Am I still capable of a parkrun PB?

How do we know when there is no longer any chance of a PB?

21 to 27 of 27 messages
12/12/2012 at 14:31

One to get you thinking.

Back in the days of the marathon boom, someone did a breakdown of the average times by age from one of the big marathons. They found that the times got better from age 19 up to age 27. After age 27 the average times slowed. They then had a look at what age had the average speed slowed to the same as it was at the age of 19 and the answer came back as  64 years old. First thought was that this was a bit of a flukey one off but other races were showing similar.

While it would be nice to think that a 64 year old has the same fitness level as a 19 year old, this is probably untrue.

One to throw around the head on a long run is what is this actually showing.

Edited: 12/12/2012 at 17:22
12/12/2012 at 18:26
Only the faster runners stick at it?
12/12/2012 at 20:45
derek hughes 4 wrote (see)

One to get you thinking.

Back in the days of the marathon boom, someone did a breakdown of the average times by age from one of the big marathons. They found that the times got better from age 19 up to age 27. After age 27 the average times slowed. They then had a look at what age had the average speed slowed to the same as it was at the age of 19 and the answer came back as  64 years old. First thought was that this was a bit of a flukey one off but other races were showing similar.

While it would be nice to think that a 64 year old has the same fitness level as a 19 year old, this is probably untrue.

One to throw around the head on a long run is what is this actually showing.

These days I'd be amazed if anyone peaked at the marathon at 27, even the real top elites.

14/12/2012 at 08:55

Interesting stats there. Some impressive 64 year olds out there!

I have given a bit more thought to my aim to get spring-time PBs and the training plan that will require:

http://parkrunfans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/plotting-spring-time-pb.html

14/12/2012 at 11:03

I think the answer to the same average times at 64 as at 19 is that it is not measuring just fitness levels.

You have 3 factors in there - the natural fitness level at a particular age, how close to your capacity you are running and who enters races.

As Nykie says, it is mainly the faster runners that stay with it as you get older. Looking at average times in a race for the older runners by vet cat, and then applying age grading, tends to prove this.

You can also say that at 19, the runners will be less likely to be running to capacity as they have yet to learn how to run to their best while the 64 years old will certainly have the experience to know how to get the best out of themselves.

So whether a person can be faster in their forties or even fifties than they were in their thirties does depend on whether they were running to their capacity in their thirties. If they were not then it is possible but if they were then it is unlikely.

14/12/2012 at 11:09

I have always been adept at training and running close to my capacity:

- I was always able to push myself until fainting at pre-season football training

- I am sometimes out on my feet at the end of a run.

Therefore, the possibility for gains in my late thirties and beyond are tough. It will be a lot of training for pretty small margins now I think. But if I don't do it now, there will come a time in the not too distant future when there will be no chance.

Use it or lose it I say! Living the challenge is probably more fun than actually achieving the goal.

14/12/2012 at 23:05

Parkrun fan - you have some very good PB's for 5k & 10k and I'm sure there is more to come. I found that by adding an extra day a week running saw my PB's start to tumble. Like Stevie G said at the start of this thread it is months/years of consistent training that will be the key to your success. Nowadays 4 runs a week is a bad week even when I'm not marathon training. Over the summer I was trying to get my 5 mile PB down to under 30 minutes (just missed out by 9 seconds), but was still running a minimum of 5 times a week. Everyone has busy lives, but if you can fit in those extra days I believe you will see the benefit in the long term.


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