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Right now, I'm running twice a week, Wed and Fri. My Wed run is usually really good, I run about 5 miles usually with no problem (been doing the 10k trainer app). Fridays are usually much harder and I'm pretty winded and ready to quit by 2.5 or 3 miles.

I'm not doing anything different between the two, only the time of day, one is about 3 hours later in the morning (4:30am (wed) vs 7:30am (fri)). I would think that 2 days for recovery would be enough. Maybe it's not? What am I missing that I should do so that my Friday run can be as good as my Wed run?

Edited: In answer to @Ed W

  • Age: 43
  • Fitness level: Reasonable. I mostly work a desk, but I play racquetball 2 hours on Sat's, and do weights 2 days a week in addition to running the two days mentioned above. I'm probably about 30 lbs overweight, only a little paunch in the front, not too bad :-|
  • Goal: Mostly fitness, but interested in being able to complete a 10k if I wanted. Don't expect to get in top half of finishers, but maybe someday I'd like to increase my speed some.
  • Pace your currently running: about 10 minute mile, pretty slow. Graduated the c25k (couch to 2k) app to the 10k trainer, and have been using that. I tried starting the c25k over once I'd finished it and running a much faster pace rather than jogging (to try and build my speed up), but kept getting massive calf cramps and went back to jogging.
  • Running experience: Nothing until the last 18 months. I broke my collarbone playing racquetball and then when I went back to racquetball after I was healed, I was really out of shape. I started with the C25k app to get into better cardio and have stuck with it.
  • Other training or activity: See fitness level above, that's about it.
  • Which one is the 4:30am and which one is the 7:30am? – DeeV Jan 6 '17 at 23:14
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    Wed is early, Friday is later – yougotiger Jan 7 '17 at 23:32
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Something that left a huge impression on me.

Years ago when I was finishing up grad school -- I worked as a personal trainer. I would rent a gym hourly from a (friend of a friend). The guy had an entire wall full of trophies and metals. He told me he's a ultra marathon runner (50 - 100 mile runs) he was #2 in the world at the time...

Anyway long story short he always lifted 3 / week ran the other 3 with 2 being a mix of interval type of work. He only ran the distance of his races once per week. He was ripped and didn't have the haven't ate in 2 weeks look.

Bottom Line -- All of his work involved increasing INTENSITY NOT DURATION (yes these workouts will save you time and give you faster results)

One of the best books I've read to date "Core Performance" it has some great sample plans of how to setup and progress your workouts.

Energy System Development (ESD) is the cardiovascular component of your training program. Your body has different energy systems and ESD trains them all.

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Sounds like you are doing some distance stuff with moderate intensity. Might be fun to change it up with some 1/2 mile sprints with about 2 minutes rest between sprints. Do 4 our so.

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There could be many variables. Two days is enough to recover but it seems you might be pushing too much the first day, although 6 min/km seems fairly okay as a speed given your described physical fitness.

You should get enough sleep and rest.

Food also matters, you shouldn't eat 1 hour prior to running because you might get sore stomach, but try eating something with carbs during the recovery day (Thursday). Proper nutrition is another topic which doesn't seem related to this.

Always warm up at least 5 mins. before the start of a run. This could even include several 30m sprints. This way you prepare the body for longer running and should prevent you from cramping. Consider magnesium supplements if cramps are still occurring.

Try adding 5-10 50m sprints after the end of your runs with about 80% intensity. This should give you more breathing and heart training for endurance.

I don't know what the app training plan includes but consider running the 5 miles on fartlek. This also should give you more speed and endurance.

Sources:

Ultramarathon runner for 5+ years, running on trails and mountains. Also ran some city marathons.

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We need more information to provide a reasonable answer. Some things that would help include:

  • Age
  • Fitness level
  • Goal (are you training for a race or running for health/fitness)
  • Pace your currently running
  • Running experience
  • Other training or activity

Five miles seems like a long distance if you're only running two days a week. If you're training for a race a two day a week training plan is a little unusual.

Update: Thanks for the additional info.

Based on your information, I think you're going too far and too fast. I would cut the distance back to 2-3 miles for each run, and add about a minute to your pace. You should feel like you could cary on a conversation while running (a slow to moderate jog). Even though you're reasonably fit, your body has not adapted to running yet.

After you get comfortable at that pace and distance, start increasing the distance slightly. Here is a good article explaining why slow is better while building your aerobic base: https://philmaffetone.com/want-speed-slow-down/

When you decide you want to tackle a 10-K, find a good training program. You should only need about 8 weeks to get ready for the race. Here is a good place to start: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51122/10K-Novice-Training-Program

You can see that even for a 10-K, the mileage for the long run is modest.

  • I edited my post, hopefully I have answered your questions with enough information. – yougotiger Jan 7 '17 at 23:47

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