Who cares about running fast??

Sorry for the moan but it might make someone feel better! I get really disappointed when I see posts of people putting themselves down because their 5k time is 'slow'. surely to be able to run 5k in itself is a massive achievement and if you continue to run 5k three times a week at a 'slow' 37 minute pace forever that is fantastic. There's nothing big or clever about getting faster and faster!!

28 Replies

  • Hmmm. Unless, of course what you want to do is run faster, in whch case it's great.

    Ther's nothing mandatory about running faster, or further, or more frequently - you should run how you want to run, but there's nothing wrong with it either. If your goal is a sub 35 minute 5k or sub 30 or 25 or 20 and you work hard to achieve it, then more power to your... er, knees.

    We are all different and all have different goals. Other people's goals may not seem important to you but that does not make them any less valid, big or clever.

  • My personal opinion is that unless you're Usain Bolt or Jessica Ennis or Mo Farrah- in other words, unless you're 'in it to win it'- then there's always someone who's going to be faster and stronger than you are. You can feel depressed by this or you can find it liberating. I'm done with comparing my performance with other people - I only compete against myself these days. If I'm faster than I was last year that's brilliant. If I can run further than I could last year, that's brilliant too. Even if I'm slower than I was 2 months ago, I'm still a hell of a lot quicker and stronger than I was before I started c25k. I'm not immune to the comments I read on a different runner site when people talk about going for a 5mile run at a "slow" 8 min/mile pace, but I try ignore them. The only person I compete against is me. My only goals are personal goals. Try it, it's very empowering :)

  • hear, hear!!!

  • I agree with you, my heart and lungs are fantastic in comparison to 4 months ago, I run three times a week and I feel happier, more confident and I get out and about in some amazing places. The life of someone who can run is amazing and we need to just be thankful we can run when so many people struggle to move at all. Let's enjoy it 😄

  • I concur with Rignold and AncientMum.

    My reason to try and run faster would be to get a "good-for-age" speed to enter some of the ageist marathons like London Marathon - in the distant future - 2-3 years down the line.

    Right now, I am just happy to finish events.

  • Even though I do not describe myself as competitive, I secretly give myself a "high five" when I run a little faster or further though. This is a great post because there is definitely an important message that we should be satisfied to be runners. There will come a time when we will just enjoy what we do

  • I'm with AM and Rignold all the way. I only run against myself. Like AM, if I can run further or a little faster than a year ago, then that's great. If I can't do that, but I'm still running regularly then that is great too. Personal bests are quite pleasing when they come, but they don't mean very much in my opinion. I've had personal bests during August, and I know that I was less fit than I was in February. The most important thing to me is to be able to run regularly, and to enjoy it.

  • "The most important thing to me is to be able to run regularly, and to enjoy it."

    Couldn't agree more. For me, over the coming months and years (hopefully) speed is simply one means to motivate myself to get out there and keep running. Too many times over the past 15 years or so I have started some exercise regime, be it swimming, gym membership etc, and then fallen by the wayside. I just want this to last and if I can have some numbers to obsess over then there's more chance it will.

    For others, their motivation will be different and that's fine. I certainly don't want to belittle anyone's efforts.

  • Very true, every person who runs, whether on week 1 and feeling they run as slow as a snail (I remember thinking the same) or the person who does parkrun in 22 minutes, or the marathon runner or me who runs 3 times a week now. We are all amazing, we are battling through our own goals. I wasn't moving at all a year ago!!

  • Me too, obsessing over the numbers motivates me to get out there and be better.

    I think running is a great personally competitive sport, as there's always scope to knock a few seconds off a personal best. If that keeps me running, then that's great.

    Like someone else said, it can be disheartening reading about other people's "slow" times, when they are fast compared to my normal time, but hey ho. I compete against me, so all good !

    I enjoy obsessing over the times, it makes me look at different ways to improve, which keeps me off the darned couch !

  • Rig and AM said it so well, and I totally agree with both.

    I'm one of those sad people who (most of the time) need a goal (speed, distance) in order to motivate myself. So I set goals and brag about it when I reach them and quietly change the goals when it turns out that they're too ambitious for me (I should have known that a sub-15 minute 10k wasn't going to happen!).

    Sometimes I can look at other people's achievements and think "yeah, I'd love to be able to do that". In that respect running is no different from any other walk of life. I have colleagues who inspire me by their cleverness, chefs who inspire me by their ability in a kitchen, aid workers who inspire by their selflessness, and runners who inspire by their achievements. But I'm never going to be one of the high flyers, and that's totally okay with me.

  • It is all about motivating you to be healthy, you use other people and think about how u can set yourself a goal to develop your running more, good for u!!

  • I think naturally for some people, they motivate themselves to run by setting personal goals that are measured in speed or distance, guess that works for them. The difficulty comes when others then think another person's goal is a measure for all runners. You are right that running 5 km in any time at all is a major achievement in itself. I graduated 8 weeks ago and it still takes commitment to do. It would be great if we all ran for the pure fun of it but I guess sometimes a number can help us to press through when we just don't feel like moving. For example. I tell myself on a bad day I can stop at 30 minutes. When I get to the time, I say to myself, might as well go on to 5K now.

    We could think of other goals that are not about time or distance - run along the canal, through the woods, round the park, at night with a head torch on, run with my dog! 😄

  • Have you got involved with the FB C25K running scavenger hunt ? That's been a huge amount of fun this month. Running to find specific things to photograph, so going slowly enough to spot the objects and stopping to photograph them positively encouraged.

  • No but that sounds amazing, will search it out!!

  • I did this, my pics are on the group page. It was huge fun!

  • Not me !

  • Have I inadvertently peed people off? I really didn't intend to and absolutely believe that the point of running, if there is one, is to run and love it.

    I'm chasing times at the moment because I have an ugly competitive streak that's better indulged in trainers against myself than in real life against other people: I'd never want to discourage anyone from celebrating their own successes (and if your success includes being self-assured and balanced enough not to have my childish need to beat arbitrary numbers, I'm also just a smudge envious).

  • Oh, rest assured I have a competitive streak, it is against myself, and if it isnt kept in check, then I tend to injure myself.

    I have learned over the past 6 months that I need to just enjoy it, and not push every run to be quicker than the previous one. After all, I've found that when I run regularly, my times do gradually get better without even trying. I've also found that if I push too hard each run, then eventually my times start to deteriorate, and this seems to signal the arrival of an injury. This deterioration, and it's portent of injury, is new to me, and I intend to watch out for it in future :) . I love it when my times improve, but I love being able to run to regularly and not spending a week every month on the injury bench even more ;)

  • Whatever makes running fun for u! I think deep inside all of us there is a hint of pleasure in running a little faster or further 😄

  • I am starting out for the third time on c25k, I run very slow, in fact I am so slow people could overtake me walking their dogs, but, guess what, I don't care, cos I am doing this for me, when I finish each session I feel proud of myself, my aim is to be able to run a 5k in the spring or summer, then take another year to work up to a 10k, who knows maybe in 5 or 10 years I may just be able to do a marathon.

    This is my aim, but like the story says slow and steady finishes the race, life in modern society is one big competition, but that is one I am happy to not get to win, I am happy to take it slow and enjoy the view, good luck to those who are competitive and hey maybe I will see the ones who go at my pace one day, the world takes all kinds of people to make it interesting, and I aim to enjoy meeting as many as I can along the way.

  • Apologies! I fully appreciate that for many people the goal is to run faster and get better and better PBs. Everyone's goal is individual to them and if that's what keeps you motivated go for it! (Also appreciate my comment 'its not big or clever' was a little childish!!) I just wanted to express my opinion that 'running' is more important than 'running fast' to me. Since starting C25K 11 or 12 weeks ago I've had a number of people ask me (not on this forum), 'what's your PB? etc or recommended music with a fast beat to help me run faster as if that's the only reason people run. I just want to be fitter and healthier without the pressure of 'doing better' each time.

  • Hear hear (and it's not big or clever. Maybe childish but also true.)

    You could formulate some STFU replies for the PB questions (mine is "respecting my amazing body and no longer waking up and immediately wishing I was dead" - which is true, but also tends to stop the nonsense spiral of running-is-about-being-the-quickest and embarrass folk into silence. Feel free to borrow it for when the questions are too annoying 😉)

  • I can see what your getting at, and it all depends on what someone wants to achieve out of running. Trying to run faster & faster isn't the be all & end all. At my age I don't have an ambition to do marathons, but I may eventually do a 10k charity run sometime as I improve my distance and would be good to do 5k down towards 30 mins, but am just looking at running at least 30 mins 3 times a week incorporating Parkrun for fitness as I age.

    At the moment I find it amazing to see my time over 5k coming down slowly as I improve, so enjoy checking the stats on the garmin(sad?) lol

  • Someone (Turnturtle maybe?) posted a link recently about how it affects your motivation etc every time you describe yourself as slow. I'm never going to say that about myself again.

  • Just call it a steady run, I like a plod! Relaxing 😊

  • here here, its all about our own personal achievements and for some of us at some points in our running lives we do want to get quicker, and at other times its about going further, and other times just getting out!!

  • Most of the time I don't care about getting faster. I enjoy longer runs and increasing my distance is the greater challenge and achievement. However as and when I do a shorter run and try a bit harder and see that I get a time close to my PB (not very often), then that is a little motivational boost of a different kind. I also know that getting faster over the 5k helps my ability to run for longer at a slower pace - so it's all a bit pick 'n mix, but slow and fast is all relative and no one should feel bad because anyone else is faster :-) And yes, whatever speed you run 5k at, you are likely to be faster than all those people not running at all !

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