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2159 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2010 6:34 AM by Marykb
emmaleigh47 Pro 174 posts since
Jun 24, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 16, 2010 12:11 PM

Need some help... increasing distance and run duration

I am hoping that you experienced runners will help me out here.

I am a new - fat runner who just finished my second 5K. I am waiting for the official time, but I believe I might have set a PR ... and may have broke the 45 minute barrier which is a great thing for me.

I struggle with the running... not sure if its my weight... or my asthma.... but I just struggle. c25K never clicked in for me, because it didnt have out there long enough and although I could make it through the intervals up to week 4 ... only 20 minutes wasnt enough of a challenge. I switched to Jeff Galloways method of intervals and have found everything alot more enjoyable. I run 4 times a week usually... and at least 3 miles a time. So here is my question......


I ran a 2min run:2 min walk intervals for the 5K today ... and inserted I believe 2 extra walk breaks but that was it. I am proud of my effort... but trying to figure out what to do next. I am a person who need very tangible goals...

5K distance is still a struggle for me... but obviously I can do it...



1. Do I keep the distance the same... and try to increase the run intervals to 3 mins, 4 mins etc...

2. Do I keep the intervals the same and the distance the same and just keep doing this until it gets easier... which I am afraid it never will

3. Do I keep the run intervals the same and increase the distance... thus burning more calories... getting better cardiovascular fitness.


Obviously losing weight would help... and I have lost about 25 pounds so far since I started running.

My next race was supposed to be a 5K turkey trot... and I just found out its a 5mile turkey trot.... ouch!


So I await the knowledge from the masses...

Started: July 2010 at 273#

Fox Cities 5K on 9/17: 45:19 (264#)

Shake a Tail Feather 5K on 10/16: 45:09 (254#)

Hope Run for Africa 5K on 10/23: 42:45 (248#)

Jingle Bell Run 5K on 11/6/10: 44:20 (248#)

Turkey Trot 5 mile on 11/25/10: (246#)

Miami ING Half Marathon 3:23:56

Oshkosh Half Marathon 3:16:38 (PR)

Cellcom Half Marathon in GB (horridly windy race) 3:21:56 (244#)

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007

    Great job!


    Here's the answer (for now) -- increase the amount of time you run by decreasing the amount of time spent walking.  I would suggest that you decrease your walk breaks to 1 minute. Once you're comfortable doing that, increase the interval time spent running.


    Think of it this way -- changing your interval from 2:2 to 2:1 would represent a 33% increase in speed if you didn't walk at all during the walk breaks.  I don't know the relative speeds of your running and walking, but your times will drop dramatically by that little change.


    Good luck!


    Surfing Vol


    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    emmaleigh47 wrote:


    only 20 minutes wasnt enough of a challenge.

    5K distance is still a struggle for me...


    I'm a little confused, am I misunderstanding you?  You said that "only" 20 minutes of running wasn't enough of a challenge for you, but then the 5K distance is still a struggle.  Not sure what you mean by that (?)

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    emmaleigh47 wrote:


    Mary: I guess I meant that I didnt think that I was getting cardiovascular improvement in 20 was a struggle... but I wanted to be out there longer and to push myself so hard for those 20 minutes and then I couldnt just keep running. Doing what I am doing now... I can make it for a full 45 minutes... burn more calories... and hopefully lose more weight!

    Oh, I gotcha.  I was thinking you were saying that running 20 minutes was too easy for you (not a challenge).


    So yes, in that context it makes perfect sense to dial back the pace so that you can go 45 minutes vs. wearing yourself out by going too fast and only able to do 20 minutes.  It sounds like you're on the right track.  It just takes time and patience but meanwhile try to enjoy the moment and revel in where you're at.  I am running slower now than I have ever run in my life.  I am on the downside of my curve while most of you newbies are ascending your curve.  So I have to do the same thing and just enjoy where I'm at right now.  Hopefully I'll get my game back, but for now I just love running for the sake of running and I'm grateful I can run at all.

  • PaintingLady Legend 906 posts since
    Dec 12, 2009

    Why not do both 1 & 3? Do 1 on your week day runs, in other words, shorter distance, trying to improve time and then one day per week, shart adding a longer run, with slower pace. Galloway is a big advocate of the long slow run once a week to improve your endurance, even if you have to do shorter run/walk intervals.

    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

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008

    As to which option (and they are all sensible options) it really depends on your goal.  You can stick to #2 for a while - a couple of weeks maybe - and then begin to segue into #3.  Or you can alternate #2 - sticking with your current pace/distance most days - and #3 by doing a slightly longer run for one workout per week.  (I think someone else already mentioned this.)  The main reason you would do #1 is if your primary goal is to get faster which I don't think is what you're after right now.


    I agree that if you can extend the duration of your workouts, regardless of speed, you will burn more calories, lose more weight, and that would eventually make it easier to run.  Again, I think you are on the right track.  No matter which of the plans you follow, as long as you are consistent about it you will see results.

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