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Beginner running - faster or further?

(16 Posts)
Sevendayweek Fri 18-Dec-15 23:10:36

I started on C25k in the autumn and have worked my way up to a handy 25' circuit. The "official" advice is now to extend my runs further - but actually this is a nice loop on fairly even ground, off-road, which is in short supply in my hilly area. And as I have to take time out of my working day at this time of year to run (or its dark) I don't want to be out any longer really.

So I am aiming to stick to the same route but hopefully get faster, but what will I miss out on by not going further? I am no spring chicken (well into my 50s) and 3xweek seems to suit me well. Running to keep on top of weight (it works for me!) and for general fitness.

whatdoIget Fri 18-Dec-15 23:13:05

Running up hills is a good way to get a lot fitter quite quickly smile

Sevendayweek Fri 18-Dec-15 23:48:50

I bet it is, if you're young enough to do anything quickly. Tbh I'm very grateful to be able to run at all!

Sevendayweek Sat 19-Dec-15 00:02:35

That wasn't meant to sound grumpy! smile

PhoebeMcPeePee Sat 19-Dec-15 00:10:40

I would look at doing one slightly longer run a week if you can but also some interval training on one session. Hill training is not to be underestimated - it needn't be fast, if anything you may need to force yourself to go slower than usual. When I was training for a run a few years back my coach (ultra runner friend!) would get me running up the same bastard hill 3 or 4 times and getting me to maintain the same speed each time.
There's also something to be said for: if it ain't broke, why fix it? You're happy doing the runs, it's keeping you fit and works with your schedule so there's really no need to change anything for the sake of it!

whatdoIget Sat 19-Dec-15 00:28:09


whatdoIget Sat 19-Dec-15 00:28:43

That wasn't meant to be passive aggressive btw!!

Sevendayweek Sat 19-Dec-15 08:26:13

Mm, interval training looks worth a try - and theres a package in the same podcast set, which i get on with. I don't want to do anything too jolty cos of joints and tendons which have had problems in the past (especially around menopause for some reason) but looks like it might help me feel i was getting somewhere!

smile whatdoiget

ShortcutButton Sat 19-Dec-15 08:29:57

I bet it is, if you're young enough to do anything quickly. Tbh I'm very grateful to be able to run at all!


HuckfromScandal Sat 19-Dec-15 08:45:50

Stamina is the important thing, speed will come.
I would still try for distance rather than speed, I do hear what you are saying however the tried and tested method isn't tried and tested for no reason....

Enjoy it, whatever you do, running is a lovely way to carve out me time

YeOldeTrout Sat 19-Dec-15 08:51:45

You don't have to try to "improve". If you love what you're doing, it's plenty to continue was you are. I also don't really want to put more time into my running. If you want to use your existing route to see if you can improve, then intervals is the main thing to try. You could also get a heart monitor & experiment with that a bit (big subject too much to explain briefly).

The main advice is to mix up different types of runs.

Once a week I run 6.8km instead of 5km
Once a week I do 6x100m intervals on my usual 5k
Any other runs for me are conversation pace 5k, although I would try hills if I had any smile.

YeOldeTrout Sat 19-Dec-15 08:52:48

I find intervals HURT by the way, killer for me. Take as easy as you need.

Brighit Sat 19-Dec-15 10:31:04

I worked my way up to 5k then tried to get faster times.

However, I don't have the greatest joints and my biomechanics are pants and I've found speedwork gives me lots of niggles and injuries. Now I stick to a nice easy paced 5k run and do one longer distance throughout the week (and do intervals on the cardio machines in the gym where my joints aren't taking such a beating)

I live in a hilly area too and wouldn't avoid them on my runs, in fact I love the challenge of running up the steep one near me.

whatdoIget Sat 19-Dec-15 10:43:39

I love running up hills. There's also the pleasure of running down the other side once you've got to the top!

Sevendayweek Sat 19-Dec-15 11:03:03

Ooh, thanks everyone! Thanks for the warnings Trout & Brighit, I'll be careful with any intervals re aches and pains - and you & Whatdoiget have also inspired me not to be quite so wussy about hills - there's a very pleasant gentle climb branching off my loop, which I love cycling up. I'm guessing going up a hill might be kinder on the joints than running very fast? Steady does it! I must say I am surprised how much I enjoy running, I'm making my DH quite jealous (despite his filthy mountainbike habit)

MrsMook Tue 22-Dec-15 17:25:49

I'd build one run up longer for the stamina. It's good to have variety as otherwise boredom sets in and eventually progress will plateau which can cause motivation to wane. Runners can and do walk, so if you are making changes, e.g. adding hills, walking up them to maintain the effort without busting yourself is still progress.

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