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Increase jogging stamina

msbridgetteannemsbridgetteanne Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
Hello, everyone! A couple years ago, I started doing Couch to 5k in the hopes of eventually participating in a 5k some day. Well, unfortunately, that's never happened. I just can't seem to reach 5k. Obviously I saw some initial improvements--I couldn't jog for even five minutes when I first started, for instance--but I feel like I've reached a peak I'll never get over. The most I've reached in 30 minutes is just over 3k. And the issue isn't that I'm not able to do it in that amount of time; the problem is I completely tap out by that point. I've tried going just a little longer each time to build up to it, but the truth of it is, I'm already starting to feel fatigued after 15 minutes. Getting to 30 is already pushing myself.

I don't run, either. This is definitely a sedate jogging pace. How can I raise my stamina? Are some people just not meant to do certain activities? Should I just be content with what I've accomplished? I don't seem to have a problem with other types of physical activity.
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Replies

  • helene4helene4 Posts: 114Member Member Posts: 114Member Member
    Great job so far! Be gentle with yourself you’re doing great :)

    Mindset is important
    Running a little over 3 miles might seem far
    But running 1 mile 3 times sounds like something I can do!!

    What really improved my stamina running was doing different forms of exercise especially lifting weights and doing strength training for my legs. Biking, a fast paced walk, hiking, weights, Pilates... all help me be a better runner and increase my stamina.
    And of course continuing to run. Having rest days are important for me too so my muscles get a chance to repair and I usually am able to go out and run farther after a rest day

    I have trained in high altitude locations and always come home able to run faster and farther (but doing that’s not necessary to improve imo)

    A healthy diet doesn’t hurt. Sometimes if I eat right before I run it weighs me down and I def can’t go as far

    Consistency is key! Keep going, you’re doing it!
  • dmkoenigdmkoenig Posts: 244Member Member Posts: 244Member Member
    Strength training as helen4 mentioned will definitely help. The other thing that will help with overall fitness development is interval training. In addition to developing your aerobic systems through long but "sedate" paces, add some interval training where you are doing. There are plenty of internet sites that describe what interval training consists of but basically after a good warm-up (5-10 minutes) you start doing accelerations of short but intense effort, with a recovery period in between (e.g. 30 sec hard followed by 90 sec easy). Repeat 5-10 times and then a 5-10 min cool down (aim for a 30-40 min total workout). Do this a couple of times/week and you will start developing the ability to increase your pace and go farther without fatiguing.
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Posts: 5,168Member, Premium Member Posts: 5,168Member, Premium Member
    sounds like you are maybe running too fast - many people struggle early on to control speed and build endurace; also look to other activities (cycling, swimming) that will help wiht endurance
  • ellie117ellie117 Posts: 171Member Member Posts: 171Member Member
    I too feel that there are people just not meant to do certain activities - for me, I am not meant to run. I played softball and field hockey for years in middle and high school, running through the neighborhood and doing drills daily. Never did running get easier for me, never did I get faster, and never was I able to increase my stamina. I was always the last one in when we did the neighborhood runs, no matter what.

    Instead of running, I do other cardio exercises like using the elliptical, rowing, hiking, walking on the treadmill, etc.

    I'm realizing now I probably am not helping. But I feel your struggle. Sorry OP!
    edited November 7
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,942Member Member Posts: 36,942Member Member
    Hello, everyone! A couple years ago, I started doing Couch to 5k in the hopes of eventually participating in a 5k some day. Well, unfortunately, that's never happened. I just can't seem to reach 5k. Obviously I saw some initial improvements--I couldn't jog for even five minutes when I first started, for instance--but I feel like I've reached a peak I'll never get over. The most I've reached in 30 minutes is just over 3k. And the issue isn't that I'm not able to do it in that amount of time; the problem is I completely tap out by that point. I've tried going just a little longer each time to build up to it, but the truth of it is, I'm already starting to feel fatigued after 15 minutes. Getting to 30 is already pushing myself.

    I don't run, either. This is definitely a sedate jogging pace. How can I raise my stamina? Are some people just not meant to do certain activities? Should I just be content with what I've accomplished? I don't seem to have a problem with other types of physical activity.

    Kinda sorta...not that people can't improve and ultimately train themselves, but there are definitely people who are natural runners and endurance athletes. I was a competitive track and field sprinter growing up and was pretty stinkin' good...at one point when I was a senior I was ranked 3rd in the state in the 100M...but I couldn't do an endurance run to save my life. That didn't really change much when I went to the military...I mean I trained to the point where I could complete the requirements, but even being in the best shape of my life it was a struggle and I was usually at the back of the pack, if not dead last.

    I am not a runner...and even with endurance cycling, I really have to work at it. I am much more adept with going really fast for short periods of time...jumping events, etc. I've been doing endurance cycling for a number of years, and I've improved greatly...but I still suck compared to a natural endurance cyclist. I do much better on the mountain bike in regards to personal performance.

    My wife on the other hand is a natural runner and natural endurance athlete. She had taken a few months off from running and on a whim decided to go do a 5K and finished it well under 30 minutes without running at all for three or so months before hand. She cycles occasionally to cross train...maybe once per week, and it's usually a 30-45 minute ride...we go out on a riding date and do 25-30 miles, and she can smoke me even though I ride most days...I have a hard time keeping pace if she really wants to push it, and she can push a good clip for a LOOOOONNNNGGGGG time...she just has that natural stamina and endurance.

    ETA: That said, how often are you running? Becoming good at something and building stamina, etc is going to require a time commitment.
    edited November 7
  • jm_1234jm_1234 Posts: 25Member Member Posts: 25Member Member
    Agree, you've shown progress, you're doing good. Don't lose hope.

    Maybe gather some data and diagnose from there - is it your heart, leg muscles, lungs, joints...

    If you don't have one maybe look into heart rate monitors. I use heart rate based training for running. Basically, you run and monitor your heart rate and then adjust your running based on your heart's exertion. I think it is the most objective measure for cardio. Outside of heart rate if I don't sleep, or if I eat unhealthy, have muscle/joint/bones aches or pains - all of these can exhaust me and my heart rate look normal.

    Regarding progressive overloading, you can have a lot of fun with running. I would start with goals of either total weekly mileage or time at a comfortable pace. Having pace goals can come in later once endurance is built.

    It takes a while for my bones/joints to get in running shape so I usually alternate running and cycling days to give them time to heal.
  • msbridgetteannemsbridgetteanne Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    Thanks for the replies, everyone! There's some great advice here. I think I'll give interval training a shot and see if I improve with that. If not, I suppose I'll just have be content with where I'm at and continue to do other forms of activity, like walking and the elliptical, while still doing what jogging I can.

    As for weight training, I do it three times a week at the gym with a trainer, so I think I'm okay there. I have definitely seen improvement in that regard!
    jm_1234 wrote: »
    Agree, you've shown progress, you're doing good. Don't lose hope.

    Maybe gather some data and diagnose from there - is it your heart, leg muscles, lungs, joints...

    If you don't have one maybe look into heart rate monitors. I use heart rate based training for running. Basically, you run and monitor your heart rate and then adjust your running based on your heart's exertion. I think it is the most objective measure for cardio. Outside of heart rate if I don't sleep, or if I eat unhealthy, have muscle/joint/bones aches or pains - all of these can exhaust me and my heart rate look normal.

    I use a FitBit to track my heart rate. I'll try to see where it is I'm feeling fatigued when I jog tonight, but I want to say it's my heart rate. Jogging definitely raises it in a way that other activities don't.
  • ThatJuJitsuWomanThatJuJitsuWoman Posts: 131Member Member Posts: 131Member Member
    Some good advice above. The one thing you didn’t mention was how often you run. I’m a regular runner and have increased my distance a lot over the last 2 years. I need to run at least 3 times a week to see any improvement. At one point I only had time to run twice a week and I could feel the loss of fitness after a few weeks. It might be worth trying an extra run every week if you can fit it in.
  • msbridgetteannemsbridgetteanne Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    Some good advice above. The one thing you didn’t mention was how often you run. I’m a regular runner and have increased my distance a lot over the last 2 years. I need to run at least 3 times a week to see any improvement. At one point I only had time to run twice a week and I could feel the loss of fitness after a few weeks. It might be worth trying an extra run every week if you can fit it in.

    I was jogging three times a week pretty regularly for several months, but as it got hotter, I did it less and less. I'm trying to start up again. I know I'm going to need to recover what stamina I had before I can push myself more, but even when I was doing it 3x/week consistently, I wasn't really seeing improvement.
  • ShortgirlrunningShortgirlrunning Posts: 326Member Member Posts: 326Member Member
    Walk/jog in intervals. Intervals are awesome. When I started training to do a half I had it in my mind that I absolutely could not walk or the run was a fail. But once I let go of that and let myself walk for 30 seconds when I needed it or just did pre-times interval workouts it made a HUGE difference in the distance I was able to run and how fast I could run those distances.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Posts: 2,399Member Member Posts: 2,399Member Member
    Running slower may help. Running more distance or more time may help.

    OTOH, you may be dealing with a health issue. When my ferritin was low, I had no energy for running. Iron supplements helped a lot. Low blood sugar or underactive thyroid may also affect your stamina.
  • msbridgetteannemsbridgetteanne Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    Running slower may help. Running more distance or more time may help.

    OTOH, you may be dealing with a health issue. When my ferritin was low, I had no energy for running. Iron supplements helped a lot. Low blood sugar or underactive thyroid may also affect your stamina.

    Interestingly, I'm being treated for two of those things. I have hypothyroidism and chronically low iron, but both have been under control for a while. Still, that is something to keep in mind!
  • PaytraBPaytraB Posts: 2,366Member Member Posts: 2,366Member Member
    sounds like you are maybe running too fast - many people struggle early on to control speed and build endurace; also look to other activities (cycling, swimming) that will help wiht endurance

    This. Slow down. When you are running, you should feel comfortable (no panting). Panting = too fast.

    I have been running for years and still cannot run 5K in 30 minutes; nor will I ever, I'm sure. For some people this isn't an attainable pace. However, you can and will be able to run 5K in your own time. Don't pay attention to the time. Just run, run slow and have fun.

    I just saw your later post where you state you ran 5K in 43 minutes. That's a fantastic time! It really is. Put more miles on your shoes and you will get stronger. Interval training is for later on. For now, keep running. That's all. You'll build up your stamina.

    Congratulations on a really terrific 5K run!!
  • msbridgetteannemsbridgetteanne Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    PaytraB wrote: »
    sounds like you are maybe running too fast - many people struggle early on to control speed and build endurace; also look to other activities (cycling, swimming) that will help wiht endurance

    This. Slow down. When you are running, you should feel comfortable (no panting). Panting = too fast.

    I have been running for years and still cannot run 5K in 30 minutes; nor will I ever, I'm sure. For some people this isn't an attainable pace. However, you can and will be able to run 5K in your own time. Don't pay attention to the time. Just run, run slow and have fun.

    I just saw your later post where you state you ran 5K in 43 minutes. That's a fantastic time! It really is. Put more miles on your shoes and you will get stronger. Interval training is for later on. For now, keep running. That's all. You'll build up your stamina.

    Congratulations on a really terrific 5K run!!

    Thanks! You're very kind. :) I feel very accomplished!
  • ThatJuJitsuWomanThatJuJitsuWoman Posts: 131Member Member Posts: 131Member Member
    Well, I didn't try the interval training yet, but I am very happy to report that, after slowing my pace even more, I was able to make 5k!! It took 43 minutes, but that doesn't matter to me. The important thing is I accomplished something I didn't think I'd be able to!

    Congratulations! It’s such a great feeling to go further than you ever have before!
  • lporter229lporter229 Posts: 4,858Member Member Posts: 4,858Member Member
    Well, I didn't try the interval training yet, but I am very happy to report that, after slowing my pace even more, I was able to make 5k!! It took 43 minutes, but that doesn't matter to me. The important thing is I accomplished something I didn't think I'd be able to!

    Congrats!!
    Well, I didn't try the interval training yet, but I am very happy to report that, after slowing my pace even more, I was able to make 5k!! It took 43 minutes, but that doesn't matter to me. The important thing is I accomplished something I didn't think I'd be able to!

    Congrats! That's a great accomplishment. The number one reason why people think they are not cut out for running is because they are trying to run too fast. If you start out slow and just keep at it, your muscles will adapt and require less oxygen to do the work and in time it will get easier and you will get faster. There is nothing magic about it, it just takes patience and persistence. You are off to a great start!
  • apullumapullum Posts: 4,387Member Member Posts: 4,387Member Member
    I would add that C25K is a bit misleading because many people--I would say most--do not finish their first 5k in 30 minutes. The program just teaches you to run for 30 minutes nonstop. It's completely normal if you don't make it 3.1 miles in that time. The idea is if you can run for 30 minutes, then on race day you will have the proper training base and probably adrenaline to push through the full 5k. I did not finish 5k in under 30 minutes until several years later.

    tl;dr, don't worry, you are normal :)
  • phildog50phildog50 Posts: 20Member Member Posts: 20Member Member
    You're doing it all wrong! First thing's first. THROW THE WATCH AWAY or STOP LOOKING AT IT. This is 99% of your problem, it's the same effect as watching the clock 3 hours before leaving work.

    The c25k program doesn't have to be advanced every week, it's only a guide. You can repeat a week for 1,2,3 weeks if necessary. And nowhere in the program does it say you have to run it in 5 minute miles. You have to learn how to breathe, this is why I love running with music on... singing your songs while running can help tremendously and once you build lung capacity and breathe properly, you won't wear yourself out. This is why the military marchers sing when doing "double time".

    Another thing I have noticed is sometimes it takes me 20-30 minutes just to warm up, and this is with doing 14 minute miles. (so yes, you're already faster than me and I've been running 40 years!) I have always ran for time, not distance. Stop obsessing over time and speed and just go out and have some fun alone time.
  • msbridgetteannemsbridgetteanne Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    apullum wrote: »
    I would add that C25K is a bit misleading because many people--I would say most--do not finish their first 5k in 30 minutes. The program just teaches you to run for 30 minutes nonstop. It's completely normal if you don't make it 3.1 miles in that time. The idea is if you can run for 30 minutes, then on race day you will have the proper training base and probably adrenaline to push through the full 5k. I did not finish 5k in under 30 minutes until several years later.

    tl;dr, don't worry, you are normal :)

    I understood that logically, but I had hoped to progress more in the time I'd been doing this. It's been 2.5 years since I started! I guess I was going at a pace that I could maintain short term but didn't really thing about slowing down even more, because my pace was already slower than some people walk. I honestly didn't think I COULD go much slower, but I proved myself wrong last night! And the pace I was keeping I could have kept up longer, if I wanted to! I'm very happy with the progress I made.

    phildog50 wrote: »
    You're doing it all wrong! First thing's first. THROW THE WATCH AWAY or STOP LOOKING AT IT. This is 99% of your problem, it's the same effect as watching the clock 3 hours before leaving work.

    The c25k program doesn't have to be advanced every week, it's only a guide. You can repeat a week for 1,2,3 weeks if necessary. And nowhere in the program does it say you have to run it in 5 minute miles. You have to learn how to breathe, this is why I love running with music on... singing your songs while running can help tremendously and once you build lung capacity and breathe properly, you won't wear yourself out. This is why the military marchers sing when doing "double time".

    Another thing I have noticed is sometimes it takes me 20-30 minutes just to warm up, and this is with doing 14 minute miles. (so yes, you're already faster than me and I've been running 40 years!) I have always ran for time, not distance. Stop obsessing over time and speed and just go out and have some fun alone time.

    I understand what you're saying, but it's not the watch that was the problem, and it wasn't that I couldn't do the 5k in a certain amount of time. It was that I couldn't do 5k at all, despite working at it for 2.5 years. I didn't think I was jogging too fast because I could maintain the pace very well short term, but at a certain point, I had to push myself really hard to keep going. I was already jogging slower than a lot of people walk, so I didn't realistically think I could slow down any more without essentially just walking. But I did manage to slow down last night and found a pace that I can maintain for quite a while!
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