Improving running: Steady state or walk/run?

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  1. Improving running: Steady state or walk/run?


    I just got an app called Couch to 5K, which helps you prepare to run a 5K even if you're totally out of shape. It's a 9 week program.

    It relies heavily on intervals -- walking and running. It increases the run times and decreases the walk times as the program progresses.

    Has that been proven to be the best for improving your endurance and speed? Or is it just a way to make running accessible when you're out of shape?

    The reason I ask is because i DO have the ability to jog steadily for 5K. But only at a very slow pace. I'm wondering if I should continue to do that and focus on improving my speed each run or if the interval (via the app) is actually more effective.
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
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  2. Quote Originally Posted by Kaprice View Post
    I just got an app called Couch to 5K, which helps you prepare to run a 5K even if you're totally out of shape. It's a 9 week program.

    It relies heavily on intervals -- walking and running. It increases the run times and decreases the walk times as the program progresses.

    Has that been proven to be the best for improving your endurance and speed? Or is it just a way to make running accessible when you're out of shape?

    The reason I ask is because i DO have the ability to jog steadily for 5K. But only at a very slow pace. I'm wondering if I should continue to do that and focus on improving my speed each run or if the interval (via the app) is actually more effective.
    I can't speak to the app, but if you can complete a 5k and are looking to improve your speed, then mixing in interval work (1-2 times a week) along with steady state work is the most effective
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  3. Ahh, so a combination, then. If I'm running 3 times a week, you'd suggest 2 being the intervals and one steady state?
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/289941-kaprice-goes-final.html

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Kaprice View Post
    I just got an app called Couch to 5K, which helps you prepare to run a 5K even if you're totally out of shape. It's a 9 week program.

    It relies heavily on intervals -- walking and running. It increases the run times and decreases the walk times as the program progresses.

    Has that been proven to be the best for improving your endurance and speed? Or is it just a way to make running accessible when you're out of shape?

    The reason I ask is because i DO have the ability to jog steadily for 5K. But only at a very slow pace. I'm wondering if I should continue to do that and focus on improving my speed each run or if the interval (via the app) is actually more effective.
    It's a great program to increase your speed and stamina. I know a lot of people personally who have followed it and have had great results
    Twenty-Two Until None
    I Am My Brothers Keeper

  5. What about guys with weak knees, due to a bad back?
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by Kaprice View Post
    Ahh, so a combination, then. If I'm running 3 times a week, you'd suggest 2 being the intervals and one steady state?
    Ideal week (and this is from an ultramarathoner and running coach's perspective) would be 1 interval, 1 steady state as you have been doing, 1 steady state a bit longer)

  7. Quote Originally Posted by scherbs View Post
    Ideal week (and this is from an ultramarathoner and running coach's perspective) would be 1 interval, 1 steady state as you have been doing, 1 steady state a bit longer)
    How hard should I be pushing my runs? Should I be trying to keep my breathing and/or my heart rate at a particular level? Or should I be pushing as hard as I can?

    I've read things like we should run at a pace where we could speak in regular sentences -- or can breathe through the nose.
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/289941-kaprice-goes-final.html

  8. For your intervals, go as hard as will allow you to speak in broken sentences (you should be breathing hard during your work intervals). Steady state running you have heard correctly-easy enough that you could have a conversation (I have my athletes talk to each other or-if they are alone-recite the pledge of allegiance)

  9. When I got my 5k time down to under 20min I just ran 5k on time and just tried to push myself every, most, of the time and beat my last time. Once in awhile I did sprints but when I did, it also ended up being 5k.

    My recommendation is to run more.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by BBiceps View Post
    When I got my 5k time down to under 20min I just ran 5k on time and just tried to push myself every, most, of the time and beat my last time. Once in awhile I did sprints but when I did, it also ended up being 5k.

    My recommendation is to run more.
    That may not apply to me. I "run" a 5K in about 45 minutes.
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/289941-kaprice-goes-final.html

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Kaprice View Post
    That may not apply to me. I "run" a 5K in about 45 minutes.
    That's very slow and you will get that time down if you do it more.

    Just so we're not confusing anything, 5k=5 kilometers, right?

  12. Quote Originally Posted by BBiceps View Post
    That's very slow and you will get that time down if you do it more.

    Just so we're not confusing anything, 5k=5 kilometers, right?
    Yes 5 kilometers. And I know it's slow. I'm old and fat and out of condition. I can do 1 mile in about 10:30. 2 miles slows my average to around 13. 3.1 miles is at about a 15 minute avg pace.

    That's why I've asked the question. For someone who drastically loses steam after the first mile, I'm was wanting to know how hard to push for the best progress.

    BTW, my legs often cramp or pull when I push too hard --quads and calves. I had to skip yesterday's run because my right calf (near the achilles heel) started hurting when I walk.
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/289941-kaprice-goes-final.html

  13. As my former assistant coach liked to say: "fast pace, slow pace, any pace is better than none at all"

  14. Quote Originally Posted by scherbs View Post
    As my former assistant coach liked to say: "fast pace, slow pace, any pace is better than none at all"
    True, but I'm not looking for advice about what's better than nothing.
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/289941-kaprice-goes-final.html

  15. Quote Originally Posted by Kaprice View Post
    Yes 5 kilometers. And I know it's slow. I'm old and fat and out of condition. I can do 1 mile in about 10:30. 2 miles slows my average to around 13. 3.1 miles is at about a 15 minute avg pace.

    That's why I've asked the question. For someone who drastically loses steam after the first mile, I'm was wanting to know how hard to push for the best progress.

    BTW, my legs often cramp or pull when I push too hard --quads and calves. I had to skip yesterday's run because my right calf (near the achilles heel) started hurting when I walk.
    Ok, good that you have a goal.

    I would alternate treadmill and outside, maybe even track and mix up the pace and distance. Time yourself every time and try to beat your last time.

    I used to be a horrible runner, I still not very good, but I push myself and now I run far easy with decent times. Even if it sucks, you just have to run, all the time, even if it hurts.

  16. I would say steady state for sure - and also - I highly recommend trying out 5 different types of brands of shoes.

    Shoes make SUCH a huge difference. The higher cushioning the better if you ask me

  17. Quote Originally Posted by jimjones87 View Post
    I would say steady state for sure - and also - I highly recommend trying out 5 different types of brands of shoes.

    Shoes make SUCH a huge difference. The higher cushioning the better if you ask me
    I have neither the budget nor the dedication to running to buy 5 sets of shoes. I do have a $100 pair of pretty good running shoes that were recommended by a high end shoe store after analyzing my gait, weight, and standing style.
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/289941-kaprice-goes-final.html

  18. Quote Originally Posted by Kaprice View Post
    I just got an app called Couch to 5K, which helps you prepare to run a 5K even if you're totally out of shape. It's a 9 week program.

    It relies heavily on intervals -- walking and running. It increases the run times and decreases the walk times as the program progresses.

    Has that been proven to be the best for improving your endurance and speed? Or is it just a way to make running accessible when you're out of shape?

    The reason I ask is because i DO have the ability to jog steadily for 5K. But only at a very slow pace. I'm wondering if I should continue to do that and focus on improving my speed each run or if the interval (via the app) is actually more effective.
    Interval cardio is what i prefer. there was some research on interval burning more fat and not muscle in less time, if im not mistaken in 2009. Its a no brainier to me, I get up a couple times a week and do fasted interval cardio on the elliptical, which i can go fast. It sure beats running
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    Mind and Muscle Code AM10
    Classic Physique competitor, Facebook- Great Physique Fitness, Online coaching

  19. Quote Originally Posted by Kaprice View Post
    I just got an app called Couch to 5K, which helps you prepare to run a 5K even if you're totally out of shape. It's a 9 week program.

    It relies heavily on intervals -- walking and running. It increases the run times and decreases the walk times as the program progresses.
    .............
    Theres walk intervals because the program is meant for out of shape beginners. You could follow it even if your are fitter and it will be a gentle progression. For people getting back into shape after a while, I would recommend sticking to it instead of doing tempo runs and things like that.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by John Smeton View Post
    Interval cardio is what i prefer. there was some research on interval burning more fat and not muscle in less time, if im not mistaken in 2009. Its a no brainier to me, I get up a couple times a week and do fasted interval cardio on the elliptical, which i can go fast. It sure beats running
    Interval cardio works well up to a point. The main limitation is that its hard on the body and it will take some time to recover.
    The base of endurance training is slow steady state running which has some important benefits as well. Not having a decent endurance base will limit the speed of recovery from interval cardio.

  21. Quote Originally Posted by brutus1 View Post
    Interval cardio works well up to a point. The main limitation is that its hard on the body and it will take some time to recover.
    The base of endurance training is slow steady state running which has some important benefits as well. Not having a decent endurance base will limit the speed of recovery from interval cardio.
    agreed. Like today I did 20 minutes interval, its tough, but I love it, then 15 walk
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    Mind and Muscle Code AM10
    Classic Physique competitor, Facebook- Great Physique Fitness, Online coaching

  22. Lots of good comments here. However, I'd say either do the program (even though you can technically get through a 5K, the C25 schedule should have you doing it a lot quicker at the end), or look for 5K-10K bridge programming.

    Like building muscles, structure and consistency is the biggest contributing factor.

    Edit: the absolute best way - get an actual running coach. Not being an arse, just answering the question. Personally, I think the interval-based apps are pretty great.

  23. Quote Originally Posted by Eight View Post
    Lots of good comments here. However, I'd say either do the program (even though you can technically get through a 5K, the C25 schedule should have you doing it a lot quicker at the end), or look for 5K-10K bridge programming.

    Like building muscles, structure and consistency is the biggest contributing factor.

    Edit: the absolute best way - get an actual running coach. Not being an arse, just answering the question. Personally, I think the interval-based apps are pretty great.
    The reason i like to do interval myself is because somedays im more tired like yesterday instead of doing 2 minutes 50% and 1 minute hard I went 1:30 seconds 50% and 30 seconds just about all out then repeat. After 15-20 minutes of this I was spent and just wanted to do some steady state walking
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    Mind and Muscle Code AM10
    Classic Physique competitor, Facebook- Great Physique Fitness, Online coaching

  24. Quote Originally Posted by Eight View Post
    Lots of good comments here. However, I'd say either do the program (even though you can technically get through a 5K, the C25 schedule should have you doing it a lot quicker at the end), or look for 5K-10K bridge programming.

    Like building muscles, structure and consistency is the biggest contributing factor.

    Edit: the absolute best way - get an actual running coach. Not being an arse, just answering the question. Personally, I think the interval-based apps are pretty great.
    The reason i like to do interval myself is because somedays im more tired like yesterday instead of doing 2 minutes 50% and 1 minute hard I went 1:30 seconds 50% and 30 seconds just about all out then repeat. After 15-20 minutes of this I was spent and just wanted to do some steady state walking
    Millennium Sport Technologies Representative
    Mind and Muscle Code AM10
    Classic Physique competitor, Facebook- Great Physique Fitness, Online coaching

  25. Thanks, All. Great ideas.

    My goal is to improve but I never intend to be an actual competetor and I have no interest in building to a 10k.

    I just want to get in reasonable condition. I just turned 56 and my body rebells a lot. For the past year, or so, every time I start running again, I pull something. It's frustrating and I have to fight the impulse to give up on running altogether.

    My daughter's work has a charity 5K every year and that's what I was hoping to build up to, but my calf has got me limping again and the run in on 10/6, so I think I'm going to sit this one out.
    That avatar is not me. It's what I imagine as my ideal body.
    Follow my Fat Loss Log For My Final 20 Pounds...
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/289941-kaprice-goes-final.html
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