General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Becoming a faster runner Rss Feed  
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2014-04-14 2:24 PM


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Subject: Becoming a faster runner
I just completed my first sprint triathlon yesterday and I'm hooked! It was such an amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again. My best times were in swimming, followed by biking, and then less strong in running. It took me 30 minutes to do the (very hilly) 3.1 miles, which was as I expected—I barely trained for running because I knew I could run it at a 10 min/mi pace and I don't really enjoy running all that much. However, now I'm feeling inspired and want to improve my run time for my next triathlon (September, probably), since it's my weakest link.

I'm a little overwhelmed about how to get started and would love some sort of training program. I'm not really interested in running more than 2x a week, but want to make that time count, and actually increase my speed. I've gone through phases of jogging in the past but never for speed. I imagine I should be doing intervals but I'm not really sure about how, and if I should be mixing it up with some long runs, and if I should be doing incline work.... Basically I don't know where to start! Any recommendations for the best resources/training plans out there for someone who is totally fine jogging but wants to improve speed without putting in a ton of time?



2014-04-14 2:31 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner

I would start with the free training plans offered here on BT.  I wouldn't expect huge (note that I didn't say "any") improvements in run fitness if you don't plan on running more than 2x/week however.  That simply isn't enough time to devote to your "weak link".  Good luck!

2014-04-14 2:37 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
You are looking for a quick fix. Like people who weigh 300 lbs & want to get to 150 without ever doing any exercise & just want to be able to take a pill.

You can make those 2x a week count by doing drills, intervals, etc, but the best way to get faster is to get more mileage in each week. If you want to get from 10 min/mi to 8 min/mi or better, you need to commit to at least 3 runs during the week & one longer run on the weekends.
2014-04-14 2:48 PM
in reply to: Meathead


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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Makes sense. I guess I am not sure how to break up my workouts if I don't have time to do more than 6 total/week. (I already do yoga 3-5x a week, and yoga at least 3x a week is non-negotiable for me.)

I had been doing 2x/week both biking and swimming with a very committed schedule for 12 weeks, and honestly only ran about 8 times during the whole training! I was hoping that actually running, like, at all (i.e. 2x/week) would get me to somewhere around an 8-8 1/2 if I had a solid training plan, but maybe that's unrealistic. As someone who doesn't intrinsically enjoy running I definitely don't want to go from running <1x a week to 2x a week and see little to no improvement! I that case I'll just stick with skipping the running .

I could switch a bike or a swim to a run, but I am worried that I would end up losing more time by not biking or swimming enough (1x a week seems too low), even if I got down to a good time on running. (Meaning I could bust my butt to get down to an 8 min/mile but the 6 minutes I would cut there would just show up elsewhere.) I am really looking for general improvement and using the time I have efficiently rather than getting to a specific time.
2014-04-14 2:58 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner

I would delete 2 of your yoga sessions and replace with one bike AND one run.

2014-04-14 3:06 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
I am really looking for general improvement and using the time I have efficiently rather than getting to a specific time.

trails and hills. ideally, hilly trails.

i have cut my run volume in half this year (i ran 1000 miles last year and i'm on track for around 500 this year) and i am much faster than i was just 3-5 months ago. the only change to my training is that i've included a LOT more hills and trail running into the mix.

*and twice as much cycling, but i doubt cycling more and running less makes one a much faster runner.


2014-04-14 3:13 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner

" As someone who doesn't intrinsically enjoy running I definitely don't want to go from running <1x a week to 2x a week and see little to no improvement! I that case I'll just stick with skipping the running  " 

 

If that's the case then my advice would be skip the running.  You might feel different about it after your next race, or maybe not.  Plenty of folks come to triathlon with the idea that they aren't lifting weights less, aren't doing yoga less, or whatever.....and it non-negotiable.too.....and then they want to get faster and suddenly it's not so non-negotiable. ...because you aren't going to get noticeably faster running 2 times per week instead of 1 (and you're definately not going to knock 2 minutes off your mile pace), and  you're not going to get faster running by doing yoga, or lifting weights, etc.  In the meantime, enjoy what you're doing and have fun with triathlon. 

2014-04-14 3:23 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
It's hard to make gains on two workouts a week. Could you tag a run onto a bike? If you are absolutely only able to run twice a week, I would recommend one stress run (sprints, hills, etc.) and one long, slow run of over 10 km.
2014-04-14 3:24 PM
in reply to: Bunsbert Montcroff

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
I like this idea best.

When people don't want to run a lot, its usually because they don't like to run. The best way around that is to find a way to enjoy it! Trails are such a different experience, that you may want to get out there more and more. Also, since they are hilly, you'll get a lot of fitness even at slower paces.
2014-04-14 3:37 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Originally posted by ellabella824
Makes sense. I guess I am not sure how to break up my workouts if I don't have time to do more than 6 total/week. (I already do yoga 3-5x a week, and yoga at least 3x a week is non-negotiable for me.)


But why is that? Why is yoga non-negotiable when it is taking up more than 3-5 hours a week? I assume it's because you enjoy yoga more than anything. My suggestion is the same as some others have posted...get to where you enjoy running as much as yoga.

One of the hardest things about getting into triathlon is the commitment that training requires. While you want to be well rounded, you also need to be realistic. If you want to be top in your AG, the yoga may need to get cut down to 2x a week or out altogether. If you are just out having fun, then stick with what you enjoy, do yoga 5x a week, do your bike & swim as you have been doing, and accept that 10 min/mi is the best you will do on a maintenance schedule of 1-2 runs a week.

My money is on you doing a few more races, crushing the swim & bike, and then seeing the field pass you on the run before you change your mind.
2014-04-14 3:43 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
First, "jogging" is "running." One mistake I see new runners make (my wife and sister included) is running too fast. Running is "two feet off the ground at any given time." You don't have to run fast to get fast, especially early on. You do, however, need to run *more*. Mostly easy, sometimes hard. Running twice per week is little more than dabbling, and you probably aren't going to see noticeable gains.

Add in runs - short runs, easy runs - whatever runs, when you can. 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there, and at a conversational pace. Run/walk is perfectly fine (Galloway, heart-rate, or Maffetone are programs that can help). Even Couch-to-5k or Couch-to-10k.

Then, in a year, you'll realize you just went out and ran for 2.5 hours, without music or distraction, and feel great about it. That's when I realized I was, indeed, a runner. And then I cursed a lot, because runners are screwy people who do silly things like run for 2.5 hours without music and feel great about it.


2014-04-14 4:02 PM
in reply to: Meathead


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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Yeah, I am just in it to have fun and to have personal goals/competition against myself. I have been practicing yoga for over 7 years and started in high school because I have back problems (back then I was running a few times a week and taking Advil every day, so it isn't cured by any kind of exercise). I know that I will be injury-prone and in pain if I don't do a minimum amount of yoga. It is also a spiritual/therapeutic experience and the fact that it is not goal-oriented is important to my mental health. So yes, 3x a week of yoga is non-negotiable and first priority, even if it is detrimental to my triathlon performance! My first priority is a healthy body.

Training for the triathlon has definitely improved my yoga experience by changing my areas of strength and weakness, and I believe vice-versa is true in that I would not be as healthy if I did not do yoga, even if I might be faster. I'm happy to accept that I'm only going to get to a certain point training like this, but I want to make the training I AM doing as impactful as possible.

If you end up being right that I get so annoyed I'm not crushing it in the running section, I wouldn't mind turning into one of those people who is willing to leave their warm cozy bed to put on their running shoes at 6 in the morning! However, when I get to that point I'll just wake up earlier, not cut out the yoga .
2014-04-14 4:08 PM
in reply to: dfroelich


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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
This appeals to me more than running more so I think it's what I'll do . I live in Brooklyn so trails aren't really an option, but the waterfront is, and there are some hills. I think tacking a hilly high-intensity run onto a bike ride would increase my speed, especially since I felt I had jello legs by the time I got to the running sections. And doing a bit of interval training would help too.

2014-04-14 4:14 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
There's a strange vibe to this thread. To be a better runner you need to run more. Yoga is great if that's your passion definitely pursue it. But TRIathlon is comprised of 3 sports & in my book it's the training that makes the whole experience worthwhile.

I'm glad to have another member on the forums and Triathalete in the club but if you don't like running AT ALL why pursue triathlon? I suppose it's common to enjoy one sport less but I would think the majority of us to some extent enjoy all 3 sports, that's why we make tri training part of our daily lives.

I love to run, it's fun. I agree that you should find a way to make it more enjoyable for you, but if that's just not possible maybe look into AQUABIKE events (swim/bike). Maybe that'll be more up your alley & leave more time for yoga.
2014-04-14 4:22 PM
in reply to: Brian W


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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
This is funny to me because I feel like so many people doing triathlons really struggle with swimming and are not into it! It just seems like a solid number of people come to this from a being really good runners and then expanding into the other sports, and are surprised when other people are not enthusiastic about the running part. It is not that I hate running, it is just that it is not how I want to be spending tons of my time, and if that makes me a slower runner, so be it. My question is not, how can I be the fastest runner that I can be, but: Given my personal parameters, what is the best way for ME to train?

I only have the desire to run 2x a week and I want to use my time efficiently. I have run semi-regularly in the past and enjoy it to some extent while I'm doing it, but not enough to sacrifice my yoga practice. I don't think to do triathlons you should need to abandon your other passions, or vice versa. Considering I have basically been running zero, committing to running two times a week IS running more for me. I'm not looking for huge improvement, just to use that time to the best of my ability. I am not really sure how doing intense, intentional runs 2x a week (up from none) would NOT result in better times. Of course, I know I would be faster if I did intense intentional runs 4x a week.
2014-04-14 4:23 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Originally posted by ellabella824

This appeals to me more than running more so I think it's what I'll do . I live in Brooklyn so trails aren't really an option, but the waterfront is, and there are some hills. I think tacking a hilly high-intensity run onto a bike ride would increase my speed, especially since I felt I had jello legs by the time I got to the running sections. And doing a bit of interval training would help too.




On another note hills/intervals/brick (run right after bike)/ speed sessions are generally not advised for beginner runners. A lot of people (there are of course as many theories as people) would suggest "base mileage" and building strength in your legs/body to accommodate more or faster running. A huge reason so many runners are injured is because they try and add speed training with too little experience and base fitness.

I don't think you'd recommend someone try CRANE/FIREFLY/8 Angle/SCORPION pose to someone new to yoga. They first need to build up to it, prepare their body for the challenge & see how it affects them before trying something advanced.

The same is true for running. Speed sessions & intervals etc are generally not for beginners. Take it easy & don't hurt yourself.

Edited by Brian W 2014-04-14 4:25 PM


2014-04-14 4:34 PM
in reply to: Brian W


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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Haha, I think I'm just a running weirdo then! When I go running, I usually do 4-6 miles of hilly terrain at about a 10 minute pace without feeling overexerted. (I'm originally from San Francisco, so when I say hills, I mean HILLS). This seems pretty aerobically fit to me, and makes me think that distance isn't the thing I should be working on in terms of doing a faster 5k. If I run on a flat surface for 20 minutes? Still a 10 minute pace. Why? I think it's because I'm lazy (when it comes to running)! I just don't like to TRY to run faster. But maybe if I have a goal and a training plan (even if it's only a couple times a week) where I actually push myself to increase my speed, I will keep a faster pace.
2014-04-14 4:36 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Originally posted by ellabella824
It is not that I hate running, it is just that it is not how I want to be spending tons of my time, and if that makes me a slower runner, so be it. My question is not, how can I be the fastest runner that I can be, but: Given my personal parameters, what is the best way for ME to train?


Sorry to rapid post on this thread but to answer your question. I would suggest running your 2xs a week at a conversational pace and a distance you are comfortable with. Perhaps add 0.5 Mi to a mile to your runs or try running 15ish seconds faster per mile as you progress in a month or two.

You will definitely see that the runs become a touch easier and you will be able to go longer or faster as time progress. I would NOT speed or interval train as this will be a bit of a burden on your body not having the running background. The absolute worst thing you can do since you don't enjoy running very much is hurt yourself doing it. Stick with something comfortable and don't push too hard-it often leads to more struggles not more speed.

Do a few short to medium length runs each week and don't expect huge gains. You will see some improvement and you will definitely maintain your 10 min/Mi pace. Over time you will get better and faster, but getting to 8min/Mi without a background and 2 runs a week is not reasonable.

Best of luck!
2014-04-14 4:43 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner

Originally posted by Left Brain

" As someone who doesn't intrinsically enjoy running I definitely don't want to go from running

 

If that's the case then my advice would be skip the running.  You might feel different about it after your next race, or maybe not.  Plenty of folks come to triathlon with the idea that they aren't lifting weights less, aren't doing yoga less, or whatever.....and it non-negotiable.too.....and then they want to get faster and suddenly it's not so non-negotiable. ...because you aren't going to get noticeably faster running 2 times per week instead of 1 (and you're definately not going to knock 2 minutes off your mile pace), and  you're not going to get faster running by doing yoga, or lifting weights, etc.  In the meantime, enjoy what you're doing and have fun with triathlon. 

I was expecting a "just run more" post from you.  I'm disappointed!

2014-04-14 4:51 PM
in reply to: #4981470


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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Thank you all, this is all really helpful input!
2014-04-14 5:04 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner

Originally posted by msteiner

Originally posted by Left Brain

" As someone who doesn't intrinsically enjoy running I definitely don't want to go from running

 

If that's the case then my advice would be skip the running.  You might feel different about it after your next race, or maybe not.  Plenty of folks come to triathlon with the idea that they aren't lifting weights less, aren't doing yoga less, or whatever.....and it non-negotiable.too.....and then they want to get faster and suddenly it's not so non-negotiable. ...because you aren't going to get noticeably faster running 2 times per week instead of 1 (and you're definately not going to knock 2 minutes off your mile pace), and  you're not going to get faster running by doing yoga, or lifting weights, etc.  In the meantime, enjoy what you're doing and have fun with triathlon. 

I was expecting a "just run more" post from you.  I'm disappointed!

I was disappointed in myself.  

Look, if she doesn't like to run, and she doesn't want to devote more time to it, then she might as well just have fun with it and run when she feels like it.  It's a sprint triathlon......you could finish one with no run training at all.



2014-04-14 5:10 PM
in reply to: ellabella824

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
Yup, 2x a week will do nothing but maintain, even if you try adding some speedwork. That may just lead to injury.

Being a new runner, it would be more advisable to run at an easy conversational pace for months AT LEAST 3x/week to see some gradual gains in speed. 4x/week would yield gains a bit faster yet all easy conversational runs.

I can vouch for this because that's all I did since last June/July when I started rebuilding my run fitness after resolving my ITBS problems. I ran 3 times a week then and worked up to 4. Only in the past 3-4 months I've been adding some strides at the end of my short runs once a week. I've been running consistently 4x/week and injury free so far and from August to now my per mile training pace went from the 10:40s per mile to low 9:00s per mile (close to what you're aiming for in regards to speed gain).
2014-04-14 5:35 PM
in reply to: kloofyroland

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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
I agree with the others who have said that you shouldn't really expect much improvement in your running if you aren't interested in running more than twice per week. You might get a bit faster just because you're staring from almost no consistent running, but you'll probably stay close to around 10:00/mile. You just can't have it both ways- saying you want to improve in the run but you're not really interested in running that much seems like an oxymoron.
2014-04-14 9:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Becoming a faster runner
aquabike

or

run more


/thread over



Edited by ziggie204 2014-04-14 9:37 PM
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