Getting there...slowly

Well lets just say I'm a tortoise, there's no other way to describe my speed. I am so slow but hey, I got there, graduating a couple of weeks ago, but honestly at my limit in running for 30 minutes. I've had nothing much in reserve at the end of my runs. Since then I've trawled all the blogs on here for advice about speed, distance and what to do post-graduation as I've got a 5k race for life in July and I'm nowhere near able to do 5k.

So this last week, following advice on here, I tried to do an interval run using podcast1 - OMG - had to walk at one point, I was so exhausted and only managed to run a bit faster for 4 of the intervals. Next run I did 30 minutes and did my fastest time yet on my usual route (did 3.5k - so you get the idea - I am very slow).

Today I told myself to do 4k no matter how long it took so long as I kept running. And I did it in a bit over 33 minutes!!! So walked home head held high, covered in mud and thinking 'maybe I can actually do this'.

So to any fellow tortoises following this programme - if I can get there believe me, you can do it


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13 Replies

  • Yaay! I am a tortoise too! Iam starting W9 tomorrow and Iam trying to build up to a RFL on 1st July. There are lots of us about ...! :)

  • tortoises unite - we can do it !!! Good luck with W9 & the RFL.

  • Jennie,

    You could also try some hillwork, that really helps out with speed/stamina. Find a steepish hill about a couple of hundred yards, After five minutes warm up on the flat (or flatter than the hill at any rate!) go up the hill as fast as you can. Walk or jog slowly back down again. Do this for fifteen minutes (depending on what you can manage). Then do five-ten mins cool down. Doing this at least once a week as a mix with your interval and normal runs should help to bring your 5k times down, and also, going up hills is really great for your rear!!


  • Carole,

    thanks for the advice. I've avoided hills up till now but eventually at some distant point I'd like to try a parkrun and the route is a bit hilly, so your advice is perfect training for that. I'll have a go this weekend, and fingers crossed for a firmer rear!


  • That is a good idea - what does it do to your knees? I have read somewhere that going up hills strengthens them?

  • I'm going to give this a go tomorrow!

  • Hey my tortoise friend! If you are anything like me uk b chuffed that u can run, you can build on distance!im now on week 5 & im sure my OH could walk along side as im shuffling/plodding along - but at least I'm off that sofa & at least trying!well done u r a super tortoise, let us know how race for life goes!

  • thank you - I just love being called a 'super tortoise' ! Well done you for getting out there. In a few weeks your OH will have to run to catch you up. Good luck with W5.

  • Hi Jennij, I couldn't run up hills for a long time and was pretty darn slow because of it too. I decided once I had graduated to go into the forest beside where I live, early in the mornings before the dog walkers were up and about. There is a lovely area which has 3 steep ups and 3 steep downs which I can do in a loop. Well 3 days I have been out there, It takes 10 minutes to jog to this area, then running as fast as I am able on the ups (two are short & very steep 1 is longer and very steep in one bit) and trying hard not to lean back on the steep downs. Around this loop I have been going 3/4 times, then my 10 minutes jog home. To be honest I didn't think about the distance but I was just trying to get my speed faster for 5K. I have measured it since doing it for the third time and if I do 4 loops its an overall distance of 6.5Km!!

    Well this training is working cos I planned a new route which measured 5.39Km, which has ups and downs in it, always tried to avoid them before, the first time I did it was yesterday and I knocked over 1 minute off my 5Km time. So if you can get some hills added into a routine and work on getting up them it will build up your stamina and your endurance will improve too.

    The other thing I have found is to do a shorter run, what I call 'My Mad Dash' I love doing this. Its 3Km and I run it as fast as I can possibly go, I've got it down to just over 18 minutes, which if I could ever keep up that pace would give me a staggering time of 30 minutes for 5Km, that I think I can only dream of for now.

    I wish you all the best for your RFL, you will do well I'm sure and its all in a very good cause. The time will pass very quickly too as its a fun run for a good reason so there will be loads of others to keep you company. Good luck.

  • I'm in complete admiration of you - that is so impressive. I can only dream about your pace. I'll definitely follow your & Carole's advice on the hills. Round where I live there's only a small park which is very flat unless I run on roads which I'm trying to avoid. I live fairly near Hampstead Heath so will try out some hills there this weekend and look to build in a run there every weekend - its a fabulous park so worth the extra time to get there. I'd put off running there as there are a lot of fast runners, most about 30 years younger - but hey, I'm improving.

    I think the 'mad dash' is beyond me just now - but once I can actually do 5k I'll try out a 3k faster run, it sounds fun. I just love my runs now. Its so fantastic to find a sport I can do anywhere and that I enjoy so much. Thanks for your support.

  • i'm a fellow tortoise...just seen a great quote on the question section 'no matter the speed you are laping the person still on the couch'. I love that and makes me feal great for at least going out and trying.

  • how wonderful! I'll repeat that to myself every time I'm out.

  • very inspiring!!

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