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Hi I have been running every other day since Sept. I've made good progress right up until March 1 when I increased to 7 miles (working a longer run 8 to 9.5 miles) on the weekend. I seemed to have ??plateaud at that point.
This past weekend I went out for 8.5 and had mix walking in from the 5 mile mark on. Today I went out for 7 miles and had to cut it to 5 miles. I'd say it maybe the heat but that is going to continue to be more and more of a factor as the summer approaches.The plus side no aches or pains the negative side I am not getting anywhere on progressing with time and distance. Any tips?
One thing with heat, early heat is a lot harder on you than Jul heat. You body will adjust to it over time, I have a lot more issues with 85 and humid now than I do in Jul and Aug. The other thing might just be the mental part, every time you get to a new distance that you have not run it is a mental game also. Good luck
Heat may definitely be a factor, as well as increases in humidity that sometimes accompany the Spring temperatures. It also may be that your body has just gotten used to running the distances that you have been running on a regular basis. You may want to try varying your routine to include some different training like light speedwork (don't go all out, but do reps at a faster pace than normal runs) or fartleks runs where you mix things up. Your body, and mind, may be in a rut, and trying some new workouts may help you break out.
The other thing I have noticed in the 1-1/2 years since I took up running again, is that your mind and body develop a cumulative toll of training every week. When I notice that happening, I take a couple of days, or even a week off, to give everything a rest. The concern is always whether that will set back your training...my experience is that it has helped catapult my training to new levels. Do not underestimate the power of proper rest days/periods.
It is awesome that you have been so religious for so many months. Be proud of what you accomplished so far. And who cares if you walk a little bit now and then during a run. you are still covering the same miles and burning the same calories. Just keep going, and good luck breaking through!
Great advice from the others and I would also suggest working in some cross-training that could include alternative exercises that help with building strength and endurance. This is a slower process to see the overall results in running, but weightlifing, for example is something that helps over time. Others bike, swim or do a combination of things to improve endurance. Basically, just be patient with your body and the improvements will come.
The only other suggestion might be to change your running route. Sometimes, specific areas become mentally imbedded, so you become accustomed to certain markers or stopping points. Initially, this can be a benefit for speed training, but can become a defecit to increasing the LR schedule.
Wishing you all the best!
Are you doing anything to supplement your energy during the run?
I had trouble going much past 6 miles until I started using energy gels every 4 miles or so. Also, I bring water or an energy drink with me on any run longer than 6 miles.
4/15/12 Marathon 4:59:10
9/15/12 5K Run For the Hills 24:21
10/21/12 Rock N Roll Half Marathon 1:55:21
Next race: Williams Route 66 Marathon
When increasing mileage, I've found it helpful to focus on endurance and not speed. To do this you should slow down your pace and target to keep your heart rate in the 65-75% of max range. This will increase your aerobic capacity / VO2 max, it will also keep you in the aerobic range versus anaerobic. In the aerobic range you burn glycogen in the presence of oxygen, in anaerobic range you do not have enough oxygen which causes a buildup of lactate which makes you feel very weak and tired. This may require you to run 1:30 to 2 minutes per mile slower than your fast pace.
Your body stores fat, so it has an ample supply to draw from versus carbohydrate which comes from food and only lasts for about an hour of strenuous exercise, this gives you greater endurance without requiring additional food intake during exercise. The fat burn also helps you become more lean and lose fat weight. The more you train this way, the more efficient you become.
Buy a heart rate monitor and use it during your workouts. It is still ok to do a day of speedwork every so often, but if you are trying to build distance you need to watch your heart rate.
26.2 PR: 3:27:01
13.1 PR: 1:32:37
5K PR: 19:31
Next Race:Palos Verdes Half Marathon-May 19
I'd say, try alternating longer slow runs with faster short runs, if you're not doing that already. For specifics on how to do that, it might help to find a training plan for a 10K or a longer distance. You shouldn't have trouble finding a free one online. Also, I strongly agree with Rich True about the need for energy supplements (i. e. gels) during long runs, to be taken together with water. They're a great help for getting through "walls" when taken every 30-50 minutes or so.