T Nation

Running - Advice

I weigh 225, down from 230, looking to be 210 or lower. Can’t run often enough, so while I condition my ankles for running and work up to where I need to be, I need to do something to get better at running. I figure just sprints, hill sprints, sled sprints, weighted walks, and tire flips would help my lungs. I want to get 3 miles in 22 minutes. Any advice?

EDIT: Right now I’m running Strongman oriented WSBB. Will be switching to 5/3/1 in a week or so, to maintain strength while I work on losing weight, conditioning, and bodyweight movements.

First question is…why do you want to get good at running a distance of 3 miles. Seems like a really long ways, even in my car.

Prepping for a military PFT? If so do you have a set date you need to be ready for? Do you have a current 5k/3mi time?

Sprints, flips, drags etc are great, but a 5k is almost entirely aerobic in nature so you will need to work up to regular, sustained effort to train effectively for it (i.e if your 5k time was already around 22:00 you could expect to be able to run 5 miles @ about 7:55/mile or almost 40 min. at just a little slower than your race pace of about 7:20/mile).

Anyway, I suggest “Couch to 5K” or something similar. It’s a simple progression that starts alternating 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running 30 minutes, 3x/wk and gradually builds from there. You could start tomorrow with no special training or equipment. Available free online. “Run Less Run Faster” is also good. It’s a mix of speed intervals, tempo runs and longer, slower runs 3x/wk + 2-3 cross-training sessions/wk. However, it’s a little more involved as far as pacing, calculations etc. You’ll probably need to pick up the book and it works better if you can comfortably run 5k now.

Also, especially as a bigger guy, I suggest you read “Born to run” and/or “Chi Running”. Both are a little new age-y, but if you can apply what they teach it may help you avoid being one of the 80+% of runners who suffer a training injury each year. Running is a skill and if you do it wrong and often you will very likely get hurt, be slow and hate running.

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Prepping for a military PFT? If so do you have a set date you need to be ready for? Do you have a current 5k/3mi time?

Sprints, flips, drags etc are great, but a 5k is almost entirely aerobic in nature so you will need to work up to regular, sustained effort to train effectively for it (i.e if your 5k time was already around 22:00 you could expect to be able to run 5 miles @ about 7:55/mile or almost 40 min. at just a little slower than your race pace of about 7:20/mile).

Anyway, I suggest “Couch to 5K” or something similar. It’s a simple progression that starts alternating 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running 30 minutes, 3x/wk and gradually builds from there. You could start tomorrow with no special training or equipment. Available free online. “Run Less Run Faster” is also good. It’s a mix of speed intervals, tempo runs and longer, slower runs 3x/wk + 2-3 cross-training sessions/wk. However, it’s a little more involved as far as pacing, calculations etc. You’ll probably need to pick up the book and it works better if you can comfortably run 5k now.

Also, especially as a bigger guy, I suggest you read “Born to run” and/or “Chi Running”. Both are a little new age-y, but if you can apply what they teach it may help you avoid being one of the 80+% of runners who suffer a training injury each year. Running is a skill and if you do it wrong and often you will very likely get hurt, be slow and hate running.[/quote]

I don’t have a set date. Right not, can’t run at all. Like, .2mi and my ankles hurt like crazy. My legs and lungs are fine, however. Trying Couch to 5k but it hurts my ankles. Did days 1 and 2 just fine, but day 3 my ankles were too inflamed to run and they burned within 30 seconds.

[quote]louiek wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Prepping for a military PFT? If so do you have a set date you need to be ready for? Do you have a current 5k/3mi time?

Sprints, flips, drags etc are great, but a 5k is almost entirely aerobic in nature so you will need to work up to regular, sustained effort to train effectively for it (i.e if your 5k time was already around 22:00 you could expect to be able to run 5 miles @ about 7:55/mile or almost 40 min. at just a little slower than your race pace of about 7:20/mile).

Anyway, I suggest “Couch to 5K” or something similar. It’s a simple progression that starts alternating 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running 30 minutes, 3x/wk and gradually builds from there. You could start tomorrow with no special training or equipment. Available free online. “Run Less Run Faster” is also good. It’s a mix of speed intervals, tempo runs and longer, slower runs 3x/wk + 2-3 cross-training sessions/wk. However, it’s a little more involved as far as pacing, calculations etc. You’ll probably need to pick up the book and it works better if you can comfortably run 5k now.

Also, especially as a bigger guy, I suggest you read “Born to run” and/or “Chi Running”. Both are a little new age-y, but if you can apply what they teach it may help you avoid being one of the 80+% of runners who suffer a training injury each year. Running is a skill and if you do it wrong and often you will very likely get hurt, be slow and hate running.[/quote]

I don’t have a set date. Right not, can’t run at all. Like, .2mi and my ankles hurt like crazy. My legs and lungs are fine, however. Trying Couch to 5k but it hurts my ankles. Did days 1 and 2 just fine, but day 3 my ankles were too inflamed to run and they burned within 30 seconds.[/quote]

Hmmm… Do you have any ankle pain/issues otherwise? Maybe see someone and find out? Not saying this is the case with you, but when I first tried Couch to 5k, I tended to do the running portion WAY too fast. I treated it almost like a series of sprint intervals, probably 80-90% exertion, which is not the intention. Within a week my lower calves/Achilles were pretty bloody sore. Most people, especially people who are hard chargers by nature, tend to try to start too fast. If you’re doing it right it will feel slow, painfully slow. Like I said, however that was just me. Your situation may be totally different.

You might consider joining a local running group/clinic for new runners. If it’s well run, it will keep your pacing and volume in check, provide an intelligent progression and include some stride coaching. Ask around though. It’s like anything, some clinics are useful and provide good value, others are overpriced and/or a waste of time.

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]louiek wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Prepping for a military PFT? If so do you have a set date you need to be ready for? Do you have a current 5k/3mi time?

Sprints, flips, drags etc are great, but a 5k is almost entirely aerobic in nature so you will need to work up to regular, sustained effort to train effectively for it (i.e if your 5k time was already around 22:00 you could expect to be able to run 5 miles @ about 7:55/mile or almost 40 min. at just a little slower than your race pace of about 7:20/mile).

Anyway, I suggest “Couch to 5K” or something similar. It’s a simple progression that starts alternating 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running 30 minutes, 3x/wk and gradually builds from there. You could start tomorrow with no special training or equipment. Available free online. “Run Less Run Faster” is also good. It’s a mix of speed intervals, tempo runs and longer, slower runs 3x/wk + 2-3 cross-training sessions/wk. However, it’s a little more involved as far as pacing, calculations etc. You’ll probably need to pick up the book and it works better if you can comfortably run 5k now.

Also, especially as a bigger guy, I suggest you read “Born to run” and/or “Chi Running”. Both are a little new age-y, but if you can apply what they teach it may help you avoid being one of the 80+% of runners who suffer a training injury each year. Running is a skill and if you do it wrong and often you will very likely get hurt, be slow and hate running.[/quote]

I don’t have a set date. Right not, can’t run at all. Like, .2mi and my ankles hurt like crazy. My legs and lungs are fine, however. Trying Couch to 5k but it hurts my ankles. Did days 1 and 2 just fine, but day 3 my ankles were too inflamed to run and they burned within 30 seconds.[/quote]

Hmmm… Do you have any ankle pain/issues otherwise? Maybe see someone and find out? Not saying this is the case with you, but when I first tried Couch to 5k, I tended to do the running portion WAY too fast. I treated it almost like a series of sprint intervals, probably 80-90% exertion, which is not the intention. Within a week my lower calves/Achilles were pretty bloody sore. Most people, especially people who are hard chargers by nature, tend to try to start too fast. If you’re doing it right it will feel slow, painfully slow. Like I said, however that was just me. Your situation may be totally different.

You might consider joining a local running group/clinic for new runners. If it’s well run, it will keep your pacing and volume in check, provide an intelligent progression and include some stride coaching. Ask around though. It’s like anything, some clinics are useful and provide good value, others are overpriced and/or a waste of time.[/quote]

Probably what I’m doing. I run a 5min mile, which burns me out in like 2 minutes haha

Lose the weight first. Use proper form, no plodding. Start out slowly. Stop and walk before your ankles hurt then try running again, stopping to walk before they begin hurting again, repeat. If you have access to a track you can jog the straightaways and walk the turns for several laps.

Remember that training is specific so being in awesome tire flipping shape will mean nothing when it comes to running for a moderate distance. However, the exercises you mentioned may help you to lose weight in conjunction with diet (the most important variable).

all the alternative stuff is good if you don’t do it every day. The same with running. If the ankles are your biggest issue make that your number one priority spend time rotating them, jumping rope, ankle hops, bounding and stairs. Not every day and not overdone in combination with running. They build fast but if you don’t watch it you can easily overdo it. Calf and ankle muscles seem to injure before they feel tired.

Hope your not running in a minimalist shoe. They’re great for walking around at the gym, or maybe advanced runners but if your just starting off that’s a tremendous amount of new stress on your ankles and achilles.

Other than that the best thing you can do is Fartlek, second HIT. Close to the same thing, except the Fartlek has lower high intensity portion and higher low intensity part. If your ankles hurt like they I would have one long walk a week stressing my ankles, the other days HIT until I can jog straight for 22 minutes. Then have a log jog for 30 min a week, and HIT the other days.

Take a load of pain meds so you won’t feel your ankles!

Also though I hear that sledgehammer swings at a big tire can be pretty good cardio if you do it right.

[quote]louiek wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]louiek wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Prepping for a military PFT? If so do you have a set date you need to be ready for? Do you have a current 5k/3mi time?

Sprints, flips, drags etc are great, but a 5k is almost entirely aerobic in nature so you will need to work up to regular, sustained effort to train effectively for it (i.e if your 5k time was already around 22:00 you could expect to be able to run 5 miles @ about 7:55/mile or almost 40 min. at just a little slower than your race pace of about 7:20/mile).

Anyway, I suggest “Couch to 5K” or something similar. It’s a simple progression that starts alternating 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running 30 minutes, 3x/wk and gradually builds from there. You could start tomorrow with no special training or equipment. Available free online. “Run Less Run Faster” is also good. It’s a mix of speed intervals, tempo runs and longer, slower runs 3x/wk + 2-3 cross-training sessions/wk. However, it’s a little more involved as far as pacing, calculations etc. You’ll probably need to pick up the book and it works better if you can comfortably run 5k now.

Also, especially as a bigger guy, I suggest you read “Born to run” and/or “Chi Running”. Both are a little new age-y, but if you can apply what they teach it may help you avoid being one of the 80+% of runners who suffer a training injury each year. Running is a skill and if you do it wrong and often you will very likely get hurt, be slow and hate running.[/quote]

I don’t have a set date. Right not, can’t run at all. Like, .2mi and my ankles hurt like crazy. My legs and lungs are fine, however. Trying Couch to 5k but it hurts my ankles. Did days 1 and 2 just fine, but day 3 my ankles were too inflamed to run and they burned within 30 seconds.[/quote]

Hmmm… Do you have any ankle pain/issues otherwise? Maybe see someone and find out? Not saying this is the case with you, but when I first tried Couch to 5k, I tended to do the running portion WAY too fast. I treated it almost like a series of sprint intervals, probably 80-90% exertion, which is not the intention. Within a week my lower calves/Achilles were pretty bloody sore. Most people, especially people who are hard chargers by nature, tend to try to start too fast. If you’re doing it right it will feel slow, painfully slow. Like I said, however that was just me. Your situation may be totally different.

You might consider joining a local running group/clinic for new runners. If it’s well run, it will keep your pacing and volume in check, provide an intelligent progression and include some stride coaching. Ask around though. It’s like anything, some clinics are useful and provide good value, others are overpriced and/or a waste of time.[/quote]

Probably what I’m doing. I run a 5min mile, which burns me out in like 2 minutes haha[/quote]

Wouldn’t surprise me. It’s really hard psychologically to slow down enough when you’re starting a new running program. Especially if you’re already “in shape” from something else.

If you haven’t already done the math, 5 min/mile is 2:30/mile faster than your goal pace, which is still quite a ways off for you as far as a sustained effort. You’re trying to start from the end. Look at it like anything else. If you were totally untrained at lifting and your goal was to bench 300lbs for 3, would you think it was reasonable to load up 450lbs and try to work heavy singles? That’s kinda what you’re doing except you “can” go out and run that fast while the weight would just pin/crush your hypothetical, untrained self and end the discussion.

I 100% appreciate how hard it is to be patient with this crap, but it’s the only way you’ll likely ever be able to stick with distance running long enough to progress. I made my best progress while running in a group setting that FORCED me to run much longer and slower than I felt like most of the time with elements of sprints, fartleks etc. interspersed to keep the speed up.

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]louiek wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]louiek wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Prepping for a military PFT? If so do you have a set date you need to be ready for? Do you have a current 5k/3mi time?

Sprints, flips, drags etc are great, but a 5k is almost entirely aerobic in nature so you will need to work up to regular, sustained effort to train effectively for it (i.e if your 5k time was already around 22:00 you could expect to be able to run 5 miles @ about 7:55/mile or almost 40 min. at just a little slower than your race pace of about 7:20/mile).

Anyway, I suggest “Couch to 5K” or something similar. It’s a simple progression that starts alternating 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running 30 minutes, 3x/wk and gradually builds from there. You could start tomorrow with no special training or equipment. Available free online. “Run Less Run Faster” is also good. It’s a mix of speed intervals, tempo runs and longer, slower runs 3x/wk + 2-3 cross-training sessions/wk. However, it’s a little more involved as far as pacing, calculations etc. You’ll probably need to pick up the book and it works better if you can comfortably run 5k now.

Also, especially as a bigger guy, I suggest you read “Born to run” and/or “Chi Running”. Both are a little new age-y, but if you can apply what they teach it may help you avoid being one of the 80+% of runners who suffer a training injury each year. Running is a skill and if you do it wrong and often you will very likely get hurt, be slow and hate running.[/quote]

I don’t have a set date. Right not, can’t run at all. Like, .2mi and my ankles hurt like crazy. My legs and lungs are fine, however. Trying Couch to 5k but it hurts my ankles. Did days 1 and 2 just fine, but day 3 my ankles were too inflamed to run and they burned within 30 seconds.[/quote]

Hmmm… Do you have any ankle pain/issues otherwise? Maybe see someone and find out? Not saying this is the case with you, but when I first tried Couch to 5k, I tended to do the running portion WAY too fast. I treated it almost like a series of sprint intervals, probably 80-90% exertion, which is not the intention. Within a week my lower calves/Achilles were pretty bloody sore. Most people, especially people who are hard chargers by nature, tend to try to start too fast. If you’re doing it right it will feel slow, painfully slow. Like I said, however that was just me. Your situation may be totally different.

You might consider joining a local running group/clinic for new runners. If it’s well run, it will keep your pacing and volume in check, provide an intelligent progression and include some stride coaching. Ask around though. It’s like anything, some clinics are useful and provide good value, others are overpriced and/or a waste of time.[/quote]

Probably what I’m doing. I run a 5min mile, which burns me out in like 2 minutes haha[/quote]

Wouldn’t surprise me. It’s really hard psychologically to slow down enough when you’re starting a new running program. Especially if you’re already “in shape” from something else.

If you haven’t already done the math, 5 min/mile is 2:30/mile faster than your goal pace, which is still quite a ways off for you as far as a sustained effort. You’re trying to start from the end. Look at it like anything else. If you were totally untrained at lifting and your goal was to bench 300lbs for 3, would you think it was reasonable to load up 450lbs and try to work heavy singles? That’s kinda what you’re doing except you “can” go out and run that fast while the weight would just pin/crush your hypothetical, untrained self and end the discussion.

I 100% appreciate how hard it is to be patient with this crap, but it’s the only way you’ll likely ever be able to stick with distance running long enough to progress. I made my best progress while running in a group setting that FORCED me to run much longer and slower than I felt like most of the time with elements of sprints, fartleks etc. interspersed to keep the speed up.[/quote]

It’s tough for me, mentally, to run so slow, but I think if I literally just did the jogging I see people do and roll my eyes at, I would be able to run for much longer and not put as much pressure on my ankles. And I assume it will be easier to get 3mi in 22min if I can run 3mi in the first place.

Get on a program that has hills, sprints, long slow distance and tempo training. They usually run 8-12 weeks. Shave 3-5 minutes every cycle.

See someone about the ankles.

Get fitted for a real pair of running shoes from a real running store. There is a difference between cushioning, stability and motion control. Your shoes could also be the reason your ankles hurt.

Keep up the weight traing. WS4SB is an excellent program. Or anything with explosive movements.

Check out Pose Running for one approach to running; I’m having pretty good success with it. There are a few more listed here:

Go to a doctor and get your ankle checked to make sure it’s not something bad.

And when you get the go ahead, work on the couch to 5k, which will get you up to running 10 minute miles. This is a long way off from doing 7ish miles, but you have to start somewhere.

As for your weight, be careful with your knees.

Some more articles:

Another good resource is SealFit, which is kinda like Crossfit without trying to race through the Olympic Lifts.

The military would like you to be both strong and fast, but it’s definitely an uphill battle and requires a lot of work. Good luck!