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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all

I'm new to running so forgive me if I'm being a bit thick. :embarrassed:

For reasons too boring to go into, I have had to take up running.

I've had the Gait Analysis done and have the correct shoes. I've only ran 3 times within the last week, with a day off in between each one. The first two were 2.5 miles and the one today was 3 miles. Each and every single run was hard work for me, as after 3 minutes or so, my breathing becomes laboured, my legs feel heavy and I keep thinking "i'm not going to make this"
I timed my 3 miler today and that took an embarrassing 28 minutes, but if I tried to run quicker I wouldn't manage to complete the 3 miles.

So my question is... Is it always going to be hard? or will I manage to run for x-miles with relative ease? If it does get easier, how long can I expect to wait until I improve on my times? I only have a maximum of 6 months to get as quick as I can.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
BTW, I'm 38 years old if that helps :)

Regards,
Garry
 

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Welcome to the forum, Garry :)

That's pretty much exactly what I experienced when I started running. Don't worry, it fades away in a few weeks, when your body gets used to it you will feel like you are flying along :d

The problem with trying to get to a certain speed within a certain time is, you can only progress as fast as your body will let you, if you push too much you just get injured. Having said that, you can make a LOT of progress in 6 months :cool: 28 mins for 3 miles is very decent for a new runner, 9mins 20 per mile. Are you aiming to just get very fast over 3 miles, or do you want to build up distance as well?

There are others here who know more about this than me, but I would suggest you take a few weeks to just get used to running, with no goal except to run regularly 3-5 times per week. Then, when your lung capacity's better and your leg muscles have built up a bit, increase your speed and/or distance plus start throwing in some hill sessions, speedwork and cross-training. And try not to increase your weekly mileage by more than about 10% per week.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply Katten :)

My short term goal is to run 3 miles in 20 minutes, but my long term goal is to be able to run a marathon. I'm currently following a marathon training plan which lasts for 6 months and gradually increases the mileage every week (every 3rd week drops back to an "easy" week). There are allocated slots for interval training etc (Fartlek etc) so hopefully this will increase my speed, as you said.

Thanks again.

Regards,
Garry
 

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Ah-HAH! I did suspect that a marathon might be what you were aiming for :)

You may want to adjust your short-term goal, as sub-7 minutes per mile long distance is very very fast (much faster than me, I run 26.2 in about 3 1/2 hours) and it's more useful to build up distance rather than pace at this stage. Maybe aim to run 6 miles comfortably for short term, then set another goal?

Good luck, and have fun
 

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As katten says Garry, 3 miles in 20mins is pretty fast! I could find you plenty of people who can run marathon distances but still wouldn't be able to manage 3 miles in 20 mins!

In answer to your initial question though, it doesn't get any easier, it simply gets faster and longer ;)
 

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Garry,
Its a marathon and not a sprint so you won't want to start off too fast anyway and if you push yourself too hard too soon you just become discouraged and start giving up. Running is fun - enjoy it but you do need to give your body time to adjust to the high impact. I would suggest training with a heart rate monitor to make sure you don't do too much too soon but you might find it frustrating but with marathons its all about getting those miles in your legs and not necessarily about speed. However don't rapidly increase your milelage the rule of thumb is about 10% per week and est days are an active part of your training.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your helpful advice everyone. It looks like I may be following the wrong training plan then. The weekly increase is 1 mile, which by my calculations is well over the 10% mark. That is, until I start running 10 miles which I'm due to do in 9 weeks time.

Hmmm back to the drawing board then :confused:
 

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Just to add - 3 miles (3.1miles is 5km), so 5k in 20mins is REALLY fast, basically averaging 9.3mph. 9.3mph for the 5k means you will be able to run 1 mile in 5min58.

To move from running 3miles in 28minutes, to running 3miles in 20minutes requires an increase in VO2max of over 48%, which is pretty much approaching the maximum gain in VO2max that is theoretically possible, so unless you've got some weight to lose, you may struggle.

On a final note, just to remind you, 28mins for the 5k is an excellent start, and certainly there will be people on here who were NOT doing that so soon...
 

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I've certainly found that I'm able to achieve more and more on a week to week basis.

I've also found that visiting this forum is inspiration to keep going and achieve more :)
 

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steepler said:
In a word NO!
The fitter you get the harder you train.
However the easy runs become very easy indeed!
I think that hits the nail on the head Steepler.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I went for a 2 mile run yesterday and wasn't really looking forward to it. But whilst running I was surprised how easy it felt compared to the previous week's runs. Although I was still breathing heavily, I wasn't gasping; rather it was quite controlled breathing.

I've got a 3 mile run tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it now to see if I find it easier than the last 3 miler I did.

Thanks for the inspiration everyone. :d
 

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Something I do when I can remember, is when I am running 'steadily', ie I can just about hold a conversation but heavy breathing... instead of breathing from empty lungs to half full/two thirds full, I breath from half full to completely full... this doesn't mean you hyperventilate, but it does help open your lungs, and trains the muscles around your ribcage on the extremes of their movement.

Otherwise, when you ask them to open fully, they won't know what it's like to do that, and invariably will be the first things to fail.
 

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I dont think it gets easier as steepler said. Your aims and goals get higher, therefore trying to reach them is harder.
 

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hayley1977 said:
I dont think it gets easier as steepler said. Your aims and goals get higher, therefore trying to reach them is harder.
Agreed :d ...

richardsimkiss said:
In answer to your initial question though, it doesn't get any easier, it simply gets faster and longer ;)
 

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you have been given excellent advice. To be honest, 3 miles in 28 minutes for a new runner is good. But to get from that to 20 minutes will take a lot of time and training. When I first started running, I could do 3 miles in about 23 minutes. It took me a year and a half (building up to half marathon distances and running 30 miles a week) to get my 3 mile pb down to 19 minutes 30 seconds. I don't actually think I could run it that much faster. I think it is more important to build distance and stamina if you plan to run a marathon and want a respectable time. My average 5km (3.2 miles) splits for the last half marathon I ran were 23 minutes, which isn't actually that much faster than my top speed for a one off 5km.
 
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