Need help

After my 1st very slow 10k race last night, I am determined to train to get a faster time next race, but how. Intervals, fartlek, hill training, how often. I tried to keep a mental note of my HR during the race, it was 165-170 on average, higher than my training runs at 150-155. Also I am tensing my shoulders and end up with the muscles in between my shoulder blades aching, which I'm sure affects breathing, as it has been pointed out to me that I'm not releasing enough air from my lungs. If anyone can suggest any literature worth reading that would help, or breathing exercises it would be appreciated.


  • I'm sure there will be wiser heads than mine, and heaven knows I'm slow, probably slower than you. However, I'm very interested in tension, avoiding same, and ways to achieve it.

    Things I find help against tension:
    1. Run on variable terrain. Having to watch your footing, no two steps quite the same, mostly having to shorten your stride to be able to place your feet where you want them. Stops you getting in a tension rut.
    2. The exercise run 10 fast, 10 slow, 20 fast, 20 slow up to 60 fast, 60 slow also breaks the tension rut.
    3. Variant of 2, generally try running different sections of your route in different styles: short strides faster pace, loafing stride, slow pace. The sections can be short as in 2, or long as in a mile or so, but keep it deliberate. And if it was a fast section, follow it by a slow one. Then it becomes actually a treat to stretch pace a bit, and you can say right I'll keep it up, just to the pillar box. That way you can stretch your abilities bit by bit without having to grit your teeth and slog it all 6M. It's partly the tooth gritty bit that is tiring.
    4. In the slow bits think consciously about getting rid of tension. Usual practice is to tense offending muscles deliberately, and then let them flop, deliberately.

    Good luck. I look forward to reading other people's contributions here. Marj
  • Well done in completing your first 10k race. In order to improve your time you will need to work on endurance as well as speed. What was your longest run in terms of miles leading up to your race?

    With regard to relaxing and breathing have you tried yoga.
  • Hi. I am slow too, but have made enormous progress in the last couple of months by doing some simple speedwork:

    Started by doing a lap of a lake (approx 1.5 miles) to warm up, then did 30 sec run fast, 30 sec walk, 30 sec jog repeat til round the lake a second time.

    I did that just once a week and it made a big difference. After about 3 weeks I increased the run to 45 secs and tried to keep the recoveries the same. The most important thing I've found is to make sure that you feel okay when you have to run again. I started to really enjoy the feeling of going faster and it gave me an excuse to buy a good sportswatch which counts down the times for you!

    I am now doing 4 x 400m with jog/walk recoveries inbetween once a week and am running MUCH faster! In fact, I am now having problems running slowly enough at the beginning of runs.

    I dreaded speedwork because when I started running a few years ago, I got forced into speedwork with the club I was at too soon. I was always last and I pulled my soleus muscle which resulted in 3 (expensive) trips to the physio and a couple of months off running. Just make sure that you have been running for at least 6 months consistently before you try speedwork, and then go for it! I really look forward to my speed sessions now.
  • well done with the first 10k race. there's something psychological about your first attempt at a race/new distance which is both frightening and satisfying - well done.

    re your training concerns: I'd suggest a browse through some of teh articles on this ebsite for ideas. Generally I think the advice was not too get too complex until you'd built a comfortable base of general running for upto 6 months. Only then being to put a bit more structure in - speed, hills, fartlek, tempo, long run. Certainly these do something for the boredom which can set in if you just go for the same route week in week out.

    re shoulders: do you do any upper body gym work? this does appear to be recommended. i have occasionally suffered as you describe and I find that circling the offending arm while running for a couple of minutes often helps.

    re breathing: I never think about it, If I did I might stop......

    Good luck WW
  • I have been thinking about my training today and this is what I shall try:

    Monday:Gym weights
    Tuesday:Instead of doing 6/7 mile run out, I have access to an athletics track so I will do some interval training. Incidentally, my race last night finished on the track, what a difference when you have been running on concrete, the track feels really springy.
    Wednesday: Swim
    Thursday: Run 6/7m with club and do some fartlek training to make the run less boring,
    Friday: Rest day
    Saturday: Bonding with family
    Sunday: Long run adding 5-10 mins on time each week.

Sign In or Register to comment.