I will graduate from c25k after 2 more runs and want to continue on b210k. I've been injury free and have progressed through the c25k programme normally without any breaks or hiccups. However, at the moment I have one issue, I seem to have only one gear -"Go!".
I've tried running more slowly but always come back to the same general pace ( have managed to only back off from 5.10 down to 5.34 with increasing run time and that's through constantly thinking about pace as I run). I'm clearly not fit enough to be running that pace as evidenced by my heartrates (max hr 178, ave 159, age 55, guide is 220 minus 55y=165) and beetroot face/buckets of sweat cascading down my face/wobbly leg syndrome at the end of 30mins. So I am pretty much in high exertion mode and even though I start off saying to myself "nice and easy now" I always settle in at 4.50 then 5.20-30 and finish with a faster last km without thinking about it.
I "run" rather than jog and have tried to jog but I can't do it! It seems unnatural somehow.
Wise-heads on the c25k forum always reinforce the "Slow down!" mantra, so it's not like I don't know that I need to ease off and just put in the distances to get stamina.
So my question is, what's a good strategy to ease back to an effort level of "running whilst holding a conversation". I joined a club recently but they run much faster than 5.50-6.00 ( judging by Strava data). Or should I just continue doing what comes naturally and eventually my fitness improvement will match my preferred pace?
As background I ran Xcountry for my school (1970's) but no "running" after that. Was a competitive cyclist in my youth (1980's) and just badminton, cricket and long distance hiking thereafter so I had a basic level of fitness before starting c25k. (Resting heartrate 43, max 178 ave 159 on last 30 min run 5.5km, 5.34 min/km, VO2 max 44)