Tips for running because I suck.

Discussion in 'PRT' started by Pistol719, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Pistol719

    Pistol719 Will Over Skill None

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    Hey guys... I've ran my share of PRT's while I was active duty.. Even now that I am out and esp since I plan on going back in commissioned I still continue to work out on a regular basis.

    But something that has always kicked my ass is running. It has literally always been my Achilles heel. I always pass my previous PRT's with usually a Good low/Good High in terms of the run.. I am just curious to some tips/tricks to maybe improving my runtime and endurance... also I guess this sounds funny but form/breathing..

    Currently my exercise routine is as follows:

    - I goto the gym mon-fri and take my weekends off. I start each day off with a 1.8 mile jog/run which I am averaging 12min (I am 26 btw and approx 195 Im kinda built like a football player) Then I do my workout and hit the pool for 3-4 laps (after a workout in the gym thats about all you can get out of me)

    Now With respect to my run here are my questions.

    1. Usually by the end of that 1.8 mile run I am dead.. I notice alot of guys on here post they can rock out 3-4 miles... How?? What are some steps I can take to increase my endurance in terms of this..because I can obviously see that increasing that will increase my runtime when it comes to the PRT


    2. With that said I am thinking of the BIGGEST things I am doing wrong is not controlling my breathing.. any tips/tricks for that?

    Just curious to get some help from some more "recreational" runners.. To be quite honest I hate it hahaha..I am more of the muscle man hit the iron type guy.. But I fully believe in making your weaknesses turn into strengths so any help would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. m26

    m26 Active Member

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    Are you breathing in through your nose, out through your mouth?
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  3. Jynx

    Jynx *Placeholder*

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    Quote:
    You can help us help you alot more if you tell us what it is about the running that knocks you. Do your muscles cramp, do you get winded, bored...?


    That sounds like a regimen. It's more then alot of people do. I Think you might be able to help us help you by giving us more info on your workout. If you're lifting alot of weight (especially upper body, chest, arms, etc) you're adding weight to your top that your legs have to carry. If you can, maybe more calf work (low weight, high reps) to take some of the muscle exhaustion off of yourself if cramps are the problem. Also, you might try less intensive weights and add more swimming. It doesn't add bulk, but it does tone, and builds cardio at the same time.

    1. One or two tricks. If you're knocking out about 2 miles daily, try having a day on/day off thing, and pushing yourself just that bit harder because you know you have a rest. This will also help you prevent repitition injuries. Another q is, Are you eating right? I know if I eat alot of meat or drink soda etc, my run the next day is crap. Complex carbs like brown rice, and unprocessed sugars like fruits, and bananas for the anti-cramp potasium mean literally miles of difference for myself. Again, are you cramping, getting winded...etc. Dead doesn't help diagnose the problem.


    2.A big one is keep your breathing relaxed. Try the old in through your nose, out through your mouth, but at a comfortable pace. You'll hate it at first, but concentrating on that distracts you from the run and actually adds to the steady supply of oxygen in your blood stream.

    I too am a muscle guy, built more for linebacking then soccer playing. And it did take me a while to get up to 5, 6, 7 mile runs. I'm not saying i'm the best at this, but these are the things that helped me change my body from weightlifter to more cross trainer
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  4. Pistol719

    Pistol719 Will Over Skill None

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    Towards the end I will start to cramp slightly in my calves, and for the most part I get winded


    Yeah for the most part even though I kinda don't mean them to my workouts end up being pretty upper body intensive.. As my girlfriend likes to put it (I have the chest of a lumberjack and the waist of a emo boy) I will try what you said and focus a little more on the calves,legs and lessen the weight on the upper body workouts and maybe just increase reps. I never really thought about that but I guess that does make sense what you are saying.. I am pretty large up top so thats gotta be a PITA for my legs to carry haha..

    As for breathing honestly no I just kind of try to breathe calmly.. Like you said I try doing the breathe in and out the mouth trick and usually that kinda throws my mental focus off track... I guess I gotta kinda work on that

    As for my diet, I would be a damn liar if I told you I eat fantastic all the time...but for a good 90% of the time I do watch what I eat.. I don't eat any junk food minus friday (my cheat day where I usually have a beer or an ice cream) And I am actually pretty on point with the foods you said.. I eat alot of chicken and brown rice and during the day my lunch usually consists of a turkey wrap and some fruits and trail mix.


    Thanks for the help though bud, I will take what you said into consideration
  5. BlackBearHockey

    BlackBearHockey go blue...

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    What helped me the most was getting older and having the run times go down. Also, I found changing from an endurance based run to interval or fartlek style runs. Just keep changing it up; sprints, distance runs, etc., it keeps you from hitting a plateau in your training. If it's possible, see if you can get your gait analyzed. Don't go bucwild and spend money or anything, but I've tried to read up on the subject and have made some minor modifications to my stride and have had some success.
  6. BTP1368

    BTP1368 Pro-Rec SWO!!!

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    Hey Pistol,

    Check out this site for some tips on running.

    www.runnersworld.com

    Have you ever tried High Intensity Interval Training to build up your speed/cardiovascular endurance? I have just started it so I can't say if it is working or not, but I have heard great things about it.

    If you are cramping up, make sure you get plenty of potassium in you diet. Also, make sure you are well hydrated prior to your run. Potassium doesn't do anything if you don't have enough water in your body. That's all I have for now, good luck.
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  7. C420sailor

    C420sailor Rhino Bro None

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    You're never going to get faster if you keep doing the same thing every time.

    If you want to get longer runs in, slow it down. If you're anything like me, you NEED to leave your watch at home. Go out, take it nice and slow, and enjoy the run. It should be no faster than conversational pace and lay down the mileage. That being said, make sure you don't increase your mileage more than 10-15% per week.

    Variety is key. Some days you should be going out putting the mileage in ("long" slow distance), and other days you should either be on the track getting the intervals and high intensity speed work in, or out doing tempo (close to race pace) runs. What you're doing right now is essentially "racing" (used loosely) each time you go running. You're taking a set distance and trying to run it faster each time. You won't improve much, and you're setting yourself up for injury.

    If you are doing all of your training on a treadmill, you are wrong. It's fine for those long slow runs and even the tempo runs but if you are doing all of your running on the treadmill that tells me that you are doing zero true speed/interval workouts. Also, running on the treadmill is easier---you will be in for a little shock when you get off that damn thing and have to run on solid ground.

    Weight lifting is important, especially for injury prevention, but don't think that having strong legs will take the place of a solid running plan. If you want to bench a lot of weight, bench press. If you want to get faster on the track, run.
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  8. sciguy

    sciguy Pro-Rec Supply

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    I am in a similar situation myself, at 6'5" 210 lbs (used to be 240). I have to just about kill myself to get under a 12 min 1.5 mile run. I love to weight-lift and have done that on and off for last 10 years. I recently added swimming a few laps after running and then weight-lifting at the gym. I do that every other day and take the weekends off.

    I am trying to improve my run time by 30-60 seconds. I will definitely try that breathing thing, my legs are not really that sore I just run out of breath. The calf machine is one of my favorites at the gym. I have much more lower body strength than upper. I have to admit, I do find running fairly boring as well and could probably push a little harder. I got stuck on the treadmill for a while because I could watch the TV.:(

    Any advice for a guy with longer and fairly muscled legs? Would it help to shorten/lengthen my stride, take deeper/shallow breaths? I have thought about buying some better running shoes, mine are about 5 years old and fairly worn, any advice on good running shoes?
  9. exhelodrvr

    exhelodrvr Active Member None

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    It's a mistake to take two days off in a row every week. Work in some kind of aerobic cross-training on one of those days, and maybe one other day each week.

    Figure out your goal (make it a realistic one!)

    Here is a suggested 5K training schedule to use as a guideline - you can see that the basic idea is to do a combination of slower distance work, "sprint" workouts, and rest days. Hills are part of this.

    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_4/142.shtml

    That general theory WILL work (whether you follow the schedule in the link, or come up with your own version), just be realistic with your goals.
  10. Jynx

    Jynx *Placeholder*

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    Cheers for the refinement Pistol,

    "Towards the end I will start to cramp slightly in my calves, and for the most part I get winded"

    I used to have the same trouble with cramps. I found out that if i did alot of high rep LOW weight ankle, calf, and hamstring exercises, that helped a lot. You and I think alike in the gym. I too love the bench, and biceps and everything, but try changing up the workout, and maybe you'll get different results. Obvs not the first day, but try a week of working out abs and below, see if that helps. At the very least it can't hurt to vary your patterns for a few days.

    I notice you do the run first. A good warmup might help you alot if you've been cutting it. Have you thought about taking in about 200 paces, stopping, stretching really well and continuing from there? A good stretch would include calves, hammies, quads, and a bit of lower back.

    Someone above said interval training. That really helps speed and getting your time down, especially if you have endurance from cardio training already. A good one that we did for soccer was to run one side of a track, jog the next, sprint two, jog two, and so on till you've sprinted a full lap. Then jog 3, sprint 3, jog 2, spring 2.

    I wouldn't alter my stride much. If you want to try that route, it's risky, because your body usually knows its own most comfortable rhythm. If you're going to, do it only for a few paces at first, and build up after each run, because you'll be using different muscles.

    CHECK YOUR SHOES. I ruined my legs in preseason training because I thought I could cheap out and go with a worn out pair of running shoes for a bit longer. I also thought I could ignore the cramps that were my body telling me I was doing things incorrectly. I couldn't, and ended up gaining 20lbs during my recovery from knee, ankle, and muscle issues.
  11. Spekkio

    Spekkio He bowls overhand.

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    General advice:

    1. The only way to get better at running is to run more. I know that sucks, but that's the facts.

    2. Maintain an aerobic workout EVERY DAY. If you rest more than 1 day a week, you are resting too much. Yes, rest is important, but most people read an article on that and take rest to the extreme. You should be able to find something to tax your body everyday.

    3. Do a lot of exercises that would involve the legs -- body builders, squats, dead lifts, etc. Hell, if you're not too embarrassed, you can even bear crawl. These exercises will build your leg muscles to help you run faster.
  12. whitesoxnation

    whitesoxnation Active Member None

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    Move your arms faster and your legs will be forced to move quicker.

    It works.

    You have more in you than you think.
  13. Pistol719

    Pistol719 Will Over Skill None

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    Thanks for all the advice guys...I will try out a few of these things and put them to use... Also I think I am going to reshape my schedule a little bit and no go hard 5 days a week.. Maybe put my rest day in between and switch up some of my routine to focus on cardio more one or two days and other training the others.. I also appreciate all the help on technique as well Thanks!
  14. 2ndGen

    2ndGen Third times a charm

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    I'm 6'5", 205 at the moment. As for my stride length, for the most part it is a nice comfortable stride, the last 400 meters of my PFT is an all out sprint, where my stride is about 5.5 feet. What I work on is getting my nice comfortable stride longer and longer. The way that I have been doing that is interval training, and indian runs.

    Interval training the way that I do it is to run, 400-600 meters at say an 8 min pace, followed by another 400-600 meters at sub 7 min pace. Indian runs you can only really do with a decent size group of about 5+. Put maybe 5 yards between each person, running comfortably the last guy in line, sprints to the front, then the new last guy in lines sprints to the front. So on and so forth. Running with this style helps work your stride length, to be able to maintain a longer stride through out your run.

    As for shoes, a good pair of running shoes will last 300-350 miles. Thats is why it is important to keep a running log and total the miles out about once a month. I usually keep about two pairs of shoes on hand that I alternate. Both pairs are in the $100 range. Don't worry about shelling out some money on good shoes.
  15. sciguy

    sciguy Pro-Rec Supply

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    You were definitely right about breathing through the nose and out the mouth. I trimmed almost 45 seconds off my run time, when I tried that today. I figured my breathing was holding me back, it does not feel natural but works surprisingly well. My leg muscles did not feel anywhere near as tired as they usually do. I could not keep up that breathing the whole time, a little more practice and I should be able to run a bit faster. Thank you for the help!

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