How quickly can one improve?

Featuring TheRunZone?s resident coach Tinman. All participants are welcome to post and reply to topics in this section whether you?re looking for advice, or sharing your own coaching experience.

Moderators: Moderator, Global Moderator

Post Reply
Cadfan
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:54 pm

How quickly can one improve?

Post by Cadfan » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:34 pm

I'm an 18 year old male and I've never taken running seriously, just going for short runs occasionally.
In October of 2015 I ran a 3k in 11:00 and between then and now I've probably ran 100 miles total. Two days ago I ran a time trial of a 5k in 20:10 off of 4 miles a week. I've always kept fit from playing soccer but recently I haven't been playing too much and have decided that it might be time to take running more seriously. I've read a lot of great posts on this forum which I thank Tinman and many other posters for.
My Question is, realistically how much can i look to improve If i steadily increase my mileage between now and September, how high should my weekly mileage reach and when is it best to start incorporating tempo runs and CV workouts?

Many thanks -

Josh1
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:43 am

Re: How quickly can one improve?

Post by Josh1 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:07 am

I'm not trying to sound unfriendly but there really is no answer to your question. Running is all about the journey, not the destination. The journey has ups and it has downs. The destination is never known until after the journey is complete (i.e. - your competitive days are over). At that point you look back and can see where you ended up arriving. Your ultimate destination is dependent upon your natural talent, which is comprised of traits such as your natural speed, your biomechanics, your personal work ethic, your emotional intelligence (i.e. - confidence to hold back when your ego tells you to press a moderate workout), and above all else, learning how to balance stress from work, job, family, school, finances, etc. with your body's innate ability to recover and adapt from appropriate training stressors.

Spider Man
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 2:59 pm

Re: How quickly can one improve?

Post by Spider Man » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:26 pm

Josh is quite correct ... no one knows where the journey will take you ...

But the first step is for you to commit ... what you have been doing to date is derisory.

Lydiard (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Lydiard) said that the first step in getting fit was to run for an hour a day every day ... So the first thing you need to do is start running daily, building up towards an average of half an hour initially, & then onwards towards the hour. ... Once you're well on the way to achieving that, you can start to incorporate faster elements.

ATimmins
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: Travis AFB, Ca
Contact:

Re: How quickly can one improve?

Post by ATimmins » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:42 am

I ran a 13:30 1.5 Mile. A few months later after taking it "serious" I ran a 5k in 19:03 in May 2008, following march i ran a 1:18 Half marathon, that October I ran a 1:10 Half marathon, following year i ran a 2:31 Marathon. So I went from running a 19:03 5k in 2008 to running a full marathon at a faster pace in 2010, 2010 I also ran a 69 Half.

I never ran before this, I power lifted for years, and started this adventure at about 205 so don;t think I had a "knack" for running.

So yea...as fast as you want to be if you train smart. (notice I did not say hard)

And now, Ive been out of running for a few years, started training a new guy that I think has more potential then me, and figured I would pop my head back in here, because most of my training was very "tinman" style, even before I met him.

v/r
Andrew

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4285
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Re: How quickly can one improve?

Post by Tinman » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:56 pm

I think it's important in life to invest time and energy into anything we do as a means for growth, discovery, and enjoyment. I think it works against human nature to define what is possible ahead of time because we set ourselves limits right away. It's the curiosity of the future and the wonder of adventure that inspires us to move ahead on the journey. So, in a nutshell, if you are curious, that's good because you'll get out the door, run, and discover the joy of the activity and all its ancillary benefits that you don't know now. Enjoy running for the sake or running, and you'll find that motivating yourself is not necessary. You will just "want to do it" and that will give you the opportunity to uncover your potential. Have fun, basically, and you'll do more running, stick with it a long-time. You see, momentum is the best mechanism in the world for moving into the future successfully.

For 26 years, as a coach, I've called it "Keep the ball rolling!" and the longer I live the more I believe there's nothing more important. Keep the ball rolling encompasses everything that's vital to success. Patience, sure! Consistency, yes. Training within your capacity to absorb, rather than overwhelming your body with too much stress, definitely. The key is doing something for a long time, and doing it within the zone of optimal development. That zone is BELOW maximum effort and duration. It's not get rich quick method; it's get rich more likely through patience method - because you can build layer upon layer of fitness, just like you build layer upon layer of financial success by not taking ridiculous risks, not being so timid that you take not risk.

Regards,
Tinman
runfastcoach@gmail.com
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

dilluh
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 454
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: How quickly can one improve?

Post by dilluh » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:47 pm

Tinman wrote:For 26 years, as a coach, I've called it "Keep the ball rolling!" and the longer I live the more I believe there's nothing more important. Keep the ball rolling encompasses everything that's vital to success. Patience, sure! Consistency, yes. Training within your capacity to absorb, rather than overwhelming your body with too much stress, definitely. The key is doing something for a long time, and doing it within the zone of optimal development. That zone is BELOW maximum effort and duration. It's not get rich quick method; it's get rich more likely through patience method - because you can build layer upon layer of fitness, just like you build layer upon layer of financial success by not taking ridiculous risks, not being so timid that you take not risk.
As an anecdote to Tinman's words above - I recently ran my favorite race here in central Texas (a road 10k) and did quite well considering where I am in life right now. For the past 4 months I trained very, very consistently at 30-35 miles per week because that was the amount of time/energy I had available that I knew I could do for those 4 months (keeping the ball rolling).

Normally, 45-50 miles per week would what I'd be shooting for going into this race or any 5k/10k/HM race. My training was very simple: 2 "big workouts". The first workout was CV reps on the track followed by 4 fast 200s with 400 jog recovery or "diagonals" (stride out (gradual/smooth acceleration, hold, gradual/smooth decceleration) the diagonal of a soccer pitch, walk the goal line, jog the touch line, repeat 5-10 times). The second workout was either 40 min easy tempo or 20 min "Tinman" tempo followed by short/steep hill sprints sandwiched in the Saturday long run. The other four runs of the week were just easy and relatively short mileage as my body dictated (rarely faster than 8:20 pace) and every Sunday off.

I ended up hitting my time goal of sub-38 with relative ease on a muggy morning and a challenging course (lots of sharp uphills/downhills messes with getting good rhythm on this course). If you told me 10 years ago, when I thought mileage was everything, that I could run sub-38 off of 30-35 miles per week I would've said, "no way." But there it is. Consistency and proper workouts that don't burn you out are really, really important. Now, would I run faster times if I was doing similar training with 50 miles per week? Probably, yes, but the point is that overall mileage only takes you so far - you have to be consistent and be doing quality, repeatable workouts.

Post Reply