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I am new to running and new to the forum. 12 weeks ago, I started the C25K program. I have actually been amazed that I was able to meet the challenge each week, however, I am a very slow runner. (about 1 mile in 15 minutes). Like some of the others who have posted, I am about 40lbs overweight, and am in my early 50s.
This past weekend, I attended my first 5k and because of my speed found myself mixed up with those walking/running the 1 miler. The result was that I ended up off the correct trail, and by the time I realized I was off course, it was too late to retrace my steps and get back on the correct course. I was really bummed to say the least. I am not sure that I would have been able to keep up with my 15 minute mile, but I wanted to try.
However, it got me thinking about my personal goals/strategy and would like some imput from more experienced runners. I have another race scheduled Sept. 8th.
At the beginning of the C25K I was advised to concentrate on either time or distance. I chose to focus on time.
I am currently running 30 minutes a day, but I believe I could do more if time allowed, should I continue to work on time/endurance or should I start focusing on my speed?
If I should be focusing on increasing my speed, what is the best way to do that?
A few comments:
Were it that I was coaching you, I would recommend you start adding say ten to twenty percent per week to your time between now and your 08-Sep race. By the time race day arrives, you will most likely be able to run the whole thing at a sub 15:00 pace.
Keep us posted.
Fat old man PRs:
I want to be sure I understand what you are suggesting.
Currently I am running 30 minutes. This week, add another 5 minutes to my time for a total of 35 minutes
Next week, add 8 minutes for a total of 42 minutes.....
Is that what you mean?
Yup, that's the basic idea. If 35 and 42 feel too aggressive, dial it back a bit to say 33 and 37 minutes.
FWIW, while many folks are fans of the "Time" basis of determining how long your workouts should be, I personally am a fan of the "Distance" basis. Why? Most races are how fast one can cover a given distance, regardless of conditions. I think I've only heard of a (very) few races where the runners compete to see how far they can run in some given time.
The above said, I am kinda-sorta nudging you toward changing your basis to some given distance in lieu of a given time.
Fat old man PRs:
Remember to keep us posted on your progress.
Fat old man PRs:
I just want to echo what shipo has said. I am 6'3", 210-215 (depending if I weigh before or after a run) and 69. There is a natural desire I think everyone has to always do better. For new runners that usually translates to 'go faster'. I didn't hear about the C25k until after I had started running so am not really famliiar with each week's progress beyond that the goal is to get you to run/jog either 5k or 30 minutes. If you simply keep going 30 minutes each session, you will find that you will make a little progress on speed as well. However, if as you say, you wish to do another 5K in September, and your current average pace is about 15 min/mile, your 30 minutes are only covering about 2 miles, somewhat short of the 3.1 in a 5K.
As shipo suggests, slowly increase the time (that will also increase distance) each week, even if it is only 5 minutes/run each week. If you are able to increase by 5 minutes/week, you will be still going for 45 minute runs by late August and should be able to do at least a 15 minute/mile 5K pace.