Q: I appreciate that you embrace the tremendous challenges of running without excuses. I am a 41 year old man that is just getting back into running after several years off of endurance sports. I was a category 3 USCF Bike Racer for 4 years, but was mainly a sprinter, not a road racer. I refuse to accept that I cannot improve at distance running however, just because I am 6;1' and 200 pounds. My goal is to run a sub 20 minute 5K...I don't care if it's 19:59, and I'll do what I have to to get there, although 3 weeks into my training program 7:20 miles are a challenge. Thanks for your dose of the truth...it's appreciated. - P.H., 11/09/02

A: Don't worry about it not feeling too good after three weeks. If you plan your speed workouts at a pace faster than your goal pace, 7:20's will start to feel easier. You just need some endurance base first, and that will take some time. Be patient. You have the advantage many folks don't have, which is understanding what it takes to compete at a high level, which also means you know what the difference is between a little discomfort and real pain. A little discomfort is where most people start to back off...sort of like having their wrist lock up on them when they squeeze that Palm Pilot stylist a bit too hard scheduling their next workout. They hate it when that happens...gag me.

Good luck. - The Rage

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10kTruth.com is a place for runners who have the attitude to train harder and smarter, who want to race faster and stronger, to better their race times and lower the chance of injury. The Rage and Manciata answer running and training questions with their own unique insight and spew. You'll also find running advice and inspirational quotes by sports legends and others who epitomize the spirit of 10k Truth.