This is a question that I’ve been asking myself, and something I have been struggling with for a while. I have been running shy of 1 year now (10 months to be exact), and I’ve made ample progress. One thing though had been bugging and I couldn’t seem to break the code. I could not run a whole mile without stopping for walk breaks in between. It brought me to ask myself the question: “Am I really a runner if I can’t run 1 mile nonstop?”
I took it to the Runner’s World Community for beginners to get some help (I am so glad I did) . These are some of the answers I got.
- Couch to 1 mile shouldn’t take 10 months. Sounds like a mental issue. Push through it.
- Slow down. (yes, even more than you already are)
- Try walking for a while. Fast walking, but walking. Walk fast and far.
- Suck it up and keep pushing (which I think always leads to getting frustrated)
- So you have shown improvement, but if you want to run a mile non-stop, slow it back down to 13-14 minutes miles.
- Run more slowly, if you need to, in order to run without breaks. Don’t worry about your slow pace. Run more. Three days a week with your short runs is really not enough to improve; add a day, then add another. More days will not make you more tired, they will build your endurance.
As you can see, at the end of the day, most of the answers had a few things in common:
- It’s all mental and I need to push through it.
- The second thing was to slow it down as much as need so I don’t get tired quick.
- Also to not to set pace goals, but aim for either distance or time.
One particular person who took the time to dig deeper, read some of my blog posts and quickly understood that I put too much stress on myself and I tend to be negative. So he suggested that I get rid of the negative thoughts. He also mentioned that the training program might have hurt me a bit because I seem to use the walk breaks as crutch that I don’t really need. Some people reassured me that I’m still a runner. That help with my self confidence there.
So I took into consideration everything that was suggested, all the feedback given to me, and decided I would break the 1 mile barrier. And boom…. Something magical happened. On my run Thursday for the first time since I started running, I ran my first mile without stopping. It wasn’t easy I must tell you, but I did. I wanted to stop on a few occasions, but I kept telling myself that I will push through. I told myself I would run through the pain. I told myself I would do it. And I did. I repeated the same process this morning. I also had a motivational podcast playing through my ears (sent by my runner friend who will be running my first 5k with me next week: The Color Run) instead of my usual run playlist. I am very proud of myself and grateful to the people from the Runner’s World Community who took the time to help me through this hurdle.
I can only move forward from this point on. Once my body starts getting used to the distance, I will keep adding 0.25 mile increments until I can run a whole 5k without stopping, then I will set new goals. And, I have decided to add another run day as well to my training to help with improvement.
What about you runner friends, what are some of the obstacles to you to overcome as a new runner? How did you overcome those running obstacles? How long did it take you to run without walk breaks?
Share your thoughts. I love to hear from you guys.
In the meantime stay healthy and keep running 🙂