A sign of progress

As I discovered I could manage, I've run 5K a few times (36 minutes) despite not quite being at the end of C25K. I am shattered at the end of these. Today I was doing the same but after 20 minutes I felt my calf tightening and stopped early. The really interesting thing was that afterwards I was barely short of breath and felt as if I'd hardly exerted myself (the pace was still 7 min/km and I still felt I was putting a lot into it as I was running). Although it was a shame not to finish the run this seems like real progress. Not only to be able to run for 20 minutes (which I was amazed at when I first did it) but to be able to run for 20 minutes with ease!


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8 Replies

  • It'd be nice if eventually the same starts to hold true for runs of 25, 30, 35? minutes. Up to some limit, it probably does. I wonder how the graduates who've kept chasing new targets feel? Is 30 minutes now the effortless run level (given that one is keeping enough back to finish something that goes on longer than that)? It would be interesting to hear how far this can roll out.

  • Graduated last August. For me, sometimes an hour run can feel great and many of those km feel effortless. Other days 20 minutes and I'm pooped. There's so many factors, but those effortless ones, those easier ones come more often, or slip in for bits of a run longer.

  • Yes, that's an interesting aspect. Once you start on the longer runs, you can go from thinking maybe it's time to just bail out at minute 20 to feeling like you're flying low over the ground at minute 22. At the beginning, you'd think all the desperate, gasping minutes would pile up at the end, but most of the time they seem to arrive somewhere in the middle.

  • In my experience any run short or long is always tough but there are variations!!!

  • But that would probably be because you're always pushing yourself just a bit? So if you take a short run, your speed goes up. Linear increase in speed; exponential increase in effort; tough run. (?Maybe?)

    I suppose it's actually quite rare to discover the completely effortless run's parameters, simply because part of the fun is to try and reach out just a little beyond that. It's only when you react sensibly to an injury that you get to stop early enough to perceive your state of accumulated effort up till then, and that should hopefully happen more and more infrequently as you gain experience.

  • Yes - I think the reason I felt so good after 20 minutes was that I was aiming for 35 minutes. If I was aiming for 20 minute then I'd have been running faster.

  • But I suppose, getting back to the original observation, what really matters most here is that not very long ago, there was neither a fast nor a slow 20 minute run in you (apart from the high speed one they do in ambulances). The programme has taken all of us a long way beyond what we thought was "the 9th wave", quite quickly. And discovering that by actually feeling it this way is very, very, very satisfying.

  • Well done that is progress and a great feeling when that happens :)

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