• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Recommended Posts

Hi! I have a question I really  need help with. I'm a slow runner. I'm 5'11, 165 pounds, 25% body fat - I'm in shape! I have ALWAYS been slow. Over the last eight years I've read about form, I've tried a longer stride, I've tried upping my cadence. I've tried fartleks, hill work, increased flexibility, cardio training and strength training (which I still do and love). I've stuck with it. I run 5 and 10ks regularly. I've run one 10 mile race, one half marathon and one marathon.

 

Ordinarily I might just accept it. BUT I am in the military, and twice a year I have to run a mile and a half in under 15 minutes. Doesn't sound hard, and indeed, I've never failed, but I cut it close EVERY TIME. Which causes two problems. One, it looks bad to always comes in WAY last in an organization where fitness is at a premium, and two, I get horribly stressed before each PT test.

 

Oh also my natural stance is with my toes slightly out like a duck (I also walk like that - instead of toes straight forward). When I bend my knees with my toes out, my knees bend straight forward. When I point my toes forward, my knees bend inward. Because of this I tend to strike on the outside of my heel, roll diagonally across my foot, and launch off the inside of the ball of my foot. I have always worn motion control shoes because of this, my favorite being Brooks Addiction, and recently, Brooks Ariel.

 

This test stress gets to the point of almost making me physically sick. Please, if anyone has any suggestions, or has overcome a similar issue, help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yucky said:

Oh also my natural stance is with my toes slightly out like a duck (I also walk like that - instead of toes straight forward). When I bend my knees with my toes out, my knees bend straight forward. When I point my toes forward, my knees bend inward. Because of this I tend to strike on the outside of my heel, roll diagonally across my foot, and launch off the inside of the ball of my foot. I have always worn motion control shoes because of this, my favorite being Brooks Addiction, and recently, Brooks Ariel.

 

I have this same issue (I was born with my feet pointing backwards, and was lucky to get it mostly corrected) and growing up I always thought it was what was keeping me slow. It was probably a factor.

 

When I joined the army, I could run a mile in just over 8 minutes (which was pretty close to failure) and like you I tried all kinds of things to get faster.  I tried all of the things you are doing but I still wasn't getting faster and I thought I was just never going to be a fast runner.  Luckily, I was stationed with some great people who gave me some good advice and I made two changes that made a difference.  First, I cut down on the soda and sugar in my diet.  Having proper nutrition helped, but I don't think this was they key.  They key for me was (and I admit this is going to sound stupid) was to just run faster. I am not sure how best to describe it, but when I would do may fartleks I would not suddenly burst into a sprint but slowly increase my pace.  Then instead of going full sprint I would keep up the accelerated pace for as long as I could and then instead of droppong back to the original pace, I would keep that pace until I literally ran out of gas.  Then I would take a breather and do it again.  

 

This killed me and I think I was puking on every run for the first six months of this.  But after 6 or so months I realized that my time had dropped to 7:30.  Kept this going for a full 3 years and puked more than I didn't for the first 2.  Yes, it was hell, but it was the only thing that worked for me.  By the time I got out (the first time...) I was running sub 6 miles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, you are not a slow runner. You simply aren't a fast runner. Quit beating yourself up. Remember that running is VERY mental. As for speed, I'd take a look at http://www.strengthrunning.com. Jason is a running guru and has trained many athletes for Boston. He comes highly recommended by Steve K and for good reason.

 

FYI he has tons of info in his blogs and you can get most of what you need without spending a dime but his programs are also pretty awesome.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a slow runner too. I've accepted it. Marathons take me about 4h30minutes. I managed to make small gains in speed with interval training but nothing too drastic. 

 

I once had a volunteer at a road race tell me that they noticed the runners who finish the race first (i.e., the fastest runners) are almost silent, you can't really hear their feet. The runners who finish last (i.e., the slowest runners) are the loudest. Ever since then when I run I try to be mindful of how loud my feet are. If they are really loud I pay attention to my form and that tends to speed me up a bit. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, dayzee84 said:

I'm a slow runner too. I've accepted it. Marathons take me about 4h30minutes. I managed to make small gains in speed with interval training but nothing too drastic. 

 

I once had a volunteer at a road race tell me that they noticed the runners who finish the race first (i.e., the fastest runners) are almost silent, you can't really hear their feet. The runners who finish last (i.e., the slowest runners) are the loudest. Ever since then when I run I try to be mindful of how loud my feet are. If they are really loud I pay attention to my form and that tends to speed me up a bit. 

 

You are not a slow runner(nor am I). That's  a glass is half empty approach. We are not slow runners. We just aren't fast ones <G>

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/20/2017 at 4:02 AM, yucky said:

Hi! I have a question I really  need help with. I'm a slow runner. I'm 5'11, 165 pounds, 25% body fat - I'm in shape! I have ALWAYS been slow. Over the last eight years I've read about form, I've tried a longer stride, I've tried upping my cadence. I've tried fartleks, hill work, increased flexibility, cardio training and strength training (which I still do and love). I've stuck with it. I run 5 and 10ks regularly. I've run one 10 mile race, one half marathon and one marathon.

 

Ordinarily I might just accept it. BUT I am in the military, and twice a year I have to run a mile and a half in under 15 minutes. Doesn't sound hard, and indeed, I've never failed, but I cut it close EVERY TIME. Which causes two problems. One, it looks bad to always comes in WAY last in an organization where fitness is at a premium, and two, I get horribly stressed before each PT test.

 

Oh also my natural stance is with my toes slightly out like a duck (I also walk like that - instead of toes straight forward). When I bend my knees with my toes out, my knees bend straight forward. When I point my toes forward, my knees bend inward. Because of this I tend to strike on the outside of my heel, roll diagonally across my foot, and launch off the inside of the ball of my foot. I have always worn motion control shoes because of this, my favorite being Brooks Addiction, and recently, Brooks Ariel.

 

This test stress gets to the point of almost making me physically sick. Please, if anyone has any suggestions, or has overcome a similar issue, help!

 

Had the same problem. No one came close to me with Push-ups and Sit-ups, but running was mediocre at best, 7-8 minute miles. I ran a 13:00 once, after specifically preparing for it:

 

> Strength training: 5/3/1 was lower volume and allowed me to recover in-between days--something that 5x5 programs weren't allowing me to do, with all the mandatory PT

> Efficiency: looked into Romanov's Pose Running Method, and increased my stride frequency, always running with a metronome set to 180 bpm (or Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba"). (You could also look at the article series Running Drills with Brian MacKenzie, or the video series Rebuilding the Feet.

> Cardiac output: I treated runs as practice rather than smoke sessions. Keeping the hart rate between 130-150 bpm, breathing only through the nose, and practicing the efficiency principles above. (This feels slower than intuitive, but low-intensity run is what builds your aerobic system, not those bullshit "push yourselves, guys" runs usually done on Monday morning.) This made runs actually enjoyable, rather than me associating it with a platoon conspiracy to humiliate me. “Nearly all runners do their slow runs too fast, and their fast runs too slow." - Ken Mierke

> I transitioned to New Balance Minimus shoes and strengthened my arches.

> I peaked 6 weeks out from the test using a training plan from Military Athlete, introducing intervals into the mix.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Machete! I have downloaded a metronome app on my phone and I will run with that this weekend! I'll look into the Pose Running Method and watch my HR on slow runs. I'm already doing lower reps higher weight, but I have not done a 5/3/1 plan as of yet - I'll give it a try! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and what worked for you - hopefully it'll work for me too!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dilnad & dayzee84 - Thank you! I'll definitely check out strengthrunning.com and pay attention to my footstrike noise. I've never thought it was loud but... I have never really listened for it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to the other suggestions here, when I first joined the distance track team I could barely slug through a mile.  The solution to the mental part was structured interval training.  First we took our target time and ran that page 16x with 30-60 second rests, then we added 200, 400, 600, and 800s until we eventually ran the whole thing on that pace.  The key really was having coaches give us our times as we went through each leg during the longer runs; mentally, a lot of us start too fast when we want to up our speeds and peter as we go along.  The structure helps to internalize the cadence, pace, etc to keep you on pace.  Of course, you always give it everything at the end and that usually puts you a bit below the pace.  

 

It felt like it took forever to begin with, especially since I was in the out-of-shape group that only did intervals 2x a week.  It worked, though, and I continued structured training exercises like then the entire time  I ran. 

 

Also, as others have said: you're not slow.  You could be faster.  I've not regularly run for years and I doubt I could pass the test without some training prior.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/30/2017 at 11:06 PM, yucky said:

Thanks Machete! I have downloaded a metronome app on my phone and I will run with that this weekend! I'll look into the Pose Running Method and watch my HR on slow runs. I'm already doing lower reps higher weight, but I have not done a 5/3/1 plan as of yet - I'll give it a try! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and what worked for you - hopefully it'll work for me too!

 

The metronome tends to take care of the overstriding, and the footstrike (since 180+ is pretty much ninja running). HR helps, especially once you figure out your techniques to stay efficient, and want to include some threshold and tempo work. It feels too easy to be effective, since the military tends to promote a work harder = results mindset. Think like a Green Beret.

 

On 9/1/2017 at 5:12 PM, Sciread77 said:

In addition to the other suggestions here, when I first joined the distance track team I could barely slug through a mile.  The solution to the mental part was structured interval training.  First we took our target time and ran that page 16x with 30-60 second rests, then we added 200, 400, 600, and 800s until we eventually ran the whole thing on that pace.  The key really was having coaches give us our times as we went through each leg during the longer runs; mentally, a lot of us start too fast when we want to up our speeds and peter as we go along.  The structure helps to internalize the cadence, pace, etc to keep you on pace.  Of course, you always give it everything at the end and that usually puts you a bit below the pace.  

 

It felt like it took forever to begin with, especially since I was in the out-of-shape group that only did intervals 2x a week.  It worked, though, and I continued structured training exercises like then the entire time  I ran. 

 

Also, as others have said: you're not slow.  You could be faster.  I've not regularly run for years and I doubt I could pass the test without some training prior.  

 

This was pretty much the interval plan I used closing in on the test. My best 400 time was about 81 seconds, which is a little faster than a 6-minute mile, but I obviously slow down on 800s. The plan had me running 400s for 95+ seconds apiece, which intuitively seemed too slow. But playing the long game it takes discipline to stick to the plan and run slow today in order to run fast later.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Machete said:

This was pretty much the interval plan I used closing in on the test. My best 400 time was about 81 seconds, which is a little faster than a 6-minute mile, but I obviously slow down on 800s. The plan had me running 400s for 95+ seconds apiece, which intuitively seemed too slow. But playing the long game it takes discipline to stick to the plan and run slow today in order to run fast later.

 

Also, this is why similar training like fartleks probably hasn't improved your times. It's probably actually improved your health and speed, but it doesn't force you to (counterintuitively) stick to a slower pace so you don't run out of gas later. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/20/2017 at 2:02 AM, yucky said:

Hi! I have a question I really  need help with. I'm a slow runner. I'm 5'11, 165 pounds, 25% body fat - I'm in shape! I have ALWAYS been slow. Over the last eight years I've read about form, I've tried a longer stride, I've tried upping my cadence. I've tried fartleks, hill work, increased flexibility, cardio training and strength training (which I still do and love). I've stuck with it. I run 5 and 10ks regularly. I've run one 10 mile race, one half marathon and one marathon.

 

Ordinarily I might just accept it. BUT I am in the military, and twice a year I have to run a mile and a half in under 15 minutes. Doesn't sound hard, and indeed, I've never failed, but I cut it close EVERY TIME. Which causes two problems. One, it looks bad to always comes in WAY last in an organization where fitness is at a premium, and two, I get horribly stressed before each PT test.

 

Oh also my natural stance is with my toes slightly out like a duck (I also walk like that - instead of toes straight forward). When I bend my knees with my toes out, my knees bend straight forward. When I point my toes forward, my knees bend inward. Because of this I tend to strike on the outside of my heel, roll diagonally across my foot, and launch off the inside of the ball of my foot. I have always worn motion control shoes because of this, my favorite being Brooks Addiction, and recently, Brooks Ariel.

 

This test stress gets to the point of almost making me physically sick. Please, if anyone has any suggestions, or has overcome a similar issue, help!

Hi, fellow military here! Maybe I can provide some help.

 

I understand the stress of your PT test. Twice a year is exhausting. When I graduated tech school, I was at sea level, and moved to the desert at 5,500 feet. I put over 3 minutes onto my run time my first two months (11:27 to 14:40, 13:30 is considered failing). Tested a few months later and got 12:47. I tested just recently and got 11:57 and now I don't test officially until next year. Here's how I did it and maybe it'll work for you:

 

1) Use the stress. Test day everyone is hyped on stress and adrenaline. Stress is a healthy response to the challenge.

2) Change up running routines and do additional cardio.

We are lucky to do squadron PT 3 days a week, which provides a good base for fitness but definitely won't shed time off your 1.5 mile run. If you don't do squadron PT, our run days are typically one 2+ mile run day, and a team building exercise like a last man up run.

 

By far the most helpful exercise for me was doing intervals at my track (400 meters). Run 8 laps total. The first lap you'll run faster than your 1.5 mile pace, the second lap will be a brisk jog, however fast you normally run for longer distances. Repeat this 800 meter set 3-4 times once or twice a week. Over time, try to build up your speed. It'll build mental strength, too, because when you actually run your 1.5 mile it'll be slower than all the speed work you're doing.

 

3. Jump rope. I run fastest on the balls of my feet as it makes it easy to increase my stride and I feel more efficient. Jumping rope emphasizes the muscles used and it burns a lot of calories very quickly. Jumping for 3 minutes straight feels like a sprint workout and added a lot to my speed. It's also convenient and portable. I jump 3 days a week for a total of 45 minutes.

 

I also have the same knee/foot structure. Running on my toes stresses my arches a lot, it took time to adjust. Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now