Significant Race Time Improvements

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23/03/2005 at 18:29
It all depends on where you are with your running (ie how much training you have done before). I went from 1:48 to 1:26 in the 1/2 marathon in 4 months by starting to run 5 times a week and making sure I did a long run every weekend, building to 18 miles (in prep for a marathon). But my 1:48 was off only 3 weeks training, hence the huge jump in times when I started running regularly.

More recently I went from 3:10 to 2:50 in the marathon by getting consistent mileage in of 50 - 60 miles a week for 4 months, with a long run every weekend and a medium long run mid-week.

So for me the buzzword is consistency. Keep putting in the miles and you'll see results. How quickly you improve will depend on how much running you've done in the past - if very little you will see rapid improvements; if lots then you'll have to be satisfied with smaller advances (although they can be just as satisfying).
23/03/2005 at 20:02
In 1985 I ran 1:28 half, 62.30 10M and 37.30 10k. A year later I was down to 1.18, 54.40 and 33.59. It took me a further seven years to get down to 1.11.13, 52.03 and 31.36 - all within a few weeks of each other in 1993. I stayed quite close to that level till 1998.

Increased mileage was the biggest single factor for the initial improvements, then consistency and speedwork - and remaining injury-free, which I don't seem to be able to do anymore :(

23/03/2005 at 21:46
even for track races liike 1500m and 3000m, soed high mileage help you?
24/03/2005 at 09:16
rb2 - it depends what you mean by high mileage, but generally the more the better - as long as the miles are kept steady. A week before running my 10mile PB I ran a 3000m in 8.50, not far off my best of 8.40 and this was in the middle of a period of running around 70mpw. A friend of mine averaged 90mpw throughout the winter before running a 2.23 marathon and that same summer clocked 3.59 for 1500m, just a couple of seconds off his best set several years before so clearly the mileage didn't hinder his track speed much.

I know another guy who ran 1.51 for 800m and 3.45 for 1500m off 70-80 mpw. Another lad I know ran 3.44 for 1500m when he was 18. He was an incredible talent but barely used to run 20mpw. As he moved into the senior ranks he struggled to make an impact, partly IMO because he didn't have a strong aerobic background and couldn't get his head round the idea that he might have to up his mileage. Instead he tried to do his speed sessions even faster and kept getting injured. It's a shame as he was a really nice lad but he doesn't run anymore and he's still only in his mid 20s.

Anyway, an adult who starts running can often experience huge improvements in times in the first couple of years and then the law of diminishing returns kicks in. As a young lad you're less likely to take massive chunks off your PBs. Just keep training consistent and if you want to build up the miles do it very slowly.
24/03/2005 at 09:35
I was one of those runners who didn't believe the information about HRMs and more consistent training, until I got an HRM and ran 5 or 6 times a week.

These factors alone have enabled me to drop my 10k PB time by over a minute and helped me to enjoy my training a lot more (giving me lots of statistics to discuss).

Listening to certain people who advise me to do more mileage and/or doubles have also helped me to improve my times.

How the hell did I manage a sub-40min 10K PB on 3 times a week? This was also probably the reason why I messed up my marathon debut as I upped my training runs to 5 or 6 times a week without a suitable training base.
24/03/2005 at 09:38
I recently took just over a minute off my half marathon time, even though I significantly slowed down in the last two miles.
24/03/2005 at 10:57

My typical training after a hard session the day before ie Track speedwork or Hill reps would be:-

AM: 5-6mile easy pace PM: 6-8mile easy.

I still double up, but run at a very easy pace, the morning run is used to flush the lactic build up from your legs and also to loosen things up. The evening run pretty much the same, just something gentle to not push things too much, allows the body a little recovery time.

Well thats my view anyway :)

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