I've just fallen in love with running, I am so full of enthusiasm and excitement BUT I'm wondering whether my lack of experience has caused me to make an error with my training already.
I'm running Edinburgh Marathon this year and I'm petrified but so happy about it - I've started the training schedule a little early because I was too impatient to wait and I wanted time to make my mistakes and work out what the different types of training are.
I timed an 8 mile run this week and was really disappointed with the pace. (It took 1hr 28 minutes for the 8 miles) I wasn't trying for speed really but when I tried to pick up the pace the next time but I couldn't maintain it.
I'm worried that I've increased my distance and should have been working on my speed instead.
I have time to completely start this month again with shorter runs to give myself chance to learn to run at an appropriate speed if this is the best course of action.
Would you recommend I carry on working harder at speed sessions etc moving forwards or write the last month off as experience and start again doing all the shorter runs faster until I'm back to here in the training programme?
I really hope you can help, I just don't know who to ask
(I started running in November)
What you're doing at the moment is right - build up the miles. It sounds counterintuitve, but the more slow miles you put in, the faster you will become.
A physio told me last year that beginners shouldn't do speedwork, they need to build up the miles in their legs. I've also found this advice echoed in a couple of running books; wait until you've been consistently running 16-20 miles a week for a year, or have 300 miles banked, before you start any form of speed-training.
So, for the time being, just concentrate on going further rather than faster. It's also important that you don't increase your weekly distance by more than 10% each week. So if this week your total mileage is 10, next week you can run 11.
Thank you, feeling a bit calmer now
I'm not sure I'd want to give up the speedwork completely, I find the speed exhillerating - although spraying mud over a 20m radius a little less so!
I guess you are right, it's probably too early to panic just yet, I'll carry on just enjoying what I am doing. After all my goal was never to run the marathon in a set time it was just to run the marathon ... side tracked by other people's goals I fear.
Thank you so much for your help, I'll try to heed your warning about not letting my enthusiasm and excitement get the better of sensible gradual improvement
AND BREATHE ...........................
Just thought I'd pop back and say you were totally right ... just under a month on and my times are loads better. (yesterday I ran an identical 10.5 mile route 15 minutes faster than I did last month without trying to improve the speed)
I still occasionally do the speed sessions but in a much more relaxed way. I tend to pick up the pace if I feel like it and leave it alone otherwise...I'm very much back to just loving being out running again
Thanks so much for your help
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