T Nation

Tips On Becoming a Better Runner?

OK, I know most probably don’t run. I was going to ask a runner’s forum but all those people are 90lbs and look ill.

Anyway, my job requires that I be able to run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes. I’m 5’7" tall and 225, this is a real difficult task for me. I can do it but HATE running. Are there any tips from the bodybuilder types that can make this easier or improve my running capability without making me look like I’ve starved myself for the last 2 years :-)?

Thanks!!
J.

well, those scrawny types warm up with twice the distance you’re required to run, so I wouldn’t be too worried.

depending on your shape, there are a few ways to approach it.

if you’re out of shape, I’d start by running a mile a couple times a week, and then ading a quarter, than a half mile to work up your endurance.

then again if you’re in decent shape and are ready to get your time down, I’d do a combination hihger intensity, 400 type running to build your capacity, and focus on running a little more than your required distance a couple days a week. If you can run a pretty quick 2.5 miles, you’ll blow 1.5 out of the water.

Cruz

For your purposes, you don’t have to worry about marathonitis. Simply work on intervals and sprint type work, mixed in with some lighter cardio and this sghould suit you fine. Whatever cardio you are doing, just through in some higher intensity bouts. Build to longer and longer sprints and not only do you keep your job–you keep lbm and for good measure you’ll probably lose some body fat. Keep us free!

Hehe, you’re concerned about 11 min of cardio ruining your body:P Past that 2 things: you can improve without losing any muscle mass by losing some bodyfat (not sure how possible this is as I don’t know your bf), and you’re probably get a good deal of improvement by just running 1.5 miles once or twice a week (you might break up the monotony with some intervals, but the transfer will be different). Hope that helps.

Hey dude,
What is your BF%? Your height and weight would make you a big mutha. I am assuming that you have a lot of fat to lose (if you dont, then disregard this reccom). I would read Cressey’s new cardio article and check out uphill walking, perhaps on a treadmill and additionally, refine your diet. Even if you lost 30lbs of blubber (not sure how much you have) you would probably be able to run more easily, simply because you would not be carrying the extra weight. Thats my opinion.
-Matt

you need to run 1.5 miles at a little faster than 8 MPH. That is a pretty good pace, about a 24 minute 5K. But quite doable for a non-runner (like myself). Here is the key…make your training sessions intense and last for less than 11 minutes. I am going to assume you are a little overweight and could maybe lose 15 to 20 lbs of fat. But if you are all muscle I would say it’s even more important for you to stretch (say 10 minutes versus 5) before and after running. Here is my proscribed workout.

Workout 1: Sprint 200 Yards rest 60 seconds repeat until you hit 11 minutes.

When you can do 6 intervals in under 11 minutes you should move on to the next workout.

Workout 2: Sprint 400 Yards, rest 60 seconds repeat until you hit 11 minutes.

When you can complete 4 intervals in 11 minutes, go to next workout.

Workout 3: Sprint 200 Yards rest 50 seconds repeat until you hit 10 minutes.

When you can complete 6 intervals in 10 minutes, go to next workout.

Workout 4: Sprint 400 yards rest 50 seconds, repeat until you hit 10 minutes.

When you can do 4 intervals in 10 minutes you can easilly do 1.5 miles in 11 minutes.

tips
*if you get stuck at a workout for more than 3 sessions, move to the next workout for 1 session than move back.
*try to actively recover during the rest times…focus on taking deep controlled breaths.
*I find holding back a little on interval 1 and sometimes 2 gives me the wind to step up on the subsequent intervals.
*If this isn’t working for you after 2 weeks move on to something else, this should work for most people, but not for some. It is an intense 11 minutes not a a jog.
*Most important, if you are starting from a point of poor fitness or being overweight you should at a minimum wear a heart rate monitor. Try to keep your heart rate at below 85% max at all times. calculate this as roughly .85(220-age)…in fact anyone doing interval training or running of any kind can benefit from a HRM.

The good news is you only have to do 11 minutes of something you hate - not bad.

First and foremost, as has been pointed out in this thread, if you have excess bodyfat, drop it like it’s hot. Second, if you have time to prepare and regardless of bf%, knock out your cardio (spin bike, elliptical, whatever you actually like) of choice but make sure to add intervals to your program. An easy way to start is doing 1 minute on, 1 minute off. If that’s easy, start dropping 10 seconds off each recovery interval until it becomes a challenge. Obviously your goal here is to knock out 11 one-minute intervals with as little recvoery time as possible.

If you have the time, about a month or so before your test, I’d take one of your cardio sessions to the track and knock out your 1.5 miles and see how you do. The following week, knock out two sessions at the track, and the third week, bingo! three times at the track.

Again, not knowing your bf% or your time frame it’s hard to advise specifics. If you throw that info into a new post, you may be able to get some more exact advice.

Best of luck.

Thanks for all the tips. I should preface by saying I can do the run BUT I don’t like it. I was wondering when it gets fun…if ever:-) As far as my BF % goes I have no idea. I never really had it measured but I’m 34 yo and have been training since I was 16. I am no where near overweight but could certainly lose a few lbs (as could most everyone else). I don’t have a gut hanging over my pants if that’s what you wanted to know :slight_smile:

I have done some of the interval training and I run every other day but my improvements have been coming slowly. Maybe this is normal…

I didn’t think I’d lose mass for the 11 minute run but I do run 2-3 miles (depending on my mood) every other day. Could it lead to musle loss if I increase the distance? FWIW, I’ve been running for a few years.

Thanks!!
J.

[quote]cruzmisl wrote:

I didn’t think I’d lose mass for the 11 minute run but I do run 2-3 miles (depending on my mood) every other day. Could it lead to musle loss if I increase the distance? FWIW, I’ve been running for a few years.

Thanks!!
J.[/quote]

First of all any exercise is catabolic in nature, including lifting at the gym. That is to say your body will strip the amino acids from your muscles and at some point in time begin consuming muscle…recovering from a weight workout w/ protein and supplements compensates for this…the muscle you lose from distance running simply goes away…very simplistic explanation…but interval training is like the weightlifting equivalent of running…run fast, for short spurts, and take short periods to recover…this will engage muscle fibers that get bigger, think of what a sprinter looks like…anyway you should save yourself the time and muscle and do interval training…and buy a heart rate monitor, this will show you that while your speed may not improve your recovery surely will: e.g. at first your HR might go to 180 doing a 400 meter run in 70 seconds and recover to 130 after one minute of rest, one month into your program your HR might only go to 175 during the same run and you might have a better recovery.

You can look into improving your running technique to make it more efficient. Look into the “Pose Method of Running”.

One more question. IS it OK to run after a leg workout? Meaning, if I train legs on Tuesday morning is ot OK to run Wednesday morning?

J

[quote]cruzmisl wrote:
One more question. IS it OK to run after a leg workout? Meaning, if I train legs on Tuesday morning is ot OK to run Wednesday morning?

J[/quote]

that depends on u and the leg workout you did the day before, your going to be sore so i’d imagine your mechanics are going to be alittle off

[quote]cruzmisl wrote:
One more question. IS it OK to run after a leg workout? Meaning, if I train legs on Tuesday morning is ot OK to run Wednesday morning?

J[/quote]

Of course it is. You may not be able to run for time, but a run is certainly ok. It may even speed up your recovery process,if done correctly. Football players don’t take Monday off after a game, they take Tuesday off. This helps facilitate recovery by moving lactic build up through the system. Don’t do any max type run (length or speed), go out have fun and recover.