I was crushed. I felt like I was killing myself with the pace, and I finished only about 10% faster than if I had walked the damned thing. I almost quit, right there, and let nature and relative comfort take it’s BMI-increasing course.
But a few days later, I glanced at the treadmill in the corner of the room. Could I really throw away a machine I spent several hundred dollars on, without even giving it a second try?
So the second attempt, I put my nose to the grindstone (is that the right term) and ran until my little heart nearly popped. Half a liter of sweat poured out of me. My calves throbbed. My tummy fat jiggled unattractively until I flexed my pecs and tried to tighten my stomach muscles. Hey, that doesn’t look too bad, now!
What? That was a whole mile? I almost didn’t notice it, so absorbed in narcissism I was. I hit the stop button a few paces into mile 2, and noted the time. 11 minutes, 3 seconds! If I had measured the time correctly, I estimate it would have been somewhere around 10 minutes, 45 seconds.
Buddy, I’m a snail compared to you. I ran 2.75 miles today and set a PR for pace–something like 14:55/mile. You should be proud of yourself. Hell, if it took you 20 minutes you should be proud of yourself. The coolest thing about running is your opponent is yourself. Consider yourself vanquished!
Can normal people really just run a mile? I never really groked that. I run regularly and I don’t usually do a whole mile at once…I used to be able to, but it took a lot of training to get to that point. Maybe some bodies just aren’t really built for stamina?
I’m not just running for myself, though. Soon, I’ll have to be able to compete with seriously fit people to have any chance of being a firefighter. This is the first step toward that, and I can’t really afford not to take it seriously.
I’m sure my pace would have dropped tremendously if I tried to keep it up for 2.75 miles. I can’t even wrap around my stupid head how in the world there are human beings who can even do that without exploding, let alone marathons.
I used to run cross country at my old school, and let me tell you–it never gets any easier, but it also never loses its magic. That’s the beauty of running–whether you’re doing sub 20 minutes for 3.1 miles up and down hills or walking a mile and a half, every day you get your ass out there and improve that time. If I have one piece of friendly advice for you, it is to get a pair of shoes that fit. Trust me, the first couple days of improving your time drastically is awesome, but that first period of excitement is almost always cut short by shin splints or arch trouble if you don’t take care of yourself.
May your days be filled with swift bipedal locomotion and your head with potent opioid neuropeptides!
When I did my first three mile run in Marine boot camp I thought I was going to die. It will get easier but it is never easy. Especially after a series of shots in the butt cheek before a three mile run… sadistic bastards.
My best mile ever was about 11:10 and that was after several years running on the track at the Y, lifting weights, and doing water aerobics religiously. As a matter of fact, very soon I’ll be rejoining that same Y, I hope I can recreate it all again. Best wishes to you, too!
That’s the nice thing about being out of shape, you can improve really drastically in a short amount of time, doubling or tripling your distance in a few weeks. I started swimming a month or so ago and went from barely being able to do 8 laps (400 yds) to easily being able to finish a mile.
Yesterday morning I ran voluntarily for the second time ever in my life. According to Gmaps Pedometer, I ran 3/4 mile, and it took me 6 minutes. Not quite Roger Bannister. Also, I had to walk some of the way. And thought I was dying afterwards, and now my legs hurt. A lot.
my wife and I started this about 8 weeks ago and I am running for 30 minutes at a 11:30 mile average and she is running for 25 minutes and a 12:00 mile. We are both 48 and in good shape as regularly go to the gym and did elliptical work and weights. But running is VERY different and this program worked for us.
Prior to this I would try and run for say 4-5 minutes and die the next day. But I would see people at the gym who were clearly in worse shape then me running for 15-20 minutes and I couldn’t figure out why.
After doing this program I now understand. My favorite moment was about two weeks ago. I got on the treadmill next to this young kid who was easily half my age and he took off running (something like a 10 minute mile) and of course about 10 minutes into it he was exhausted and I was like the little Energizer rabbit and kept on going. He got off the machine and did weights, but I kept seeing him looking over and trying to figure out how the old guy was still going! 30 minutes later I got off the machine! Damn kids–trying to show the old guy up! In your face!
My first 1 mile was much like yours - I’d been doing a learn-to-run program where the intervals were getting longer, but for some reason couldn’t run a mile. Even though the program thought that by now, I should have no problem doing that.
Out of desperation, I slowed way down one morning, and it happened. I finally made it a mile - it took 13 minutes, but it was a mile. I even kept going a little bit. And then the legs and lungs gave out.
My second mile (and a lot of the ones after that - for a long, long time, in fact) were also in the 13 minute range. So, good job with #2.
Yesterday, despite being out of shape and very undertrained (I didn’t run regularly between September and May - just one 5k in January), I ended up doing a relay race with 3-ish mile long legs and rests in between. This morning, my right shoulder, calves, and hamstrings are sore and I’m thinking about how if I start training now, I can do a longer relay with much better times next year.
This is the program I’m following, recommended by a fellow Doper. I’m on Week 8, day 2, and have gone in just months from a total couch potato who had never even run 1 mile, to capable of covering 2.75 miles without fainting or puking afterwards–in fact, post-run I’m generally energized and on top of the world. I also have lost roughly 10 lbs. My first 5K race is on July 4th. It really works, I highly recommend this schedule. It is the perfect balance of constant improvement without forcing you into burnout. It goes by distance or time and is very flexible to accommodate all different fitness levels.
I definitely think running is one of those weird things you have to condition yourself for. The average person, even a person who exercises regularly, would probably struggle with one mile, because they would start out at a pace too fast for them to maintain. Pacing can make a huge difference and it seems like the more experience you have with running, the better you are able to control your pace and run at maximum efficiency. Not that I’m any sort of expert or anything, but this has been my observation – pace will make you or break you.
I’ve run 2-3 times a week (or more) for months at a time in the past, and never got better than an 11 or 12 minute mile. It never bothers me - if you’re doing it for the health benefits, the important thing is getting out and doing it, not the speed.
The way I went from couch potato to running 10Km non stop in 6 weeks was a very simple, though relentless program. First day I ran 1 minute and walked 1 minute for half an hour; next day it was 2 minutes running and one walking, and so forth adding one more minute of run time every day.
It hurt a lot though!