Trouble Getting Past 3 Min Run

After about 3 decades of not running I am back. But at 57 and overweight I really have a lot of trouble getting past the 3 minute run.

I am now about 5 weeks into the schedule but as funny as it sounds I have hit the 3 minute wall.

I know I am gaining muscle mass and have lost a few pounds but endurance is not there.

Any ideas?

trouble getting past 3 min run
Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your running question.

On a positive note:

  • You are doing exercise

  • You have lost a few pounds

  • It is great to see that you are trying to get active again. Three decades of not doing much/anything(?) is a long time.

    Not something your body is likely to forget in just a few weeks. So, I can imagine that it will take a while before running becomes easier.

    My advice is:

    1. Keep going
    2. The importance of pace
    3. Build up slowly

    Keep Going

    The most important thing is that you just have to keep going now. You have made a good start. Don't worry too much about the running program. Not sure if you are using one of my Beginner Running Programs, but they are just a guide to the start of your running life.

    Do not treat them as gospel.

    For some people they are too easy. For some people, like you, they may be too demanding at first.

    The Importance of Pace

    Make sure that at all times you keep the running at conversational, easy pace. I cannot stress this enough. Many beginning runners feel like they need to race in their training. Don't do it. Keep it easy.
    Do not make it more taxing than it already is.

    I am quite hopeful that after a few more running sessions you will be able to do three minutes. And then four minutes. And then five. And so on. Just build it up slowly andgood things will come.

    Build Up Slowly

    trouble getting past 3 min run
    If you can do 3 minutes of running, but you can't do 4 minutes, then an alternative is to simply increase the running by less than whole minutes. E.g. make your running part 3 minutes and 15 seconds. The next workout make it 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Etc. Simply stick to the same workout for a while, until you feel that 4 minutes of running is doable.

    Just progress a little bit slower than what your schedule wants you to do.

    An alternative to this is to reduce the length of the running intervals, but increase the number of them, to the point that you are running the same time as in the prescribed workout.

    E.g. Suppose your workout is Run 3 minutes / Walk 1 min, repeated 4 times.

    Total running time is 12 minutes.

    If running three minutes in one go is too much, just make sure you cover the total amount spent running. In this case 12 minutes. Instead of 4 x 3 min running, make it 6 x 2 minutes. Or 5 x 2.5 minutes (12.5 minutes, close enough to the 12).

    You are still getting the benefits of running the 12 minutes. You are still covering the same distance. Building the same endurance.

    The key thing is to not get discouraged. Recognise that everybody has got their own journey and that the main thing is that you are building your fitness and health.

    Best of luck. Here is to a life of fitness ahead of you!
    Kind regards,

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