June 17, 2011

Attention Rob! (And other runners)

Last year I ran my first ever race. It was just a two mile on July 4th. My goal was 13:30 and showing my inexperience I ran my first mile in 6:30, thought I was gonna shatter my goal, and finished with a time of 13:45. I wasn't displeased but would like to do better this year. My only problem is I have no idea how to train for it. Last year since it coincided with me losing weight I would just run my regular 3 miles however it wasn't all in a row. Typically I'd run at about a 7:30 mile pace on my treadmill for 8 minutes then walk for 2 until I got to 3 miles.

This year I'd really like to train for this race but have no idea how. It'd also be nice to know how to get ready for other races if and when I decide to run 5ks, etc. I also have no idea what to eat or how much water to drink the night and morning of of the race. Last year I cramped up after the first mile and it hurt my time. Besides that it wasn't a whole lot of fun running with shooting pain in my stomach.

This year my goal is 13:15 for 2 miles, however I have no idea how to get there and figure DC is a better source than just googling "how to run races"

Thanks in advance.


To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
Steve Prefontaine

Posted By bosoxx34 at 03:54 PM



CalvinLinus posted on June 17, 2011 at 20:17 PM


Hey, I am a competitive runner and cross country skier and am also finishing up my second year studying kinesiology and how it specifically relates to that of movement efficiency for endurance athletes. From what i know, the best way to improve initially at running (meaning really your first few years running) is to focus on base training. For you specifically, given the information you've supplied that would mean slowing down your training pace significantly (a 7:30 per mile training pace is about on par with having the ability to run a 10:45 2-mile) to around 9:00 minutes per mile and running longer. The long and the short of it is that their is no easier way to get better (ie: more efficient) at running than by logging more appropriately paced miles. At this point in your running career you will likely benefit much less doing intervals and sprint training since you don't really have a base fitness to build upon yet. For you this may mean that buying a heart monitor to give you real time feedback as to whether or not your are training in the appropriate "zone" to be able to fully realize the benefits of your training. If you were to slow down your training to pace to about 9:00 min per mile and about once a week add in a ~10-15 min tempo run where you run slightly faster than your training pace maybe 8:00-8:20 min per mile you would have to be doing something else very wrong (ie: not sleeping long enough, eating crap, not paying attention to injury warnings) to not see a drastic improvement in your running capabilities. And when your race comes along you will likely surprise yourself and run sub 13 or even faster!

Also a good thing to do, especially when starting out or trying to add more miles to your running training is to add cross training into your regular training. For running typically swimming and/or biking would work best and will compliment your running training nicely while protecting your currently unendured physiology from the punishment of running both physically and mentally.

When I started running about 5 years ago (currently 20) I followed a plan like this and now am able to knock out sud 3:00 marathons and am currently training for a 50 mile race. I am not bragging, I just want you to know that a methodical and structured plan for improving at running will work every time. Don't get caught up in all the new age schemes that claim to make you a better runner in no time flat. Running is an efficiency sport, and the only way to get more efficient is to run more. Just listen to your body, don't add miles to quickly and have fun!

Hope this helps!

QED42 posted on June 17, 2011 at 21:32 PM


Get some leg braces? They made Forest Gump run good.

bosoxx34 posted on June 17, 2011 at 23:01 PM


Awesome stuff Calvin, thanks a lot.

n0whereman posted on June 19, 2011 at 18:38 PM


I'll provide a slight counter to QED's post by suggesting lots of interval work and fewer slow, high mileage days. Having a solid aerobic base is fine, but running faster will make you faster. Rob can probably expand on these basic thoughts quite a bit.

nawhead posted on June 20, 2011 at 16:47 PM


reading Born to Run made me a lot faster.

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