Author Topic: Building cardio endurance  (Read 3027 times)

MMMdude

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Building cardio endurance
« on: March 26, 2016, 12:25:34 PM »
After many years of inactivity i finally started to do something 2-4 times a week at the start of the year.  When there was snow i cross country skid around an hour each time.  With spring here i have been running, walking or riding my road or mountain bike.

I find my cardio is still frustratingly poor.  I can run/walk 5KM in about 36 minutes and I definitely can't run continuously for more than say 15 minutes.  On my bike I am still having to walk up steep hills. My goal is to be under 30 minutes for a 5KM as I think that is a reasonable amount of time to finish and i definitely don't want to be walking up hills on my bike anymore.  I know the answer is to keep plugging away at it.  I also know losing weight will help.  I'm about 205lbs (although not a lot of fat - around 20% bodyfat) and i read that for every 5lbs of weight loss it shaves half a minute off or something simply due to not having to cart around the extra weight.

I guess for others who were in the same boat, how long did you find it took you to be comfortable with your endurance?

kpd905

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 12:50:00 PM »
My first guess would be that you are trying to run too fast, since most beginners do.  Do you have a watch or app that is telling you your pace?  I'd try slowing down a bit and I think you'll find that you can go longer than 15 minutes.

My other input is that you have only been doing this a few months after years of inactivity.  You may just have to keep plugging away at it.  Results will not come overnight.

Vanguards and Lentils

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 01:02:18 PM »
Just agreeing with kpd905 that you should start slow, even to the point of embarrassment. I started have more satisfying and longer runs when I held back, and ran a pace that I could maintain the whole 30 or 45 minutes. Literally shuffling my feet along. All the other runners (even moms pushing their strollers) passing me. The speed will follow.

Thrifty Snail

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 01:14:26 PM »
If you are having a hard time with cardio (I have been there) try run walk workouts. Jeff Galloway is the name to google. My wife and I have used his walk/run method to go from sedentary to half marathon in 6 months. Try starting with 3:1, three minutes running to one running.

Good luck.

human

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 01:39:00 PM »
If running is the focus you should probably do more of it. I ran a bit in my twenties did nothing for 8 years or so. When I got back into it I couldn't run a kilometer, after four months I was running 6-8 miles (alternate every day) 5 times a week and then a long run of 20k. Lost 30 lbs too.

Weight is important for long distance running the current WR holder in 5000 and 10,000 meters is 123lbs (5'5"). At 205 I'm not sure you'll break 20 minutes in the 5k but if you do run 4-6 times a week at 40-50 miles you will drop weight.

I personally don't bother with run-walk workouts, when I start up after a long hiatus I run maybe 2km every other day for a week then increase distance by 10%. It's a slow progression, If I feel good I increase distance by 10% each run.

Do this until running 6 days a week for 50 miles or so. Not sure how old you are but don't do speed intervals until you've run a few races and lost weight. Definitely don't do them a week after a race like dumbass me who then pulled his groin . . .

Running really is the best cardio, I started running again at 35 to get into shape for hiking. If you run almost every day hiking becomes a piece of cake. Cross country skiing is supposed to be great too, but if you're half assing it uphill it won;t help much (so I hear, I don't ski).

Don't forget those embarrassing dynamic stretches before a run.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 04:08:58 PM by human »

human

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 01:40:47 PM »
If running is the focus you should probably do more of it. I ran a bit in my twenties did nothing for 8 years or so. When I got back into it I couldn't run a kilometer, after four months I was running 6-8 miles (alternate every day) 5 times a week and then a long run of 20k on sunday. Lost 30 lbs too during that time.

Weight is important for long distance running, the current WR holder in 5000 and 10,000 meters is 123lbs (5'5"). At 205 I'm not sure you'll break 20 minutes in the 5k but if you do run 4-6 times a week at 40-50 miles you will drop weight.

I personally don't bother with run-walk workouts, when I start up after a long hiatus I run maybe 2km every other day for a week then increase distance by 10%. It's a slow progression, If I feel good I increase distance by 10% each run.

Do this until running 6 days a week for 50 miles or so. Not sure how old you are but don't do speed intervals until you've run a few races and lost weight. Definitely don't do them a week after a race like dumbass me who then pulled his groin . . .

Running really is the best cardio, I started running again at 35 to get into shape for hiking. If you run almost every day hiking becomes a piece of cake. Cross country skiing is supposed to be great too, but if you're half assing it uphill it won't help much (so I hear, I don't ski).

Don't forget those embarrassing dynamic stretches before a run.

dur meant to edit my above post . . .

bobechs

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 03:29:29 PM »
Look, most of these people are jocks or ex-jocks.  Their advice is like asking the hogs on the farm about char siu.

What you need to do is apply a little bit of science to your problem.

First, determine your maximum heart rate.  This is age-related and will vary from 150-200 beats per minute.  Subtract your age from 220 to get this number.

Second, determine your actual heart rate during exercise.  This can be done manually, but it is easier, at least as precise and much more fun to recruit some electronics to help you with this chore.  Google heart rate monitor or cardiac monitor to find dozens or hundreds of gadgets and reviews of gadgets at all price points from the price of a hamburger to the cost of an ocean cruise.

Third, NEVER EXERCISE AT YOUR MAXIMUM HR- OR EVEN CLOSE TO IT! This is dangerous and counter-productive.  'Nuff said.

Fourth, aim to operate in the fifty to seventy percent of maximum heart rate for at least twenty minutes continuously, at least three times a week.  If you can't stay there, ease off on the continuous part until you can; but spend at least twenty minutes a session, three sessions a week in that territory.  More is better but infinitely more is not infinitely better.  Diminishing returns applies.  Draw your own upper limit but in doing so do not listen too much to the jocks.

garion

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 03:38:13 PM »
Pay attention to diet (eating well regardless of whether you're trying to lose weight), sleep and hydration. I notice that my endurance is severely impaired when I am dehydrated.

Also, working out in a group can help if you are having pacing issues. See if you can find any run/walk groups in your area. We have a few at specialty running stores that are free.

human

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 03:53:59 PM »
Monitoring heart rate is way overrated. Unless you have serious medical problems or have plateaued at 35-38 minutes for a 10k a HR monitor is totally unnecessary. Your body will tell you when to slow down.

Huffing and puffing, ready to puke a lung? Well slow down a little and find your easy pace where you can say the alphabet, maybe not singing it out like on sesame street but can say it without passing out. Everyone should also read Jack Daniel's bible on running: https://www.amazon.ca/Daniels-Running-Formula-3rd-Edition-Jack/dp/1450431836

If you are over 50 or used to drink or smoke then HR is probably an issue . . .

SeanMC

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 04:05:26 PM »
I have tried running before as a way of building endurance, and it's never worked for me. My advice would be to build your endurance doing something OTHER than just running.

Running after a long period of inactivity is one of the easiest ways to get injured. Most people don't have a sense of a 'safe' speed or distance to work at. Your joints and ligaments are taking the impact of being 200 lbs, whether you have ok body fat % or not.

Personally, I've done the whole "run a 5K for fitness and charity" deal, and even after consistent running over months to years, I still hated it. I don't ever get a runner's high, so I presume other people aren't lying about it - but it's not true of everyone. I'm short and muscular in build - not built for running distances.

For me, going hiking or playing a sport I like (hockey, basketball, racquetball) on a regular basis gets my fitness levels way up. It involves both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. And the nature of these tend to fit well with interval-style activity (which is great for cardio fitness).

My recommendation would be to FIRST build endurance through something you enjoy - whether hiking, rec soccer, fast pace walking the dog, whatever - then once you're a bit more in shape, slowly add running and see how it goes.

Ingon

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Re: Building cardio endurance
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 08:44:28 PM »
First, 35 mins for 5k is not that bad. I had my first sub 30 mins 5k run a month ago exatly on my birthday. I still don't run below 30 mins for 5k regularily - sometimes I'm able to, somtimes not. Friday I had 35 mins in 6m/km pace, which was nice.

Anyways, you need to slow down - I would recommend getting a running watch (I have TomTom Runner with hearth monitor built in) and pay attention on your pace - it should be fairly constant. 35 mins for 5k is 7 mins per km, next time you target for 6:55 and so on.

Another thing which I've read about is that you need to have at most 1 day in between. Your endurance start to fall off after 48 hours, so your next practice should be at most on the second day. Right now I'm preparing for a 10k race and I run on Tuestday (hills), Wednesday (easy run), Friday (harder) and on Sunday (longest). It sounds a lot (and it is) but its a good way to keep on working.

On more tip is that you need to rotate how hard your weeks are. I target to go up 3 weeks and then immediately go down a bit. So my Sunday runs go like this: 30-40-50, 40-50-60, 50-60-70 and so on. The idea is to give yourself some slack and more time to recover.

Finally, I find that having a clear go helps a lot. I always get more motivated when I have a race coming in. Right now I'm preparing for Cap10k and tomorrow is my longest pre-race practice - a whole 60 mins of running. That's one of my longest runs and frankly I'm a bit scared by it. But, I'll try giving my best and hopefully will be able to finish with 6:30 pace, which although doesn't sound much is good enough for me :)

Good luck with your training, endurance is withing your grasp for sure!