If you ask an internet forum for advice be prepared for a range of differing answers, some will generally be agreed on by the majority of posters. Other answers may not get as much agreement.
FWIW, I think that you might be suffering from an element of over-training. Hard to think that on a running 20 mile a week basis, but I think the cross training is taking more out of you than you realise. You’re accumulating fatigue from each session but not recovering fully. Hence your times are getting slower and your muscles are hurting more.
I too am an over 50 runner (soon to be 52) and am also fighting against advancing age and slowing times. In the last year analysing and re-thinking my training has led to certain conclusions:-
Cross training, for myself at least, in whatever format doesn’t do anything positive. It occupies time, it looks good in the training diary, it feels good and positive, but it doesn’t help me one iota to run faster or longer.
Running longer and slower doesn’t help either. Running longer is meant to assist stamina, I find that it produces more fatigue. Slowing the pace down to make it easier is counter productive for me in that movement patterns change. Cadence and stride length both decrease and it becomes harder to go fast again because you’ve not been training at going at a fast pace.
Diet is important but it is not critical, provided that there is not a major underlying problem in your diet, then any gains by altering your diet will be negligible, more gains can be achieved through other things.
It takes longer to recover from races and sessions as you get older. A big step forward for me was to recognise this and change to four days running with three rest days a week. There is no running, exercise or cross training on rest days.
The next step for me was to cut the mileage, currently do 20/25 miles a week, but doing the bulk of it as quality work, intervals and tempo running. I avoid doing slow easy pace.
So Florry, bit of a ramble there and very me centred, maybe it wont get universal approval. But if you are still suffering why not try the following. Drop all the cross training and gym work. Run on four days only for only three/four miles at a time, run at a “comfortably hard” pace, if it’s slow it’s slow, if it’s faster and you’re comfortable then fine. Take rest days and rest on these days, the rest is as important as the running. Be prepared for slow progress it may take a couple of weeks to recover from your current state.
I also did the Stirling 10K yesterday and had the pleasure of meeting Lit, unfortunately I didn’t meet Richard.
As has been said previously, the Stirling 10K is billed as flat and PB friendly, this being Scotland flat doesn’t mean flat. It just means that the undulations are smaller and gradual rather than huge or horrid. PB friendly is also slightly misleading due to the number of turns (lots) and the poor running surface, all tarmac but uneven, broken, pot-hole riddled and loads of kerbs to cross. But, it still is a good race to run.
Spotted Lit pre-race but if she had hassles getting to the start it didn’t show in her calm focussed warm up, She looked fast and duly showed it as I didn’t see her again until after the finish. We had a quick chat and I listened to the rant about “no f***g water, just milk at the finish”. What probably didn’t help was that they also offered her a banana.
So, congratulations Lit on your PB and silver medal, congratulations Richard on your PB, why did you have to stop twice?
Are either of you doing Linlithgow 10k on the 28th?
Also, If you’re wanting a quick 5K course for a PB come along to the Edinburgh parkrun on Saturday, absolutely flat (well 3m elevation gain over the entire course) and only two corners.
GM – Edinburgh is the normal parkrun, although have done a few others, but none as flat or straight as Edinburgh.
Leslie – what stretches are you doing and what is the specific problem?
Poacher – await the report, when and where is number 100 planned?
Birch – Wish I was in the form to knock out an easy 21.
SJ – a bike-run-swim combo of over 2 hours is a decent long session.
PMJ – Sounds like a standard parkrun. Up here running even pace and starting on the second row you can be down in seventieth place after 500m, then you drift back up the field, gaining thirty odd places by mid-point and eventually finishing in the twenties.
Lorenzo – Your 49 trumps my measly 25 for the week.
Out at 6:30am this morning, 9 miles at 7:20 pace (62% WHR), by mile six I was still thinking that I should be wearing gloves.
Minni – (((hugs))), wish I could offer something positive, can you do any running or training at the moment?
TAR – Here’s hoping that you make it over the start line, and find the way to the finish in a satisfyingly low time.
Poacher – 52, I’m impressed. I assume there’s a few ultra’s in that total. Over what timescale have you achieved this?
Leslie – a steady comeback, are you aiming for anything specific?
OO – good luck at the GNR
GM – Keep positive and enjoy the good feelings
Gul – Good miles.
Lorenzo – Nice long run, you must have been out at nearly Gul o’clock. In previous years I enjoyed running in the early dawn on Sunday mornings before there were people or traffic about on the moors, very Zen like, a different world.
Parkrun for me this morning, legs were better than Thursday but not energetic or keen. Seemed to have only one gear and came home in 18:40. Splits were 3:44, 3:47, 3:43, 3:47 and 3:39 as I pushed for the line.