Long teenage legs versus short middle aged legs

I started couch to 5K about 3 months ago and my two teenage sons have gone from mild amusement of their mum who has never done any regular exercise, to being really quite interested and encouraging of my running which has really touched me. Today the younger 14 year old who isn't really a runner decided to come out with me, so we set off with our ipods to do the Stepping Stones podcast so we would be running to the same music and the same beats per minute. I thought we'd be doing the run together. The warm up walk was fine but then the running started - I was shocked to see that literally within seconds his sickeningly long legs took him off into the distance. He's 6 foot tall, I'm 4'11" small. There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to keep up, within a couple of minutes I couldn't even see him!!!

I've often wondered if I've been making excuses for my short legs meaning that I don't cover much distance but going at the same speed of the same beats per minute it was amazing to see what a difference it made to how far we both ran. I've decided I'm not going to get too hung up on the distance I run now, but to concentrate on the time instead.

I didn't see him again until we reached the end but I have to admit that I was secretly pleased when he said he couldn't keep up with the music and had to slow down a bit :)

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  • How I understand you! I have six foot tall hubby and three long-legged gazzelles for daughters (21, 20, 13). I can't see their backsides fior dust most of the time. But Mum wins on endurance every single time, mark my words!

  • That must be SO satisfying!

  • That's quite a height difference!! I am tall (5 foot eight) so I should speed ahead of my 11 year old who is alot shorter... But oh no I just see the cloud of dust behind him... God help me when he's taller than me, well done you on your running!!

  • Yes, luckily he doesn't take after me for height! I think 14 years of being a milk drinking fanatic as well as genes from his Dad has helped. I was interested by the height/distance difference when someone on here posted that he/she who was 6'1" and had done the Stepping Stones podcast and covered 5.2k whereas when I do it I only cover 3.7k. It really was amazing to see that running at the same pace to the same music, just how quickly he covered a much greater distance but with exactly the same number of steps as me.

  • Think that might have been me. A longer stride does seem to help but at the risk of being moderated it depends how far up your legs go. I'm taller than my wife but her legs are longer (and lovelier) so it isn't just overall height.

    One other tip for running quicker is to ensure there are some strategically placed dogs on your run. The odd snapping at your heals or ripping a new c25k T-shirt can make you run faster...

  • Yes, it was you :) Sadly as well as only being 4'11" I've got short legs too (really didn't get a decent lot of genes did I?!) whereas my teenager is legs up to his armpits. No dogs are allowed where I run though I can see that would help I definitely need to sort my weight out as I'm currently carrying the equivalent of a two stone rucksack. All in good time though, I'm just glad to be able to run thanks to the Couch to 5K podcasts.

  • I ran the Stamina podcast this afternoon and completed 6.3km in the 35 minutes.

    About a week ago I ran the Stepping Stones podcast and completed 6.5km in 30 minutes.

    The difference was I shortened my stride today in an attempt to pace myself and took smaller steps but kept to the podcast beats per minute.

    I tend to complete Stepping Stones at a running pace (longer stride) as I find it easier. This was my first Stamina run so it may get better :-)

    Hope that helps.

  • I haven't tried the Stamina podcast yet but have done the Stepping Stones and Speed. I'll try and increase my stride and see if it makes a difference. Sounds like you are doing brilliantly with your running :)

  • Thanks. You too :-)

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