A plodding shire horse or gazelle?

So I can now run for 25 minutes straight - which is enormous fun and I am very chuffed with it. However, I am not quite the 'fleet footed gazelle' that I imagined I would be once I started running - much more like a pretty overweight shire horse :-).

I am (only) on week 8 (starting on Monday), and including the walks, each week 7 run was around 4.1km. 

My question is around how fast people progress. From experience - does every extra tenth of a mile cost the same as it does now or is it a case of 'finding the next gear' and progressing faster, quicker?

My ultimate aim is to be able to run 10K in an hour - which I am (excuse the pun) miles away from, and that is great because I am excited about the journey getting there (and 'the bridge to 10k' will be what happens at week 10).

It would just be good to manage expectations - thoughts?

23 Replies

  • Well done yatesco!  There's no rush, speed will come in time. It's good enough to be able to do it, isn't it..😊

  • I graduated at the beginning of March and feel like a fleet-footed gazelle for about the first 90 seconds of a run! Still that is an improvement on pre-running days and I'm hoping that wonderful feeling will start to last longer the better I get. 

  • I felt like a bloody elephant today, as 2 lads whizzed past me! they were in their 20s I'm virtually 3 times their age! but thought I'm not doing bad! done nearly 7k with hill's..😀

  • That's great Dave. I don't have anything like a hill but I do have about a 5-7 metre incline and I feel every cm of it :-)

  • Yes, you will feel the inclines, try and avoid anything higher than an incline while doing the programme. This time last year I couldn't even run let alone run up a hill, so just shows you how much fitter you become in time. Btw where are you?

  • Well done on what you have achieved so far, and don't worry too much about speed at the moment that will come with time. Take it steady and get the time on your feet with no walk breaks, follow Laura's dolcet tones and complete the program. Before you know it your speed and distance will get better. Enjoy your running.

  • Thanks Frank :-). I am not so much concerned about speed as the 'plodding'. It is easy for me to lose sight of the fact that only two weeks ago I was astonished I managed a 20 minute run. Patience was never my strong suit unfortunately. 

    Also, note to self - this is all about building a habit as much as building distance. 

    I was planning on moving straight to the bridge to 10K but the more I think about it the more I like the idea of a few weeks doing 30 minute runs (probably not 5K) in different places first. Find some new, more interesting routes than the playing field.

  • Thanks sounds good, clocking up a few 30 minute runs will give you plenty of satisfaction, and finding new routes to run even better. This running lark gets a bit addictive, I hope you come to enjoy it as much as I do. Keep up the good work !

  • I wonder what you wonder! I'm covering 4k in my 30 minute run but am also wondering how 'speed' happens! I class myself a 'snailplodder'!  I'm hoping to go on to the c25k+ podcasts which mix up speed and stamina runs so guess I'll see how it goes soon!

  • I would strongly recommend a few weeks, at least, of consolidation after Week 9. So your Week 10, 11, 12 etc should be 2-3 runs a week of 30 minutes.

    Allow your body to get used to running for 30 minutes - celebrate and enjoy that.

    When I finished C25K this time last year, it took me a little while to work out where I wanted to go. I've figured that out now. In your case, is there a rush to get to 10k?

    You say you're doing 4.1k in 25 mins. That's good going for a guy in your position. If you want to improve your 'plodding', the C25K+ Speed podcasts - interval training - are a sure fire way to improve your pace. Either that or your own version of it, like I've done.

    Unfortunately, for the sake of your body, you *need* go be patient in this game - too much too soon and, well, you can guess the rest.

    I'm happy to share my progress in the last year with you some other time, if you're interested.


  • This is REALLY good advice. I also have realised, although I thought I was taking it steady after graduating, that I probably was a little hasty in pursuing 'progress' & setting 'goals'. I have just regraduated after a period of injury & am definitely embarking on a period of consolidation at 3 X 30 for a good bit. Might throw in some fartleks on one run per week to try & up speed beyond snail, & edge up ever so slow to 5k on one (nearer 4K in 30 right now) but that's my limit for now 

  • It's great that you are clearly sighted on your goals. We are all different about what we want to achieve. For me I knew I wanted to get to 10k, and I did. Then it was working on getting it under the hour and I did. I have no plans to get below 55 minutes however.  You will get there, all I can say is do it gradually and  enjoy the running, never allow yourself to get down about not achieving your expectations but celebrate your ability to be able to run and enjoy the beautiful world we live in 😎

  • Definitely consolidate before moving on to upping distance. 

    I would say spend 6-10 weeks doing 5ks to build a solid aerobic base before working up to 10k, and about the same doing that. Once you have a solid 10k, if getting sub 60 mins is still your goal, do some interval work etc and build your speed, again, gradually. Maybe look at it as a 6-12 month thing.

    Whatever you do, don't rush it. That way lieth the injury couch.

  • I can definitely vouch for that! I so wish I'd listened seriously to people telling me to slow down but I was bloody minded and now long to be consolidating rather than starting again. Again. 

  • I am with Rignold  There is no rush and consolidation is the best way forward, I speak from experience about doing to much to soon ... 

    You have done great so far , complete the program and enjoy the celebrations of graduating 😊

  • Thanks all - some great advice! 

  • Your body has to be strong enough to support your running.  Slow running is good for building leg strength. Don't underestimate it. While you are plodding you are building up your lung power as well as leg strengthening. You can't go faster til your lungs and upper body are strong enough. It all takes time but it's fun getting there.

    Don't push too hard at this stage. Go steady!  Do some strengthening stuff too. It's all good

  • I graduated in Jan and promptly stuffed up my knees. Don't underestimate what a pounding your legs are taking when you are doing 3 x 30 min all of a sudden. I had 2 weeks on the IC and eased back into running, slowly building back up to 3 0 min. After doing that for a bit, I began lengthening 1 run a week. The usual advice is to increase by 10% a week. Any niggles, you drop back to the le el of the previous week. I now run 10k 3x week. It is my distance. It just feels right but more than that and I would feel the strain. For now I am consolidating and no plans to run further or longer, feels like I've found my weekly golden running time. I use 2 C25k+ podcasts. On day I insert stamina into my run, another dzy speed, but not religiously. I am getting faster. If I were you, I would stick with3 x 30 mins for a while. When it gets easy and you don't feel achey or tired that day or the day after, I would lengthen one run a week gradually till you reach 10k while running 2 x 30. With time you can extend the other runs too but listen to your body, be prepared to backtrack if need be. You can get to any distance given time, speed is something else though.

  • Gosh sorry about all the tipos! Need to forget about speed in my typing too

  • Hi bop, I'm going to try c25k+ stamina & speed and see if I can get a tad faster..

  • My mantra is 'I'm a gazelle, I'm a gazelle!'  As long as I don't look in any shop windows as I'm running past, I'm fine :D

    Well done for getting to this point!  As many others have said, take it easy and consolidate first.  Otherwise you will be on here telling us about your C25K journey again.  The roads will always be out there, and it will be great to run on them for as long as you can :)

  • The great advice continues - thanks all! 

    The overriding message is consolidation, consolidation and after that, well, a bit of consolidation :-).

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