Running: How Fast or Slow Should You Go?

by MyFitnessPal
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Running: How Fast or Slow Should You Go?

When Andrea “Andi” Ball first started working out, at 257 pounds, her workouts were almost always dissatisfying. “I’d get frustrated because I’d get out of breath so quickly,” she says.

Indeed, Ball discovered what runners of all levels of experience end up learning the hard way: When you’re trying to boost calorie burn, it can be easy to overdo it and burn out instead. “Once I slowed the pace,” says Ball, “I found that I could run farther, and longer, and I was much more satisfied with how much I was accomplishing.” Here are some tips to help you determine how fast or slow to go.

Start slow No matter how far or how long you plan to go, start out slowly to warm up and gradually raise your heart rate. That will make the workout feel easier sooner. You want to go into the workout with the idea that you’ll finish strong. If you finish feeling gassed, you’re going to be demoralized and it’s going to be that much more difficult to get out for your next workout. One of the most common mistakes newer runners make is going out too fast.

Walk briskly If you’re walking, your cadence should feel quick. You should be able to hold a conversation. If you can sing, you’re likely going too slow, but if you are huffing and puffing, you’re going too fast.

Run relaxed When you first start out, it’s common to clench up muscles that aren’t involved in running. And that can sap the strength you need for a good workout. So when the going gets tough, do a body scan: Unknit your brow, unclench your jaw, keep your hands relaxed (imagine holding a piece of paper between your thumb and pointer finger), and breathe. You’ll be amazed at how much easier the workout feels!

Measure minutes, not miles Don’t worry about your pace or miles covered when you’re just starting out. The first step is to focus on building overall fitness–and to make exercise a habit. The biggest health improvements (lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension) result from the time you consistently spend elevating your heart rate. It doesn’t matter how many miles you cover while you’re out.

Tune in to your body Once you hit a pace that feels comfortable, tune in to how your body feels. How hard are you breathing? How quickly are your legs turning over? How do your leg muscles feel? Getting a sense of how your comfortable pace feels will help you lock in to it on every run.

What’s your go-to running speed? How do you decide when to pick up the pace? Share in the comments!


myfitnesspal Big-Book-of-RunningReprinted from The Runner’s World Big Book of Running for Beginners by Jennifer Van Allen, Bart Yasso, and Amby Burfoot with Pamela Nisevich Bede, RD, CSSD. ©2014 by Rodale Inc. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

The Runner’s World Big Book of Running for Beginners provides all the information newbies need to take their first steps, as well as inspiration for staying motivated. The book presents readers with tips for smart nutrition and injury prevention and includes realistic training plans that enable beginning runners to achieve gradual progress (by gearing up for a 30-minute run, a 5-K, or even a 5-miler).

About the Author


MyFitnessPal provides powerful tools that make it easier for anyone to live a healthier life by tracking their meals and physical activity. Make healthy choices and visit the MyFitnessPal blog and download MyFitnessPal (if you haven’t already).


92 responses to “Running: How Fast or Slow Should You Go?”

  1. Avatar Jill says:

    Wonderful tips! Thank you. I can definitely say as an ex-“non-runner”, it was that first tip – to slow it down – that made the biggest difference. Once I gave myself permission to be slow as molasses and not be embarrassed about it, I was surprised at how much easier it was to build up distance. Right now I’m working on relaxing during the run and finding my pace/tuning in.

    • Avatar Lori says:

      Someone gave me a tip I found works great when I am getting tense and tired during a long run…raise your arms in the air above your head and then back down again right away (don’t keep them in the air)
      . I was so surprised how that one little thing really did help. I’m not technical or anything but I think the idea is to realign your hips when you do that. All I know works.

  2. Avatar Tammy Bell says:

    I agree better to go slow…helped me tremendously

  3. Avatar Elizabeth Harman says:

    I’m terribly put of shape. I started just walking on the treadmill, working up to 3.5 mph. This week I graduated myself up to C25K, walking at 2.0 and running at 4.0. As that comes more comfortable, I may up the speed but those quick set buttons make this easy.

  4. Avatar mooschb says:

    I agree. I run much better when I run with someone else and am paced. When I run alone I run too quickly and find I stop more often.

  5. Avatar Jill says:

    Why do I hate running so? It is uncomfortable and my boobs go up and down and it hurts my knees. Why in the world would anybody want to torture themselves in this manner?

    • Avatar Becky says:

      Sounds like you need a better sports bra and good shoes. Try a sports bra that has hooks like a regular bra; you’ll be able to get a better fit so you have less bounce. For your shoes, go to a good running store that will watch your gait and give you a good fit. Those two key items have made a huge difference in my enjoyment of working out.

    • Avatar Laura Logan Richardson says:

      If something is uncomfortable, fix it!! No need to suffer. It took me a while to find shoes and clothes I was comfortable in.

      • Avatar Suzanne says:

        I have added stretches and have been able to get past knee pain, IT band syndrome, Achilles pain and plantar fasciitis and have been able to run pain free for the last 4 months. Figuring out how to manage and prevent injury has been key for me.

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Great encouragement…how did you figure out how to run pain free? I’m training for my first half. Can run 8 miles consistently, but my right knee keeps me up at night. I’m wondering how I go on without injury.

    • Avatar Stacy Rhoades Brim says:

      It’s not the shoes! It’s your strike! Practice running on your front walk or driveway in bare feet. The way we run shoeless is the way we should run IN shoes. Your strike will be more on the ball of your foot and less heal.

      • Avatar BH says:

        It may be the strike, but worn out or incorrectly fitted (to your foot) will ALWAYS cause a problem.

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Agree! I used to work at an orthopedic store… It’s amazing how many people have the wrong shoe and fit! It changes everything! Your feet support your back, knees, hips etc! All the things that hurt…. Get good fitting shoes!!

    • Avatar hshowalter says:

      I am a DDD and I wear 2 sports bras…one that clips in the front, and one that clips in the back. Seems to keep everything in check.

    • Avatar Drene says:

      Buy special underwear helps. Sports Bra is good for firmness.

  6. Avatar Judy says:

    I want to like running. I really do! But, when I reach a hill, even a slight incline, I get winded and need to walk. I’m thinking I’m just too heavy (5’4″ at 150 lbs.)?

    • Avatar Guest says:

      Just walk for a bit…that is how I started, and eventually I was able to continue running.

    • Avatar Mary says:

      I hate hills and have trouble with them too, but I am getting better. A good piece of advice I received was “you won’t get better running hills by walking them.”

      • Avatar james pogrebetsky says:

        Of course you would. Because walking will get easier and easier. And will get faster and faser. You ever speed walk? It’s hard. You use a lot of muscles to do so

    • Avatar Vikram Wakhlu says:

      I recommend picking the pace way up when you hit a hill. You’ll get breathless but for a lot shorter time, and you have plenty of time to recover when you’re ambling downhill, all without losing pace. You may want to consider changing to power run form while stepping up the pace though. It’ll be harder with long distance form.

    • Avatar Candice Jackson says:

      Don’t let lies get in the way of success. I am about the same height and weight as you are and remember well exactly what you derive from when I started to learn to run. Interval and hill training were the things that helped make those little hills more enjoyable. Even doing intervals once per week can help build the endurance you will need. Stick with it!

  7. Avatar KillerB says:

    Great book! Been a runner for a long time and recently discovered that running longer doesn’t make you faster – only more tired. But, it’s the interval hill/sprint workouts that make you faster, stronger, leaner, longer… like the song implies. I’ve improved my pace by one mph already by doing this 3x/wk mixed in with regular, slower paced 10K lengths.

  8. Avatar mmaayyaa says:

    i have run every single day for the past 502 days. i can run for sure, but i want to pick up the pace. any suggestions?

  9. Avatar Tracy Nicholson says:

    Really good tips. I’m a new runner and halfway through 5K training for race for life. Can anyone recommend a good warm up routine before running. I already do a warm up but unsure if doing right kind of exercises/ stretches.

    • Avatar Vikram Wakhlu says:

      In my experience a brisk walk is the best warm up. Pre run stretches are known to be counter productive. Just get into a brisk walk and your body will tell you when to break into a run.

      • I’m a personal trainer and this is the correct response. You can also add in some foam rolling ~ 30 secs per muscle group. If you need help with that you can check out my website FitArmadillo dot com and search for foam rolling in the blog section 🙂

  10. This is sounds advice. I have especially been trying to hone in on number one, just because a 7 minute pace is doable, does not mean that it is sustainable. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Avatar Stef says:

    I want to like running as well, i’m a big girl (I weigh just under 110 kilo) and not heaps fit, i’m trying to get motivated and into the routine of exercise because i need to lose weight for my health. I’m also too anxious/embarrassed to jog or exercise when people can see me. Walking feels like its not enough and running is too much and when i do jog/run my clothes fall down and rise up and next thing i know my belly is hanging out, i’m asthmatic and i need help. advice?????

    • Avatar Sarah Rice says:

      Ellipticals dont make all our assets shake rattle and roll like running outside. It’s also a great machine to decrease the impact on your joints, which is a real issue for us curvy girls. I’ve heard that every pound of weight is 4 lbs of pressure on your knees! I’ve done elipticals many times and they give you an excellent workout, without all the clothes shifting and high impact pavement pounding. 🙂 hope this helps!

    • Avatar Rolandita says:

      Don’t give up! A good way to measure your “burn” is by checking your heart rate. There are tons of online tools to help you find the right zone to get the most benefit. Walking may not feel like “enough”, but is probably where you need to start. With your health issues, your doctor would probably a good place to start for reasonable goals/guidelines.
      Good luck!

    • Avatar Kaiser says:

      Good for you to want to be healthier. Since you feel walking isn’t enough and am embarrassed to run, find hills of various steepness and walk up those hills. Go at different speed walking to get your heart rate up. Good luck .

    • Avatar Amanda says:

      Hi Stef- i’m a pretty big girl myself, smaller than I use to be (over 300lbs at my heaviest)… Try buying workout pants that have a higher rise to them. U may find that do a nice little bit of shaping too. I found a pair of capri cut from Delfin Spa that rose highto hide my stomach if my shirt climbed up some. I aso found driving a little further from my home to work out in a place no one knew me helped me overcome some of the shyness of people seeing me. Putting headphones on also helped me not notice others as much bc I would be in the music. Good luck!

    • Hi Stef! I’m a personal trainer and there are some great tips here so far. You can absolutely start with walking. It will help you lose weight for reasons beyond just moving more (the less active we are the more our body’s burn carbs vs fat at rest, for example) and can help you ease into running as it will be more comfortable once you do. A good goal is to get in 150 mins of walking a week. A minimum session length for healthy benefits is 10 mins. I often have my new clients aim for 5 days a week, 30 mins a day with an AM 15 min walk and PM 15 min walk or a walk around each meal for 10 mins. I would do that for at least 4 weeks to start. You got this!

    • Avatar Kris says:

      I run in my neighborhood but started with walking and then walk-run intervals when I was very out of shape. I was embarrassed at first, but noticed when I got smiles of encouragement. I would see the same people and it got easier. Over a couple of years I’ve had short conversations with them and they have been nothing but kind, encouraging, and positive. Some have said they noticed the change in me and admire my tenacity. This kind of interaction was a pleasant surprise for me when all I expected was embarrassment. You can use your environment to help you if you make an effort to see the positive side. And what about people who smirk? Do you listen and get insulted by barking dogs? Nope; they’re not important. You CAN do this.

  12. Avatar rseitz10001 says:

    It’s amazing the difference between bringing users information from reliable sources/coaches instead of having interns write posts about carrot juice cleanses….

  13. Avatar Ken B says:

    I was a sprinter from age 8 on into college on the track team. Now at age 45, I have taken up running to lose weight and stay fit. I find that I’ve had to learn to run all over again.As a sprinter I was always taught to run low to the ground and drive forward with the arms. Now I’m having to stand up straighter and not drive the arms forward, but back. This is a different type of running for me and a major shift.

    I’ve been at it for about 6 months now, transitioning from fast walking to running about a month into it. I find the hardest thing is a forefoot strike. This is natural for me when sprinting but hard to do otherwise. I’m wearing through the heels of shoes pretty quickly as I pile up miles. Finished my first 5K last month and plan my second next month. I’m at about a 9:30-10:00 min/mile pace, which for me is fine. I can finish a 5K in 30 mins. I’m satisfied with that. More importantly, I’ve lost nearly 20 lbs in 6 months. I’m back to my competition weight and my doctor was pleased with my diet, exercise, and all the other numbers he keeps an eye on.

  14. Avatar Haley Johnson says:

    I’ve been working on increasing my endurance for about 3 months now, and worked my way up to 25 minutes. But then later that same week I was unable to run more than 10 minutes. My legs felt so tired I felt like I could only do 10-15 min this past week. I had been running 20 min 3x/week for about two weeks before that. My fiancé thinks I might be getting anemic between increased exercise and diet, but I’ve never had a problem with anemia before. Anyone got any suggestions?

  15. Avatar Jean says:

    I weigh 160 lbs. And I really want to lose weight and slim down my body… I’ve been workingout (brisk walk and stationary biking) for 3 hrs everyday with proper diet. Its 2 months already, but i think there’s no much imptovement.. I keep on experimenting and doing different style of workouts (I tried the full body 7 min. Workout to 20 min. Workout).. Please give me some advice on how will I continue.

  16. Avatar Debbie says:

    I’ve been walking for about 5 weeks now and I’ve adding some running. I walk a bit then run a bit. Is this ok for a start?

    • Avatar Kev says:

      Try a 5k training app. There are plenty.

    • Yes! That’s a great way to start 🙂 To watch your improvement you can see how long it takes you to complete a given distance with that method. Then slowly increase the running time. It takes 8-10 weeks to build a decent base. Congrats on getting started 🙂

  17. Avatar claire says:

    Im confussed , I do interval training around a local hill circuit its 6.3k I have built up from walking to running and fast walking its uneven terrain and hard going but I really enjoy it, I can comfortably do it at 10 mins per K , I go 3 times a week BUT Im not losing weight or even inches my fitness pal tells me 1200 cals is my goal but i either go just over or under if im under it tells me im not eating enough if i go over it says i wont lose weight so where am I going wrong? Please help

    • Avatar Jen says:

      Let me know if you find any answer, I have exactly the same experience. I don’t mind weighing 160, because I’m strong and energetic, but I too would just like to slim down, especially waist and thighs.

      • Avatar claire says:

        Im in total agreement with PTW on the “ive earned it” bit so Im going to cut the carbs for a few weeks and see how it goes I shall keep you posted 🙂

      • Jen – one of my comments is awaiting approval, but try Choose My Plate – Daily Plate for a better starting point. Low carbs is not a good solution, especially for runners. I’m a personal trainer and happy to share more. Find me through my website FitArmadillo dot com 🙂

    • Avatar PTW says:

      So frustrating!! For me more running = more hunger. Add in that “I’ve earned this” feeling & I struggle with gaining weight during high mileage weeks. My solution isn’t for everyone, but I have found a low-carb diet really helps me kick off the weight. Atkins phase 1 for 2-4 weeks, then a balanced LC lifestyle works for me. Reduces inflammation, too, which helps my joints feel better. Good luck!

      • Avatar claire says:

        I am going to cut back on carbs then, I am a big carbs fan and bread is my weakness so its going to be hard but worth doing Ive done the atkins diet a few years ago and got on well because i find it easier to cut out a food group rather than limit it. thank you 🙂

        • Low carbs helps to lose weight, because carbs cause you to retain water weight, BUT at least 50% of your calories should come from carbohydrates (focus more on fruits and veggies vs processed carbs though). Carbs are the body’s and brain’s primary energy source. Without them you can start to break down muscle tissue and cause even more problems even if you lose a little weight in the short term. I don’t recommend going low carb. It’s popular because of the quick “results,”but the weight you are losing is the wrong kind!

          • Avatar Dean McMann says:

            Excellent advice Catherine! I would just like to add for you bread lovers or inflammation sufferers, try going gluten free instead of cutting carbs. Wheat gluten can cause inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissue. It has worked great for me!!

          • Avatar claire says:

            Thank you there is so much info out there its hard to know where to start but I think Im getting a handle on it slowly Im feeling much more motivated now xx

    • Hi Claire! I’m a personal trainer and 1200 calories is TOO little, if you’re active. Myfitnesspal is great as a tracker, but don’t use it to get your calorie goal. Try the free Choose My Plate website and the “Daily Food Plan” page for a better idea of where to start and then cutting out about 250 cals/day from their recommendation. Women should never go below 1200 calories a day and men never below 1500 as this can mess up your metabolism (and often causes you to stop losing weight).Hope that helps. Feel free to find me on FB or my website: Fit Armadillo dot com, if you have any other questions 🙂

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Wow really? Thank you! The

        • Yea…Don’t feel bad though…it’s pretty common (see Sue’s note below 😉 ) and Sue’s recommendation of getting enough water is important. Our body’s are all different so you might not need 2 L, but drink enough so that when you …go…it’s almost clear (not to give TMI!). My fitness pal is awesome for tracking things and learning what you’re eating and alternatives, but it makes it too easy to set your calories lower than you need to have them. Of course, feel free to get in touch via my info above. I also have a free online fit club (and not that kind where I sell junk…just a bunch of ladies trying to do things the healthy way 🙂 )

      • Avatar claire says:

        Thank you 🙂

    • Avatar Sue Mincher says:

      Claire I’ve just discovered after years of dieting but gaining weight that I don’t eat enough on active days and too much on inactive days. I was following my fitness pal too and still use it to track food intake but now have a Fitbit charge HR and this helps me learn how many calories I have burnt today not what an average person would do with average activity. The fit big app tells me to eat around 300 calories more than my fitness pal and makes adjustments based on my actual activity. So in reality whilst dieting I’ve been eating too little and gaining weight because my body thought it was starving. Quick adjustment for you would to be change your activity level up to active or very active in my fitness pal try that for a couple of weeks and make sure you’re drinking 2litres of water a day. Good luck.

      • Avatar claire says:

        Thank you I’ve done what you said, so will wait and see 🙂

        • Avatar Sue Mincher says:

          Great hope it give you some results in the next 2 weeks. Just make sure you don’t drop your activity level back otherwise it will be counter productive. Good luck sue

    • Avatar cynth says:

      What is a stone? Just curious.

  18. Avatar Arturo says:

    I agree, consistence is a key. I focus more in to “fast and normal walking “for 45-60 minutes and I had seen a big improvement in my overall health , not only as loosing weight but I sleep better. I switch from “running” since I am concern of having a injury since I run by the pavement. Also a tip when you have a “walk routine” there is no ABSOLUTE no excuse not to do it , since you just need to put on your sneakers , get your phone and your home keys! That’s’ all .. Of course if you have the time dress comfortable for it , on the worst days even when the weather is bad or I am too tired I just make the commitment to walk around the block which is usually 15 mins and is about a mile. good luck to all!

  19. Avatar Melanie says:

    Thanks 4 this. I am going 2 start running but have not been successful but 2 read where u say start slow & not worry about miles I feel like I can do it

    • Avatar Dave says:

      I started running 5 years ago, just trying to keep going for 30 minutes was my first goal and a relief when I made it. 5 years on I’m fitter leaner and getting ready for my 56 mile Ultra. If I can get there anyone can. Key I find is try to enjoy it

      • Avatar Nina Jones says:

        I have started running for a few months now and got up to 2 mins running and 1 min walking for 30 mins but just feel like I can’t progress any further – it doesn’t seem like my legs are tired but that I can’t breathe well enough – maybe I need to go really slow?

        • Avatar Dee says:

          Have you been checked for exercise induced asthma? That may be a contributing factor to your breath.

          • Avatar Nina J says:

            I have not – I have thought about that thanks

          • Avatar Nikki says:

            There are also medicines like Singulair out there that can help with breathing and less harmful than inhalers over the long run. I have the same problem! And use Singulair daily, as well as a rescue inhaler when it gets bad enough. But if I take my Singulair I usually don’t need the inhaler. Good luck!

        • Nina, I know just how it is. Not being able to breath really zaps your strength and stamina. I have been diagnosed with reactive asthma. Meaning when the air is bad I have trouble breathing. I’ve been jog walking now for probably 10 years. I haven’t used a rescue inhaler for a very long time now. Sill if the air is bad or very humid, I get winded. I just take it easier on those days. I think a lot of people might have some form of asthma. You should get it checked out. Write down your worst days and check to so if there was a high polution warning or very humid those days. Hope this helps.

          • Avatar Nina J says:

            Thanks Barbara – that could be it – I live in a very dry climate too and I don’t think that helps. I don’t want to have to depend on an inhaler either so I will try to slow down on bad days. Nice to know someone else understands

          • Anytime. 🙂 you could also try doing Pilates on the off days. It strengthens most if not all the muscles you need for running and you don’t need anything but a matt.

        • Avatar Wendi says:

          Hi Nina, what I didn’t realize as a new runner, something I never see in running tips, is to breathe rhythmically. I breathe in and out by counting footsteps. At first, 3 steps per breath in, 3 steps per breath out. On hills and with increased speed I go down to 2 steps or even one. Hope this helps!

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Yep.. Download couch to 5k… It’s the only thing that worked for me! 20 mins, 3 days a week. You can do that!!

  20. Avatar F1Xena says:

    Sheila you are exactly right. I have always exercised regularly, but I put on weight during periods when I didn’t exercise normally…training for a new job, long holiday. When I got back to my exercise I thought I would lose the weight…but I didn’t. I needed to change the way I was eating. Using MFP I realised I was eating way too much. Entering everything I eat into my food diary made me realise I could still eat what I wanted, but had to make better choices. By all means eat some bread…but balance that by either doing some exercise and/or not having potatoes with dinner. Its a balancing act and exercise is a great way to be able to enjoy the “naughty” treats whilst still staying at or below your calorie goal. Since I’ve been using MFP religiously I’ve lost 30lbs WITHOUT ANY REAL EFFORT. I still do the exercise I was doing before, but with smarter eating choices the weight just started falling off. Exercise alone did not work for me because I was basically eating too much.
    Jean, with that much exercise your problem is how much you are eating. Be honest with yourself and record everything you eat. The calories add up really quickly. Then you have to work out how you can balance what you eat against your exercise output. The logic is infallible. If you burn more calories than you consume, YOU HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT.
    Most importantly, do not look at this as “a diet”. It is a way of making choices that you can continue doing long term….for life. You don’t have to “not eat” anything, so long as you balance your intake with your output.

  21. Avatar Jo says:

    I have slipped discs in my back but I would love to start up running, I was walking 4 miles a night but got bored, I did try to run but only lasted a couple of minutes and was totally out of breath.

    • Avatar Vikram Wakhlu says:

      Slipped discs definitely complicate the equation… i suggest you visit a doc to confirm you’re okay to try running.

      Breathing is something everyone has a problem with initially, so don’t worry about it.

      Considering your back issue, I’d recommend you look up ‘chirunning’.

  22. Avatar Drene says:

    Im 72. Should I be running?

  23. Avatar Ang says:

    I started jogging/running a year ago as was very enthusiastic, running up to 5x a week. I found I struggled to get my breathing right for the first 2 miles but then I slipped into a nice rhythm. I was progressing nicely from 2.5k to 5 and then 10k but at that point my knee gave way, my achillies and sciatica since which was/is debilitating. I’m so disappointed and disheartened and haven’t ran since. I am scared to take it up only to suffer with the same problems again. I am thinking about it a lot and think I will and soon, just have to take the first steps…..Will let you know when I hit the roads again

    • Avatar Marc says:

      5x a week is quite a lot to be starting out. Your body isnt getting enough time to recover. Try running on alternate days and if you feels like you need to do more try cycling as well to take some of the strain off of your knees.

    • Avatar Felita Viruet Delikat says:

      I had that happen my knee and low back I tried chiro then pt and what finally help was orthotics and acupuncture. Also gnc supplement tri sport helped too. It took me 3 months to get back to my running. Tip don’t run slower when u start again, its best to run at your comfort level even if for less time. I started
      back on treadmill and track to ease shock but ran at 5.5 pace because I was scared to reinjure but after a week my hips hurt and low back again so I ran 30 min at my regular pace instead of 5 miles at that slow pace and it worked. after a few runs I added 15 min and after 45 min a few runs went back to my 7 mile runs.

  24. Avatar Kath Ledward says:

    Im running my first ever 5k race for life tomorrow. Ive been training since February and slowly increased my distance. Im feeling great. Just hope it all pays off tomorrow.

  25. Avatar Lisa Grasley says:

    I just turned 50 and learning to jog/run. Thanks for the tips.

  26. Avatar Doug Stinson says:

    3.1459 mph just as I thought…

  27. Avatar Heather Allaby says:

    Great article! I just made this discovery when I took up a Couch to 5k routine AGAIN after a few aborted attempts. Giving myself permission to be slow has made me feel stronger in my workouts as I build up endurance. Three weeks in I am feeling much more motivated than I have been at this point in previous attempts.

  28. Avatar Deb says:

    I stumbled on this through my email. Thank you so much for all the tips and encouraging words that I read. Reading this has given me incentive to try running again. I am 52, overweight and feeling very discouraged, disgusted with myself. I have always been a thin person and over the last 5-6 years I have gained a significant amount of weight. I get myself into a gym routine and then something always sidetracks me. I lose my motivation, I don’t see results and get frustrated. I have tried the C25K on 2 occasions, but have never finished. The most recent was in March. I find when I am running that I get winded very quickly. Is it that I am running too fast? If I go any slower, I’ll be walking. I was trying to prepare for a race in my hometown. I did run the 2mi race in May and I at least finished. Running/walking the 2 mile run in 35 minutes. Not an outstanding time, but I wasn’t the last person across the line either so I was proud of myself. My daughter ran the 5k it just over 23 minutes, LOL! Would you recommend a fast walking pace for awhile before I try a C25K program again?

    • Avatar Elly says:

      Try c25k again. Go slow! If you felt winded the first minute, go slower the next min, after you walk. Don’t worry about speed. It will help you build endurance. If you’re looking to lose weight, try intervals.

      • Avatar Deb says:

        Thanks! I do think that I will start again, but at a much slower pace. By intervals, I am guessing mean walking/running at various paces?

  29. Avatar Andrea says:

    I used to run cross country for school and it’s been over 8 years since I’ve ran with a consistent routine. I tried running and was so disappointed with my time and how quickly I was out of breath. This has encouraged me to try again ! Thank you!

  30. Avatar Lea says:

    Really helps, these tips, since I’m a first runner! 🙂

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