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Hello all. I'm 25 years old, and I've decided that I need to be able to run off treadmill. This is a part of a larger effort to get into better shape, and it is critical to my career plans.
My brother mentioned Ct5K, so I thought I'd check it out and it looks really promising. I'm reading through the program and the other pages that it links to with tips, etc. but in my experience you can often get the best advice, quickly, simply by asking people who have been doing it and love it (because they don't need to search for the info you need- they know it! Plus they know things you don't even think to ask about!).
My goal: to be able to run 3 miles in 18:00 minutes.
Fortunately, I'm not significantly out of shape. I would even say that I'm "just" not IN shape. I'm 25, 145 pounds or so, no injuries or illnesses. I had been running on a treadmill last month, doing three miles in approximately 27ish minutes.
But I need to be able to go faster, off treadmill, and I want to get to that goal as fast as I can (safely, of course! Ensuring that I do not injure myself is my number one priority in executing this change, and why I am here).
So, where should I START with the Ct5K program? I guess I could start at the beginning, but my goals are slightly different than just "be able to run 5k." I can run 5k currently. I want to be able to run it faster, but I have never before in my life trained in running so it is a completely alien activity to me. I know there is a lot of technique and science behind it, and I know that I don't know any of it.
Any and all advice would be immensely helpful, and thank you.
If you can already run 5k, there is no point in doing the c25k program. Instead, look for a 5k racing training program. Usually that involves adding more interval sessions, and tempo runs. Mix up your training, so that you do some days slow and long and some days with high speed intervals.
Well, I thought at the very least it would be good to do the later stages as a way of safely learning how to run. However, I will certainly look for the racing training programs! Thanks so much for the advice!
I'd be slightly cautious on one thing: I believe many of the programs that focus on improving time (speed) come with them an inherent assumption that the runner has been running for a while and has a base of miles established. You said you *can* run 5K, but have you been doing so consistently? If you don't consider yourself a consistent runner then, IMHO, I would first establish a routine where you're running that 5K 3-4x/wk. Do that for a number of weeks to establish a base. Get all parts of your body used to the routine. Routines like C25K help you ease into running not only because of the fitness needed, but there is a lot of adjusting and getting your body accustomed to the rigors of running that needs to take place. I've seen lots of stories of people who are very active (bikers, swimmers, etc.) who can handle the fitness side of running very quickly, but they'll get some other sort of injury because their feet or ankles or knees or leg muscles aren't used to that particular activity. I've even heard the bone density changes as you run more and more consistently. So if you get into it too quickly it's easier to get a stress fracture.
So if you don't have a consistent base - I'd focus on that. THEN look at a program to increase speed. Right now - I wouldn't worry too much about the technique and science. That is a whole 'nother program that may come up as you focus more on speed.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan
Thank you Jim. I suspected something I would hear something like that. I will definitely follow your advice- get comfortable with running, period, then focus on increasing the speed.
I agree that a C25K really isn't the place to foster a goal of 5K in 18min and you really should have some kind of 'speed' coach to help you get faster and not get injured doing it. A mix of base 3mil runs with core workout, intervals and a 'long' once a week should get you there. Just to relate to what you are doing, I recently added my 'long' of 4 miles to my weekly routine and brough my speed from 10.5 down to 9.5. I know doesn't sound like much but for me it was a huge improvement and I felt great after the 3 mile run. Looking forward to an 8.5 in another month.
You can definitely do sub 6 min miles if you build slowly up to it. Please post your progress here and what training you are doing to help you get there.
Today I started by running 3 miles (with a 5-10 min break at 1.5 miles to make I wasn't overexerting myself- it was a 97 degrees today) to see where I stood. The times and distance are a touch approximate- I used the Google Pedometer (sp?) to plan my route, and I was using my phone as my timer so I lost some time fumbling with it to start/stop the timer, plus one lace tying incident.
First 1.5- around 12:30
Second 1.5- cumulative of 25-26 minutes.
Some quick points:
I'm not trying to run a sub 6 min miles- I want 6 min miles. Anything better than that is gravy.
What is a "long?" Is it a run that is longer than your target distance? So if I am running three miles, I might add a long of four or five miles once a week?
8/23/12- 24:13. A touch disappointed that I wasn't able to run faster than my last time, but encouraged that I could repeat the the achievement.
I need to start looking at cross training now, and some of the speed trials, I think.
I would be careful not to try and beat your 5K time everytime you go out. Your daily runs should be done at different tempos/paces and you shouldn't be "racing" everytime. I would do 1 time trial a week where you really go for it. Maybe even every other week.
I need to do the research on intervals, different tempos, etc. I just keep getting busy, you know? So in the meantime, I go out and run as fast as I feel comfortable.
On 8/25/12, I had a good feeling, and managed 23:36!
Hopefully I'll have some time today after my next run to peruse some literature on the matter.