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Advice needed! Have been running now (slowly!) for about 8 weeks. Managing to gradually increase the time I run and the past week or so have managed a couple of 20 - 23 mins runs with no stops or walking (about 1.5 miles).

The problem is that I now feel under pressure to do that length of run without walking each time - and to try to achieve or even increase the 20 mins every time I go out. Previously I was very much taking the attitude that I would just walk/run what I could and that was fine until started managing to run for a longer time without walking - now it seems that I have to keep proving to myself that I can do it. But that feels like I am putting myself under pressure and almost setting myself up for failure on a regular basis....

When I did a bit of running 2 years ago the same thing happened and it seemed that I 'peaked' at around 20 - 30 mins - even managed to get around a couple of 5ks in around 40 mins - but then it seemed I just could not improve on that and found I was getting panicky about going out because I just knew I would fail to improve or even maintain what I had achieved. In the end I lost heart completely and gave up.

As I really don't want to give up this time - I have been thinking that it might be best to go back to doing more run/walks with just an occasional attempt (once a week or less) to run for as long as I can. I have been doing this during this week and it certainly takes the pressure off mentally but will it actually move me forward in building up the distance/time I can actually run? Or is this a backward step? :worried:

Would appreciate your advice.
 

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When I first started running I went round the park near my work, it took me a while before I could run the entire distance. What I found helped was mix the route up, I was finding my brain was causing me to have hurdles i.e. I would go for a run and when I felt tired I would walk for a bit the start again. The next day I went out and got past that mark and thought, oh well I got past it so then walked.....I then started to change the route and was amazed that I ran for longer without feeling tired and its because I had no previous markers in my head for that route.
I would say listen to your body but if you think you can do further, before you go on your run, tell yourself you can do it, get rid of any doubt in your mind and go for it. If you can't run for a solid 20mins don't worry about it.

Small steps towards a greater target :) I wouldnt pressure yourself in to running 20mins all the time but if you did 3 runs a week for example Monday / Wednesday / Friday, you could try running for 20 - 25mins on the Monday and Friday and take it easy on the Wednesday.

Enjoy running, if 20mins is your limit then so be it but I reckon your body will soon become stronger and these 20mins runs will just be a warm up for your longer runs.

Not sure if that helps or not, hope it made some sense.

O.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Owain

Yes, thanks for that. I think what you say is very true. I am sure I can - and will - do runs of 20 mins plus in the future as long as I don't get too obsessive about it. What you say about previous markers is very true and part of the problem I am sure. I tend to go to the same woods to run in my lunch-hour as it is convenient (and one of my favourite places). I do mix the route up a bit but I think I need to go to other places where I have no very recent run 'memory' in my head. I know every inch of those woods having walked and run them many times. Certainly when I went to a completely different place to run last week I did a longer run - and apart from struggling a bit on some of the long hills - didn't find it too difficult. I will try going to 3 different places Mon/Wed/Fri and see how much difference that makes.

Thanks for your advice.
 

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Welcome to your worst training partner, yourself.

I can run 10k now, but couldn't run 1 min a few months ago. Yet I still walk sometimes. I can't run 10k every day so some days I have "rest" days and walk.

I am still building my fitness though which means I am still heading towards my goal. Simple

HTH a bit
 

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Try setting yourself or finding a training schedule - If you're heading out the door each day just to try and have a run, I can completely understand why you find yourself feeling like you have to better your last run... but that's not the case.

Your training runs should be training runs, they're not all out efforts - maybe set yourself a challenge of every fortnight trying to run as far as possible in one go, or say run as far as possible in 20mins... But weekly runs should vary as much as possible. Key is to spend as much time as you can on your feet during the week... if you need walk breaks it really doesn't matter!

You'll do so much more for your running by going out 4times a week with run/walks than trying twice a week to run for 25mins straight :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi
Thanks for the advice. I have been out running a few times since first starting the thread and am very much just trying to do what feels right on the day. I did one structured run of 4mins jog/2mins walk x 6 which I actually found harder to do than to keep running - it's like starting all over again everytime I have a walk break and my body doesn't seem to settle into 'jog' mode. Since then I did a couple of runs over the weekend and pushed myself a bit but didn't focus on the time, rather just how I felt. Was quite pleased with what I did. Had a day off running yesterday and just walked instead. Today, just did a very short run as seriously tired (not sleeping well). Trying to really listen to my body and just do what feels right. It's all in the head, I know - as Hrun said - my worst training partner is myself - so I shall try to ignore whatever I think I 'should' be doing and just do what feels right. That's the intention anyway.....
 

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good for you Altna, stick with it, it really is worth it.

We all have times where we shouldn't listen to ourselves, when that happens to me I do a general check, do my legs feel ok - Yes, am I breathing ok - Yes, then it's just my head that is screwing around with my chi, with that I push on.


TT :d
 
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