Are there any slow beginners out there?


I'm beginning to feel like a whole new section is needed and that I dont somehow fit into this beginners part. Yes, I can jog, I started jogging 9 weeks ago and my longest jog to date is 2.4miles.  I'm doing my first 5k tomorrow. I honestly dont expect to do it in under 45 minutes. Everyone on here at the moment seems to be sooo fast, doing a 5k in 5 minutes with 1 weeks training. Ok so slight exageration there but you get my point.

Am I the only one that is slow? If so then maybe I need a new section called The Tortoise Page.




  • I'm  very, very, very slow. I started running again in Apil after a nearly 6 month break to have surgery. On a very good day with a following wind I can run a mile in 12 mins but I can't sustain that, on my long runs (longest so far 6.25 miles) my pace drops to 14 min miles and slower. Seriously I can walk faster than that!!!

    Anyway no shame in being slow (but  I would love to get faster).

    There is a chap called John Bingham who writes books on running and used to write for RW. He was a back of the pack runner and called himself the penguin. Perhaps we should have a penguin thread but I most confess I like tortoise idea, I do like to think of myself as slow and steady.

  • Hello,

    So glad to hear that I am not the only one that is slow and steady. I know I will get faster over time but at the moment just going for a set distance is enough. Somedays I feel like I am flying along and when I check my pace it says 16.5mins! Other times I feel like one of my tortoises and I am actually going 14.5. 

    What sort of training plan are you doing? I'm doing the GSR 10miles in october so building up my long runs slowly by adding 0.4 miles to it each week. I try to go 3 times a week. 


  • Hi Zoe,

    Funny about the pace isn't it, I do that too (feels like it's fast when it isn't) we're about the same pace, there must be others like us but perhaps we're the only ones brave enough to admit it.

    I'm doing the GSR as well. Like you I try to run 3 to 4 times per week. Long run on Sunday 6.25 miles so far and during the week 2 or 3 miles each time (also cross train in the gym do yoga and pilates). Didn't do long run last Sunday as did something to my knee running across a rutted field the week before but will have a go today and see how far I get. At the moment I'm concentrating on building up my distance and though iit would be nice to be quicker I'm not going to worry about it yet.

  • I've been running for 12 weeks. Started back in March with the Couch to 5k programme, 4 stone overweight and having done nothing since I left school which is, well, let's just say under 30 years ago - but not by much!!! LOL.

    I ran my first 5k run yesterday. It was supposed to be a fun run. It was a local Parkrun and I was a bit nervous - as I'm a slow runner. I came LAST out of 70 runners!!! I felt really depressed for the rest of the day. Feeling like such a failure. My friend who I started training with was quicker and fitter than me and I felt a real loser.

    Family kept saying you've done brilliantly, you ran 5k, 12 weeks ago you could only just manage to run 4 x 60s runs, now a 5k!!! And you know what they're right. The only person I am racing is myself. It doesn't matter what anyone else is doing. I run for me. No-one else.

    Today I'm feeling proud of my accomplishment - and in the last few months I've lost 16lbs!

    And my first 5k time? 37m 55s!

    From what I'm learning since is this is not a bad time image
  • You're doing great Jools image  Sure, you were last, but someone has to be...even in the Olympics!

     And it must be quiet on here today, normally there are plenty of folk around who are slow-and-steady.  It's just that they are the ones who are normally less vocal about their times and paces...'cos they are probably less intense about their running, and happily natter about everything else too! definitely belong here.  You is a runner, innit image

  • image

    slow is good

    you get more race for your money...

    keep at it.

  • I love running but im not quick by any means. Im training now for the cardiff half marathon and even though id love to do it in 2hrs!! i dont think i stand a chance, in all i just want to enjoy it , finish it and have my well deserved medal!!! Sometimes its just about enjoying and doing and now i try to leave my watch at home so when people say how quick did you do that i can say, i dunno lol xxx
  • Farnie wrote (see)


    slow is good

    you get more race for your money...

    keep at it.

    Hahaha never thought of it that way, love your thinking Farnie.
  • Hi,

    Feeling a bit nervous as this is my first post!I started running after a break of about 9 months,so have had to start all over again.

    I'm a very slow runner,though I don't really feel like I'm running that slowly!Iv'e now been running for 3 months and recently have been able to run a mile in 14-15 minutes.If I can maintain this I''ll be very chuffed,but if I can't it's not a big deal.A few weeks ago I was doing a 18 minute mile,so I'm very pleased with my progress.I haven't consciously tried to run a faster mile.I suppose I'm just slowly improving overall.

    Please don't beat yourself up about being slow.Whatever your speed,getting out and moving is better than sitting at home watching the telly!It's hard not to compare yourself with others-I do it all the time.

    My aim for the next few months is to be able to run 6 miles-I can currently manage 4 miles.I'm just going to take it one run at a time.

    Anyway keep at it!TC

  • welcome need to feel nervous, we don't (normally*) bite image

     Sounds like you've made great progress from couch to 4 should be chuffed already, not waiting for some random mile-per-minute number.  Three cheers for 40-ST imageimageimage

    * what we do after a hard run when the chocolate in the cupboard has run out is something I can not put guarantees on!!

  • Hi Heckenhocker,

    Thanks for the encouragement.It's only in the last few weeks that I've tried to calculate my pace and it's a rough estimate to be honest.Before that i was going by time,which I still do I suppose.It's great to feel that I'm improving,but I don't want to get caught up by the numbers.One day I'll have to go out without my watch and just run for the hell of it.

    By the way,what do you mean by 40-ST?

  • Hi Zoe et al. Am just about to start week 5 of my 0-30 min 8 week program. After 30 seconds on week one I was ready to turn around, go home, to bed and give up as I thought I was going to die. I can now 'move' for 10 minutes before having to walk and hoping to hit 15 minutues in week 5. I've managed to cover 5k in 34 minutes thus far and pretty chuffed since I'm a 50 year old smoker and reasonably heavy drinker.

    Being a bloke (ie competitive) I think I'm pushing things (maybe) too much and should calm down and just try to move myself further for longer rather than faster to start with.

    And, I must say a big well done to anybody thats has decided to get fitter via walking/jogging/running. This is a busy site so it feels good to join a thread in its early stages and see how peeps progress image


  • So niddynoddy how did your first 5k go?

    And thanks for the encouragement everyone. We are runners, no matter how slow we are. I heard something on a site the other day where a marathon runner said "Anything where you're propelling yourself forward faster than a walk qualifies as a run in my book."

    I'm no expert Andi but I would say you are probably pushing things too much. It's better to take a bit longer and not risk getting injured. An injury could put you back much more than taking it just a little bit slower. It's addictive though, isn't it?

    If anyone would have told me 12 weeks ago that I'd be running 5k I would have laughed but even more if they had told me this new hobby of mine would see me getting up at 6am so I could go for a run at 6:30am I would have laughed in their face and the words hell + freezing + over would have been mentioned image
  • Thanks Jools and think you are right and reckon if I slow down a bit then I could continue for longer without having to walk but htne, if I slow down much more I'd be faster walking image

    And what do you do in the morning? I get up at 06:15 am dressed, done my back exercices/stretches and out of the door in 20 minutes - not 30!  Are you on a high when you get to work like me after running? I reckon if the government ever found out how much it lifts people they'd tax runners!

  • Hi everyone. I'd just like to add my story - I started running in February as I wanted to set myself a goal before I reached 40 (which was last week). I am also the mother of 2 over-active young boys! The first week I could not even run 200 metres. But I kept going. 2 weeks ago I completed my first 10k "race" (LOL) in 61 minutes - which I did without taking a walk break (first time ever).

    I think that 5k in 34 minutes is ace, Andi. Slow is fine - we get to enjoy the scenery more. I have discovered so many new places near where I live by running. And I get to spend time with my 9yo who comes on his bike as my training partner!

    Keep up the good work everyone! How did the 5k go, Niddynoddy?

  • fortysomething wrote (see

    By the way,what do you mean by 40-ST?

    Hi...I was being lazy and shortening fortysomething to 40-ST image  Yes, I'm a runner and I'm lazy the rest of the time!
  • Heckenhocker wrote (see)
    fortysomething wrote (see

    By the way,what do you mean by 40-ST?

    Hi...I was being lazy and shortening fortysomething to 40-ST image  Yes, I'm a runner and I'm lazy the rest of the time!

    Don't I feel like a numpty.....

  • Hello Fellow Tortoises,

    Wow, not been on here for a few days and there were so many lovely and encouraging messages to read. Thanks Everyone. Its really great to hear everyones experiences.

    Well, I did my 5k Race for Life yesterday in the heat and I ran all the way, never stopped. About 3 months ago my lungs were functioning at about 50% of what they should be. I have asthma which was not well controlled. Somedays I could barely walk up the stairs without being out of breath. That first week of training, run a minute, walk a minute was hard. But I kept at it and now I just ran 3.1 miles!!!!!!!!! (sorry for the shameless blowing of my own trumpet).

    Mile 1 I did in 16ish mins, mile 2 in 18 and then mile 3 in 17 with an overall running time of 54 minutes. Slow and steady and yes I definetly got more minutes for my money. It was bloody hot and I was just concentrating on running it all and finishing. Now I have something to work on. Things can only get better. 

    I felt so emotional when I got near the finish line and saw my mum and dad and little girl waving I nearly had to stop because I couldn't breath and my throat was closing up, but I grabbed my little girls hand and she ran the last 30m with me. 

    I did it, onwards and upwards. I really think we should keep this thread going and let each other know how we are doing. I know lots of runners and they are all fast. Its great to hear from realistic runners like yourselves. I'm not competitive, I'm doing it for me and would love to share your journeys with you too.



  • Oh yer, forgot to add, I am seriously thinking of getting a top printed with

    Tortoise Troop

    You get more race for your money by going slow



    Love the idea for the T shirt.

  • well done!  image
  •   Well done Zoe,especially with your asthma condition!

    Talking about running slowly,I've just had a thought:I'd rather run slowly than not run at all.    image

  • BIG congrats Zoe and am sure you and your family are all very proud of your achievement - I am!
  • Thanks guys. This thread is just what I need and I hope you need it too. We are all doing it and doing it the best we can which is just fabulous.

    Who has a race booked? I have three!

    Hampton Court Palace 03/10/2010 10k

    Great South Run 24/10/2010 10miles

    oh and I applied to do next years London Marathon! The likeliness of me getting a place is remote and lets not even think about running that far but I applied non-the-less.

     What is everyone else doing? I'm looking for a 10k in August but cant find one with lots of people in.


  • Yup, goals/targets are good image though not sure I'm Marathon material image

    I'll be doing the Wroxham 5k 25/08, my first and a little worried right now as last years last place went round in 37 minutes - I need a push. I'll also be entering the Liverpool tunnel 10k next May but hope to find a few more races in between.

  • My sister did the marathon this year and the day was fantastic. Not sure I am marathon material either but leaving it up to fate. If I get a place it was meant to be, if I dont then maybe someone is telling me I am not ready.

    Best of luck with the Wroxham, you sound like you are doing a 5k in a good time already so you will be fine. My plan is to try to do 1 faster shorter run a week to see if that makes any difference to my average pace. Tomorrow I am only going to run 1.5 miles. 0.5 at about 16.5, then 0.5 at whatever I need to go at followed by 0.5 at 17. Thats the plan anyway! After a day at school looking after children the plan might go out the window.

    The liverpool tunnel one sounds cool. is it really literally running through a tunnel?


  • Hopefully I'll be able to cross off the run for 30 minutes milestone next week then I'll knuckle down to do some training for Wroxham, my goal would be sub 30 mins, most of the training plans I've seen have 1 or 2 shortish slow runs with a pace run midweek and maybe a LSR at the weekend. I can't wait to get the first 30 minutes under my belt then do some 'proper' training image

    And yes, the liverpool tunnel run goes through the Kingsway tunnel and (wait for it) its open for traffic as well! (I think I need a mask lol).

    A guy I work with got a place in this years VLM and started training late Jan - did it in 4'40"

  • Hi all, I've come to join you as I am definitely a slow beginner! I took up running briefly in 2006 and did a Race For Life (in about 42 minutes) before giving up for some reason. Took up running again in 2009 and did a 10K in October (in 1:19) before stopping again because it was winter... and cold... and hard... (yes, I was a wuss). Then I started again this spring and am doing another 10K in about 4 weeks (18th July) - I'm targeting 75 minutes this time. I've finally managed to start enjoying running outside and have found it much, much more enjoyable and motivating than being on the treadmill.

    I'm really glad this thread's here as I was starting to feel like the only person who couldn't do a 1:45 half marathon ten weeks after starting to run!

  • Hello everyone

    Zoe,  love the T shirt idea.  I think I would need one of them too.

    I've been 'running' for over a year now, but I'm still slow.  Concentrating on distance as I'm not really worried about time (yet anyway).

    My best 5k time is 42 minutes is and my best 10k time is 1hr 22 minutes ish (can't remember the exact times).

    I generally run at around 15 minutes per mile, but sometimes you end up going a bit faster, and sometimes a bit slower.

    This year so far I've done 3 x 10k races and am always at the back, but I don't really mind.  Got 2 x 5k races coming up in July (RFL on 4th and Big Fun Run on 11th), other than that nothing planned yet, but hoping to do half marathon next year.

    For me slow and steady always wins the race.  It is all about personal achievement and not giving up.  Keep at it and then we are all winners image

    Corrah x

  • Evening Everyone and especially  those who have joined us for this tortoise plod.

    Well, I have made some progress! My average pace so far has been about 17.50 but today I ran for 1.5miles at an average pace of 16.47. I am now a tortoise who has been under a heat lamp for 1 minute.


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