Going too fast?: So it has been bugging me since... - Couch to 5K

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Going too fast?

Resurrected profile image
26 Replies

So it has been bugging me since my last run (W4D2). Am I going too fast? I usually start out with a balanced pace, but I don't know what happens, after a couple intervals, I find myself trying to sprint..even though I am breathing heavy, exhausted.

The sad part is that I am totally aware of this when I speed up, but I cant slow down..and after facing a stitch and crawling last min of run, I looked at the screen.. It said 4.2 kms.

As you would have guessed, I had to take an extra rest day, icepack my knee ligaments and Achilles tendon, and hoping I will not make this mistake tomorrow on D3.

I know I can complete these runs with much less effort, but a competitive part of me takes over the one that said, "take it slow, screw the distance, just complete it" just before the run started.

I am afraid that it may become an issue for next week, where those nasty time intervals are in no mood of joking, they challenge me, and I react fiercely, really exhausting myself beyond my limits :(

In the end, all I want is some advice from people on how they control their urge to run through it with an idiotic pace that might cause injury strong enough to set them back for days ( if not weeks) :)

On the other hand, knowing I can take it so far keeps pushing me to again get a notification like "today records fell" etc. Someone truly mentioned correctly in his/her post that it is more of a mental task than physical.

This is the most supportive community I have ever come across. Cheers to all of us!

26 Replies

My mantra - The rabbit may have been faster but the tortoise still won :)

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to

Food for thought right there!

in reply to Resurrected

I hope it helps you with your naughty inner rabbit

Rignold profile image

Yes. Much too fast. As slow as you can go during the programme.

If you watch learner drivers in cars, they tend to be going a lot slower than racing drivers. The clue to the reasons behind this are in the name: 'learner' drivers are learning to drive, hence they go slowly, so they can get to grips with the fundamentals of the techniques involved. 'racing' drivers go very fast because they have already done the learning bit and are now in a race. You are not in a race. You are learning. Slow down. Or crash.

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to Rignold

Will bear in mind in tomorrow's run, thank you :)

Garfield_123 profile image

I'm like that! Not helped by running on a treadmill so I can constantly see all my stats. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with being competitive (it made me want to finish each run) but as others have said going too fast too soon doesn't let you develop the technique/stamina needed to do the longer runs.

Two things helped me.

1) I was so scared of W5r3 that I set my speed a whole kph slower and just told myself I had to get to the end. In doing so I realised that I could actually run at a respectable pace without the constant feeling that I might die at any moment

2) I include the whole time (warm up, cool down, the lot) in calculating my average time per km. That way, even running at a reduced speed, my average mins per km go down as the weeks progress because the intervals get longer and there's less walking. Psychologically that does the trick in feeding my need to constantly improve my stats.

Good luck!

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to Garfield_123

Good pieces of advice! No. 2 makes so much sense to me. I'll watch out for that :)

Oldfloss profile image

Wow.. speedy! Well.. I like some of the very wise ones on here, feel you are going to fast and for all the reasons you state.

Slow and steady, that is the mantra, but it is hard... it is quite literally, for a lot of us, mind games.

As I said in my post today, I was, many yonks ago,a Sprinter and found, when I had graduated, things like Speed in the C25K+ podcasts were great and suited me... and now I can run as fast or as slow as I choose anyway.

But..until you do graduate, you need to try to slow down.

As you are running indoors??? is there anything to look at...? When I am outside, looking around, taking it all in, it occupies some time and slows me down ( problem now, when I want to increase distance). Could you run outside?

Time for glory is a bit further on, records falling, could mean you failing!

Think Abraham Lincoln maybe,

" Nothing valuable can be lost, by taking time"

( Yep...pain with my quotes too :)

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

No, I can't run indoors, it's just the local park which has a rectangular running track...kind of monotonous, but gets the job done. It just about takes a min to lap it once surprisingly, so, it's so 'fixed', literally. I like this idea to distract myself, I will try it, thanks!

misswobble profile image

If you keep going like that you will get hurt and have to pack up. I'd just listen to the podcasts and forget the stats. It's not about stats is it 😕 I suppose it depends on what's important to you and why you're doing the programme.

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to misswobble

Yes you are right, my main motive right now is to be able to run continuously for 30 minutes, as I am not in too good of a shape to be choosy about the pace, maybe I won't use this distance app in the next run and it could help :)

JaySeeSkinny profile image

One of my nicest runs was actually my slowest since I started using run keeper. After being well and truly told off on this forum for going too fast I decided to try for a personal best - in slowness! It was a revelation. The run was smooth as silk, I felt as if I could go at that pace all day. That's when I discovered I have 2 speeds. I think I only ran 3.7 km in 28 mins, but that's when I realised I had cracked this programme and would graduate. I knew if necessary I could always slow right down and run for ever! (Slight exaggeration there!). And it was a really fun run.

4 weeks later it is good to vary, now I have 2 speeds! I can do a "fast" 5 k, or a slow long run. Or a medium 5 k - as I want! I'm not in a competition (although I too am competitive). Listen to your body and the advice on here - they are right!

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to JaySeeSkinny

It's nice to hear! It makes sense, the two speeds one.. Slow for completing the run nice and easy, fast for when you try to smash a pb ;) How did you develop your speed after the official C25k finished?

JaySeeSkinny profile image
JaySeeSkinnyGraduate in reply to Resurrected

I'm still not speedy, but I only graduated 2 1/2 weeks ago. The fastest I went on the programme was about 4.1 km in 30 mins. After graduation I did a long, slow run on the first weekend (6.1 km in 47 mins) and then went down with a cold which knocked me out for 8 days. First run after that was slow (I was still coughing), it took me 33 mins to do 4 k - but that was deliberate, as it was a kind of test. The next run was a 5 k (in 38 mins) and today I did 5 k in under 35 mins, which is fine.

I intend to run 5 k regularly and play around with the speeds. Today was a deliberate attempt to get under 35 mins, so I set off faster than normal. I will be doing the c25k+ podcasts as well as they increase stamina and speed. And I want to do one long run a week to try and increase my distance, where speed will be irrelevant. Intervals will also be thrown in as I quite enjoyed them on the programme.

Haven't really got a rhythm going yet because the cold threw me off course. And I'm away on holiday next week so the runs will be for enjoyment and looking at the new countryside rather than any attempts at improvement.

Ultimately I would love to get to 5 k in 30 mins. And run 10 k comfortably. I can already say that I can run a 5 k comfortably - which is absolutely amazing! Improvement has been vast on this programme, I tried running on and off in the past with little success and never got as speedy as this! So very pleased.

BUT - don't let yourself be caught up with speed and distance yet. It's just important to do the time on the programme.

And sorry for the long post - never ask a runner about their stats!

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to JaySeeSkinny

5k under 35mins is quite amazing!! Yeah, I am trying my best to leave distance and speed at them. C25k+? Sounds interesting, is it on NHS site itself? As for your 10k, I have not tried yet, but I feel I will do Nike+ running coach for that, you might wanna check it out, since it is very structured (hell, they even tell the dates on which u have to run/rest/cross train) and has 3 levels based on runner's experience. It is always so good to see things from other's perspective, it just widens the outlook, even if it's long :)

JaySeeSkinny profile image
JaySeeSkinnyGraduate in reply to Resurrected

C25k+ is on the NHS website as well. There are three: Speed, Stamina and Stepping stone, which I think shakes your rhythm up and makes you go faster in the end. Haven't done any yet, but am looking forward to them.

I think I'll move slowly towards 10k on my own first, I'm quite enjoying doing my own thing. But if I get stuck I'll definitely look at some kind of programme - after all I didn't get to 5 k on my own.

JaySeeSkinny profile image
JaySeeSkinnyGraduate in reply to Resurrected

By the way, nobody has ever, ever, ever said the times I've run are amazing. So you've made me feel quite proud! I know in comparison to others I am not fast - but when I think back to 3 months ago the difference is amazing!

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to JaySeeSkinny

You should be definitely proud! I would beam with euphoria that would last days if I can achieve that. Glad to make you feel good, everyone should realize how valuable they are :)

Resurrected profile image

Thank you all for your insightful thoughts, it helps so much :)

In fairness, I can relate to what you say. But, if you are struggling then you will have to slow down, distance and pace are directly related. If you can sustain the pace then carry on. I was just like you, but my 5k best is 23;30 just over 12 mths after completing C25K, so in one sense don't let it stop you so long as you sustain it.

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to

Gosh... My 5k PB is 23:31, done 9 months after completing C25k. Where are you up to now?

in reply to John_W

Ive turned into Forrest Gump since I think. Still do park runs every week, although had a calf problem that slowed me down over the winter. Doing my 1st Triathlon in May

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ResurrectedGraduate in reply to

I agree, and think it is the best solution to experiment and find a fast-but-comfortable pace. It is really easy to sustain while I am running (positive self talks relieve all the ongoing pains), but the real problem starts when I am home and don't feel like I want to walk about. Hence I tried a conservative pace, and it seems to work :)

Resurrected profile image

So, keeping your opinions in mind, I tackled w4d3 much lightly. Tried a pace that made me feel like I am "working out" but not to an extent that would leech all the energy.

It was 3.6km, with 9'10" pace. I made significantly less far, and as of now, don't feel any pain in the legs at all, and feel that this is my 'second speed', the one with which I can *run forever* :) thank you all, today's run was much calmer and focused and with this I might get to 5k more comfortably.

JaySeeSkinny profile image
JaySeeSkinnyGraduate in reply to Resurrected

Brilliant! Glad it worked.

Sundae8pm profile image

I'm really struggling to slow down as well. I have a comfortable cadence, where running isn't a strain, but it is at a level a lot of people are working towards.

I will try and slow down, but I find it actually more difficult to run at a slower pace (as I can't shorten my stride any more)

Last year I completed the GCC100, with an average of over 9 miles a day (walking to and from work every day helped), so maybe my stamina and leg strength allow me to run at this pace without (m)any side effects.

I recover really quickly, and even after yesterday's run, after eating my banana and stretching, I felt I could go again...

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