In decent shape, but useless at 3K – help!


New Member
Hi everyone. I am new to this forum, but not new to running. I am however not a professional runner at all, more a recreational runner who also have to pass certain physical tests as a part of my job. I look forward to connecting with you and am excited to learn much from this forum in the future.

I swore I would never be “that person” who´s first post is a “please help me post”, but here I am … :-)

I have trained for most of my adult life, as well as having an active childhood. I quickly discovered that I was in an OK shape, but I never really had any good stamina/cardio. What I did discover from an early age was that I was prone to becoming strong, quick. I have nurtured this my whole life, and I am now a pretty good lifter whilst my running is OK minus. I have no dream of ever running a competition, but I feel so disappointed when I run 2-5 times a week, as well as training strength training, swimming, hiking etc, and never getting anywhere…

I have tried to switch types of running, shoes, gear, food, supplements, programs, intensity, etc. I have trained together with a triathlete friend of mine (obviously targeting different zones), without any result. I have also tried to have rest days and weeks. I rarely train more than once a day, and almost never more than 6 times a week.

A good example of what frustrates me: For about 6 years ago I ran 3000m at 14:15, three years later during my final exams on the physical test I ran at 14:16. This was enough to pass, but just barely. I have also struggled a lot with other medium-intensity running tests (5-15 min). I almost always feel dizzy, my lungs feel like they are about to collapse, I get a burning sensation in my shoulders, numbness in my fingers, and my legs tire quickly – feeling like bricks. Furthermore, my HR has once reached 218 BPM during a 3K run – incredible, right?

I have been diagnosed with slight asthma, and I emphasize slight. For this I have a prescription for Ventoline. Other than that, I am at 100% health, except some allergies. And trust me, my doctor has taken this seriously. He sent me to lung X-ray, lung test, exercise-test, blood-tests, a heart specialist etc. The treadmill test gave back the result “Normal physical conditioning” for my age group (25-30). This would be fine for me if I trained once or twice a week, like normal people do. The only problem is that I train a lot more than that. Stuff like this, really bring be down.

When I am running/training different intervals, 100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10K, rucksack running– I run at decent times, without any real pain out of what I would perceive as being ordinary. I know I will never set any records at all, due to my weight and (95kg) and my weight training/muscle fibers. However, my goal is to be decent at a 3K (in my opinion hitting a place between 12:00 and 13:00 is optimal, and shouldn’t be unachievable, in theory at least). Furthermore, I must add that I can walk for hours without stop on mountains. I can swim for hours, and I have an overall good health (I have checked myself thoroughly at the doctor´s). Also, when I train CrossFit, I get good results, finishing early.

Can anyone please take a guess on what the heck is going on? Why is mid-range running so hard for me? Why wont any remedy work? I know about stagnation, but I have switched so much the last years, that I really don´t have any more ideas on how to change my program. Has anyone experienced something similar to this? And if so, what helped?

Thank you for your response.
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