Bittersweet?

I have been trying to run at least once a week for the last 2 months or so. It started off with ~1.5 miles and is now gone up to 3+ miles. Yeah, I know it’s nothing to write home about….

But after today’s run, I realized a couple of things..
– On the pro-side, I think I found my sustainable heart-rate – and even after about 45 minutes, it seemed I could go on for another mile or so without much discomfort. This itself is huge for me – and am very happy šŸ™‚
– On the flip side, I realized my sustainable speed is low (~4.7 mph)

So either I sprint and get more bang-for-buck in an hour OR I try and increase my endurance. Running faster is going to be less enjoyable though. Both are noble goals….but I wish I did not have to make this call, not yet anyway. General objective is to exercise + enjoy the run. Time is finite due to home stuff…

Any ideas out there? Is there an optimal “speed” to burn more calories, before starting to go longer? Or does it make more sense to go faster first…?

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5 thoughts on “Bittersweet?

  1. Tom says:

    I’m firmly of the belief that as long as you’re doing any running, you’re already ahead of the game. That being said, I’ve found that I can increase my pace by mixing in a few shorter faster runs between the longer more endurance-style runs. Treadmill work helps since it’s easy to set the pace and add speed in small increments to push you just past your current comfort level. Once you get that “I’m comfortable” pace up, then you’ll be surprised how naturally your body moves to that faster pace when you go for your long runs.

    HTH,
    — Tom

  2. Nagaja says:

    I’m no expert, but if you’re running outside I’d recommend slower longer runs instead of sprints to keep injuries to a minimum. Work on speed on a treadmill, or better yet, do interval training indoors to increase your lactate threshold (point where you go from aerobic to anaerobic burn). Running with a (stronger) buddy (or two!) is a huge booster too.

  3. Hi Nagaja, I used to do interval training indoors mostly because I found it boring to run on a treadmill at the same pace. But since I started running outdoors, I am not visiting the gym anymore. It sounds like some combination of the two would help here. Also, might be able to have two exercise sessions per week. This is a great suggestion. Thanks!

  4. Satish says:

    Two recommendations:
    – Try running 3 times a week (builds endurance faster)
    – Run what are called ‘fartlek’s’. Helped me. I used to do 11 minute miles — now comfortable at 9 minute miles.

    ++++ read the book ‘born to run’.

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