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I started running (with purpose and consistency) almost exactly 2 months ago. When I started, I could already run 2 miles non-stop (running once a month or so but working out in other ways on a regular basis). Now, with actual consistent running under my belt (3-4 times per week) I can *usually* get to about a mile before I have to stop and walk. Sometimes I get to a mile and a half. Sometimes 3/4 of a mile. Sometimes the first TWO are completely effortless and then things go down hill. (I generally try to run about 3 miles at a time and have to walk 2-4 times.) Normally my legs feel tired and heavy and I have trouble breathing. My diet is very consistent, as is my sleep and exercise. I'm fit (my resting HR is 45-48). This past Sunday I ran 4 miles non-stop. They were 4 slow, beautiful, delicious miles. It felt like a spa day. Two days later (easy yoga on the day between), I tried to run 3.5 and had to walk 5 times. I'm extremely frustrated. Am I just being impatient? Or not pushing hard enough? When will it start getting easier/more enjoyable on a consistent basis?
I am right there with you as well. I could have written your post too. I completed the C25K in March, but then soccer season started and I was off my schedule until the beginning of June. Off schedule means that instead of 3x a week, I was getting only 2x at most. Now I am trying to get back on track but it seems like all I can do is run one mile and then walk because my lungs are bursting or I have yet another stitch in my side. I am blaming the warmer weather....
....but in the meantime, I am trying to hydrate better 2 hours before a run, eat smarter meals before my runs, and trying to remember the breathing techniques I used when I was just getting started. Due to the increase of side stitches, I cannot eat or drink less than 2 hours before a run. And it is frustrating because I am impatient. I will also be interested in what advice is given here.
I have been having this same issue, so I have decided to do more cross training to help me push beyond this. Started with some yoga, hiking, and longer walks. Last saturday I tried speed work. Running short intervals at full speed then walking in between. I only did 5 intervals total but walked a good bit. I think this is helping.
You might want to keep a running log for a couple of weeks to see if the quality of your runs correlates with other factors in your life (diet, sleep, stress, other forms of exercise, etc.) and see if there are any patterns that show up. Sometimes those patterns don't become obvious until they are written down.
"...I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do....I've learned that you can keep going long after you think you can't..." --- author unknown
@ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 24:42
Heart of the City Run, Los Angeles, CA, 24:13
Bruin 5K Run at UCLA, Westwood, CA, 24:54
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 51:42
The Great Race - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:12
I've been keeping a running-specific log as far as miles run, pace, how many stops, which shoes I'm wearing, where I'm running, time of day, weather, etc., but I haven't been keeping track of diet and sleep (though my sleep is pretty consisten). I also been keeping a seperate, general exercise log. I'll start keeping track of diet and sleep, too, and compare notes. I just feel like, fitness-wise, I could probably run for miles and miles on most days. I feel like it's mainly my legs holding me back and I get angry and frustrated and then my mental game goes to sh*t. Defniitely need to work on that!
I am guessing that you are relatively new to running, and that you never competed in races or engaged in a serious training program. If that is the case, you are asking your body to do an activity that is completely alien. It is going to take a lot of time and dedication. You need to be patient. Even elite runners have their off days. It is all relative.
I don't know what kind of surfaces you are running on, but if it is mostly street running or hard surfaces, the pounding will make you feel more fatigued than if you were running on a dirt trail or grass surface.
Another factor is your running form. There are a lot of videos on the internet about good running form that you can watch for free. Basically, you need to keep your shoulders back, hips forward, lift your knees high (but no too high) and keep you arms low but moving straight forward. It is good to focus on proper running form until it becomes habit. You will avoid injuries and run more efficiently with proper form. I have been running since I was 9 years old, and I still have to remember to focus on my form, especially when I feel fatigued.
The main thing about running is to enjoy and to remain dedicated to achieving your goals.
No offense, but really, 2 months is nothing, and not enough to be worrying so much. I've been running for 27 years and I still have days when 5 miles just glides by - and other days when 3 miles feel like a marathon. I would suggest that you take it a little easier on your pace. I particularly noticed one line ". . . I ran 4 miles non-stop. They were 4 slow, beautiful, delicious miles . . ." So it sounds like you had a very relaxed, easy, slow run. The first thing you want to try to do is be comfortable with your pace. When you push too hard, everything gets hard. And you're no longer having fun. Save the hard stuff for when you're doing race-specific training.
I feel ya!! I had a CRAPPY 5k run today This is my 4th 5k, and I did the Phila Broad Street 10-miler last month. Today, I couldn't get to the mile marker before I had to walk and couldn't breath. I was so upset, and more disappointed. Does anyone think it could be that I'm normally an "evening" runner, and have been running on the treadmill to try to up my pace?
I'd be happy though if someone could at least tell me that all runners have a bad day here and there...?
These have been touched on already but are worth repeating. First, slow down. Second, be patient. Third, keep a detailed log of nutrition (including the day prior to your run), pace, location, weather, etc. This will help you weed on any variables. But honestly, two months is a short time to run cosistently without some body fatique. The key is to keep the pace slow and let your body build up the endurance.
"He is best; who is trained in the severest school."
- General Thucydides, 424BC
You're correct (AnaheimHillRunner) that I'm new to running. Over the years I've attempted to "be a runner." This means that I would randomly decide to go out and run and then, when I wasn't a superstar right away (meaning I huffed and puffed my way through half a mile before I had to walk), I'd give up on that idea. Lather, rinse, repeat about once or twice a year for the last 15 or so years. I've been saying for years that I wanted to "someday run a 5k." Back in April a friend (also not a runner) suggested we register and begin training for a 10k. At that time, it was 5.5 months away, so I said okay. I immediately started training. I'm competitive and looked up the results from the previous years' races (the same one I was doing) to see what pace my age group was running/placing in. I'll admit, yes, I tried to go too fast, too soon. (And even my fast wasn't NEARLY as fast as everyone else's fast.) Anyway, I ended up running a 5k at the beginning of June and did it in 30:20 and was super disappointed with that time. Since a friend of mine ran a 5k the week before in 23:23 I was feeling discouraged after the race. I KNOW I've been running for like 5 minutes, but I still feel like I should be running faster & longer. It really does help to know that even experienced runners still have even short runs that they struggle through sometimes. I'll definitely slow down (though sometimes I feel like I'm jogging in place) and just focus on everything except my time for the 10k (Sept. 16th). I also, stupidly, perhaps, agreed to be part of a 4-person team for a marathon relay two weeks later on September 30th. I somehow wound up with the longest leg (8.8 miles). I'll finish my leg or die trying, but it probably won't be pretty.
PitbullsMom--It KILLS me that most races are in the AM. I don't function in the AM and I do all my running in the evening. I think I'll need to force myself to do some pre-work running prior to September for additional "training."
Thanks everyone for the tips. I'll start keeping track of nutrition and sleep (in addition to everything else I log), slow way down until I can build a good, solid base, and perhaps not be so damn hard on myself.
"PitbullsMom--It KILLS me that most races are in the AM. I don't function in the AM and I do all my running in the evening. I think I'll need to force myself to do some pre-work running prior to September for additional "training.""
I spent several years in the military, getting up at 5 am for PT...and hated every second of those early morning workouts. I'd rather stay up to run at 1am than get up at 6am.
ME TOO!!! I am such a night owl I can get up and run. I do it every run. This past saturday I think I just started off too fast. I'm still sort of learning "my own way" you know? It's only my 4th 5k, but I did do the Broad Street run. To be honest, I had a goal too of beating a friend of mine and I think that was karma kind of kicking me in the butt haha!
I don't even go to the gym in the morning. I just can't do it. Getting up at 5:00 a.m...uuugghhh and you had to get up and be ON!!
Any words of wisdom you can give are gladly appreciated!!!