A daft idea and a lesson learned: I hadn't... - Couch to 5K

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A daft idea and a lesson learned

I hadn't really worried about speed or distance while completing the programme - just about keeping going for the required time. However after graduating and switching to a running app I was a bit disappointed to find that I wasn't quite running 4k in 30 mins.

So after several post grad 30 minute runs I decided midweek to see if I could push my pace a bit and be a bit faster and go a bit further (Yeah I know - I said it was a daft idea). So off I went pushing harder from the start. Honestly I felt pretty dreadful right away and after about 5 minutes was wheezing like a steam train and had to stop to use my asthma inhaler. I've never used this during a run (only once or twice after when switching from colder to warm air on finishing a session) and never given up on a run either.

I walked home really angry and upset at myself (making sure my inhaler was visible in the hope other runners wouldn't judge me - honestly the things we do!) feeling a bit useless and slow and muttering about why I ever thought I could do this.

So switch to yesterday afternoon when a surprise early finish at work gave me the opportunity run in the light. Still sulking a bit I thought I might give it a miss but after giving myself a bit of a talking to I set off slow and steady - my only mission to run for 30 minutes and to try and enjoy it.

And guess what I did! The first 10 minutes were horrid and I was convinced that I'd jinksed any running powers I'd gained by breaking Oldfloss 's slow and steady rule in the previous run. But things settled down and I out ran the gremlins. And my average pace was my best yet and I covered more than 4k.

Lesson learned - slow and steady all the way.

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As a slow runner myself, I feel your pain! I can run quite a long way now but always slowy slowy slow, My latest plan is to do the programme again but I am running as fast as my little legs will go for the running bits. I've done 2 runs of w1 and today I will go back to a slow 5k. I have to say I really enjoyed these runs and it was lovely to be back with Laura and her weird music :) I think intervals is the way to go, but maybe consolidate for a bit longer first? In part it's just about confidence I think. You get to a point where you know that one bad run doesn't mean you cant do it anymore!

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Ah Laura - I did nearly go back to her for my last run (like a lovely comfort blanket!).

You're right about the confidence thing - I was a bit surprised at how rubbish one 'failed' run made me feel. Still lesson learned - will definitely work to pace myself from now on.

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Hi Fitter40s - like you my running pace is below 4K/30m and I am wanting to get faster. I have found that the repetition of the 30 minutes is helping. I use Strava to track my runs and can see that I am much faster in the first half of my run than the second half. This tells me that the better overall pace will come automatically as my stamina improves.

I think that the run/tracking apps can be a positive or a negative depending on how you look at them. Rather than looking at your overall distance or pace have a look at your splits it might surprise you.

I agree with you though just run and enjoy - don’t get hung up on the pace I think it will just happen through repetition.

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I'm hoping just keeping going will help me to improve. If I look back over my tracked runs I am improving - but am impatient!

My earlier kms are usually faster than the later ones but I always feel much better in the second half of my run. Wondering if I should consciously try to run slower in the beginning and push a bit harder when I feel more comfortable.

However in the main I'm going to be happy that I'm out there and still running 😊

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You probably have lots of different paces and the thing is to find them and use them effectively. I can do 5k in 32 mins (yes I am slow!), but I can also take 40 mins and not be bothered if I want a slow, easy run. You shouldn't be pushing yourself on every run, as you tend to burn out. Most runs should be at a relatively easy pace or with intervals. Every 6 months or so I try to run 5k as fast as I can just to see if I've improved. But yesterday for instance I ran almost as slowly as I could and although I worked up a sweat I was breathing really easily and kept my heart rate well down. It was also fun as I felt light on my feet and not my usual pounding steam-engine. It felt like I could run forever - which is also nice!

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I do sometimes hit that pace where I feel I could go on forever - and it's great. Think I need to stop worrying about being faster and just concentrate on getting out there regularly enough to improve over time.

Don't think there's any danger in me burning out yet! 😂

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Well done, you realised your error and rectified it.

As a graduate you now have to learn the discipline of working on pace and distance, if that is indeed what you want to do. Have a look at this 5k improver plan google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sourc...

It will give you lots of ideas to work on. The principal thing to remember is that you should only be running hard for 20% of your weekly mileage while the rest should be at an easy pace. I think intervals would be good for you.

Keep it up you are doing great.

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Thanks - that looks interesting and I work well with a bit of a plan.

Actually think I need to remember how far I've come - when I started in August it was probably more than 20 years since I'd run anywhere!

So much has improved since then, including just having a more positive outlook to everything so 'failing' came as a hard knock.

However C25K has changed everything so not about to give up now. 😊

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The only thing about that plan is that it does start with running on consecutive days, which I would not recommend for quite a while yet.

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Don't worry - wouldn't be up for attempting that yet! However has made me think about having a bit of a plan for working towards improvement over time - rather that just doing more of the same or (madly) just trying to run faster 😂

Will do a bit more research about interval training - and in the meantime enjoy just moving at a happy pace in the great outdoors.

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I think we are also maybe different kinds of runners. The further I go, so far, the more I speed up. My last k is always the fastest... not a fast runner here, my 5k takes between 40 and 45 minutes, can only dream of 30 mins... but it doesn't mean I'm not running, you know? We are all built different and as new runners we are still learning our capacities and preferences:-)

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I'd agree - all our running journeys will be different. Sometimes I just want to be better than I am 😂

However am determined to enjoy finding out what sort of runner I might be. 😊

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I run in a similar pattern to you evj- I def get faster as I go on. My main speed control is avoiding a stitch - or keeping it kept down to bearable if I have one. I think my increase of pace is to do with lengthening my stride as I gain confidence in the second half of a stitchless run.😄

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I tend to get faster too. My first km is nearly always my slowest. On a long run I have even had my 10th km being my fastest (don't worry, it doesn't happen often!). In a way it is a good thing. I think it shows potential!

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My longest run so far has been 7k and last k fastest per usual. Perhaps I'm naturally a middle distance runner?

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Every time I go fast or faster (it's all relative and I ain't Usain) I blow up too. I think it's easy to get enthusiastic and really go for it and then it hurts. I have now find that by pacing myself my 10K per km time is not that much different to my 5k per km time. So I am with you, I am part of the slow steady crew - does that sound a bit hip hop? ;)

Well done you, it's a brilliant job you're doing keeping going and finding your own running rhythm and recipe...

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Thanks - love what running has done for me. Determined to enjoy the journey. .. but need to remember to do it at my own pace.

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