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1778 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 16, 2012 6:49 AM by squilky RSS
hshortt39 Rookie 4 posts since
Mar 27, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 5, 2012 2:45 PM

Running Slump

Hi Everyone

 

I just started becoming an active runner in Dec/January. I'm 29 years old, female. I've been an athlete all my life, played volleyball in college for a  couple years. They made me run, but I always HATED it. I started with the C25K program and made it my New Years Goal to run a 5k. I've done 3 races so far this year and usually run 3-4 days a week. My PR is 31:31 and I'm pretty consistent with my pace of 10-10:30 a mile, although my first mile is usually under 10, I tend to slow down in them middle. Anyway, that's where I am at. I was feeling really good all year long... then I went on vacation for a week about a month ago. A cruise no less. Couple that with some bad weather here in Florida and I have easily gotten off track. I haven't done 3.1 in a few weeks. Most I've done is 2.5mi.

 

This might be more of a mental block, but as far as physical, I was curious if anyone with experience had some suggestions on how to get back on track. I was thinking I would just run a little bit more each day till I work my way back up to 3.1, but I didn't know if I should get back on a more organized plan, like the C25k, although I don't need to revert back down to the start of that program. For example, last week I ran 2 days at 2 miles, this week I pushed to 2.5. But it just feels a lot tougher than it has all year.

 

Thanks for any insight.





3/31/12 My first 5K: Suncoast Sprint 5K: 32:54

5/5/12: Trinity Relay for Life Rockin' 5k: 31:31

5/12/12: Dunedin Hog Hustle 5K (course ran long): 34:25

  • NHLA Legend 354 posts since
    Feb 23, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 5, 2012 3:17 PM (in response to hshortt39)
    Running Slump

    Why do you want to run?  There is no correct answer except you must want to do this for yourself.

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 5, 2012 4:30 PM (in response to hshortt39)
    Running Slump

    I would run as often as possible and slowly build up your overall miles.  It is not unusual to get off course or experience a lapse in motivation.  Environment and priorities have a tremendous influence on progress, so just set the focus for your individual training schedule with personal goals for acheivement.  I can recommend a training journal because that helps with actually writing down accomplishments, keeping track of improvements and referring back to your notes for areas (or particular times/circumstances) that might be of concern.  You will be surprised how you can identify any obstacles that way and avoid them in the future. 

     

    Basically, you will have to run more than twice a week and you will have push beyond 2.5 miles, so even if you do a walk/jog/run routine to get in the extra time, it will be of benefit.  If you have the opportunity to split workouts (same day...morning/evening), that will assist with overall endurance.  Also, try to get in some cross-training because that will help build strength for your running. 

     

    P.S.  Enter more 5k events...look a future 8K or 10K race to guide your preparations.  Usually, they are wonderful opportunities to advance. 

     

    Hope this helps and best wishes. 

  • squilky Pro 91 posts since
    Jul 18, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 6, 2012 8:17 AM (in response to hshortt39)
    Re: Running Slump

    I think you would benefit from from working in some walk breaks. If you obsess on the need to run the whole way, you miss the big picture. If you run 2.5 miles hard, but you are so drained at the end of it, you are shooting yourself in the foot. As Jasko mentioned, you will benefit running longer and further. So try to come up with a simple plan. If all you can do today is finish a 5k, set small goals each week to run just a little further. By next week, make the goal to run 3.5 miles. The following week 3.75, the next 4.00 etc. Increase your distance slowly. Then break your runs into smaller parts. If your goal for the week is run 3.5 miles, break that run into pieces. Run the first mile at a nice easy pace. Then walk for a minute to catch your breath and get your pulse down. Then set a goal to run either a specified distance (ie 1/2 mile), or a specific amount of time (ie 5 minutes) before the next walk break. Keep doing that till you reach 3.5 miles or whatever your goal distance is for that week. Just don't take walk breaks at will. Set specific goals either by time or by distance.

     

    At first you will probably notice your pace per mile drop a bit. But over time, you will be able to run the running portions faster because you have that 60 second walk break to slow down and catch your breath. You'll feel energized at the start of your next running interval. I've used walk breaks and that is how I went from completing couch to 5k to running 10 miles. If I think about running 10 miles and having to run the whole way, Im mentally defeated before I even take the first step. But if I know that I can run 1/2 mile and then get a 30 or 60 second walk break, I have that break to look forward to. It's the only way I was able to increase my running distance. And over time, my endurance has gotten a lot better. Long runs are sort of a necessary evil, but when you break them into smaller chunks, and factor in walk breaks, it's make things a lot easier to tackle.

     

    Set a goal, increase your weekly distance slowly, and before you know it you'll be running 10k distance and beyond. Look at it this way. Is it better to run 5 miles with an average mile pace of 11:00 or to run 2 miles at 10:00 pace, but stop after 2 miles?





    Couch to 5k completed: 7/15/2011

    USPTO 5K 10/16/2011; 29:14 110/238

    Bull Run Festival of Lights 5K 12/31/2011; 31:30 324/683

    Primal Mud Run 4/14/2012; 1:29:29

    Cody's Crew 5k 9/16/2012 31:15

  • raf66 Expert 49 posts since
    Jan 15, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jul 6, 2012 11:58 AM (in response to hshortt39)
    Running Slump

    Congratulations on picking up the sport and having a desire to stay with it.  Lots of good, experienced people on here who can provide guidance.

     

    Your situation is not uncommon.  You start running, hit some goals (time and distance), have a few races scheduled and completed, and then . . . a lull.  You go on vacation, lose a little bit of motivation and now you've lost a little conditioning.  Don't sweat it.  Just get back out there.

     

    I would suggest running more frequently and cut your distances a bit shorter.  For instance, if you were running 3 days/week at 2.5 - 3 miles per run, run 4 or 5 days/week at 2 - 2.25 miles per run.  When your legs get back into the habit of running more regularly again and your conditioning has returned, do a long run once or twice/week of 3.1 - 3.5 miles.  Take walk breaks as needed. 

     

    Remember, it's summertime, with the added heat and humidity that makes running far more difficult.  You don't need reminded of that since you're in Florida.  Here in the midwest we've been at or near 100 degrees for several days straight, which is atypical for this part of the country.  I run in the evening and it's a STRUGGLE.  It was freakin' 98 degrees the other night when I ran at 9:00 pm!  When I say it's a struggle, I mean that I feel like I've run for an hour when it's only been 30 minutes, and my breathing is so labored it feels like I'm sucking in molasses rather than air. Plus it takes me longer to recover and that "runner's high" is a bit more fleeting and short-lived.  It's also harder to stay motivated as I don't even like to walk outside to get the mail in this weather.  So, while I run the same amount of days/week, I've slowed my pace down and I run shorter distances.  Frankly that's the only thing that's kept me motivated to consistently run. 

     

    Is this correct?  Heck, I don't know.  I just know that it's working FOR ME and, frankly, it's the only plan that I can conceive of that allows me to run just as frequently during the week.  Is my plan right for you?  I honestly don't know.  I certainly don't think it would be BAD for you.  We all have bad runs or even bad weeks now and then.  This is especially true at the beginning of our running journey.  Don't get discouraged and, if you really desire to be a consistent runner, don't give up.  Alter your training regimen to find what works for you to stay motivated to hit the pavement.  Hopefully in the not-so-distant future we'll get a respite from this oppressive heat/humidity.  That's one of the reasons why I enjoy the fall racing season so much more than the middle of the summer.

     

    Good luck.

  • BowieLinda Pro 136 posts since
    Jul 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 14, 2012 4:53 PM (in response to raf66)
    Running Slump

    As a new runner who has "dropped out" recently and is returning to the sport, I want to really say "Thank you" to you participating in this thread.  I want to run and I definitely want to work on consistency, I know that's what I most need, and it's very hard mentally to learn that it takes consistent work at slower and shorter runs, to get to the point where you are running longer and faster.  It's just hard!  I guess that just when I think I know all of the mental glitches that running can pose, I find there's a new one.  This is my turn to learn this one!

     

    I never have thought of myself as very competitive.  But, when I was going out on runs with the local running club, I have realized it seriously demoralized me when I could not keep up with anyone else.  (I think that walkers just don't go out with this group).  I like these people and I would like to be a part of the group.  But I am not sure just how to get there.  I think it can be a kind of a goal though, apart from "run such-and-such 5K," to get into good enough running shape that I CAN go out on a run with this club now and then, and feel respectably part of the group.

     

    The group DOES offer running programs, too, so I might wind up enrolling in one, or at least inquiring whether they all start out with folks going faster than I can!!  For now, I'm starting the C25K again, and happy to be up off of the couch.





    C25K Training begun (Treadmill) 6/1/10); restarted 7/11/12

    First run OUTDOORS - Club Fun Run 1.75 mile circuit time 26:06:72 on 7/29/10

    Proud C25K Grad, 8/7/10

    College Park Cares 5K Sponsored by Vecna Technologies, Inc. 9/25/10 44:04.4

    Fell off of the regular running routine, experienced the DC Derecho Disaster, and now aiming to get back on track!

    Future:

    Jug Bay Run for Wildlife 5K 11/3/12

  • squilky Pro 91 posts since
    Jul 18, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jul 16, 2012 6:49 AM (in response to BowieLinda)
    Re: Running Slump

    Running can definitely cause one to go on an emotional rollercoaster. One day we could feel great, where our running stride is effortless and it feels like we can run forever. Then there are those days where every step seems like an effort and I can't wait to finish.  I had a week last week, where I ran 4 days, and only 1 of those days I felt good. Maybe I wasn't eating right, maybe I wasn't get enough sleep, maybe it was the heat, or maybe a combination of the three. I don't know. I just felt like I was running uphill the entire time. Fortunatelt, I finished all 4 of my runs. A few times I had to throw in an extra walk break to get done, but I finished. Today is the start of a new week, and I have my fingers crossed that my runs will be easier this go around.





    Couch to 5k completed: 7/15/2011

    USPTO 5K 10/16/2011; 29:14 110/238

    Bull Run Festival of Lights 5K 12/31/2011; 31:30 324/683

    Primal Mud Run 4/14/2012; 1:29:29

    Cody's Crew 5k 9/16/2012 31:15

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