I began my running career last July, after I turned 50. I have run a 5K and did the Rock and Roll half marathon in Las Vegas in December (did a walk/run). I followed and completed the C25k program, and started the 10K program, but found that I wanted to focus on my time rather than distance. I would like to be able to do a 5K in 30 minutes, and that is my current goal.
This is my dilemma....should I be focusing so much on time? I do a lot of reading on how speed is not so important, but am so impressed when I read the times of some of the people on these posts...I don't have a "typical" runners body, if there is one, as I have very short legs, and a long torso. I was an excellent distance swimmer, and seem to be able to run for distance rather than speed.
My frustration is that my times this week are about the same as they were last November....which I don't consider to be progress. I have achieved goals that I set ~ I ran 4 miles in a hour without walking...I ran two miles in 24 minutes....I've done sprint work followed by walking, but I am now re-doing W6D1 since that seems to be where I am at.
For those of you who are more seasoned runners, what is your advice? Do I care about speed? Do I care about distance? How do I decide? I like how running makes me feel, and I would like to lose an additional 15 pounds or so...so I am determined to make running a part of my life...not necessarily to do formal "runs" but more to keep in shape and enjoy the feeling that I get when I run.
I realize that this post is scattered, and I really would just enjoy hearing from other runners and their history....what they did that worked and what didn't work. My hubby is a seasoned runner and deep down, I would love to be able to keep up with him, but that might just be a pipe dream...he's an 8 minute/mile runner, and I'm about a 13 - 14 - 15 depending on my run. Any and all advice would be appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!
It seems you've had a mixed bag so far. You finished the RnR Las Vegas Marathon but now you're back at W6D1 of C25K? I think your first goal should be to build a good mileage base of about 20 - 25 miles per week. Do it slowly, keeping increases to around 10% per week. You will probably find some speed increase just from getting to that point. After you've been at that level for several weeks, start adding speedwork. I do not recommend starting speedwork until you have a good base. The easiest way is fartlek, that is, picking a spot down the road and running faster until you get there, then slowing down for a while to recover, then repeat. More formal speedwork can be added through intervals and tempo runs. Here are some definitions from Hal Higdon.
Interval Training: To improve your speed, train at a pace somewhat faster than your race pace for the 5-K, about the pace you would run in a 1500 meter or mile race. Run 400 meters hard, then recover by jogging and/or walking 400 meters. A second variation is to run 200 meter repeats at 800 race pace with 200 jogging between. Before starting this workout, warm-up by jogging a mile or two, stretching, and doing a few sprints of 100 meters. Cool down afterwards with a short jog.
Tempo Runs: This is a continuous run with an easy beginning, a build-up in the middle to near 10-K race pace (or slightly slower than your pace in a 5-K), then ease back and slow down toward the end. A typical Tempo Run would begin with 5-10 minutes easy running, build to 10-15 minutes at 10-K pace, then 5-10 minutes cooling down. You can't figure out your pace on a watch doing this workout; you need to listen to your body. Tempo Runs are very useful for developing anaerobic threshold, essential for fast 5-K racing.
Len advice worked 100% for me. I started running when my daughter was a Freshman is High School she is now a Freshman at UNC. I started as something I could do with her, always had sports to play with my son. When I started she could run a lot faster, we would run races and she would finish 5-10 mins ahead of me, now we run together and I can beat her at any distance but 5K, she still has me on shorter ones. It has been great for us, so you may be able to catch him. Speed work makes you faster, but is a lot harder on your body. Build your base, then add some speed work as Len advised.
Running faster is hard! Enjoy
THanks for the feedback..I should have re-read my post before I sent it...I did the HALF marathon in Las Vegas, and did a walk/run program...I'm still struggling with even running a 5K without stopping, which is extremely frustrating for me.
I made a Dr. appt this week, as I have Fibromyalgia, and have had it for 10 years. I asked her how much the pain Meds would affect my running, and while she wasn't sure, she felt that they would for sure affect my running ability...I've tried to find others who suffer from this and run, but haven't had much luck.
I'm just going to keep at it, can't wait till the weather gets nicer to get outside more often, and enjoy reading posts by others...thanks again for the great advice.