Question for all you runners


Hey ladies,
I have some running questions... I started jogging, well, sloggging (sloooooooow jogging :p) about a year and a half ago after my third son was born in hopes of shedding the weight quicker. I liked it at first but never got the breathing thing down so I quit. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I really picked it back up. For some reason, I can't get enough of it recently. It's such a great stress reliever. When I began running (slogging) a year ago, I could barely run 20 minutes without getting stitches and very very winded, and I consider myself an advanced exerciser. But lately, I've got the breathing thing down. I ran for 45 minutes last night on the TM without stopping and without getting too winded... I held a conversation with my 8 year old. I stopped only because my feet were hurting and I had to tuck my kids in... Anyway... MY QUESTION... (You were wondering if I'd ever get to the point, weren't you? :rolleyes:)

My husband, a lifelong runner/half marathonner/ showoff, told me the other night that I should work on my speed now. I'm trying to prepare myself for a 5-mile Thanksgiving run here in town. I, however, think I should still focus on my endurance and try to get the 5 miles under my belt before I worry about time. But let me reiterate, I am a slooooooooooooow jogger :eek:.

What are your thoughts? Endurance or speed?

Also, my body is being stubborn again and clinging on to these extra pounds. I shed them a couple of months ago and gained them back... Will the running help thin me out? (Please please say yes...:confused:)


New Runner too!

I was always a Cathe cardio workout person, but got really tired of rearranging my living room to do the workouts, so I started running on my treadmill last month with my Cardio Coach workouts. After a couple weeks, I started to actually enjoy the running.

The whole time I'd also been walking my dogs every morning, so I decided I'd run the dogs instead of walking them, and eliminate the treadmill workout. I'm hooked now and my dogs are LOVING it! I run about 4.5 miles every morning, but will be adding to that soon as time allows.

Anyway, I've been visiting a lot and they have tons of information for newbie runners. I think your issue that you've been having is that you may be doing a constant run, instead of intervals. Because I started off with Cardio Coach workouts, which are broken into intervals based on the HR Zones, I had no trouble moving from a 75 minute walk to a 75 slow run/faster run.

If your husband is such an avid runner, he probably knows a thing or two. I think both endurance and speed are important. I love when I get to my Level 4 All Out Sprint section and try to beat my dog to the "finish line". There really isn't a finish line, just being ahead of him when the sprint is over.

(oh.... and if you're feet are hurting, you may want some better shoes).

Check out the Beginner's section on Runnersworld and see if there's something to help you there. And I really highly recommend some Cardio Coach workouts. Many Catheletes swear by him, and he's a SUPER nice guy with a great sense of humor.,7122,s6-238-520-0-0,00.html
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Check out the Beginner's section on Runnersworld and see if there's something to help you there.

Thanks for the link to Runnersworld! I just read a column by a guy to whom I can totally relate... check out this quote from a friend of the author:
"Everyone is a runner," he said. "But most don't run slow enough or long enough to find out how true that really is."

That kind of sums up me. I never ran long enough or slow enough to enjoy the rhythm of it until recently. I'm enjoying having the rhythm and the joy of it so much that I don't want to muck it up with intervals and a coach. I know that sounds odd, but running is a workout that I own. It's not dictated or coached. It's all me. And that's nice for a change. Of course, I can't live without my Cathe workouts too. I love to mix it up. Lately I'm doing running interspersed with endurance weight workouts hoping to lean out some. I know that intervals would speed up the process, but lately I'm over the tongue wagging, think-I'm-going-to-pass-out-or-throw-up feeling of a hard workout. Plus, I'm super exhausted after those workouts. These runs are so exhilarating. I know I need to speed up the pace though so I see some results. Maybe I'll start adding an interval day once a week instead of only doing steady-state runs. Just don't want to burn out. Ya know?

And you may be right about my shoes, sadly. I use my cheaper "indoor" tennis shoes for indoor running (we don't wear shoes in the house). But I just saw that Tuesday Morning has Rykas on sale this week ($19.99). :)


Oh my goodness, NO! You're going to hurt yourself using indoor tennis shoes!!!! I got a pair of Asics Gels for my feet after running on the treadmill in (don't laugh) Skechers Shape-Ups. You should've seen the look on my podiatrist's face when he told me I was walking in them. I didn't dare tell him I was also running. If you are going to be serious, you have to have good shoes.

You can still do the intervals without the coach. There are guides to that on Runnersworld. I prefer the coach because I like to just have someone paying attention to what I'm doing so I don't have to. He says "run at Level 3 for 3 minutes" and I start running faster. Then I wait for him to tell me to stop. I spend a lot of time in my head, so I can't focus on my own workout very well.

I read that same article. It was the guy who had his first experience where he lost track of time because he stopped paying attention to how much running sucked, right?


I love cardio Coach for running too - as do many Cathletes. Other great sites for running information include Cool Running and I'd love to give more advice but I am a relatively new runner as well. I will be participating in my first 5K this weekend, followed up by a second one next weekend. I have found that I enjoy runnng and next year my goal is to work up to a half marathon. I don't think I have any interest in running a full marathon (yet).



I think sometimes lifelong runners (men maybe more than women) underestimate how hard it is for new runners to gain speed and endurance. It just comes so easily for them - I don't think they can relate. I don't know if this is your DH's situation, but I think you are better off following some advice targeted at new runners - which is typically to focus on endurance and consistency first and speed only after you've mastered the distance you want.

I really like cardio coach and iTrain workouts. iTrain has more to choose from but cardio coach is top notch and can be used with any cardio equipment.

And get new shoes for gosh sakes - you are scaring us! :)


Hi Stephanie:

Congrats on your new runner's status. Doesn't matter what your speed is, you are a runner!

I agree totally with last poster: work on endurance and distance first, then speed. You will often find that as you get fitter and the running starts to just "flow" for you, so that you are no longer thinking about your achy leg muscles or regulating your breathing, the speed naturally increases and takes care of itself.

Since you have a treadmill, it is very easy for you to start inserting the odd 1 minute sprint into your usual 5 miler. On any given day when you feel energetic and sprightly, make sure you have about 7 mins running under your belt and then every 3rd or 4th extra minute, just turn up the speed for a minute's sprinting, then take it back down again. This will help your heart and lungs and leg muscles adjust to the increased challenge and then one day you will be starting out at your usual speed and you'll think to yourself, "well, this feels kinda slow, I can do much more than this," and you will take it up a notch or two and then you are there and you'll never go back to sloooooooooooow! (Apart from coming back after a break or injury, cross fingers....)

This is how increasing speed can just happen to a runner!

Good luck and yes, as long as you are not adjusting your eating to accommodate to your new running status (a lot of people unconsciously do this!!!), you should lose some body fat.



Oooooo....iTrain? Cool. I was wondering if there was something else. I love Sean, but this girl needs variety.


I think the endurance is the thing to work on now. I think your DH was just being supportive and interested. Say, thanks for the input but I'm just going to work on my endurance for now.

No big deal.

As for the shoes, seriously? tennis? Do you know that I have at least four pairs of shoes? Two indoor cross trainers, two out door pairs of running shoes. One on road and one for off road. My feet hurt for you just reading this.

My favorite breathing style is one breath for four steps. Breathe in, four steps, breathe out for four steps. Rapid breath yoga helped improve my breathing dramatically. That might take you to the next level with the running.


Not a runner here, but a fast walker who has read a lot about training for both walking and (because there's not a magazine around any more for walkers) running, and much of the info pertains to both groups.

You can probably find some free online training programs for running a 5k (or whatever distance you plan). Most of the programs combine three types of runs/walks during the week : a tempo run (steady-state running/walking close to the pace of the race), LSD (long, slow distance runs/walks, that improve endurance, and teach your body to burn fat as fuel), and interval runs/walks OR hill repeats (doing intervals of hills rather than speed intervals, which is easier on the body, but still intense).

Most programs have you do something like 1 LSD run/walk, 1 interval run//walk, and 1-2 tempo runs/walks. There are some other types of runs/walks.

The race prep schedules also have you tapering off the week before a race, to avoid overtraining.

I highly recommend getting in some outside running, as treadmill work may not prepare you fully for outdoor running, where the terrain is very different. It's said that to better replicate running an outdoor flat course, you should set the treadmill at a 1-percent incline rather than leave it flat.

I sometimes mix speed and endurance work by doing something like a 2-mile fast walk (over 5mph average), followed by either a couple of extra miles at a slower pace or interval work, or, more likely, hill repeats (supposedly easier on aging bodies!)


Do you know that I have at least four pairs of shoes? Two indoor cross trainers, two out door pairs of running shoes. One on road and one for off road. My feet hurt for you just reading this.

This is me too. My DH always gives me a hard time about having too many shoes but they are necessity.



Stephanie - Don't let your husband push you into anything! I say this as the wife of a Marine who's idea of learning to run is "just go out and run," and "yes, it hurts, that's what running is!"

Work at your own pace and get comfortable with running the distances you are currently running. Once you get there, pace will come on it's own to a certain extent, then you can decide if you want to try to become a serious racer and work yourself to a faster pace.

Do what works for YOU!


Thanks, guys for the responses! DH isn't pushing me, just suggested I go faster as a next step, and in my gut, I knew I needed to first build up endurance.

As for the shoes, I just said "tennis" shoes, because I call all athletic shoes "tennis" shoes. They are running shoes, just an off brand. I actually have read up on this, and they are OK. I've read (somewhere) that really cushy shoes aren't very good for you either. These also are a little loose, which I thought would be a bad thing, but apparently, that's a good thing too b/c your feet swell sometimes when running... The biggest complaint I have about my outdoor shoes is that they eat my socks, which is very frustrating. Talk about a rhythm breaker!

I know that everyone loves the cardio coach/itrain stuff. I have lots of friends who adore them. I just want running to be kind of an instructor-free zone for me. That's why I came to you guys for advice! :p And you totally delivered!

Clare, your explanation for sprints helping to build endurance is very interesting. I guess I'll eventually have to add in those sprint intervals (dreading that, though!). However, a 7-minute mile I shall only run in my dreams. Ha!! I'm embarrassingly slow, but so was the tortoise, and he won the race! :)

Thanks again, ladies! You rock!


Good luck with your running, Stephanie and remember to just have fun! I look forward to your report on your first 5K!



If you are looking for better socks, try Feetures. They are fantastic and they stay put!!!

BTW...I am a slow runner (10+ minute mile) but I love it. I will never be a speed demon but I enjoy running races and challenging myself. Since I live in a rural area I sometimes end up with an age group award. This makes running all the more fun for me. Tomorrow I'm running in a 10.5K race.

Enjoy your running experience and keep us posted on your progress.


Hey there! I didn't get a chance to read others' responses so this might be a repeat BUT...I am a fairly novice runner myself, and am training for a half marathon, next week actually. I started running 6-7 mos ago for only 2-3 miles at a time for 10 min miles at best. I am up to 10 mile runs easily easily now with no stopping! What I am going to tell you, that based on MY experience, is that by practicing endurance - just running the 5 miles 3-4 times per week, will make you speed up over time. "Practice makes perfect" so they say. I can vouch for this as I am now running an easy 8 min mile average or so for 10 miles straight. Big difference. I didn't intend to speed up - it happened on its own. Now I have a hard time slowing down! haha!

BEST OF LUCK to you on your Thanksgiving race! I love my running so much - it is what keeps me sane in life! :) Clarissa


Clarissa - I've only been actually running myself for about a month, and already I can see the increase in speed and endurance. When I started out, I was doing a Cardio Coach on the treadmill. Now I do the Cardio Coach workout twice (once for each dog) and if I didn't have to get to work on time, I would go longer. I'm looking forward to incorporating one long run per week on Saturdays, when I can take a little more time.

I just downloaded Cardio Coach 7 this morning. It's an hour by itself. Hoping this is the one that will tire my Aussie out. The puggle is pretty pooped by the end of the 35 minute ones.


There is some saying that I'm going to butcher - something like speedwork is the icing, your base is the cake. You don't have a solid base yet - putting icing on a unformed cake will result in a mess. :)

Keep doing what you are doing. Speed will come with time, when you are ready. Results in endurance events should be measured in YEARS. That was the best advice I have EVER received when I first started racing seriously. It's spot on, it really is.

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