Do I Need To Increase My Running Speed?

by Kim
(Chicago, IL)

I am new to running. I started about 6 weeks ago. I am now running 3 miles about 3 to 4 times a week. I am overweight and trying to lose weight. I am currently 210 lbs. and 5'6". It takes me 44 minutes to run the 3 miles. Is this too slow? It seems that every time I try to run faster I am out of breath. How do I increase my running speed?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Kim,
Thanks for your excellent running training question and welcome to the running community!
I am happy to see that you have picked up running and are already running 3 miles about 3 to 4 times a week. That's excellent.

When running for weight loss and trying to burn calories, the important thing to keep in mind is that it is almost all about the distance you cover.

Of course, when running fast for five minutes, you will cover more distance and hence burn more calories, than when you'd run slow for five minutes.
However, chances are that after running fast for five minutes you have had enough of it. When running slow, you will be able to continue running and eventually cover more distance.

So, do not be afraid to run slow. Yes, with 44 minutes in 3 miles you are not the fastest, but that's ok. That probably has to do with the fact that you have not yet built up the stamina to cover that distance easily. If you persist with it and slowly build up the distance you run you will find that you eventually will be able to run faster as well. At the moment, running slow as well as combining running and walking is an excellent method to get into running.

By the way, another disadvantage of fast running, especially when you are a new runner, is that it increases your risk of injuries.

Some articles you may want to explore a bit further:

  • Beginner Running Tips

  • Running for Weight Loss

  • Fartlek / Introduction to Speed Play

  • Hope this helps.
    Best of luck with your new found hobby!
    Kind regards,

    Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Running Training Helpline.

    Like this page:

    Share this page:

    Like this site:

    [?] Subscribe To This Site

    follow us in feedly
    Add to My Yahoo!


    • Beginner Running Tips

      Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

    • Running for Weight Loss

      Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

    • Running Training

      The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

    • 5k Running Tips

      The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

    • 10k Running Tips

      The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

    • Marathon Running Tips

      The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!

    What's New?

    1. 8 Essential Distance Running Tips for Beginners

      New to distance running and looking for guidance? Look no further! On this page I have compiled 8 essential distance running tips for beginners that will get you off to a flying start!

      Read more

    2. Best Running Tips :: 10k Running Program for Beginners - A 12 Week Training Program for Your First 10k

      Check out the perfect 12-week 10k running program for beginners. This training program is guaranteed to get you ready for your first 10 k race!

      Read more

    3. What is the Right Running Technique?

      I have started using your Beginner Running Program 3 and I have a question about my running technique. I've never run before. I read on many running

      Read more

    4. 70 Years Old - Want to Start Running

      I am 70 years of age. Started on one of your beginner programs am now in Week 2. Really excited at the prospect of getting to run a 5k. I play golf

      Read more

    5. Five Tips for Running the Mile

      Want to improve your mile time? Here are some tips for running the mile that should help make you faster.

      Read more