New runner

advise needed

5 messages
27/11/2013 at 20:24

I am a new runner, been running for about 4 weeks and am going out about 3 times a week, I also cycle so am fairly fit.I am 53 years old I am running at 5k in roughly 29 mins. I have only run the full 5k three times and ran walked before that. please can someone advise me how to pace myself better. I feel like I'm going to fast to soon and will burn myself out. I have just registered for a 5k race just to see what I can do. Am getting some very good advise but feel like I need more advise to move forward.

27/11/2013 at 20:52

There's no reason for you to slow down if you feel comfortable running at that pace.

If you don't, slow down until you reach the point where you feel you could hold a conversation.

27/11/2013 at 21:16

Thanks I feel fairly comfortable at that pace but don't know if I could talk to anyone. I run mostly on my own so don't really have anyone to talk to anyway. I have been doing the local Parkrun and ran with a friend on Saturday. I found that helped to pace me better. I suppose what I really need is a run buddy. That's probably another question. Thanks again

28/11/2013 at 01:50

I think most people racing a 5K won't be able to have a friendly chat en route!  But if you're doing that on your training runs. more than once a week, only 4 weeks into your running career... then I'd say that you are heading for burn out and injury.

As a new runner, I fear that you might be being overenthusiastic, and pushing yourself as far as (or nearly as far as) your heart and lungs will carry you.  But most people find that their weak link is their legs - especially as your heart and lungs sound as they were fairly fit before you started.

Running imposes a lot of new stresses on your legs. New to running fitness, you need to allow your bones, tendons and muscles to adapt to this new regime, at a sustainable rate. It sounds like you're going way too fast/too much and probably accumulating muscle/bone/tendon damage that does not have time to repair itself before you set off on your next run (especially at 53, when you body doesn't repair as quickly as it once did!).   At some stage, something may well go "ping". (of course, you might be lucky... but I would say that the chances of an injury are significant.)

29 min 5K after 4 weeks is very good. But when you're reasonably fit from non-impact activities, and you start running, you have to be very disciplined to give your legs time to adapt. The analogy is that if you've got an old race car, with a fantastic engine, but weak suspension, you might get away with driving like Sterling Moss for a few weeks, but before long, something's going to break.   You've to drive the car at a pace/distance that is suitable for the WEAKEST part of the vehicle... not the strongest. 

I'd recommend you take it very easy this week. More rest. Slower paces.  Then, pick it up again next week with some MUCH slower running... you can extend yourself by increasing your mileage slightly.  I think you should spend at least another month, preferably 2, before you start regularly getting really out of breath - use that time to get yourself up to 8-10K at slow pace.  Forget your times until you've got your legs a bit more robust.  

Sounds like you've got good potential if you manage yourself well.   Good luck.

28/11/2013 at 07:10
Thanks thats the kind of advise l think l need. I was concerned about my time and whether l may be doing damage long term. I've noticed there is alot if talk about times and what you do a certain distance in. I have thought of joining a running club beginners group l think that may also be the way to go. My running friends are a bit supprised how fast l'm going and one of them has had sa a very bad calf injury at about 6 months in. Thats why l was asking to see if anyone out there thoufht l may be going in the same direction. Clearly you do and l'll take on bored what you're saying and try to slow it down and extend the distance. Thanks your advise has been a great help

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