenever I've had specific goals that are measurable and set to a timeline, I've generally met them. Getting and staying overweight and out of shape has been a great failure on my part. I'm trying to find a way to leverage goal setting techniques that have helped me succeed in other areas of my life.

ISABEL2010 Posts: 17
9/17/11 8:19 P

I remember reading that one shouldn't increase their mileage by more than 10% per week. Is there anything equivalent to that for time? Is there an accepted rate of time improvement given consistent training? For example, for me to reach the above goal I would have to improve my time by about 3 minutes per week - if I improve linearly. At my current time of 57 min/3.1 miles that would be about 5% improvement in one week to decrease from 57 to 54 minutes.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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9/17/11 8:18 P


Your goal as a new runner is to concentrate on building endurance and not to worry too much about your pace. That will come with time. Having unrealistic goals can deter you from meeting your overall goals which is living and embracing healthy habits.

Coach Nancy

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (197,078)
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9/17/11 8:06 P

run it at all? yes.

in under 20 minutes? I highly doubt it.

ISABEL2010 Posts: 17
9/17/11 7:50 P

Today is September 17th and I just walked 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in 57 minutes. I want to run that distance December 17th in 19:59 minutes. With persistent, graduated training and diet, do any of you think that it is possible to make that sort of fitness improvement in just 3 months time?

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