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Very short run - mostly downhill

Hence the improved pace.

Having had a run of going out every other day and feeling really energised, I hit a low: so I've been a good girl TedG and taken 3 days off after the family run on Saturday. Wouldn't it be fun if I could go this fast (and I realise it isn't fast to most of you) without it being downhill. Seriously, I think I need to start working on my pace. I know it's all about enjoying running for its own sake, and I do, but I want to be able to do public runs some time, and also to run with others. My girls left me behind on Saturday. I have someone coming to run with me next week - she wanted a running buddy - but I'm way slower and it's going to be frustrating for her if we run together more than once in a while.

So suggestions folks please. Do I carry on as I am and gradually improve, or should I start doing some shorter training runs, working on speed?

Excuse the selfie. I'll get to the end of my wardrobe soon and spare you all!

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Watching your post because I'm having exactly the same dilemma.

I'm really slow and as much as I tell myself it doesn't matter because I'm still doing it it's really starting to bother me now. I can sprint at the end of a run but I'd like a quicker pace all the way round

But I'm struggling to run full stop at the moment, I'm hoping it's just this ridiculous heat.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one. The heat doesn't bother me too much, but my family Saturday run I was struggling because of humidity, hard to get a proper lungful of breath.

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Good run Flick, so glad you took my advice 😉

I’m doing some Fartleks/ Intervals as part of my HM training. They are supposed to increase your overall pace over time.

I prefer Fartleks as they are unstructured. They remind me of the times I took my kids for a walk to the shops, I’d get them to race between one tree to the next etc. They enjoyed it and I was able to get a kick on 😊

I believe that if we just keep plodding along, we’ll eventually plateau!

You sound like me Flick, liking to compete with yourself.....keeps it interesting doesn’t it? 🤗

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LOL, I would have taken a rest anyway, I am very attuned to what my body is telling me. Fartleks sound a good idea, thanks for the advice. i was thinking of those a while back, but then i decided to work on distance instead. I'm actually not very competitive, but it is a bit demoralising when you want to run with other people for company and can't keep up :(

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I run with a friend who is slower than me by quite a bit but I enjoy the company. Hopefully your running buddy will feel the same x

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That's interesting. Mind you, she just did that 10k thing in London in not much more than an hour x

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By the way that looks a good pace to me!

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It was almost all downhill. If I do a 10kish run up and downhill, i average out at about 9/9.5 min/km, sometimes more than 10.

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I think the root of speed is to practice running quickly. Whether you do that with interval, fartlek or shuttle runs I don't believe it really matters which, but by regularly pushing for faster you will start to find new gears in your slower runs. It's not fun however as it means running at paces where it can be unpleasant, a lot of our journey is learning to cope and to avoid it being too miserable lol but that means we can fall into a "this is safe/comfortable speed" rut and it does need work to get out of it.

On top of actually running quickly, a lot of power comes from the upper thigh, so working the quads at the gym or working plyometric exercises like jump squats and burpees into your workout/run will really help build the powerbase. Box jumps are also good for building that explosive force into the legs and you can do this on walls as part of your run if you are brave enough, but start with something low ie step height. All of this stuff is easy for me to suggest however and I appreciate how hard it is to actually face into and become a habit. You can do some of this as part of your run, ie run for 5 mins to warm up and then stop the watch and do 10 burpees, then run for 5 mins and stop and do 10 jump squats, then 5 and 10 burpees again followed by 10 mins cooldown run. Obviously play around with those intervals/times to suit, but get over the mental barrier of believing it has to be all running. It is all training rather than all running.

I'll do it with you and report back if it helps.

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Thanks, i think you are right and faster runs for a while are the way to go - though I'm running mostly in the red heart rate zone as it is, mostly due to the dog allergy. Chest very rattly at the moment.

Unfortunately most of the other exercises you have suggested are forbidden to me due to scoliosis, damaged knee and fractured femur (in the past). My left leg is quite delicate. Running has strengthened it but I've been told by the gym and a physio not to do most of the other stuff. Boo :(

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Yes definitely don't do anything that endangers your knee, maybe there are ways of working on the upper leg without the jarring impact of jumps. I'm not qualified to suggest things, so maybe your physio/gym may have some ideas. I do leg press, leg curl and leg extensions in the gym and these don't impact your knee so much as they are all target muscles in isolation.

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It isn't just the knee. The neck of my femur was damaged where they inserted the kuncner nail, which is still in there. Also scoliosis from left leg being weaker. Fractured femur impacts on your mobilty more than people realise and forever. My sister wasa physio and has given me one sided squatvtype things to do holding on with the hand the damaged side of my body. Almost everything else is a nono

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I have a friend who is faster than me that I do Parkrun with. He says he doesn't mind doing a slow run and is prepared to stop and walk with me when I have to. It is frustrating when you cant keep the pace up but I think that if people see you really want to run and improve your running they want to help you. Running outside for me has been much more difficult than on a treadmill - maybe this is you too?

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People have told me they dont mind going slowly. i never ever stop or walk, but in cases where you do, ?I'm probably running slower than i walk ;) Ah, I'm one of those people who hates the treadmill. It slows me right down and is hard work. I only use it when the weather is so bad i have no other way of running.

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I don’t know then - but I share your frustration 😚

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I'd be thrilled if I was running like you Flick, you're a good runner with good pace readings, irrelevant of when you get a 'down, not so good day'.

Id take on board some of the suggestions offered here, they don't mean an awful lot to me, but they must work. See how, or if you improve, change, or how trying these suggestions affect your running and mind and work on it from there, adapting as you go along.

I find it hard at the moment just putting my gear on before even starting to run and often question if running is for me, but after being out, regardless of my efforts, I ALWAYS feel better and try to remember that for when I go again.

You always do great to me Flick, there's no showing yourself off or making out you're really good etc, you're a brilliant lady, fab runner, who will try anything no matter how you feel, and that's good in my book. Keep it up xx 😊🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

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Oh bless you, what a lovely response. I I'll let you into a secret, I have to push myself to put my gear on and get out there nearly every time but, like you, I never regret it. Our bodies were made to run and want to be active, but our minds are lazy. I think the clue is in finding a way to disconnect the two and just do it xxx. Btw the pace today is only that fast because I was running downhill. On a longer run both up and down, it's more like 9 or more.

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A while back I did something called 30 20 10 which was meant to aim at different speeds for different numbers of seconds. I only did it once simply because I wanted to focus elsewhere but the idea is simple to inject a bit of speed but not flat out 100% of the time.

I need to look at it again one day and will but I know you have other challenges with hills. You could try and find a flat 200m stretch and repeat along it as an exercise!

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Im happy with the hills, just not very fast up them. Finding a flat stretch here would be a challenge. Reading all the suggestions, alternating speeds seems to be the way to go - even when cheese rolling! ;)

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I like a 3k. Either run the whole thing as fast as or break it down into three one km spurts Fun and it’s soon over with. Easy to fit in 💪👍🙂🏃‍♀️

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Thanks. Shorter distances are beginning to sound effective x

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Do Hills!

Oh you do....

Have you tried the C25K+ Speed podcast? Has someone already suggested it? I haven't read all the replies.

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Haha yes hills. I will look into your other suggestions. Thanks x

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But you seem quite happy as you are? Why bother going faster if you’re not bothered about it? If you do want to speed up, they say intervals are the way to go. They hurt though 😂

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I do want to go faster. Primarily so I can run with other people and enter public events. Also for the exhiliaration. Intervals i remember them from the early weeks of c25k. The weight dropped off me without me even trying 😊

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Well done on your run today! I’m afraid I haven’t got anything new to suggest! I am sat here trying to talk myself into a run this evening as I haven’t been out for nearly a week! Or perhaps I’ll wait till the morning!! It’s suddenly got very hot now the fog has cleared! Ahh!!! I keep making excuses!!!!😀😆

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Go and fondle your lycra. Works for me 😂🤪

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It worked!!! 😀🏃‍♀️👍

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See 😊😊😊

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Well I attempted a shorter faster run today and the first 3km were much faster, but then I was so knackered the last 2 were much much slower than I’ve run in a long time - so I don’t think I can offer any advice. 😉

Love the outfit though. 👍🏽

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Im just so slow. Im running flat out to achieve 9min/km. so imhet knackered too. I cant seem to run slower before anyone suggests I do!

Thanks re the outfit. A bit more sober than my usual 🤨

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Shorter, faster runs are the way to build speed. If you're anything like me, you can fool yourself into thinking you're running fast, but the app tells me otherwise! Which is why I prefer a structured approach to intervals so I can compare interval runs fairly accurately. My best speed for 5k is 10m 21s per mile. So my goal is to do my faster intervals at under 10mins per mile pace, or under 9 mins if I'm feeling particularly sprightly. Start gently - eg on one of your usual runs, just do 3 x 1 min faster with a couple of mins jogging gently between. If that feels ok, next time add a couple more faster bursts, etc etc. I use Endomondo as I can program in different interval training runs, save them, and see the results at the end (and some audio feedback en route). Like you, my usual training routes are hilly so half my run is mainly downhill, then it's uphill all the way back, so my interval speeds are all over the place! So I'm just aiming to gradually speed up the fast bits, and not worry too much about the speed of the jogging in between. I actually enjoy it, as the time zips by, and I can't think about anything else while I'm doing it - very therapeutic! Have fun :) :)

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Thanks, this is super useful - or will be when I WORK out what all that is in kilometres LOL. My hills undulate a lot more, so im going up and down constantly, which makes for an interesting run!

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I think I'd prefer undulations ... it can be daunting at the turnaround spot, knowing that long uphill is ahead!! Sorry about the imperial figures ... basically just aim to run your faster bits faster than you normally run, and keep a record so you can see what works for you over time :) x

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I use km because couch to 5k was in km and it stuck :)

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Just came across this, while looking for info on how to build speed post-menopause ... some useful tips! :)

runnersworld.com/training/a...

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I dont think i really have lost muscle mass, but then ive been on HRT for 20 years.

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I've been wondering whether to find out about HRT, rather belatedly! Would love to lose the hot flushes and arthritic joints!!

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I lost my arthritis by cutting out dairy.

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When I run with my hubby he has to slow down quite a bit but he knows that & is fine with it. If he feels he has to stretch his legs a bit more he sometimes goes on a bit further from the point I might turn to go back and just catches me up (doesn't take him long!!). Another friend who I occasionally run with just goes at my pace & is happy to walk for a bit if necessary - it's about the companionship of running together not competitive. I'm sure your running pal will be understanding. When on JuJu's plan I always did a short run with some 30 20 10 work - avoiding doing this on the hillier uphills! I think it helped my speed & stamina. Going to start this again now I'm over the pesky ankle problem. Hope you find something that works for you. ☺️

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Thanks, all good advice 😊 No, of course it isnt about competition but to give you an example: I went to Stow on the Wold with a friend yesterday. She has hurt her leg and was going at snails’s pace. I was DYING of frustration because I walk fast and was having to keep going back for her. Luckily we’ve been friends for 27 years and know each other inside out, so we were able to laugh about it.

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