Setting milestones for a new runner

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    Setting milestones for a new runner

    I'm just in the habit of running (jogging at a steady casual pace) 5x a week for about 1 mile round trip (with some playground cardio in the middle).

    When I started like 30ish days ago, jogging 0.25 miles without stopping was a nightmare. This morning I hit 0.6 and almost feel like I could have kept going.

    Running 5K (3 miles) seems very daunting right now but I feel like the following is happening: I'm slowly working closer to my body just understanding that jogging/running is a state it's going to be in and not obsess about the distance as much

    Has anyone experienced this? Am I going to be fighting for tiny distance gains at casual pace or will my aerobic health sorta "click" and let me run steady for a mile or more.

    I'm also wondering am I pushing my runs hard enough? I don't feel totally ready for the sprint training (sprint X seconds, walk, repeat). More interested in just getting more comfortable in the sweat zone and trusting i'm not going to die or faint.

    How do you set your milestones? What was your experience going from just starting to hitting a mile or more? Should I remove non-run cardio from my 20 minute morning runs and just alternate jog to exhaustion with walking? The way I do it now is jog almost to exhaustion, do jumps and pull-ups for about 8 minutes, then jog/walk back.

    #2
    When I started running I had to break through that down state, it mostlly happens when you run out of fast energy (ie sugar) and start using deeper reserves. But once you go past that you feel like you can go on forever. I guess my advice is "power through it" not sure if that helps :/

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      #3
      Don't be too intimidated by distance, anything is tough starting out but the beginning is where you make the most significant improvement. Couch to 5k is a very solid program for any starting runner. Once you get comfortable with tossing sprints in, I like Zombies, Run! to spice things up a bit (also because I find running to be UNBEARABLY dull and hey, cheap gamification tactics ftw!)

      I think you're on the right path getting comfortable with things. If you're sweating and your heart rate is up, don't worry too much about pushing the intensity too hard too soon. I wouldn't remove non-run cardio entirely, it still helps acclimate you to aerobic activities in general. That said, if you wanna push milestones and you're not on a more structured program - pick one day a week to skip everything else and really pour all you've got into your run. Record it, go back to your normal routine, then try for farther/faster next week. I think you'll hit your first nonstop mile pretty swiftly. It'll feel horrible and it'll feel great.

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        #4
        Thanks! This is all encouraging. I think I'll make my Thursday run day my run-only-cardio test and keep everything else the same. This way I'll have metrics on distance and time once a week like you said and can still keep the rest of the routine in tact. Friday is ab day so if I'm destroyed after Thursday I won't have any excuses not to move haha.

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          #5
          As a former runner who can't bear being unable to do that anymore, I'm risking a bad trigger by responding to this. But nobody said I was very bright:

          Having strength training involved is a very good idea, especially for the legs as that's where a lot of the injury risk comes from. That was the mistake that cost me my running career. My hope is that other bees might know viable programs or workouts for the purpose. (@neilarey: Might you know?)

          As far as distance goes, you're doing it right. It's asking for trouble to be a new runner and think you can immediately run, say, the NYC Marathon. I started by alternating shorter runs with walks in between. Interval apps like RunDouble, among others, have programs that may be of assistance for distance endurance. You may want to consider looking into one as most are free or only require nominal payment.

          I hope some of this helps.

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            #6
            Since I train on a treadmill, I focus more on speed/distance in a set time than anything else. Currently I've been using the 20 x 3 running program because I really want to work on my speed in a set amount of time, but I also have already run multiple 5ks and just want to work on getting to that 5k a lot faster for awhile. I know I've personally decided to make that program involve 1 recovery run a week, 1 interval run, and 1 best time run. I don't try to force myself to go more than a little bit faster each time because it's better to make slow, consistent gains in running than to take huge jumps.

            Making one run a week your "I'll go all out" run is a good idea - go for best time/distance, if you can. I would also make it a point to have one 'recovery run' a week, which means you go at a lighter pace - still a jog/run, but just not as hard on your legs. I would make this run always be after your 'best time/distance' run, if possible. Couch to 5k might be a good idea to consider as well because it can help acclimate someone to running for a long time... but I would be careful with it. I know for some people who are just getting fit and picking up running, that program in particular can pick up a little quickly. Alternatively, it might be a good idea to take a look at these Darebee running programs:

            https://darebee.com/running/from-walking-to-running.html - From Walking To Running
            https://darebee.com/running/20x3-running.html - 20x3 Running Program
            https://darebee.com/running/20x5-running.html - 20x5 Running Program

            It sounds like the 20x5 Running Program might already fit your current pattern, but it's worth considering.

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              #7
              The walking to running program is great, that's how I got into it. Afterwards, what ArtBoyo suggests, 'till you find the pattern you feel comfortable with and can sustain.

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                #8
                Originally posted by oneironaut View Post
                I'm just in the habit of running (jogging at a steady casual pace) 5x a week for about 1 mile round trip (with some playground cardio in the middle).

                When I started like 30ish days ago, jogging 0.25 miles without stopping was a nightmare. This morning I hit 0.6 and almost feel like I could have kept going.

                Running 5K (3 miles) seems very daunting right now but I feel like the following is happening: I'm slowly working closer to my body just understanding that jogging/running is a state it's going to be in and not obsess about the distance as much

                Has anyone experienced this? Am I going to be fighting for tiny distance gains at casual pace or will my aerobic health sorta "click" and let me run steady for a mile or more.

                I'm also wondering am I pushing my runs hard enough? I don't feel totally ready for the sprint training (sprint X seconds, walk, repeat). More interested in just getting more comfortable in the sweat zone and trusting i'm not going to die or faint.

                How do you set your milestones? What was your experience going from just starting to hitting a mile or more? Should I remove non-run cardio from my 20 minute morning runs and just alternate jog to exhaustion with walking? The way I do it now is jog almost to exhaustion, do jumps and pull-ups for about 8 minutes, then jog/walk back.
                Download the C25k app. Once I completed that app's process for 5k jogging, I started to use the short intervals at the beginning of the program to do sprints, as opposed to jogs. But that app reallly made it easy to jog distance.

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                  #9
                  I HIT 1.1 MILES NO STOPPING TODAY! Unbelievable; thank you everyone for the support! I'm not too tired either?! I hit a point where it felt like I started breathing like my body meant it and am working on extending and settling into that machine-like focus state.

                  Now I know part of my initial barrier was fear (of fainting, of being tired, etc) and y'all helped me reframe my path forward (and feel safe enough to just go for it).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ayyyyy good work. Now that you've tackled a solid mile, two and three should come even more easily. Keep at it!

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                      #11
                      You are downright inspiring! Your posts are so fun to read!!😎👏🏼Keep going!!🏃🏻***♀️💨

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