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Longer Distances for New Runners - Help Needed

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Hello - I was a runner as a teen but those years are long past me.  Now, I'm woefully out of shape.  I've started getting back into jogging and am going to be involved in a 5k next month.  I did it last year but walked about 2/3rds of it and was a bit disappointed in myself.  I'm expecting to run all / almost all of it this but could use some help / support.  I've downloaded the ZenLabs Couch to 5k app and I've been working through it with fairly strong success.  I made it to week 7 (8 week program) and at the suggestion of a trainer at work, I've gone back to week 6 now, and will reboot week 7 this week. 

 

Here's the issue I have.  Not even sure there's a solution or advice someone can give.  It's more of a mental one.  When I just see "Run for 25 minutes" it's tough.  I try it and can't do it without stopping 2-3 times for a walk and water (these are brief - under 60 secs).  I really want to make it all the way through.  I think its the mental piece of "that's too long for me" I need to get over.  I believe I did a 20 minute jog without stopping once and that was a victory.  Getting up to 25-30 is where I'm struggling.  I don't want to beat myself up over the brief walking stops too much but I also want to push myself.

 

Maybe just continuing to get in better shape will fuel better endurance.  About a month until the 5k and I just wish I can jog for longer without stopping (bc I've been working out on a treadmill, which I've always found to be easier - once I run outside it will feel even longer).

 

Any ideas on how to get over this mental hurdle and take things to the next level?  Thanks in advance!

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I found that turning my phone around so I couldn't see the display, putting some good music on, not running too fast and running different routes every day helped me. Also repeating the mantra 'everyone else is still in bed ' pushes me on, or just depresses me if it's cold and dark! Good luck!

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How did you feel the 1st time you saw run for 5 minutes, or 10 minutes?, you will get there, it may take a few runs, but each time you have a go you know you are getting fitter. There is no penalty for trying!! Get some really rocking music & sing along in your head, try to get into a steady rhythm, it doesn't have to be fast. Do you need to carry water?, if you are still working up to 5k you may be too aware of the water in your hand & stopping for a sip unnecessarily. Well done & keep it up. There will be lots of support for you here.

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I think you've gotten some great advice (and don't beat yourself up for the short stops - you're doing great!). The music and putting the phone away definitely helps - mine is strapped to my arm and I can't see it (it's really only there for good reception with my cordless headphones...nothing else). You may be running a bit faster than you can right now...slowing the pace may help. Speed will come - but you're working on endurance with this program. Just remember - you're getting out there and moving - that's always a great step!

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I agree with all what was said above. When I was on the program I was begging my phone to say 'one minute remaining'! What is it that's stopping you from going longer - is it boredom or just a feeling that you can't go on any farther? Whenever I feel like I can't go on, I focus intently on deep breathing to get myself back on track. When it's boredom, I just change the song. :)

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Thank you, everyone for the encouragement and tips!  Actually, I'm doing MUCH better.  In fact, I actually finished the 8 week course!  (5k still about 2 weeks away).   I took SteveJ's advice and slowed my pace just slightly (from 5.0 to 4.8 mph) and that really helped.  Also, I don't check my phone (time/app) as often and that helps.  A week or so ago I made it 30 minutes without stopping.  My last 5 tries or so were completed without stopping.  This is a big step.  My only concern now is that my pace is so slow and even though I'm finishing the time required, it hasn't amounted to more than about 2.3 miles at most.  So when I run it in a couple weeks I might really lose steam in the last mile.  Still, I've got another week or so to build more endurance and then I'm going to rest for about 4 days before the race.  Thanks again, all!!  ~ Bill

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It's amazing what effect the group of runners around you has. I did my first 5K before I'd finished the programme but managed to do it in under 35 mins despite 3 short walking periods. Everyone around you encourages you and you become more competitive than you thought you were! Good luck.

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You've probably already heard this, but whenever I take a break from running and then come back I try to focus on my breathing pattern.  If you are just jogging then you can try to find out what is a comfortable rythmn for you.  For example, take a breath in every 3 steps and a breath out after the next 3 steps, which will give you a nice consistency as long as you keep the same pace.  Hope this helps!

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