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Suggestions to improve at jogging?

prhymeateprhymeate Posts: 792
I appreciate this isn't a running board but maybe someone can offer some advice. I am trying to get into running as a way to keep up my fitness but I'm finding it really hard to improve. I run about 2.5 miles and have done the same route around 25 times over the last 6-8 weeks. According to Strava, it's 2.5 miles, 100 feet elevation and usually done around 8min/mile.

Initial improvement was quite good but I feel like I've reached a plateau. I struggle to run the whole distance without stopping a couple of times and walking for ~10 seconds before starting again. It's not specifically my lungs or my legs hurting... I just feel like I've had enough. I don't really enjoy running but I do like the feeling of having exercised afterwards.

Can't really tell if it's a mental thing, bad pacing, fitness... Should I change up my route, alternate runs with intervals?? Any advice is appreciated.


  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Slow it down a bit. If you can't chat at the pace you're running - its too fast.

    Running slower will let you run longer. I always hate the first 15 mins of any run as it takes me that long to warm up - so you're basically in that warm up phase for all of your run.

    Once you slow down you'll be able to ramp up the distances a bit - dont go mad though - its harder than cycling.

    And look up your local parkrun. 9am Saturday if you're in England or Wales. Times differ elsewhere. Be there.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    Try intervals such as 30 secs hard/30 secs easy or fartlek sessions in which you choose a fixed point such as a lamp-post or tree and sprint to it before an easy running bit and then choosing another fixed point to sprint to.

    Another suggestion is to run gently for five minutes as a warm-up and then to run 10 minutes at fast tempo, five minutes gentle running, 10 minutes at fast tempo and then five minutes gentle to finish.

    Hill reps are another good way to improve. Find a hill you can run up in 30 secs to three minutes, push hard on the ascent, jog gently back down and repeat five or six times.

    I would also mix up your routes a bit, include some off-road and try to increase your distances gradually each week. Parkrun or entering proper races are another great way to give you incentive and motivation.

    I guarantee this sort of training will improve your speed and endurance. Whether it will make you enjoy running more is another matter. Many fellow cyclists tell me they hate running. Personally, I love it.
  • cheers, really appreciate the replies. I'll put some of that advice into practise and see how I go. I definitely couldn't hold a conversation at my current pace so will try slowing things down a bit. I do like to feel exhausted at the end though so might add intervals to some runs too.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    It's the classic beginners mistake - run everywhere flat out. Everyone does it to begin.

    I'd personally not do intervals at this stage - its usually speed work that causes injuries - so I'd go for a bit more base mileage before you start on speed.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,374
    Fenix is quite right. You don't want to overdo it. Gradual increases in distance and pace - perhaps just one sprint per run at first - are the way to go if you want to improve. And races or parkrun are really good for seeing how you are progressing - as well as being good socially.
  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    Before I stop on any run I always tell myself "slow down for 30s-1min" and if you still want to stop then stop.

    It normally works, I can carry on running. Sounds like a mental thing, perhaps go on a new route without any sort of computer/time piece
  • Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. My main target isn't really to end up running further and further, I like that I feel as if I've had a workout after only running for 25mins as it fits my evenings perfectly, but I'm assuming some base mileage and being able to run a route without stopping would be a good place to build from.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,480
    Find a local Parkrun (if you are free on Saturday mornings). Running 5km (3.1 miles) with others is a good motivation. It got me into running with my kids, and now (4 years later) I run up to half marathon distances every month or two.

    Another tip, music using on-ear headphones helps me to move up a distance. I set it loud enough to hear the music/beat while letting in background sounds - I can still hear birds singing while I run. The ear buds that block up your ears don't let in much external sound so I don't consider them safe.
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    Basic tip for running faster that I always used when I did a bit more of it than I can be bothered to now is to do

    - Longer and slower
    - Shorter and faster

    So if you're training for a 5km @ 4m km speed, training would loosely involve
    - 8-10km @ 5m km
    - 3-4km @ 3.45m km

    You can't improve your speed without running faster than you are comfortable at, and you won't improve endurance without running longer than you are comfortable.

    Pretty basic but it works. Running 5km loads isn't an effective way of improving 5km times.
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    I believe someone once said something about insanity being doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Running is no different to cycling - train in different pace/HR zones if you want to improve. Personally I'd go for longer, slower runs on dirt paths, relax, explore a bit, gradually build strength with less impact then do shorter, harder runs on the road.
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