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416 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 26, 2014 11:05 AM by Chuck1945 RSS
PJinNJ Rookie 4 posts since
Jul 22, 2014
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 22, 2014 11:55 AM

More Questions from another Member of the 200+ Club


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?



  • shipo Legend 455 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 22, 2014 12:05 PM (in response to PJinNJ)
    Re: More Questions from another Member of the 200+ Club

    A few comments:

    • Please do not confuse the metrics of time/distance/speed.
    • At your level of running, you should only work on more time or more distance, you should NOT be concentrating on speed.
    • The best way for you to work on your speed is to increase your distance (as in run for a longer duration of time).
    • Funny thing about speed, as you run more, even if you're training at a 15 minute per mile pace, your racing 5K pace will get quicker.


    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.

  • shipo Legend 455 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 22, 2014 12:28 PM (in response to PJinNJ)
    More Questions from another Member of the 200+ Club

    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. 

  • shipo Legend 455 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 22, 2014 1:11 PM (in response to PJinNJ)
    More Questions from another Member of the 200+ Club

    My pleasure.


    Remember to keep us posted on your progress. 

  • Chuck1945 Amateur 17 posts since
    Nov 15, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 26, 2014 11:05 AM (in response to PJinNJ)
    More Questions from another Member of the 200+ Club

    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.

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