I'm in my early 40's and have run on and off throughout my life....the odd half marathon etc. Two years ago I joined a local club (it's a social running club, there is no "coaching" etc.) and my running has improved to the extent that I have a 10k PB of 36.30 and 10m of 61.30 (on a hilly course).
I typically run 30-50 miles a week, a lot of which is probably at what people would refer to as a "junk mile pace". I do the odd bit of speedier running, typically 4 - 6 x 1200m efforts with 3 minutes in between once a fortnight or so but that's it with regards speed work. Those 1200m efforts tend to be at about 5.40/mile pace.
I think I have it in me to run a fair bit faster and be a lot more competitive (my dad was a very good runner in his day and mums family are fairly athletic) but am not sure how to go about it.
I would be interested to hear of others experiences and suggestions with regards this. I think I might have the potential to run sub 35 or possibly even sub 34 if I was training better......
I've had a lump on my achilles for 2 years now. I tried massaging it, ultrasound, resting it completely (10 week or so - so bored)and it didn't make any difference. So I just started running again and I still have the lump but it doesn't bother me. I suspect it is just a feature of my achilles now.
Heart rate monitors are notoriously unreliable. You can get on identical machines and have your heart rate different by up to 30% or more. It depends on so many factors including the amount of sweat on the sensors, the amount of sweat on you, the temperature, static in the machine etc.
I would recommend getting a chest strap for a start and also wearing cotton running tops (not as a rule as they soak up the sweat and rub but for the purposes of heart rates as the technical tops generate static which messes with the HR readings) to get a more consistent idea of your HR. Try to wear the same t-shirt too as it can different with different tops.
It sounds mad but I have been experimenting with this for years after becoming concerned about the recorded profile of my heart rate when running. I can also spike the HR on the watch by running past one particular electricity substation yet run past other identical looking one and nothing happens.