Originally Posted by Saul Good
Eventually, you'll hit a point where that is virtually impossible. Generally, that's about the time you can run 6+ miles without walking. If you find your pace, you'll get to six...seven...eight...and feel like you can just keep going forever...and that's because you can. You don't have to feel like trash afterwards in order to have a great workout, IMO.
Very true on all counts. Pacing is the key with running. The first few months, when I had trouble doing 2 miles at a time, every run was death and I felt totally gassed after every run.
Now I can hit a 9 minute per mile pace and run pretty much forever. I ran my first 5k in September of last year and I'm signed up for a half marathon already this year. Being 50 pounds lighter than I was last year definitely helps this, but dogged persistence is the key to getting used to running distances.
The key for speed, once you're acclimated to running, is to integrate speed workouts into your running/workout regimen. I power walk once a week and also try to swim once a week to change up the same old, same old routine, along with some speed/interval routines.
Your times will get better, but it's like losing weight; just fight through the plateaus.