Realistic targets for a 40 something

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27/04/2012 at 07:36
JakeUK wrote (see)
Paul Robertson 11 wrote (see)
I'm 48 and started running last December. My target is to get under 20 minutes for a 5K. Best time so far is 21.30.

 Cracking effort, Paul. You must have smoke coming from your trainers!

The Park runs are appealing but I wanted to get to the point where I was not trailing at the back! Do you participate in any park runs?


I run on my own. Due to working rotating shifts my running pattern is a bit mixed up.

Just to confirm what others have said, don't over-do it. I've had to cut down in the last month due to picking up an injury.

28/04/2012 at 07:51
Fit-Running-Cat wrote (see)
Sorry Jake, stopped getting the email alerts. Half marathon in March I did another PB, 1:35.. But frustrated cause I could've gone faster, and have in training.l but 7000 people and no timing pens so lots to run around, course hilly and some odd zig zag bits too. Still that's nearly 5 mins off my time on same course 2011, and didn't batter my legs so recovery better. Did a 4.2m race Wednesday in 27m30s all in sub 7 min miles... Next time i do a 10k, Stand a chance of going from sub 48m 10k last year, to sub 45m 10k November,..l,should crack sub 43m next time, and in with a chance of sub 42 !. Got a 20m race on Sunday , more a training run though, then tapering, marathon in 4 weeks Andrew... Amazing times to go 1:29 so soon...wow.

Great times in there FRC, you must be pleased as punch with how things are going?

Ran my first <25 min 5km in training yesterday, 24:47 during a 10km run but couldn't sustain anywhere near the effort but still did my best ever 10km training time of 53:21. Big test tomorrow to see how comfortable it will be running near enough to 9:00 min miles for 13.1 miles to know if I can beat two hours for Chester HM in May.

Finding that each run, no matter how hard I try I always end up challenging the clock. On Monday was meant to be very easy recovery run of 10k, watch in my pocket. Really easy steady run, no music, enjoying the rain and surroundings, checked watch with 2km to go, realised I could still be < 60 mins and setoff like the clappers!

 Do all you folks find this, the lure of beating of getting within certain times is irresistable?

28/04/2012 at 09:35
Hey Jake. It is hard to resist beating the clock. Gradually over time though I use my Garmin as my friend. And if I plan to run 10 miles real slow say at 10.30 pace... then I look at my watch to make sure I am on pace all the way... it forces me to slow down even further... Does take some discipline though.
28/04/2012 at 10:14
Hi Jake, yes pleased. Half marathon time I was actually a little disappointed with... Knew I had energy to spare but just couldn't get it out. So a bonus in a sense that I could carry on training, did a negative split too (faster second half to first) so good balanced speed.

The 4 ish miler the other day was great though..way faster than I've gone before, all sub 7 min miles. I did a very muddy cross country 10k a month or two ago and did faster than my road 10k time so knew I was running well.

Funny you mention 25 min 5 k..that's the time I'm aiming for..doing 8 of them for sub 3:30 marathon in 4 weeks.

Re your program. Don't get obsessed with garmin time. I've done that and its okay for awhile but does get boring. Also hard once / if you get injured.

Also even though I'm training for a marathon and get 35-50 miles a week in, plus cross & strength training, I do get 2 rest days a week in. Rest is important.
Also set myself some rules. So no 2 hard sessions back to back for example..think you are doing some like this,

Remember to taper for your Chester half... At least stop or go light from the Thursday..maybe even the Tuesday? It will help.

Good luck with the run tomorrow.
Edited: 28/04/2012 at 10:14
28/04/2012 at 20:22
I used to clock watch, but gave it up as a bad idea. Improvement cannot be a linear curve. I try to mix up my training with interval runs (sprint between two lamposts, jog the next two and so on) then maybe once a month go for a full on attempt to beat my 5k PB.
29/04/2012 at 15:35
Funny you mention 25 min 5 k..that's the time I'm aiming for..doing 8 of them for sub 3:30 marathon in 4 weeks.

Having that feeling that you have given almost everything, and thinking of doing that for 26.2 miles is literally unthinkable atm! Good luck with this, sounds like you will breeze through the challenge

 Mixed feelings about todays long run, left the house in shorts (shirt & rain jacket), comfortable between 8:50 & 9:10 pace for a few km's. Once out into the open countryside, no walls, just open fields, the wind was incredible, driving the rain either head on or from the side. Was so cold could not tell if my legs were aching or not, face was numb, could barely see. The few times I checked my watch saw 10+ min miles Final three km away from the worst of the wind and managed 9:29, 9:20 & 8:51 (final km) min mile pace km's. Time for 13.10 miles was 2:04 (and a few seconds ) ), the worst km split was 10:41, felt helpless against the wind at this point in the run.

 Harbouring a growing sense of optimism of cracking 2:00 hours in two weeks, sensible training and no injuries, I could be on cloud nine at this time in 14 days

Hope everyone else is on plan and enjoying their training?

29/04/2012 at 15:44
Jake. Inspiring stuff! I did a 11 mile run yesterday in Leeds. It was a lovely sunny evening... out with the cows and sheep. And I knew the forecast for today... which cheered me up. I wasn't thinking of you at the time though...

2.04 in those conditions is pretty impressive. The wind and rain today must be worth 5 or 6 minutes off your time at least.

I presume your splits are miles rather than km? I can't see how you won't break 2 hours soon....
29/04/2012 at 21:02
Jake, its when,not if you break the 2 hour mark. Then you'll need a new target.
29/04/2012 at 21:07
I'm feeling happier today. Had a long run in the rain. I kept it real slow for 5 miles and slowly increased pace over the run, finishing strong and feeling like I had more in me. Its amazing how torrential rain doesn't bother you when everything is going right.

Another week of training over. I have 6 weeks before my first marathon. It seems to be looming over me now. My main concern is lack of hill training which I need for the course - a slight hip injury flares up whenever I take on any serious inclines. I need to do some core strengthening whatever that means!
29/04/2012 at 21:45
Jake ,
I did a HM in March at Dorney Lake (the Olympic rowing lake). The wind down one of the staights was horrible - you could feel it sapping your energy and pace. Fortunately I benefited from the wind on the return leg and made up loads of time.

Getting out and experiencing those conditions is all good stuff and will make you stronger - plenty of people would have called their long run off. It sound like you have the grit and determination to hit your target.

Keep it up, and don't overdo it - two weeks to go for you now
30/04/2012 at 08:16

Nick, I probably need to sort my watch out as I have it setup to record my laps/ splits as one km 0.62 miles but everything else is displayed as miles ie; minutes per mile, distance run etc! I setup the splits this way as a hangover from using endomondo on my phone which used kilometres.

30/04/2012 at 09:03
Hi Jake. It's just your splits make sense for mile splits, rather than km splits... which is what confused me. ie 9:29, 9:20 & 8:51.

But anyway... whatever it is, it seems to be working for you...
01/05/2012 at 16:55
JakeUK wrote (see)
Finding that each run, no matter how hard I try I always end up challenging the clock. On Monday was meant to be very easy recovery run of 10k, watch in my pocket. Really easy steady run, no music, enjoying the rain and surroundings, checked watch with 2km to go, realised I could still be < 60 mins and setoff like the clappers!

 Do all you folks find this, the lure of beating of getting within certain times is irresistable?

I used to always "race the clock" until I realised that I really needed to train slower for most of my mileage if I was ever going to race faster. The solution that worked for me was training to specific heart rates (started with Parker's approach, then moved to Hadd's). I found that having to hit a certain HR meant that I satisfied my "clock watching" OCD but I ended up running much more easily. The enjoyment then started to come from seeing faster paces at the low HRs. I started running at 42 ... it took me a few months before I managed a 26 min 5K ... and another 2+ years before hitting my dream target of a sub-40 10K. I still haven't managed the supposedly "easier" a sub-90 HM, as I've never managed to coincide being HM fit with a good fast HM course etc ... managed 90:06 which was a bit frustrating.

Anyhow, train properly and bed in for the long haul ... be consistently consistent ... you can get your sub-90 dream time. Believe.

01/05/2012 at 21:42

I did my first timed 10k tonight. I checked out the distance in my car (6.2 miles) and with my ipod Nano. Well chuffed with 44-40, but that was flat out all the way. There is no way i could do this on every run.  Combined with 21-14 for a 5k, i have something to aim for.

Question : Everyone who does a timed 5k, is that from a cold start, or do you do a few km to warm up, then start the timing. (or is that cheating).

02/05/2012 at 06:00

Interesting replies folks

Had a look at the requirements for a GFA entry to the VLM, they don't cut much slack for us oldies; 18-40 3:10, 41+ 3:15! Will be waiting for my ballot notification, could just about run 3:15 pace for a couple of hundred yards with a lion chasing me.

Sub 40 10k is impressive, DrDan, must have a fair VO2 max for that sort of time? I know how much I was heaving after a piddly < 25min 5k.

Think I need a new HRM strap for my garmin. Originally bought a 305 with HRM, left atop my car after a run, never to be seen again. Although when in use my HR never went above 169 on a normal run, I was dismayed that my max is probably quite low

One session badly missing from what I am doing atm is speed. Have done a couple at the running club and really feel the benefit afterwards but struggle from the halfway point onwards during the session. Last night was 40s fast, 20s stand still recovery X 16, it was hurting last night, the hobble back to the sports centre was not pretty! On the normal social run on Wednesday I do ok, but the speed sessions are another matter, I always end up with the girls, the blokes are flying machines.

Paul, do you do the parkruns? Sounds like you bag, flying round the course each Saturday am! Going along to the York one this week for the first time. What a great idea the parkrun concept is.

02/05/2012 at 08:57
Just as an aside... I have reached a point in my running where I have had to go from running 3 or 4x per week to barely twice a week! Any more times... and my legs just seize up! (Muscle spasms, cramp, leg-lock). Quite annoying. But only if I just take one day off between runs... if I take 2 or 3 days off I am fine... it's like my muscles no longer recover from a run in 48 hours... it takes 72 hours...

And this happens no matter what distance I run. Whether 1 mile or 12 miles...

Is it just old age?
02/05/2012 at 13:38

Have you tried slowing down your training runs LeedsNick? What pace to you train at relative to race pace?

JakeUK ... it's not about having a big VO2 max, its about what percentage of it you can use before generating lactate. Lots of slow mileage ... build up you muscles' ability to utilise oxygen.

02/05/2012 at 13:49
I do my long easy runs very slow. ie. anywhere between 10.30 and 11 min miles...

Shorter runs of 3 to 8 miles I vary between 10min pace and 8.30 pace depending on what my aim is.

I seem to be fine until my weekly mileage creeps above 20 miles per week. 3x 6 miles fine... 3 x 7 miles... problems start.... 3x 8 miles... seizure. Obviously I vary the run distances.... so it's more like 3 miles, 6 miles and 11 miles say. And I stick to that for a few weeks... then go to say 3,6 and 12... and it's like bang! Problems start... not during the run. More the next few days... I just don't seem to recover before my next run. So I miss the 3 miler... rest an extra 2 days and do the 6 miler... but still the problems come. The guys I run with do the same schedule... but without the problems. I am a couple years older than them so they just tease me that I am too old...

It's like I have reached my threshold... every year seems to be the same... no matter how slow the incremental addition of miles... I do despair sometimes...
02/05/2012 at 14:35

Hi LeedsNick

I know its a well used post, but it may be worth having your gait analysed to see if there are any issues with your running style. The analysis will typically include the lower back compared to what you get in a running shop which tends to focus on knees down.

I had one recently as i have a history of ITB pain from walking. When I started running this year I decided to get checked out properly. My weaknesses are in the hips, causing my left knee to drag inwards. The therapist has given me a program for strengthening my hips, and a stretching program, he also recommended running shoes to me as he felt I had a little to much support in the shoes I was using

 Its still early days to know if its working. I have had some minor ITB pain and had to lay off running for a few days, but given the mileage I am up to isn't so bad.

02/05/2012 at 14:52
Thanks Andrew. I did have gait analysis done a couple of years ago. It's not cheap is it... and I did end up have bespoke inserts made as I had a very slight pronation in both feet. It did help my shin splints that I was suffering from at the time.

The condition I am getting now... I never used to have it happen to me a few years ago. It's only the last 2 or 3 years I have noticed it. I just can't train as much as I used to.

My theory... and it may seem a strange one. Is that my body core temp is too cold when I start. Even a warm up doesn't get my lower legs warm enough. I have tried using hot water bottle etc. The reason I think this, is that when I go on holiday to a hotter country... I can run almost every day... without the problems. My muscles are warm all day every day... but here, our house is an old house and its hard to keep warm. Even though I feel ok, I have noticed my feet and hands are always cold here. I only moved to Leeds a few years ago... coldest place I have ever lived. And I am wondering if that is causing my issues... as I noticed also last summer when we had a couple of weeks of temps above 25 degrees... my symptoms went away and I was able to run normally every second day again...

Anyone know of a thermal body suit that heats you up to a summer day?
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