Free E-book Forum Cardio 101 training for 5 mile run

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    what is a good way to train up towards a 5 mile run?


    currently i am running 1 – 2 miles and want to build up to 5 miles. i'd like to know how to safely do this and how much time to expect.





    Are you wanting to train to finish with a great, personal time, or just to finish without stopping or walking?

    If it's the former, I would try to keep my 1-2 mile pace and gradually increase up to about 3.5 miles.  I wouldn't even run a five mile run in my training, because (in this case) your goal is to finish and finish fast.  Running fast for five miles would be very taxing on your body; you'll save that extra effort for the actual event so as not to derail your progress during training.  But I wouldn't run a fast 3.5 miles every time I trained.  Other days, I would run shorter sprints to help your speed and some days I would take it pretty easy.  That's what worked for me training for the Army's 2-mile run.   I wanted to get the best, possible 2-mile time, so I would train at a fast-paced 1 1/4 mile and sprints on other days.  I also rested some days and just did stretches.  Determination got me the extra 3/4 mile at that same pace during the actual event.

    If your goal is the latter, I would simply, gradually increase my distance and adjust you speed as necessary.  Sprints now and then would still be good to help your heart, lungs, and legs get more used to running.

    Safely depends on alot of factors.  Here are some: your age, your level of fitness, your weight, weak/strong genetic areas ( i.e. knees), former injuries, your body's  recovery speed , etc.

    Disclaimer:  I'm not a runner.  There are probably many more tips to be given to avoid common physical problems and to help you perform.  



    Hey HSL.  I just noticed a former post that's listed just to the right of the post area.  It's listed as “the running bodybuilder”.  It doesn't exactly answer your question, but it gives some good points.  It doesn't look like I was completely wrong in some of my suggestions about sprints based on the points made in this post.



    Hi hsl – can  you give us some more info?  Are you saying you want to run a 5 mile race or you want to be able to run 5 miles regularly (like 3x a week)?  Big difference in the advice depending on your answer.

    Other questions:

    – age, weight, height

    – other fitness activities, like how often you lift, other exercise you do regularly

    – past activities and how agressive (e.g. “10 yrs ago I played football for my high school team but haven't done much since”)

    – anything else you can tell us!



    I thinking about doing 5 miles by new years myself… just to be able to do it consistently…

    Cardio isn't my best area so any advice or articles on this might be good.  I was talking to my g/f yesterday as we were running about it.  I said you might have some advice on a program to brige the gap between a 5k and 10k program. Most assume on the 10k program that you can run 4 miles on day one, when I sure there are a lot of people like myself that can barely get 3…





    my goal is to first complete 5 miles on a regular basis (3x/wk) without injury, and then to build up my speed for it.


    currently, i am on more of a weightlifting program 3x/wk with minimal running, so i am in good physical condition. age is 31 – (does that make a difference on the physical exertion i should be expending?) Confused



    Some good articles on LeanLifters for this topic:

    There are more but these are the most applicable. is also a great site, though be careful – most people there are running snobs and frown on lifting weights.  But the running advice is pretty good.

    But depending on your size, you need to be careful.  Running is a really rough sport for bigger guys.  I've read reports that the pounding force is some huge multiple of your weight (10x? 20x? nto sure).  So that means a 200 pound guy's knees take a lot more pounding than a 160 pound guy's knees.  Age plays a slight role because joints become less pliable as we age and recovery takes longer.  But at 31 your should have no trouble with that.

    Back when I was bridging that gap from doing “2 mile runs” to doing “5 mile runs” my problem was not cardio/breathing – it was in my legs and joints. So what I did was

    – slowly increasing, like 0.25 miles a week per run

    – no more than 3 runs a week

    – carefully scheduling leg days around running days

    – keep moving; if I was supposed to do 3.5 miles and I was getting leg cramps at 2.5 miles I would try slowing my pace so that it didn't hurt; if that didn't work, I'd walk for a while; then I'd pick back up and run as soon as I could

    – lots of sleep


    When I increased from 5 miles, 3x a week to 30 miles a week total, some keys were

    – reduced lifting (there's almost no way to run 30 + miles a week and also do legs more than once a week, so I went to a 3 lifts per week routine:  legs one day, pulling one day, and pushing one day

    – staggered distances (some days doing faster but shorter runs, other days doing longer but slower runs)

    – throwing in a day of intervals over a long distance (so, say, an 8 mile run/walk/sprint)

    – bringing gels with me to fuel up after about 5 miles or so

    – losing some weight; I dropped about 15 pounds before I did the Oklahoma City marathon; too much of a loss for me which is part of why I only run about 15 miles a week now



    Age affects how quickly you can add load to any physical routine without risking injury or over training.  A fit twenty year old, for instance, can start out doing ten sprints at near-full speed, every other day to begin a running program; but a forty year old has to step it up more gradually and ensure that he or she always gives his or herself plenty of recovery time between sessions.



    I must say that running is best exercise for all body parts. We can increase strength and can burn all extra fat and calories. I do running everyday and suggest everyone to start doing regular running.



    I must say that running is best exercise for all body parts. We can increase strength and can burn all extra fat and calories. I do running everyday and suggest everyone to start doing regular running.
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