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I just recently started running. Never ran before in my life, I just got up and started one day. I'm doing well. I run all over my neighborhood which is full of hills. I worked my way up on distance and speed. I try to run for 30 mins whenever

I'd like to tell you guys how I run and my distance and speed and I'm hoping you can tell me if my times are good for a beginner and anyway to increase my speed.

I try to run for a minimum of 20 mins, but I'm moving that up to 30 mins.

I tend to run 1.7 miles to 2.7 miles, once or twice in during the week I run 3.2 miles.

When I run 1.7 miles i've run it as fast as 17:xx mins. The longer runs vary in the 2x:xx time. I run my 3.2 mile run in 30-35 mins. My course thends to have hills of varying heights and inclines.

My end goal is to run 3 miles in 23 mins. I believe that's what the marines have to run in their tests. I haven't any deadline on when to get this time, I just want to reach it eventually. It's more of my speed goal. I'd like to be able to run more than 5 miles in my distance goals, speed not being the top priority.

I'm trying to focus on increasing my speed, but I'm having a hard time. A friend who ran track suggested that 2 times a week on my run I should run at full speed for 30 sec - 1 min three times during my run. To get my heart rate up. I've tried this, and it does a great job of kicking my ass during my run, but I haven't seen major increase in my speed. I also don't even run for 30 secs at full speed, I tend to burn out 15-20 secs into the full speed run.

My heigh is 5'1" i weight 215 lbs. and like I said I just started running.

Are my times and distances good for a beginner with my weight?
How can I increase my speed?
I've noticed I've gotten slower on my 1.7 mile runs, last time I ran it, it was 20:xx mins. I felt I ran it hard but I can't figure out the 3 min increase in my time.
I'm trying to get myself to breath through my nose and out my mouth. Before I tended to breath through my mouth. Could breathing through my nose be affecting my times at all?
Could the colder temperatures be affecting my times as well?

Sorry for all the lengthy post, I just started and would like some guidance on being a good runner.

Thanks in advance.


Lots of questions there , I'll try to tackle a few.

About breathing, forget that inhale through the nose stuff. Old wives' tale. Breath in through your mouth, nose and ears if you can. Keep all your passageways open when inhaling and exhaling. It's crazy to use your nose to inhale, it's probably simulating asthma and yes, probably slowing you down.

About the weather, definitely, cooler temps will slow you down. Your muscles need to warm up to work best and the cool temps just make it that much harder. Don't fight it. Your pace for the next five months will likely be slower, so don't push it. Race season comes in the spring and winter is the ideal time to pile miles instead of racing your daily runs.

For your weight, you're doing very well! I'm sure you'll say "that's obvious" but dropping pounds is going to be your number one ticket to getting faster. Now that you're running a few miles, every pound you lose, your legs are going to have that much less mass to move down the road and since they're used to pushing a bigger body, you will develop more speed simply by weighing less. I've been there and done it myself to the tune of 60-lbs at one point. No type of workout or training regime will get you faster than dropping pounds.

And lastly, let me give you this bit of advice. Speed and distance are two goals that really need to be pursued at different times. If you mostly want to run further, that's what you should concentrate on right now. You say that's the case and speed is secondary, so go ahead and be purposeful about it. If your four weekly runs are something like 2.7/1.7/2.7/3.2, then start bumping those up proportionally by 10%. So next week, go 3/1.9/3/3.5. Do that a week or two or until it's comfortable, then bump them all up again. Keep working on your endurance and if you could add one more or two runs per week again somehow, you'd really have a better program for reaching your goals sooner.
Then and only then that you have a decent base of mileage, let's say next spring, would I recommend getting into doing tempo runs or intervals where you push the pace and work on your speed. Because once you start speedwork, you don't want to simultaneously be increasing your mileage too. Your legs will be just too fried, and I suspect that's what you're feeling right now.
Hope that helps :)


Thanks for the reply.

Let me clarify my height 's 5'11" not 5'1". whoops.


:LOL: that does make a difference!
What jrjo said is pretty much the gospel.