I started running last April. I'm not only slow, but don't have a lot of stamina. I could go about 4 miles at the most. The beginning of December I switched over to the run/walk method; I'm using John Bingham's half-marathon training program. Okay, here's what's happened to me. My body feels somewhat better, but my stamina seems to have taken a step back. I'm not sure I could even run a 5k now! Could it be that my decision to run/walk was the wrong one? It's probably great for lots of folks, but I'm quickly losing my motivation and getting discouraged.
A couple of things that don't help are the winter weather (I'm a wuss and don't like 15 degree days with a wind chill below zero) and my daughter just had surgery so we were in the hospital for several days.
What is your experience with run/walk, and do you like/dislike it? All suggestions are welcome, because I don't want to stop running but will have to do something soon to keep motivated.
"Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started."
-- Steve Prefontaine
One more breath, one more step, one more mile, FINISH LINE!
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First - Don't Give Up! You might have had a bad race with bad weather so keep trying. You will probably have a great race next time.
I used the Run/Walk method for my first couple of Marathons and it worked great. The general idea is have the "time on feet" that approximates the time of your race. It built up my stamina to where I would run and not realize that I had gone so far that I could run the whole race without walking. I have adult on-set running so I started late and this method worked very well. The Penguin has good common sense advice and I liked his run/walk method.
Keep it up, race again and then post your experciences. You will do great!
I have never tried run/walk - but provided you are walking very briskly and running a little fast that you were running your 4 miles at you should not be losing endurance - stamina is developed by doing short hard intervals likes sprints - but people often confuse the meaning of the terms so I`m, assuming you feel you have less endurance - but I want to go back to your original issue - you could only run 4 miles .. that is a reasonable distance and one you should be able to build one - what made you feel you couldn`t get past 4 ? How long was 4 miles taking ? What was/is your normal weekly training - running / cross training and weight training ?
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I did a run/walk for the middle month of training for my first half. Back then the "long runs" of 6 and 7 miles scared me so I run/walked them. I think over all it helped me with my pacing. I quickly leared what pace I needed to maintain to make it through an entire interval. But I dont think the run/walk method is for me. I dont like it...I get much more satifaction from a consistent run.
During long runs I think it hurts more to walk and in the cold I'd much rather run than walk (I sweat a lot so if I stop running in the cold I'll freeze). If you're walk/running in the cold that might be more of a factor that you think. You're such a wimp - frostbite and hypothermia feel great!!!
Are you doing other forms of cardio for cross training? I feel like cycling is what really whipped my cv system into gear. For me, it's easier to do sprint intervals on a bike than running. I can also climb on recovery intervals to slow my heart down but not make it easy. I feel like as I got better at cycling, my running followed. It might all be in my head though
No one says you can't switch it up. When I did the walk/run I only did it on my long run days. My week days runs were always continuous runs. Maybe take one of your easy run days and run the whole thing...and then decided in a few weeks which runs were better. Make your training more interesting.
I say throw in new crosstraining (is there something you've been wanting to try?) and add more variety to your training. Make some new smaller goals that you can hit next month. Nothing motivates me more than hiting my goals. Big ones are great but are often too far away, which will cause me to lose focus. I'd rather say "next week I'll do my fastest mile ever!!!"
Feeling like your fitness is declining when you're working hard is really frustrating. But don't let that discourage you to the point where you give up on your health. It's hard...but if it wasn't hard it wouldn't be so rewarding. Best of luck in your trianing!!
-Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)
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I am a former Galloway (run/walk) runner. I started like you on the TM but converted to Galloway in a beginners group a while back. I too did not have stamina/strength for more than 4/5 miles at a time.
I actually had the reverse situation happen to me. I found the run/walk method an excellent way to build my strength and stamina. What may be happening for you is something that ultimately made me switch back (well, that and an injury) after a while of doing the run/walk, repeat cycle, my legs simply turned to jello, and I couldn't get started up very well again. I'd be good for about six miles or so and then, wham, back to feeling cruddy. I think the run/walk choice was a good one, it's just how you tweak it for you. I would suggest you start by changing how long you run versus how long you walk, increase or decrease, your choice. I started with 10 and 1's (10 min run/1 walk). Maybe you start at 5... or whatever works for you. Then you experiment to see what feels best to you, and you go from there. Ultimately I got to 15 and 1's, 20 and 1's, 25 and 1's, and I am asthmatic. If I can do it... you certainly can.
So then how I got back to where I started-the injury happenend and because of it I couldn't bear to do those 1's any more, so I went back to where I started, but it was so much easier that second time. Since then have run distance, six half marys and two fulls, and a few short ones just for fun, all using full out. I think you need to give this a bit more time or a tweak before you give it up. If you are just starting, it takes a while for the body to adjust to the demands that running puts on this. See where you are in six months and give me a shout if you still need a cheerleader. (I am an old one if you want to know)
As to cold weather, I live in MN, and find that 15 is actually kind of balmy, if you dress right for it. Invest in cold gear. I can give you a list if you are interested.