I'm embarrassingly slow at plodding... How do I get faster?

(31 Posts)
KanyesVest Sat 20-Jun-15 18:28:21

I was kind of ok with knowing I'll never run very fast, or indeed very far, but I came last at park run today blush. I'm pretty sure I'm don't get credit for passing the 150 yr old man who "only" did 3km

I currently average 7m10s to 7m30s per km, so a 5km takes me approx 35/36 mins. I run between 5 and 8 km, usually 3 times per week. I vary routes so there are some hills at various points and one that's pretty flat. I also do weights/circuit training 3 times per week. I started running with the C25K, so if there was something like that anyone knows of, it'd be great. A lot of the ones I've seen online seem very complicated and I got a bit intimidated even looking at them. I don't want to join a running club or run with anyone else, especially having just how slow I am confirmed today.

HemanOrSheRa Sat 20-Jun-15 18:35:16

I'm a plodder too! I've just restarted the C25K again after completing in it Nov 2013. I had shoulder trouble so had to stop. Anyway, I used these podcasts www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Couch-to-5k-plus.aspx once I'd completed the 9 week programme. I found them very good and added a bit of variety too!

HemanOrSheRa Sat 20-Jun-15 18:37:53

I should add I don't think 5k in 35 mins is slow at all. Don't let it put you off doing another parkrun smile.

BIWI Sat 20-Jun-15 18:40:19

Do you need to get faster? To be honest, if you prefer running on your own, I'd just get on with it! You'll probably find that your speed improves anyway.

And it's not like you're inactive - running three times a week and weight/circuits 3 times a week will ensure that your fitness and cardio fitness is good.

One tip I did read about increasing your speed was building sprints into your normal run. I can't remember exactly how though!

BIWI Sat 20-Jun-15 18:42:31

But this might help

sparechange Sat 20-Jun-15 18:44:29

Intervals!
Try the 'running for weight loss' app
It isn't just for weight loss, it is for intervals.
Or for an easier version, if you listen to music while you run, just pick up the pace by 10-20% during the chorus of each song. It is amazing how quickly your feet to turn over a bit quicker.
Btw, a 35 5km is perfectly respectable starting point...

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 20-Jun-15 18:44:55

Someone has to be lastthanks

I'm a slow runner, I've made my peace with that now. I have a heavy running style and short of a body transplant I'm not sure I can do much. I also don't enjoy speed work, so although I do try and do it, I don't push myself to the limit I guess.

I run a lot and can run decent distances so being slower doesn't hold me back at all. It did grate a bit when my non running brother did a marathon over an hour quicker than my time thoughhmm

If you do want to speed up a bit, interval training is the way to go. Running short bursts at a fast pace and then having a recovery period before repeating. Google running interval training and tons of ideas will come up.

timefortiggy Sat 20-Jun-15 18:53:34

Me too, sometimes am ok with this sometimes i feel like giving up. Been running for years and am still 13 minute miles sad

JontyDoggle37 Sat 20-Jun-15 19:00:08

Try just taking a slightly longer stride with every step - you don't need to move your legs quicker, just cover more ground with each stride and you'll get there faster. This is how I inprove my times when coming back from time off (like now). I start off quote short striding and don't push it, then increase syndrome length as I get fitter.

KanyesVest Sat 20-Jun-15 19:07:42

Thanks folks, I knew I'd get some useful advice here. Interval training is a good idea. I've been focusing on distance so changing things up might work. I'm not a natural runner but since it's almost impossible to give myself an excuse not to go, I want to keep it up.

Biwi, you're probably right about just sticking by myself, but I hoped the park runs might help me feel like a "proper" runner rather than a small, red faced, barrel chugging along, solo.

Herman, best of luck getting going again! Hope your injury is well healed.

Doyouthink, what do you mean by heavy running style? I think mine might be too.

I might give myself a few weeks grace to recover from my mortification and set another park run as a future challenge, now that I have a baseline which can only get better!

KanyesVest Sat 20-Jun-15 19:12:36

Sorry tiggy and jonty, I took forever to type that reply!

Jonty, I tried that but then bil, who is a very serious runner said something about higher cadence being more important (while I looked on blankly). I think it was chi running techniques he was talking about.

Tiggy, that's how I'm feeling, varying between, "well at least I'm getting out and doing it", and "why am I not getting better??<wah>"

sparechange Sat 20-Jun-15 19:15:45

OP, if you have some spare time and cash, look up The Running School
It is an 8 week course run my physios all around the country (it's about £200) and retrains you and your running style so you are lighter on your feet and take buffer strides
DH bought it for me as a present and it was amazing. My 10k time went down by about 3 mins just because i wasn't crossing my feet over and slapping my feet down. And it made running less painful and more enjoyable so I got a bit quicker just from being out more

Stillyummy Sat 20-Jun-15 19:15:59

Least your doing something.

timefortiggy Sat 20-Jun-15 19:36:06

Funnily enough when i went to get new running shoes she put me on a treadmill and said she had never seen someone heavier on there feet!!!

GrumpyOldBiddy2 Sat 20-Jun-15 20:00:02

Oh no! I was so proud of myself for doing 5k in 29 minutes! I need to speed up sad

Happyyellowcar Sat 20-Jun-15 20:05:41

I always thought of myself as a plodder but since having DD (7months) I am having to train for 2 days back to back of total warrior in the Lake District in August and have been training with another mum who happens to be an elite runner. I've been amazed that I've speeded up to 7.5min miles and have even come 3rd in a recent 10k race. I have been doing lots of drills (high knees / strides/ skipping), lots of interval running and hill sprints, but shorter sessions rather than just long distances plus one long run per week. Good luck!

KanyesVest Sat 20-Jun-15 20:06:05

Sparechange, I was thinking about doing something like that - maybe I will get it for myself for my birthday present. Good to know it's actually useful! Although I'd be afraid they'd send me away with a comment like you got Tiggy, and give me up as a lost cause!

Biddy, I would give my right leg to get down to 29mins who knows, hopping might even be faster for me

Stillyummy, is that available on a t-shirt???

timefortiggy Sat 20-Jun-15 20:18:37

Think i am a lost cause with running sad i dont know anybody who has been so consistent as me with sticking with it!!

Hardtoknow Sat 20-Jun-15 20:22:37

I need to speed up too and, having done C25K to start running in the first place, I am tempted to re-do it but, rather than doing 1 min run/1 min walk, I thought I could do 1 min "fast" run/1 min usual pace & increase the amount of fast running I do.

BIWI Sat 20-Jun-15 20:59:20

KanyesVest - but you are a proper runner! You can run for over half an hour WITHOUT STOPPING!

If that isn't a definition of a proper runner then I don't know what is!

GrumpyOldBiddy2 Sat 20-Jun-15 23:02:34

I like the idea of interval training - am going to try that!

lastqueenofscotland Sat 20-Jun-15 23:31:05

I'm very surprised 36mins in a park run makes you last! That's a solid time IMO must be a serious one you a running!! There are some very very slow runners in mine.

Intervals and hills!

9 weeks ago my 5k pb was 31 mins worked my ass off and on Monday night ran one in 23 mins. Intervals and hills!! And running long runs so the drop back feels easy did it for me.

MrsMook Sun 21-Jun-15 10:04:56

I use the C25k+ podcasts too. They get you running to the beat. The stamina is a bit longer and gradually increases the pace, the speed is shorter with intervals.

Despite doing few long runs in recent months, my pace has improved at 10k and an 8 mile race.

It must be a fast park run. There's still plenty coming in at 35mins on mine.

ragged Sun 21-Jun-15 13:04:16

I'm still immensely proud that I can do 5km at all, never mind if it takes 35 minutes or longer.

I guess it all depends what you think you're capable of.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 21-Jun-15 13:38:12

KanyesVest When I watch faster runners, they seem to drive more with each step and are In Contact with the ground less. So lighter steps.

I'm not naturally light on my feet at all, I seem to land with each step fairly heavily and don't have a naturally springy step.

I don't care enough to try to change much. I love running and I'm proud of the fact I can run 13 miles without stopping even if it does take me longer than lots of people My only real goal is to try and get near 4 and a half hours for a marathon next year. At the moment that seems unlikely but we will see.....

I also worry that trying to change my running style might increase my risk of injury. I'm fortunate that I haven't had that many injuries but the ones I've had have been horrible. I hate not being able to run.

Definitely try Interval training and running hills though, you will get faster than you are now.

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