Running in my 70s

Hi, I like to take part in our local 5k Parkrun each Saturday and aim to improve my times. However, although I am 71, and pretty fit from cycling, I have only been running for a few months. If I train a lot during the week, I get all sorts of niggles and aches, if I just do the Parkrun once a week there are no physical side effects but my PB stays above 32 minutes. So, my question is this: how can I improve my times?

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7 Replies

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  • Perhaps some very short interval, and/or hill repeat, runs during the week, if you can manage them? Or try fartleking during your parkrun. And increase your cadence.

    runnersworld.com/tag/intervals

    runnersworld.com/race-train...

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek

    mensrunninguk.co.uk/trainin...

  • That's interesting - I'll give your advice a go!

  • I am just turned 70 - and have now logged up 96 parkruns. My PB is 29:40 - but I have not been very close to that for along time. mainly because I don't try to!!: Last week I decided to give it a "bit of a go" and ran 30:50 - I think I could do better - but Confucious says "What does man do with 1/100ths of a second saved in 100 metre race"?? :)

    I realised long ago that chasing PB's was ultimately a futile and dangerous pursuit. I see it every week at parkrun with people much younger than me hurting themselves. So I set out with the goal of to being able to run 5K easily and comfortably. When I first started out on this journey, the thought of running 5 kilometres at all was ridiculous - now I go along to parkrun every Saturday, decide what I feel like doing and do it!! Sometimes I will give it a bit of a nudge and chase a pacer - and other times I will decide to take it very easy and pair up with one of the slower backrunners. I suspect that they hate me doing this because I talk to them constantly as we run and they feel obliged to return my conversation - but they struggle to talk and run at the same time . Nevertheless , it is doing them good!! :)

    BUT - I have got to where I am by running 4 times per week over the past 3 years - for a sum total of 3000 kilometres so far. So it is a very slow journey. I always tell my wife where I am going so that she will know where to collect the dead body someday!

  • You are probably right. I have hated competing with others all my life but seem to be keen on doing better than I have before. But my prime goal is not to get any injuries and so far, so good. Thanks

  • Maybe just redefine what 'better' means?

  • +1 !! Better does not necessarily mean faster :) For me in this context, better means "stronger" :)

  • I'm 71 as well, new to running, having hated it completely even since I was at school (you'll know then, a hell of a long time ago!). Deliberately lost a lot of weight over the last year, feeling much better, so I thought I'd give getting fitter a whirl. I've got a personal trainer for the gym, have started enjoying being in better body shape and actually look forward to going to the gym - never thought I'd say that. This running thing is driving me crazy, I can power walk 5K faster than I can possibly jog it: 5K walk is fine, but a 10 minute jog and my mind tells me to stop. I'm going to do my first ever Parkrun this Saturday. It's my first time to line up at a start line for over 57 years and more than a little bit SCARY. Never mind PB's of 32 minutes, I really envy how well you guys do: I'll be delighted if I'm under 50 minutes this Saturday and if I've managed to make myself not wimp out completely and not take part at all.

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