Improve My Running Time to 10:30min for 1.5 Miles

by Christopher
(London, England)

I weigh 97kg and have a height of 184cm. Anytime I run, I suffer from shin splints. My run time for a 1.5 mile race is 12:59mins.

improve my running time to 10:30 min for 1.5 miles

I need to get it down to under 10.30 min for the same distance.

What can I do to prevent the shin splints, what running schedule should I use to reduce my run time to under 10.30min, and how can I reduce my weight to 80-85kg in 2-3 months?

Thank you.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Chris!

You've posed a three-pronged question: how to improve your running times, prevent shin splints, and drop a bit of weight. All of these goals are connected in one way or another, so let's take each in turn as follows:

1. Shin splints and weight
2. Shin splints and running too much too soon
3. Cross-Training
4. Weight loss and running schedule

Shin Splints and Weight

improve my running time to 10:30 min for 1.5 miles
First off, dealing with shin splints. Now, these sharp pains in your shins are caused by small tears in the muscle around your shin bone due to overworking. It's a common issue among runners, especially beginners, but there are ways you can avoid it.

Because of your current weight, your risk of shin splints is a little higher. See, when you run, your shins bear a lot of your body weight. More weight means more strain on your shins, hence the discomfort.

It's not all about weight, though. Your running shoes could also be a contributing factor. Have you gotten them fitted at a proper running shoe store? The wrong type of shoe may not provide enough shock absorption, which can lead to shin splints.

Shin Splints and Running Too Much Too Soon

improve my running time to 10:30 min for 1.5 miles
Over-ambitious running plans can also cause shin splints. When you suddenly increase your running time, speed, or distance without giving your muscles enough time to adjust, they protest, sometimes leading to shin splints.

The key here is to gradually increase your running duration, and begin with a run/walk approach as is suggested in many beginner running programs. Even if you do not follow a run/walk program, make sure you run predominantly at an easy pace.

You can also reduce the chances of shin splints by running on softer surfaces like parks and grass instead of concrete pavements.

With everything we have talked about so far, you have got a lot of the common tricks covered to avoid shin splints covered.

Cross-Training While You are Injured

Chances are that you may have to take a bit of a break from running to let the shin splints heal. But you can still work on your fitness. Cross-training is the injured runner's best friend. Something like swimming or cycling keeps up your fitness without putting undue strain on your shins, so they get a bit of respite while you're still on the move.

Check out Cross-Training for Runners for some more information about cross-training.

Weight Loss and Running Schedule

improve my running time to 10:30 min for 1.5 miles
As for your goal to slim down to 80-85 kg, remember that weight loss is a combination of diet and exercise. Consuming less and healthier plus moving more (read: running and cross-training) equals weight loss over time. Just remember to keep it steady and avoid crash diets. Losing those extra kilos will also help improve your running times and reduce the risk of shin splints.

In terms of a running schedule for faster times, I would advise running at a comfortable, easy pace mostly. Then, gradually, when fully healed from the shin splints, do some workouts in which you run a bit faster. Good faster workouts are interval running workouts, tempo running workouts and goal pace workouts.

I understand your eagerness to get to a sub-10.30 min time soon. But remember, fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. It could take a few months, but with perseverance, patience, and an enjoyable running program, I have high hopes that you can get faster, get closer to your your goals and maybe even exceed them!

Finally, Chris, always keep an optimistic mindset. Those goals are achievable, and you're already on the way to achieving them by taking the first step and seeking advice. I can't jog by your side, but I'm with you in spirit, cheering you on.

Best of luck, and happy running!
Kind regards,

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