Progressing too quickly?

I've never been a runner until 2/3 weeks ago since I started training for a 10K I've entered myself for. I started off at a pathetic 0.6miles until I was knackered. Until I began breathing properly, taking water with me and pacing myself... singing along to my iPod to make sure I'm not too out of breath hence not overdoing it. The thing is, I'm progressing too quickly. This week I've gone from doing 3.3miles to 5.6 to 7.5miles within a few days. I'm not injured from it but is this just too quick and will I hit a wall?

 Also, what is the most ideal routine for running? Would every other day or one day running two days rest have a negative effect on my running fitness?



  • you wont hit a wall

    You have progressed too quickly but you might get away with it

    Look at the training guides at the top of the page to see how progression should be and to give you an idea of training schedules

    Rest days will not have a negative effect on your running,  quite the opposite
  • You seem to have the running bug but dont overdo it the increases in milage you have taken on are far in excess as to what is recommended,you should increase the length of your runs very gradually.

    As to running days whatever is good for you 3 4 5 days a week but if you run two days in a row do not follow one hard session with another.

    Good luck with your 10k,when is it.

    jimma image

  • I guess you're generally pretty healthy & strong so your fitness to run may well improve quickly.  But don't get too carried away - be prepared to hit a plateau.  And when you do, don't think that you can just train harder to keep improving - that's just when you're most at risk of injury as you'll be near the limit of what your body's up to.  That's when you'll need to be smart and patient.

    "Listen to your body" is a saying you might have come across - it's a good one.  Ignore it at your peril.

    But don't take me as being negative - you're loving it and having a great time, just like a honeymoon!  And just like a marriage, even if you find it tough at some time in the future, there will be many joyful rewards image

  • Thanks Guys for your replies they've all really helped.

     Been reading about a bit on this website and people suggest increasing running time not distance covered by like 5 minutes each time... But what if I can physically do more than 5 minutes extra should I go for it or just quit? It's just that I'm losing the enthusiasm to run because I don't know how I'm going to progress. I'm running for about 1 hour 40 mins at the moment and if I continually up my running time I'll be running like 2/3 hours every other night which is a lot of my free time consumed.

  • When I started running I did exactly the same as you - ignored the training plan and did more because I felt that I could.  The result was shin splints and a few weeks where it was painful to walk, yet alone run.

    I then got back into the running and did the same again.  The result this time was an achilles problem.

    Slowly I am learning the hard way, but I don't find it easy to stop when the training plan tells me to.

    If you are finding it hard to get motivated then I would suggest one of two options (there may be other options that others suggest too)

    1. Mix it up a bit.  Instead of trying to increase each run, try doing a bit more variety.  Maybe break up the run with a few short sprints followed by recovery time, or add in a challenging hill.  Have a look around the site for speed work and that might give you some ideas.  That way you can do some short, 30 minfast runs, and also some slower longer runs and both will benefit you in the long term.  Running is not all about distance.
    2. Join a running club.  If you can run for 1 hr 40 min then you are certianly good enough and I find that the motivation of meeting new people and having a good gossip gets me out of the door when going for a run on my own won't.
  • Er... you won't be running 2/3 hours every 2nd day, well you wouldn't be for very long anyway.

    Most people do one long run a week with other middle and shorter distances thrown in, hill runs, fartlek sessions etc.  If all you do is long runs of 2.5 hour length it's only a question of time before you injure especially if you've only been running for a few weeks.

    There is a big difference between CV fitness and muscular-skeletal strength.  Good CV fitness may give you that false sense of security of thinking you can just go on and on, but the latter builds over months and years and if you don't respect that you take the risk of running into trouble.

  • When I started to run I found I was ignoring my training plan and pushing myself to go further and faster.....big mistake........first it was shin splints,got over them after resting a few weeks and then tried to push myself again,should have learned by now, ended up with calf now this time I have learned to stick to my training plan and also to listen to what my body is telling me.

    Dont try and do all your running in one day........this is a sport that can be enjoyed for years if you are smart.Take your time, build running time gradually to allow your body a chance to strenghten itself otherwise youre at risk from overtraining and burning out

  • Thanks, so you're all pretty much saying to vary it and not push myself too much each running session. I suppose it's just with my 10k run coming up I think that running should become longer and longer to gain maximum fitness. I'm trying to shed a good stone too so I look at it in the "more running, more calories burned" way.

     I'm running tonight but I'm considering a different, yet shorter circuit that end with a long street that's rather hilly to really push me.

     So should I try improve my running distance/time just once a week like getting the time upto 1hr 45? And a couple of times a week do some short and maybe faster paced runs? Because trying to increase the 1hr 45mins each run is too much and makes me dread the runs because It's such a big mental and time consuming effort.

  • It depends what you're training for.  If your race goal for this year is a 10k there is absolutely no need to run the length of time you're proposing at all.

    Even if you were training for a Half Marathon you would not run over 90mins until well into the schedule.

    And turn off the calorie thinking... or remind yourself how much you'll put on when you sit at home with shinsplints or a pulled achilles.

  • If you are aiming for a 10k race then there is no real benefit for running for longer than 1hr to 1hr 30min, depending on your speed.

    Instead try doing sone of your runs faster.  Remember, calories burnt equates to distance travelled and effort put in rather than time, so you can burn more calories on a short fast run than on some long slow runs.

    But don't forget to have some slower runs too.  Your body can't sustain doing every run fast, or every run long.

    I would aim to do something like this:

    Mon: Slow, short recovery run.  Maybe 30 min.  The aim is to get the circulation going but not to push yourself as you will be tired from the long run at the weekend.

    Wed: Speed work or hills for between 30 min to 1 hour.  This will improve your speed and stamina but without over working your legs

    Sat: Long run of 1hr to 1hr 30 min.  Slow and steady so that you can maintain the same pace all the way round.  You can do the occassional hill, but the idea of this is to build stamina for the race.

  • Good luck Sarah with your run next month.

    Have read through all the comments & advice, each one has good advice. To be running the distances you have reached in such a short time you must have been quite fit or  just a born natural runner.

     Don't  treat every training run as a race to beat last weeks time. Running is like a drug, you feel good for doing it & just want more & more of that feelgood factor, but beware of overdoing it, as being out injured is bloody awful . Believe me, i know.

    Motivation wise for me being a member of a running club is great as even if i can't be assed to go for a run on my own, i always go to the club sessions when my shiftwork allows for the great camaradeie that we have among the running fraternity.

    Av fun on the run one & all image

  • Dont mean to be negative but in my experience you are heading for an injury,probably calf or lower leg.Do one enjoyable slow long run once a week,never run 2 hard sessions back to back,and as previous listen to your body .Apparently the lungs improve at a faster rate than ligaments so be careful,
  • Hi Sarah

    You sound exactly like I did at the start of my 10k training. I found I could run quicker and father than my plan was telling me and just went with it. 10 weeks in and 3 weeks before the race my ankle went, was diagnosed with tendonitis and told not to run for minimum 6 weeks. I did manage my race thanks to strapping and painkillers but am still resting now. Hopefully after a few more weeks rest I will be able to start again and this time take it slowly.

    I wish you well with your 10k.
  • >> Running doesn't have to take over your life Sarah, it should compliment it.

    Triathlon on the other hand......!

    I would echo the previous advice:

    • Don't increase your long runs at all and maybe cut them back a bit. You are doing a lot considering how long you have been running.
    • Try some speedwork (intervals or fartlek) on shorter runs during the week.
    • Join a club - great for motivation and doing new things.
    • Really try and stick to your training plan. There are all sorts of good reasons that they ramp up the way that they do.
    • Running one day then resting for one day is probably ideal if you are new to running. Once you know your body well you can get away with doing back-to-back runs but you need to be careful. You must take rest days because thats when your body builds the muscle and bone that allows you to improve.

    and offer some of my own:

    • If you are into the "runs means calories" thing (I do the same) then consider some other exercises that will help your running while not strainging the same bits (cross training). I find that swimming and core exercises (gym-ball and aerobics) at the gym are excellent.
    • Remember to have fun - running further and faster is great but if you are starting to dread your long runs then its getting out of hand.
  • Sarah Louise- like you, i was progressing very quickly- running 5 times a week and loving it, almost up to 10k in less than a month. All of a sudden i got shin splints, and had to take 2 weeks off (under advice from a physio who said that shin splints, if ignored, can get very nasty and hard to shake off, so i had to take 2 weeks off). This has really set me back. I joined and took their advice to only run every 2nd day. So far so good, i'm almost back on track.

    As someone said, you might get away with it- but i woudl strongly advise you to only train every 2nd day.. you are already fit enough to do the 10k, so dont compromise that!

    well done and keep going!!
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