I started running in July, and finished C25K about a month ago. Honestly, I never really thought I could do it, but I chose it as a challenge that seemed beyond my grasp, and to my surprise I really loved it and was absolutely thrilled when I finished. It was hard, especially the first few weeks, but now I am loving it, and rush home to try and get a run in before it gets dark.
Anyway, my question is - where should I go from here? I am now running 3 times a week, mostly 30 minute runs, with at least one 5K (I am not really fast, about 37 minutes for 5K) per week. I might enjoy distance, and sort of think I should just concentrate on distance, not speed - is that the right way to go, or should I be pushing myself more?
Also, with winter coming, I am a bit nervous about losing all the work I have put in and not advancing. I'm not sure if joining a gym and treadmills are the way to go.
If anybody has found something that really worked for them to move forward, please let me know.
If you have harsh winters then the treadmill is not a bad option - I do all my mid week runs on a treadmill and only run outside on weekends
The Hal Higdon Spring training is a nice next step
That will take you up to a 10K distance and feeds nicely into the training for a half Marathon if you feel so inclined
I would just worry about distance now - speed comes on it`s own
NYC Marathon Nov 1 2009 - 4:03:13 ( 9:17 mm )
NYC Half Marathon Aug 16 2009 - 1:55:38 ( 8:49 mm )
1 mile - 7:07 10K - 52:58 ( 8:32 mm)
4 mile - 31:35 ( 7:53 mm) 8K - 42:28 ( 8:32 mm)
15K - 1:22:02 ( 8:49 mm)
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I know exactly how you feel! I started teh C25K back in the spring and have really started to enjoy my runs. I too was at a loss when I finished the set runs and was just running because I needed to. At the end of the summer, I started over again with the C25K and was amazed at how much quicker I have become. (esp that first week where you run all out for just 60 seconds and then walk! Was neat to see just how fast I could go in that time- I am at all NOT fast at all!).
I'm most worried about what is going to happen to my runs in the winter. I'm not worried about the cold; I am however, worried about running at night. The park where I run only has lights set up around the playing fields and not the entire path. Like you, I'm not sure if its worth getting a gym membership just to get me through the darker evenings until spring. I'm not quite sure if I'll be able to bring myself to morning runs when theres snow and ice on the ground either (I live in MD and we tend to get more slush than real snow). The decision looms overhead. I'm not ready to give up my runs- not sure if I can be satisfied with tredmill runs either. sigh
I have my treadmill inside my garage facing the street. I run towards the street. It's like being outside because I'm not staring at the walls. I can watch cars and people and get the nice fresh air all at the same time. If you don't have a garage some people like to watch TV while they run, although I don't.
The Hal Higdon Spring Training that spicegeek mentioned is a popular next step. Another popular alternative next step is the One Hour Runner program. It's probably a good fit for people who prefer to run for time rather than distance.
You can find OHR at: http://www.coolrunning.com/major/97/training/swit0214.htm#run Just be sure to scroll down to the section called, "Becoming a One Hour Runner."
2012 Race Schedule
Providence Marathon (4:48:55)
Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)
Chicago Marathon (October 7)