Hard time improving distance

I started running a few months ago. When I started I could barely run for 2 mins without panting and hurting. I have improved and can run for 20 mins, about 1.7 miles. However, I can not get better. I have been stuck on that distance for a month now. I try to go 25 mins and I just can't. Please offer advice on how you improved your distance.
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Replies

  • thepetiterunner
    thepetiterunner Posts: 1,256 Member
    I think you may be going out too fast. Slow your pace down. The distance will come.
  • jetlag
    jetlag Posts: 835 Member
    Interested in this topic. This is exactly what happened to me when I started running a few years ago before my slipped disc. I fully expect it to happen again, so would love to see what advice anyone can offer. I'm guessing it will be something to do with intervals? I don't know.
  • I run about 5 mph, thats like shuffling to me. I can walk 4 mph. Last night, I did numerous intervals while running.
  • PJ64
    PJ64 Posts: 866 Member
    I got stuck too when I first started running, so I picked a goal of 2 miles and would do a run then walk then run (make sense?) to cover the whole 2 miles, eventually I was running more & walking less. I still do this today.

    Try using the "Couch to 5K" program (C25K) its free online and it may help you

    Also look for a running store that has classes (they're usually free) We have Point2Point running here in Hampton roads and they are very helpful and host lots of group runs
  • mckant
    mckant Posts: 217 Member
    Are you stopping because of physical reasons or mental? Most of the battle for me while I'm running is mental. I get so far and then I'm just done so I have to turn into my own cheerleader. Do you run outside or on a track or treadmill? Mentally I can't do a track or treadmill because it's too easy for me to quit. I run outdoors that way I know at some point I have to turn around and run home otherwise I'm stranded. Either way don't give up. You'll improve and be SO proud of yourself!
  • Mama_Jag
    Mama_Jag Posts: 474 Member
    I agree with slowing down, even if you think are you are going slow. When I started, my normal paces were from 12:00 - 13:30 per mile. Also, try and out and back route - if you go out 1 mile, you have to get home! :)
  • dettiot
    dettiot Posts: 180 Member
    It's so simple, yet so hard to grasp: to go farther, you've got to run slower. It made no sense to me at first, but recently the lightbulb went on that if I run at a moderate pace (around 10:30/11 minute mile pace) I have few problems running for three miles at a clip.

    I use the Nike+ running app to help me monitor my pace when I'm running. It keeps me from having to do math in my head while I"m sweating and panting, plus it's awesome to be able to look at my progress over time and see how I've improved.
  • SemperAnticus1643
    SemperAnticus1643 Posts: 703 Member
    I think you may be going out too fast. Slow your pace down. The distance will come.

    ^^^This. Don't worry about the pace.
  • I currently use the Rundouble app. It includes a 5 min warm up and then you set either a time or a distance. When I do 20 mins, I keep telling myself at the end "Go Further!" I do cheer myself on but I don't feel like it is helping. I run away from my house until my 20 mins is up then I walk all of the way back to cool down.
  • pandsmomCheryl
    pandsmomCheryl Posts: 167 Member
    The best advice I got in the beginning is "If you think you can run slower, than you're going too fast"....honestly - endurance first, speed comes later. Good luck!
  • PaytraB
    PaytraB Posts: 2,360 Member
    Run slower. 5MPH is pretty quick, even if it feels slow. I've been running for about 9 months now (used the C25K program, which is really great) and am still running slower than that. I can run that fast for short intervals but not longer distances.
    It may feel like a shuffle to go slower but that's the speed you need to go at to increase your distance. You'll run quicker in time without thinking about it. Your body will adjust.
    Maybe try alternating your running days: run at 5MPH for your usual distance for a day, then at a slower pace but longer distance for a day, etc.
  • bagge72
    bagge72 Posts: 1,377 Member
    I don't think you need to run slower, but every other run, you should try running for 5 minutes walking for 5 minutes, and keep doing that for maybe three miles, and that should help improver your overall distance. It stinks to take a step back like that, but I think you should have done the c25k program to begin with, and you can probally jump in a couple weeks into the program if you want to start it now.
  • hbrittingham
    hbrittingham Posts: 2,523 Member
    A lot of running is pure mental. If you can push past that block, you should be okay. Slowing down helps, too.
  • ze_hombre
    ze_hombre Posts: 377 Member
    For me it was adding in something different into my routine. I started riding road bikes and my times started to get faster on my runs.

    I think others are correct though that you may be going too fast. I ran 5mph for the longest time and am only now starting to go faster.

    To hbrittingham's point, when you start to feel the wall coming, slow down to 4mph and let your heart rate slow, then pick it back up once you feel your pulse has slowed. I believe firmly that there is something primal in our brains that draws a line in the sand to say that the prey (food) we are chasing isn't worth the energy we are spending to catch it. Once you can overcome that primal instinct to stop it really gets easier after that.
  • Thank you for the advice. I am going to put my app on 2 miles and see if I can make it. My heart rate is normally at 165-170 during my run. Is that ok?
  • wolfgate
    wolfgate Posts: 321 Member
    Thank you for the advice. I am going to put my app on 2 miles and see if I can make it. My heart rate is normally at 165-170 during my run. Is that ok?

    Doesn't seem abnormal but hard to answer any question related to HR unless you know your own individual max heart rate.

    Have you tried the conversation test while running? Can you speak a complete sentence? Short phrase? Nothing? For longer runs, irrespective of pace, a reasonable guide of proper effort is being able to talk in short, complete sentences.
  • Thank you for the advice. I am going to put my app on 2 miles and see if I can make it. My heart rate is normally at 165-170 during my run. Is that ok?

    Doesn't seem abnormal but hard to answer any question related to HR unless you know your own individual max heart rate.

    Have you tried the conversation test while running? Can you speak a complete sentence? Short phrase? Nothing? For longer runs, irrespective of pace, a reasonable guide of proper effort is being able to talk in short, complete sentences.

    I can talk a little, but hard to make out a whole sentence.
  • ze_hombre
    ze_hombre Posts: 377 Member
    Thank you for the advice. I am going to put my app on 2 miles and see if I can make it. My heart rate is normally at 165-170 during my run. Is that ok?

    Doesn't seem abnormal but hard to answer any question related to HR unless you know your own individual max heart rate.

    Have you tried the conversation test while running? Can you speak a complete sentence? Short phrase? Nothing? For longer runs, irrespective of pace, a reasonable guide of proper effort is being able to talk in short, complete sentences.

    I can talk a little, but hard to make out a whole sentence.

    Then you are definitely running too fast. On my long runs I run with a friend and we talk the whole time. If we start to gasp or have to breath between words we slow down.
  • ThickMcRunFast
    ThickMcRunFast Posts: 22,511 Member
    A lot of running is pure mental. If you can push past that block, you should be okay. Slowing down helps, too.

    agree with this. Maybe don't try to get up to 25 minutes right away. Every day, just try to run a few steps further than the last. If you have some sort of markers on your run (lamp posts, signs etc), just try to run to the next one every time. If you are running on a treadmill, go run outside. Its tougher but more rewarding.
  • wolfchild59
    wolfchild59 Posts: 2,608 Member
    For me, a lot of it is mind over matter. If I focus on just trying to run longer or further, without any specific goal it makes it more difficult. Or if I think about how I can go X distance, but I've never been Y distance, then I have a hard time going past X distance.

    Instead, I set a very specific goal for myself and then I just do it. So if I want to run Y distance, I tell myself I'm running Y distance and no less. Then I just get out there and do it, no matter what.

    It helps me because I'm forward focused on the Y distance goal rather than dwelling on the X distance I feel like I can't get past.

    Also, the first time I trained for a half marathon, every new distance I added, as soon as I'd pass the previous distance, I'd tell myself that this was now the furthest I'd ever run. It helped to motivate me because I knew that no matter what happened, I'd accomplished something that day.