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Running Workouts to Build Endurance

Training Programs for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Runners


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  • Um, can we get an "Extra Beginner" Level? Seriously, jog for 10+ minutes? That's crazy...
    I too think that for a beginner walking at 3.5 mph and then shooting up to 6 mph for 8 mins is excessive. I used to run and the fastest I ran was 5.5 mph for 40 mins and varied my speed downward intermittently.

    This program written here must be for super-athletes or experienced marathoners or people with super long legs.

  • Yes INTENSITY refers to your perceived exertion ie how hard on a scale of 1 to 10 do you think that you're working NOT mph
  • I believe some people are reading this wrong. The column in question is the INTENSITY you are working, hence the chart showing how to measure RPE. It is NOT miles per hour.
  • I started a couch to 5K program at the end of August. This program started walking 4 minutes, jog 1 for one week and then each week it increased the jogging time and lessened the walking time. As of today I can jog 5 miles on hills. I only worked out a couple times a week following this program and then another day of the week I took the dogs for a change but not so intense of a workout. I will do a 5 K on Thanksgiving. There is no way I could begin running via MPH.
  • Opticsnake left some really great suggestions.
    On the charts, is it appropriate to aim for the PE levels instead of the miles per hour? For those who are just starting exercise programs, focusing on learning to rate their exertion will be very helpful, and too many people overdo in the beginning, get injured, and then get discouraged. Building up as you get fitter really makes a difference.
    We'd all like the pounds to come off fast, but it's more important they STAY OFF,
    so aim for consistency more than speed in the beginning.
    Thanks for getting us motivated and providing some guidelines to aim toward.
  • Doing couch to 5K for beginner is more workable. I think the program for beginner in this article is a bit too challenging.
  • I've done a couple of 5k mud runs and always like to make good time in between the obstacles, so tonight I'm going to give this one a whirl.
  • I am starting a fresh workout routine tomorrow 6/28/10 and I will try it.. I will comment later on this week!
    *Jesus my Savior*
    Not sure that I agree that "jogging" at 6 mph for 8 minutes is something a beginner would be able to do. I have started using the treadmill and am not in horrible shape, and there is no way I could keep up that pace for 8 minutes.
  • Printed this article out and will start today!
  • This looks like a real challenge because I rarely get above 5 mph and certainly don't run at 6 mph for more than a few seconds! But I've been looking for a way to get better at running so I'm going to try this!
  • I have to agree with many of the others who say that the beginner level isn't as beginner as you would first think. I'm getting ready to run a 10K in mid-May and found some good advice for those training up for a specific event: Never increase your run distance by more than 10% per week and never more than 2 miles more per week. So, I started with my end date and worked backwards. For me to be running 6.2 miles two weeks prior to the event, I start this week with 1.2 miles. Next week will be 1.4. I think that these may be more reasonable goals than trying to get someone to run at 6 mph for 8 minutes right off the bat.

    Also, there are a lot of great runners out there who advocate a walk/run/walk/run cycle for increasing endurance. This enables you to keep your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time while putting less stress on joints that may already by pushed to their limit by excess weight. As the weight comes off, you can run for longer periods of time.
  • GARBO1932
    I'm definitely going to give this a try, but I wanted to note that the "beginner" level isn't as beginner as one might think- I alternate my workouts between the treadmill and ellipticycle, etc, so I'm not a total couch potato, but I couldn't run at 5mph for 4 minutes if I tried! Someday I'll get there but holy cow not yet. I'm also trying interval training to get my endurance up- it's been working quite well so far.
  • These workouts REALLY work! I started running again last year after about a 7 year break from it. I was starting to get frustrated that I wasn't building up endurance like I felt I should be...I started doing these workouts and they work. The first time I did one I did the intermediate and couldn't complete it with the given MPH suggestions. So the next time I did it, I took it down to 5.2 mph and 5.6mph instead of 5.5 and 5.8. And it was fine. Now I'm moving on to the advanced and looking forward to the results!

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