Couch to 5K
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Timed 1 mile runs - what do you use as a baseline to measure your progress?

Yes I know I am soo far away from being able to run a whole 1 mile, but I was just reading some tips on another running site and one was for complete beginners to attempt a measured mile - but - to keep a log of your times - then when you are low/bad run days - look back over your log and remember just how far you have come

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You could do that - once you're running a mile! There are 'complete beginners' - who are already fit enough (and/or young enough) to already be able to run a mile straight off, and there are the rest of us, who aren't!

I just used the programme - and how far I could run in one go. You see massive progress with that very rapidly. Knowing that four months ago I struggled to run for 60 seconds, and now I can run for 60 minutes gives me a pretty good indication of progress. :)

Though I did also start looking at running pace (mph/kph/minutes for a km/mile etc) and have kept all sorts of records of it, as I'm a bit of a numbers geek. Websites like mapmyrun (?) or googleearth are good for measuring distance, or phone apps with smartphones, but once you're hooked, a Garmin watch (which uses gps to log the route and tell you your pace) is the best toy ever!


Funnily enough, after I'd written this, I realised that today I did actually do a timed mile run (but was thinking in km when I ran it - I'd forgotten it was a mile) - and was really pleased to find that it was quite a bit faster than when I did it four days ago!

And I could have walked it (suppose I still could, actually!) as a baseline to compare with.


I've never done a timed mile, but from very early on in the plan have used RunKeeper on my phone to keep track of my route, minute-by-minute pace, average pace, mile splits (once I was going far enough) etc.

For a very simple comparison in the first few months, I just looked at my total distance and time for each run; now I know roughly what my normal 'steady' pace and what I'd like to increase it to, so keep track partly that way. And if I'm going through a bad spell, then yes, I look back at my distances and times from last autumn and that reminds me of just how much I've improved...


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