Distance or speed first?

United States
May 8, 2009 5:45pm CST
I am almost 50 and began training for my first 5K. When I first started it was terrible. I struggled to run 1 minute then walk 2 minutes and repeat that 10 times! I have worked up to running a strong mile and a half. I am holding pretty strong at 17 minutes. I know that is slow, but I am just beginning! I can run 1.7 miles but others I only make it 1.5 miles. I am welcoming advice, should I go slow and work on getting up to my desired distance? (5k) Then work on speed? Or should I work on speed before I proceed to getting to the desired distance? what do you runners think?
1 person likes this
3 responses
@syndibee (799)
• United States
7 Aug 09
I am also a beginner and I'm working on distance first and hoping speed will follow. I sometimes do some interval run/walk's where I work on speed instead but mostly it's about endurance. I am currently running between 3.5 and 4 miles every other day. My time is currently about 11:30 minute miles. I'm hoping to get it down to 10 minute miles. My first mile is 10:30 minute mile which has some downhills, My second mile is the return run thus has 4 up hills and my time is about 12:00 minute mile. My third mile is pretty flat and is about 11:00 minute mile. I haven't clocked my fourth mile yet as it's still fairly new and I'm fighting fatigue at that time.
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
7 Aug 09
Forgot to mention. I'm 42, will be 43 in a couple of weeks so I'm no spring chicken either.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Aug 09
Lol! I just turned 49 this week.. so I'm not on the younger side now either! :) I have finally run a couple of 5Ks. Loved them. I have one more scheduled for this month. I am now running 3.4 miles 3 days a weeka and then running an easy.. long 5 miles one day a week. In between I ride the bike if I can. I am running about an 11 minute mile on average, like you I'd like to get down to the 10 minute mile. I think I want to shoot for a half marathon next fall... thanks for the response!
@modstar (9612)
• Philippines
11 May 09
If you noticed, people in the sport of marathon usually start slow. I guess you should develop your stamina first. The longer your stamina, the farther you can go right? You can't be maintaining speed without affecting your stamina. You'll reach that 5k if you have a very good stamina. Run on an uphill road slowly but surely. I guess speed will follow because you know when to keep up if you're quite confident with your stamina. It's like saving an amount of energy for the next kilometers.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 May 09
Thank you so much for your response. What you said makes sense. I have kind of been working on both a little. I am stuck at 1.7miles but keep shaving some time off and hope to get up to 2 miles this week... I still have a ways to go but I think I can get there!
@modstar (9612)
• Philippines
11 May 09
Well good luck and i'm positive you can do that because i see your determination. Damn, i'm 29 but i can't even finish an oval. lol!
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
8 Jun 09
I'm just starting out too. I'm in my 20s but I also have to do the run some, walk some routine. I tried running over a mile straight through and then ended up with tendonitis. So I think it is good to go slower. I'm finally nearly recovered and I'm hoping to join the running club's beginners section next week.
• United States
8 Jun 09
That's awesome!! Hope you stick with it and continue to enjoy it! I have worked up slowly and am trying to get ready for a 5K in a couple of weeks. I can jog about 3.4 miles which is a little longer than a 5K. I am trying to work on speed now. I am still really slow at about a 12 minute mile still, I hope in the next couple of weeks I can build up some speed!! Hope you enjoy your new runner's group!