Does anybody remember Crisp?

In the 1973 Grand National the one Red Rum won his race (you tube it) some of you old enough may remember the horse crisp. This is me, what I mean, is it is now 9 months since I first started to run again, not since a young lad in my teens & early twenties did I last run and only then as a sprinter. I graduated in the April of this year and run weekly in my local Park run and a few other races over the summer. My point is this, when I look at my segment times in my Park run, whilst I have brought the time down from my first run of 29:52 to 25:32 I do not feel for the effort I have put in I have made any real significant gains in speed. In can only only match my segment times that I was doing in May at the Park run even now. I ran the Strava 200k challenge in September and completed some 10 mile sessions, thinking this would improve my stamina for the hills. Am I unrealistic to expect gains more than I have in 9 months? I use the analogy of Crisp, because in Yesterday's Park run I set off fast and was with the leading group up until around half a mile after that point I faded and started going backwards and it just reminded me of what happened to crisp. What should my expectations be? Opinions would be appreciated. I#m not seeking pats on the back, just curious what others think.

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  • To be honest, I really don't know, Ian. To me, it seems like you've done really well, but I know how easy it is to feel disappointed by your progress. Don't they say that you need to have been running for a couple of years to consider yourself an experienced runner?

    Stick in there, mate. It'll come, I'm sure.

  • It was the cruel weight the handicapper gave him that beat him, not going out too fast! Crisp was the moral victor, poor horse (yes, obviously I do remember it!) Having said that,for horses and humans, going out too fast is not usually a good idea. All the running coaching systems I've read about (I admit I browse most of them and cherry-pick) recommend starting off easily (whatever that means) and building up speed through the race.

  • I think there is a mutual thing Steve, like wise. I'll report back after 2 years lol and let you know

  • I think you've done really well, to knock four and a half mins off 30 is brilliant! I've knocked 12 mins of my 5K time in 15 months, still nowhere near the magic 30...

  • Perhaps you are overtraining?? I have read that most "beginners" make fairly rapid advances for a while - but then come to a point of overtraining ( due to trying too hard during training runs). The one big "problem" that parkrun has - is that it is on every week. 5K "racers" do not run a 5k race every week - but parkrunners kind of do so (trying to beat PB's every week)

    Have a look at this parkrun training programme - -- note that 3 out of 4 training days you run at a pace slower than parkrun PB pace (including on parkrun day itself) - only trying for a new PB every month or so. The only "faster than 5kpace " day is running 3 minute intervals!! :)

  • I saw a rapid improvement in my parkrun times initially, but then it's levelled off. It's almost like the law of diminishing returns. My last parkrun PB was back in May. I suffered a couple of setbacks with injury, but even now, as I'm beginning to pick up pace again, I am still 20 seconds off that May PB. I have done lots of other things though, since then e.g. increasing distance to HM and doing a bit of cross country so I feel I'm still improving, even if I'm no longer clocking a new PB every week.

    If you really want to see an improvement, week on week, try my trick and go and get lost on a parkrun (end up running 7K). When you come back the following week and only run 5K you'll see a staggering improvement. My parkrun time came down from 35:03 one week to 22:10 the following one ;)

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