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Fitness Q&A

Slow Start Helpful for Runner's Endurance

November 26, 2001|STEPHANIE OAKES

Question: I've been running for seven months and enjoy 5K runs; however, after three-quarters of a mile, my legs turn to lead. I end up having to walk and plod to finish. I have lost 45 pounds since December 2000 and only have about 15 pounds to go. I already stretch beforehand. Any ideas for making my runs easier?


Vero Beach, Fla.

Answer: You could be starting too quickly. Try slowing your pace at the beginning of your workout, so that you break a sweat 10 minutes into your workout, not immediately.

To warm up properly, gradually ease into your run (think 50% intensity) by walking. This warmup will reduce chances of injury, help your metabolism and warm your muscles so that your workout will actually feel easier--and maybe take care of your heavy leg feeling.

Also, make sure you don't have any food or high-sugar drinks directly (30 minutes) before your runs. The sugar can zap your energy.


Stephanie Oakes is the fitness correspondent for Discovery Health Channel and a health/fitness consultant. Questions:

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