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Running Workouts to Build Endurance

Training Programs for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Runners


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  • This is crazy, even with all the disclaimers about adjusting to your situation etc. Sets people up with false expectations. Couch to 5 K is a much more realistic plan.
  • As the comments indicate, the article may need to better define "beginner." If you have been working out and have become reasonably fit, like being able to walk 2 miles in 30-32 minutes, then I think you are ready to begin running maybe not as fast or as long as the beginner chart indicates, but certainly ready to include running along with your walking. The chart can help you see how to employ the different speed intervals to build endurance. Just adjust the numbers for your present fitness level and work up to "beginner."
    Even "advanced" needs some clarification. If you are able to hold the top speed 6.3 (or 9:30 min/mile), for an entire 5K, your time would be 29:30. That's very good if you're a senior citizen like me, or somewhere along your healthy living journey, but in any 5K race, you would not be considered an "advanced" runner.
    We all compete against ourselves in the end. Use these charts accordingly.
  • When I first joined SparkPeople I could barely jog a slow mile. I've gotten a lot better since I've lost some weight, and am looking forward to improving more. I think these guidelines could work for people who are trimmer and only have a relatively small amount of weight to lose, but not for those of us who are still larger. I've experienced it first hand, running is *much* harder when you're heavy!
  • I have been doing the Couch to 5k program for a few months now. I got stuck a few times, and was off sometime for the holidays. Even as I've been doing Week 5 of that program, the beginner workout is way too hard for me. I can only imagine if you were just starting out running. I have a few months on top of that.
  • I would love to be able to run again. I had some small tears in my meniscus and am too afraid to do very much exercising. I also have arthritis and daily pain in my knee. Maybe as I increase my walking I can sneak in a short jog.
  • The intensity level DOES NOT refer to MPH but to RPE which is preceived exertion (chart at the bottom or aticle). I was a bit confused when I first read the article also.
  • I think the beginner endurance is a bit hard... I could never do that, and I am trying to learn to jog... Is there a way to build up?
  • Seriously, who measures pace in MPH? Since I don't run on a treadmill my only thought is that this is how treadmills delineate pace but I've never, ever met anyone who uses anything other than min/mile.

    Which would also allow more flexibility. It's a huge jump to go from 5 MPH (12 min/mile) to 6 PMH (10 min/mile).

    Using min/mile would allow say an increase from 12 min/mile to 11:30 min/mile.
    The beginner exertion rate matches the mph (left column) and I agree this is a little much to begin with. A pace of 6 mph for 8 minutes is too fast for me. I agree these are only general guidelines and should be adjusted according to fitness levels -- but it is a goal to work for :D Use 1 minute intervals but push just a little longer or a little faster. You never know what you can achieve until you push yourself.
  • "Because this is a general program, you may need to adjust the recommended speeds, intensities, and times to suit your fitness level."

  • I've been using the treadmill for 6 months and there is no way I could even do the Beginner stage. That's a little much. Like way too much.
  • MAGGIE101857
    I was glad to see the others comment on the speeds indicated here! Starting at 5.5 - 6.0 for a beginner : ( ????? IGNORE the speeds posted here and FOCUS on the RPE - that is how you will be able to measure your progress!!!

    The walk/run method is a great way to start out - it's actually a great way to run always!!! I am currently training for my first HM and will be using this method - my goal for this one is just to finish in the allotted time!

    Most important - have fun with your running! Don't put too much pressure on yourself and don't push so hard that you get injured!!

  • I just started running but I have a friend who is 60+ years old and he runs marathons all the time, but he uses the run/walkk/run method. I've tried that and it's much eaiser to "ease" into running, since my breathing/endurance is the hardest thing to control right now. I run for a minute, walk for a minute then run a minute, etc. Do that for a week or so then increase it to run 2 min, walk 1, or however is easiest. That's what I do... Good luck to everyone!
  • I would reiterate what many others have observed. The "beginner" workout (which DOES indicate a "miles per hour" as well as a PE column, please refer to the charts!) is WAAAY too intense and would discourage and possibly injure many beginners -- at least beginners older than 25 years of age.

    This article needs review by some SP or outside training and running advisers!

    If you limit yourself to using the perceived exertion scale ratings in the beginners workout that may work for some. But I think I'd rather look for another workout design!
  • Yeah, I don't think so!!! I have been running for almost 2 years and up to running 30 miles a week (yes that is correct miles) and I still can't attain those speeds for that amount of time. Next, lets try a differnt workout.

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