Realistic targets for a 40 something

21 to 40 of 183 messages
06/03/2012 at 20:08
Whooaa. Meant to give a huuge thumbs up for the 1:29:49. That's a blinding effort after only two years, I will use you as my role model
06/03/2012 at 21:46

Well im aiming to get my 5k time down to 18 minutes before im 44.

At the moment its 18:51 

Im 43. I've got 4 months

My HM time is 1:31 abit slow but it was my first at 43.

Running is a sport of conditioning

Injuries occur when the route to that conditioning lacks the proper routine and method.

Few injuries are the result of age. 

While as you get older your ability to increase and maintain muscle mass decreases ( I dont know why and care even less) and so times decrease, with the correct training you still have the potentional to reach the best that is possible.

The facts are that not only could you run a 1:30 half marathon you simply will if you train enough.

Oh and if you have what it takes mentally.

Thats why as soon as you have a good base you have to start on mixing in stamina and speed training in to the mix.

40 year olds are good at running slow and long, but running well enough to do 1:30, is being able to run for a long time over distance at speed. A few 10k's and expecially 5k's will get you over the idea that speed is a young runners thing.

One last thing 6 foot and 13 stone?

You have to work on the tricky matter of loosing weight and maintaining strength. 

It really helps, though I can give no other advice except  eat well. Running is best used as a way to get better at running. Change your diet to loose weight. Running to loose weight is rathere brutal and a bit of a non-starter

Edited: 06/03/2012 at 21:47
07/03/2012 at 09:36

Stephen EF,  you're obviously a highly experienced and able runner - I hope you get to that magic 18:00 in time!

All the points you make seem very relevant to less experienced runners (myself included.)  But I just wanted to pick you up on the point about 6 foot and 13 stone.

There is such a thing as an ideal build for an endurance runner - I'm talking genetics as well as what happens if you make good nutritional and training choices.  

  BUT I am not that build - 6 foot 1 and nearly 14 stone, and I look quite lean at that weight.  I'm a mesomorph with a deep chest, very broad shoulders and big old femurs that pack on muscle very easily, even without looking at weights.  Okay, so if I made the right tweaks to my diet, I might shed 7 lbs to attain a performance weight, but no way am I going to end up at 12 stone something.  How do I know? because I wasn't even when I was a super-lean student and could easily run 5:40 miles  ( I gave up running in my mid-twenties before starting again over 20 years later)

 We don't know what build Jake is - Jake would you care to comment?  He could be tall but reasonably powerful at his current weight.  Or he could be an ectomorph who should ideally be even lighter.  All I'm saying is that not everybody can end up with the ideal build of an endurance runner.  

07/03/2012 at 10:00
Some really impressive numbers popping up on this thread, good luck with the 18 minute 5k, that's impressive!

With regards to my build, I am probably somewhere in the middle. I have tried to upload an image from the Brighton HM but it needs to be checked by site team! The only place I feel I have excess body fat is around my middle.

Is it worth getting checked for % body fat? Since starting running, I have changed my diet, lots of beans and pulses feature through the week. Fish nearly every night, my one weakness is still having chips more often than I should with the fish!!
07/03/2012 at 10:23

Hi Jake, you say you're in the middle, but I'm saying that I am, too. So obviously you're significantly lighter for your height already...

I'd say skip the body fat/ composition test for now  as it's only sensible if you can repeat it quite regularly (expensive).  If you can see there's extra fat round the middle, you don't need a test.  Men also carry  abdominal fat internally so that's less obvious.  Probably keeping the small changes you've already made will get you gradually leaner... long-term is always better than drastic.  And hey, eating chips if one of life's joys. Just schedule it in deliberately from time to time and really savour them! 

Good luck, keep us posted.


09/03/2012 at 21:41
Hi ,
I had a similar question for myself a couple of months ago. All I had done till this year was walking. I'm 42, pretty skinny, male. I was reasonably handy at cross country at school.

I've entered a HM 1st april and started a 12 week plan. I found it difficult to know what pace to run at for training runs (easy, tempo etc). I entered a low key HM for experience, not caring how I finished. I set off at 1:50 pace, and came in strongly at 1:41. (my pace was all over the place - but it was a learning experience!)
A ran a second low key HM race last weekend, ran a constant pace, and finished in just over 1:37.

I've set my sites on 1:35 for 1st April. 1:30 time seems like its way off for me at the moment - maybe a target for next year.

Biggest concern is that I have pushed things along too hard since starting in January, so I am having a very light training week this week - i've barely done any running, mainly been on a cross trainer.
10/03/2012 at 13:30
Andrew my previous HM was 1:37. Don't know what my next target will be 1:25??
As background I did a double ultra in Feb and am training for an ultra in June so doing 60+ miles a week. So am regularly running over HM distance. Doing the HM was kind of speed work for me as I haven't been doing much so was quite pleased even if I did drop off a bit - first 10k was a pb time too
10/03/2012 at 14:22
Some good running info & times in here. It really does take time to build up and helps to master a distance first. Going from 2:18 to 1:30 is a long term thing.

Jake, I did 2hrs 11 for my first half... many moons ago now, 7 years... Lost some weight, trained well on own and next year did 1hr 44, then 1:39 and so on. Up & down a bit, injuries then did a half again last year first time in 3 years, surprised myself fitness wise again 1:39.

Trained for a marathon last year, went sub 4 first time and then did 1:36 half soon after.

Have joined a running club December and helping (not sure I couldve done this 5-6 years ago). Doing another half in 8 days..looking good for 1:35 -1:32 or less. 1:30 is a still a distance off, but not far.

My blog with info on some of the things I did last year running & gym wise is here....
Building up is important, you can't just run, gym and other things required for safe base.
12/03/2012 at 14:19

Interesting to read this thread. I am heading for a half in June and confident I can complete the trip ok - probably a bit over 2 hours.

Check out the Mcmillanrunning pacing tables - you can play around with them to see that a 5k time of around 20mins would indicate at 1:30 half marathon. 4min ks is damn quick in my book.

 I'd say join a club and get a good focused training plan.

12/03/2012 at 14:57
Thanks for the additional replies. Having discussed with the wifey, we are going to change things about so I can get to a running club, really excited about this. The concern with the club is my pace, which at the moment is not very fast!!

Would be interested to see how you get on in 6 days with the HM, best of luck
Edited: 12/03/2012 at 14:59
17/03/2012 at 12:42

How did it go, Fit_running_cat?;
Doing another half in 8 days..looking good for 1:35 -1:32 or less. 1:30 is a still a distance off, but not far.

Just did my first ever < 60 minute 10km run (only training but it counts for me!), the feeling of elation is hard to articulate. Wifey is not home but just wanted to tell someone/ anyone

One burning question I have for the experienced runners;

Since getting my 305, I have become totally wrapped up in times. Today was meant to be a nice steady 10km ahead of some horrible hills tomorrow (at the in laws and have no choice, also thought it would be a change). Today, as my first couple of km's were faster than I thought I was going I then got caught up in aiming for my first < 60 minute 10km. This seems to be happening on most non long runs atm.

Am I more likely to get injured doing this, or is it healthy as I am going no further than 10km on the majority of my non long runs?
17/03/2012 at 13:25
It can be a bit tricky as your pace will improve as you get fitter. Listen to your body during running and after and if you are getting twinges or niggles ease off. Of course if you are training for a race you need to learn to run an even pace the whole way but this doesn't mean every run should be like this. I will run at times based on feel or perceived effort as I enjoy that a lot more and it's supposed to be fun right!
17/03/2012 at 14:52
Jake, half is tomorrow. Will report back sometime. Looking good though.

Congrats on the sub 1hr 10k.

Re: the garmin fixation, I've been there. You go out and look at your watch like you're Gollum with the ring. I think it can ultimately be dangerous... Focus on time your feet for long runs, not pace. Stick your garmin in your pocket sometimes even... Then just run comfortable. Pushing to go faster every time isn't good or enjoyable.

Joining a running club would be great since you can get the speed & interval sessions in but be careful since they are the most stressful on your body. Pick the runs that work for you. Dont neglect the gym work, weights or circuits to build & strengthen your core & legs.

Oh I'd recommend you do a mix of runs, one above 10k gradually, short, medium, and long has worked for me always regardless of distance I'm going for.
Edited: 17/03/2012 at 14:54
17/03/2012 at 15:03
questforspeed wrote (see)

  BUT I am not that build - 6 foot 1 and nearly 14 stone, and I look quite lean at that weight.  I'm a mesomorph with a deep chest, very broad shoulders and big old femurs that pack on muscle very easily, even without looking at weights.

Lucky git... some of us have to work for our muscles, y'know.   Yep - I.... Am.... An.... Ectomorph.   These names do make us sound like some sort of alien, don't they?  I have packed on a little muscle mass (and I mean a little) over the past few months, but I had to work damn hard for it.  People who know me have commented that it looks like I've been working out, so I guess I'm doing something right.

Anyway, best of luck whatever your goals and/or body shape.

17/03/2012 at 15:20
lol, sorry Fit-Running-Cat, this running has affected my ability to add up properly! Best of luck, you sound upbeat

The idea of putting the watch into my pocket is a good one, it is definitely preventing me from getting into a comfortable pace throughout my longer runs. Recently I have become totally engrossed in getting sub 2 hours for Chester HM May 15th. Going to forget about times for a couple of weeks and do some long runs at easy conversational pace.

As for running clubs there are lots to chose from around me but the one that appeals most is Rothwell Harriers; A longer drive for me to get there but the setup sounds like my cup of tea.

Finally, apologies for posting so much, probably still in the honeymoon period and cannot stop thinking/ chatting about running!!
17/03/2012 at 17:16
If you're doing a half, then definitely get time on feet, and move up to 8-10 miles long, 5-6 medium and some fast 3-4s.. Joining a running club will make the latter easy doing intervals & hills.

And yes, upbeat. Feeling a 12 on the awesomeness scale of 1-10
17/03/2012 at 17:37
I've got my next HM coming up in 2 weeks. I pushed a bit harder on a tempo run in the week and did 5 miles mid run at 6:55 pace. I was surprised how comfortable I felt. I'm looking at running the race at about 7:10min/mile pace - the tempo run gave me a lot more confidence.

I'm targeting a marathon in June. Did a 20 mile long run today. The 42 year old engine performed well, but the chassis is a bit creaky now.
17/03/2012 at 17:47

Andrew on the long run you dont have to go as fast... its more time on feet and aerobic.

and as you go faster overall, in more sessions, the more you need a sports massage..

I had one this week as I started tapering.

and if you can do 5 x 6:55, surely you can go a lot faster than 7:10 pace.

Edited: 17/03/2012 at 17:52
17/03/2012 at 23:21
Yes, I took the long run nice and slow - just enjoyed the scenery along the Thames. Apart from the last mile it felt.nice and easy - i have a killer hill in the last mile from home!

I've run a lot faster on intervals. I will do another speed session in the week and decide what to aim for. 5 weeks ago i was aiming at 8:20 pace for the HM. How things have changed
Edited: 17/03/2012 at 23:24
01/04/2012 at 14:16
Well I surprised myself and fiinished Reading HM in sub 1:29. I managed to maintain a fairly even pace. Those tempo runs and intervals , plus the longer slow stuff really seemed to pay off. Again cardiowise I felt comfortable. I think I was running at the limits of my muscles as I was feeling strains in a couple of places towards the end. I guess this is partly down to age, and limited training since starting at the end of January. Introducing speed on the midweek runs is very recent - introducing it slowly for new runners like myself is key, as 40+ year old muscles take a little more recovery time.
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