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Hurting after 5K

Answered By Larson Rett

Question

I ran a 5k last weekend but at the end I was hurting. What can I do to increase endurance?

Answer

This one's easy to answer, but not easy to do. If you want to increase your endurance you're going to have to practice running long distances. Basically you want your body to realize that 3.1 miles isn't that long a distance, but you do that by challenging it with training runs that get progressively longer and longer. If you're able to do two 5-8 mile runs during the week (and I realize that's something you'll have to work toward) then the 5K won't feel so bad. We also need to increase your pace, because the easiest way to make a 5K go by faster is to actually make it go by faster. The good news is that it's fun. Start mixing some tempo runs and fartleks into your workouts. Basically, your body is used to a certain "long distance" pace. We need to break it of that dynamic stereotype (sweet runner's vocab there) and we do that through the occasional sprint workout. To keep things really simple, you want to take your 5K time and design a sprint workout that is close in duration to that. So if you run a 30-minute 5K you might want to do a workout of 10 1-minute hard runs with 2 minutes of rest between each. As you get stronger you'll increase the duration of the runs while decreasing the rest. Good luck.

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