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My running speeds are inconsistent, pain some days, east others - amateur

  • 30-03-2021 4:24pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,254 ✭✭✭ Nqp15hhu


    I am an amateur runner. I am slightly overweight with a BMI of 27. I started running approximately 2 months ago to improve my fitness, lose weight and increase my endurance.

    I started running a 1.5 mile run, then 2 miles, followed by 5K. I now maintain 5K each run at a minimum.

    My speeds improved rapidly at the start but have plateaued at a rather below average level. I would say my average mile is around 8:50-9:20 which is nothing to write home about.

    I have two problems:

    1. I can’t maintain my initial mile speed.
    2. My average speed fluctuates massively.

    Here’s an example, 4 days ago I ran 5k in 27 minutes, I had no pain. (I did hike on Sunday). Today I go out, my 5K was very slow, my first two miles were ok, my legs then become stiff and I slow off and can only maintain a jog, I end up doing it in 33 minutes!! My 4th mile took me 42 minutes, as each step in that last mile was painful!

    This is an atrocious speed. But yet it is all I can maintain at times. I do not understand what I am doing wrong, how I can go out and run relatively fast (for myself) for 5K on some days but other days my legs and knees give way.

    What am I doing wrong? Why are my legs giving way some days but not on others? Why am I not making improvements?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,663 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Nqp15hhu wrote: »
    I am an amateur runner. I am slightly overweight with a BMI of 27. I started running approximately 2 months ago to improve my fitness, lose weight and increase my endurance.

    I started running a 1.5 mile run, then 2 miles, followed by 5K. I now maintain 5K each run at a minimum.

    My speeds improved rapidly at the start but have plateaued at a rather below average level. I would say my average mile is around 8:50-9:20 which is nothing to write home about.

    I have two problems:

    1. I can’t maintain my initial mile speed.
    2. My average speed fluctuates massively.

    Here’s an example, 4 days ago I ran 5k in 27 minutes, I had no pain. (I did hike on Sunday). Today I go out, my 5K was very slow, my first two miles were ok, my legs then become stiff and I slow off and can only maintain a jog, I end up doing it in 33 minutes!! My 4th mile took me 42 minutes, as each step in that last mile was painful!

    This is an atrocious speed. But yet it is all I can maintain at times. I do not understand what I am doing wrong, how I can go out and run relatively fast (for myself) for 5K on some days but other days my legs and knees give way.

    What am I doing wrong? Why are my legs giving way some days but not on others? Why am I not making improvements?

    Your problem is probably just that you are trying to run as fast as you can every time you go out. Four out of every five runs (at least) should feel very easy - easy enough to carry on a conversation, even if has to be with yourself. ;)

    Just try slowing down, and your endurance will increase.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,009 ✭✭✭ Wottle


    Murph_D wrote: »
    Your problem is probably just that you are trying to run as fast as you can every time you go out. Four out of every five runs (at least) should feel very easy - easy enough to carry on a conversation, even if has to be with yourself. ;)

    Just try slowing down, and your endurance will increase.

    I agree with Murphy, slow it down.
    One other thing you could add is, 100m strides with slow walk back recovery. Strides aren't sprints, just think fast and relaxed.
    So the run might look like 2k warm up (easy jog)
    5x100m strides with 100m walk back
    2k cool down (easy jog)

    And get a foam roller and search YouTube for how to use it


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,208 ✭✭✭ Ceepo


    Well done on starting running in the first place.

    You're after getting some great advice from the previous posts. Main point is to slow the runs down. Its important to remember that you're just after starting to run. It will take time for your body to adjust to the new stress that you are placing on it.
    Doing a 5k in 27 minutes is not slow for someone starting out, ok it won't get you to Tokyo Olympics but its still reasonable.

    As Wottle says, try incorporating some strides in one run per week, and there's no shame in doing a walk/run strategy for run during the week.

    Take your time and enjoy the process, your fitness will improve gradually, but if you keep pushing like you are currently doing you may end up injured, and there's no fun in that,.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,599 ✭✭✭✭ event


    Slow down is usually the best advice to new runners. Everyone thinks they have to go all out and its counterintuitive that to go faster, I need to slow down.

    But it works


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,254 ✭✭✭ Nqp15hhu


    event wrote: »
    Slow down is usually the best advice to new runners. Everyone thinks they have to go all out and its counterintuitive that to go faster, I need to slow down.

    But it works

    So how do you improve your speeds?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,208 ✭✭✭ Ceepo


    Nqp15hhu wrote: »
    So how do you improve your speeds?

    Good question.

    By gradually increasing you milage over a period of time, and introducing some faster type work that may include strides into a well rounded program..

    While there's to much to go into in a single post, doing easy runs increases mychondria density.

    https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20800596/how-to-maximize-your-mitochondria/


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,599 ✭✭✭✭ event


    Nqp15hhu wrote: »
    So how do you improve your speeds?

    I wouldnt be too worried about it after 2 months.

    But consistency will be a start. And you cant be consistent if you are sore cos you are running too fast. Eventually start sprints, intervals, tempos etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,504 ✭✭✭ Outkast_IRE


    With regards to your times and training.

    Timing is not everything , alot of guys will run based on a heart rate monitor for the easy runs.

    Timing is also tricky in that , my local 5k run has alot of hills and some mixed ground and very strong coastal winds at time. So its in no way comparable to somones relatively flat 5k. But its probably better training than the flat 5k.

    When the gym is open generally i use the treadmill to practice interval training, maybe 5 mins fast , 2 recovery repeated 4 or 5 times. This helps build a bit of speed into the legs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,033 ✭✭✭✭ 28064212


    Nqp15hhu wrote: »
    event wrote: »
    Slow down is usually the best advice to new runners. Everyone thinks they have to go all out and its counterintuitive that to go faster, I need to slow down.
    So how do you improve your speeds?
    It was answered in the post you quoted: "to go faster, I need to slow down". Running well/faster, like almost any skill, is a product of many hours spent mastering the basics, not by trying to start with the difficult things.

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