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I am a newbie runner, 50 year old female, who started running about 6 months ago. I have completed the C25K and ran the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon in December 2010. I'm still running about 3 days/week, but my speed is still very slow ~ about the same as when I started....how do I build speed? I listen to different podcasts/music programs, and feel like I'm keeping up with the music, but I'm still at the 14 - 15 min/mile mark...and I'd like to comfortably run 4 miles in less than an hour. Does anyone have any tips? Thanks for your help!
Congrats on keeping up with your training, and for completing the Half-marathon in Vegas! The Rock n Roll events are so much fun, and are a good way to check out other races :-) I've done several of their events including those in San Diego & Denver.
If you are looking to increase your speed, there are several workouts you can do such as stairs, running hills, tempo runs, and fartlek. I used all of the methods, and I do alot of tempo runs and fartlek training. Also, I will incorporate some hills into my runs here and there, depending on where I'm at, but keep it for the end of my run, so I can walk home if I'm too tired afterwards. Also, if you are looking for some ways to weave it into your everyday life, always look for stairs to take. Never take the elevator, if possible. I know it sounds cliche, but, every little bit helps.
Good Luck & Happy Running!
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I would try to incorporate sprint intervals into your training. Start by doing them 1 day every other week until your body gets used to the extra abuse and then eventually move to once a week. I have some sprint intervals posted on my website here http://www.eliterunnersworld.com/node/14 that may be a big help for you! Congrats on your success and keep up the great work!
Visit my website http://www.eliterunnersworld.com for the latest in gear, workouts, and injury advice all for free!
Denise, have you tried adding accelerations to any of your runs? After warming up and running for a mile or there abouts, on a flat stretch of road, speed up your pace a bit for a hundred yards or so. Slow back down to regular pace and repeat again after you have gotten your heart rate back down. You can play around with these and it will help your speed and endurance. These are not sprints, just speeding up your pace for a short interval.Good luck.
Marie from Tennessee
Training for Disney 2013 Goofy Challenge.....Yes, I'm certifiably CRAZY!
61 year olds must be out of their minds to run a half marathon followed by a full the next day!
Disney Half Marathon 1/7/2012 2:37:59
Bear Hunt 5K 9/24/11 28:28 pb
Trojan Trek Trail 5K 8/6/11 31:45
Expo 10K 5/28/11 1:01:28,
Expo 10K 5/26/12 1:05:39
Eastman 10K 9/8/2012 1:01:11 pb
"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
PaintingLady you made a nice description of a Tempo Run, I love those. They do help with speed as well as all the other speed training mentioned.
Denise, I haven't been running for very long, but one thing I have learned by watching elite runner run is their efficiency and technique and have read everything about speed training throughout the year I've been running. These factors are:
For example: Body weight. I weigh 190 lbs, and I'm shooting for a 7min/mile average for my second 1/2 Marathon my first 1/2 Marathon was around 8min/mile average. To increase my endurance, I rotate between Tempo Runs and 400 meter sprints. On Wednesday evenings just go to your local high school track and begin with a 100 meter run at your 5k race pace. Walk or slowly run for 200 meters, then run 100 meters at your 5k race pace. Repeat this until you can do 8 x 100's at your 5k race pace.
For me I have worked up to doing 12 x 400's at a 5K pace. I rotate between tempo runs and 400's every other Wednesday.
NOTE: Remember to stretch and warm up by running slowly before speed training to avoid injury. And listen to your body. Go into this speed training slowly or you'll get injured.
Form is how you run, your stride/gait so to speak. If you watch any elite runner run, you'll see they are very efficient in their stride/gait. They are also really thin and lean, thus the Body weight factor. Work on your form from arm movement to foot placement and everything in between. When you're at the track, look at the fast runners, see how they move and copy that to improve your form.
Strength is key. Core training (yes a hard stomach will make you faster) Calfs, Quads and Hamstrings strength training will also improve your ability to "kick" though your runs.
Remember we're human all have different levels of ability and willingness, but you can always improve with what you have.