how fast can I run?

Hello all

since graduation! I still run thrice a week, one long run and two intervals. my long run is an hour and my two intervals are 30 minutes, however I am still very slow.

My long run is 17 min pace and my intervals are 15 minute pace, how can I improve both speeds? I try to do the speed and stamina during my intervals and my long run is just that, btw I am over 50 so I know I am not going to break any records.



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17 Replies

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  • Hill sprints! ... and try something with a competative edge. Do you have a parkrun nearby? Running with others, it is much easier to get faster (as you have people to chase down!) rather than just trying to push on by yourself. That and cross-train to build your core strength.

    Having said that, do you need to get faster? If you are enjoying your running, that is something in itself.

  • I think the problem is I go on to our local park run website and see that I would finish last every week! also I see people on here who start off and seem to run 5k within 25-30 minutes and some of them are older than me! one person on the parkrun in his 70's completes it in 25 minutes! and he is 20 years older than me!

  • Really, don't worry about it! We have a 65 year old who paces 30 minutes at our parkrun - and he walks!!!

    You will never be last - that's what the tail runner is for (and they WILL be happy to keep you company - or to leave you in peace if that's what you want). The people finishing sub 30 are probably racing snakes who have been running all their lives, so give yourself a break and don't compare yourself with them, just go and get your time and then the next week try to beat it! It becomes addictive - and you will soon find that you do start to get quicker. (... and who knows, you might encourage someone else who has avoided going as everyone seems so fast, to come and join you!).

  • Agree. The tailrunner will always be last and there is nothing wrong with second last. And yes, people double my age can run the route nearly twice as fast as I can, don't compare yourself to others.

    We have a small Parkrun, with many speedy people as well. But we have lots that are slower, and I'd love to see that grow because it'll encourage others to get out and enjoy, no matter the speed.

    Seriously, I've volunteered at the finish line and as a tailrunner. I'm happier to see you out and enjoying no matter what your speed.

    If you're still not convinced, try a local charity 5K fun run. We have loads of people that run and walk those, and there are orders of magnitude more people so you'll be in good company, whatever your speed.

  • To get faster you first have to get stronger ๐Ÿ’ช Some core based strength exercise, along with swimming, walking, cycling, gym or home based exercise is all good, I like Jillian !Michaels Dvd's ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sounds like you're trying to do 2 hard runs out of 3 weekly runs and not really succeeding. My guess is that you never fully recover and therefore your long run isn't relaxed enough to relax, and your intervals aren't fast enough to give you the benefits you hope for. It sounds like you have ended up with every run being sorta-middle-ground, which is why you're not progressing.

    Try converting one of your interval runs to a gentle long-run-paced short run. And try to make the remaining interval run faster. If you can't make it faster, then make the fast bits shorter (and thus giving you energy to make them faster) while also making the recovery bits longer (and thus recovering more so you have energy to do the faster bits faster). If you have to walk between the fast bits, then that's ok. The main purpose is to REALLY get the heart pumping and sweat running down your face so you grow stronger. You will get sore legs. That's part of the fun :)

  • Thank you Tomas, your advice always is very good! I think I will change one of my intervals to try to run faster and the other interval a gentle jog/walk to 5k and my long run, try to break it down into 5 separate kms and slowly increase my pace as I get to the last km.

  • Never compare yourself to ther people, just compare yourself with your previous self.

    You don't mention how long it is since you graduated. It takes time to consolidate.

  • I've had success by repeating C25K W1r1 and W2r1.

    But sprinting instead of jogging during the 'run' sections. You'll be running flat out for 60 or 90 seconds, and then with a reasonable recovery time. Don't underestimate the physical challenge of this type of interval training. If you are doing it correctly, you'll be shattered after one of these runs. You should be in heart-rate zone 4 (possibly 5) during the running (running for any length of time in zone 5 is likely to make you want to be sick, definately panting very hard).

    My 'relaxed' running pace is 5'45 minutes per km at the moment, and my PB for parkrun is just over 5 minutes per km. When I'm sprinting in the intervals that I mentioned above, I aim for a 4 minute pace. I'll be 50 next year.

  • I only graduated last month. Monday and Friday are my intervals and Wednesday my long run. My long run is 3.5mph and my intervals are based on week 1 (run 5mph and walk at 2.5mph) my first 5k was 18.50 pace and my last was 17.47 so as you can see it takes me just short of an hour to do 5k.

  • my heart rate is 80-90% based on my fitbit

  • Are you running outside or on a treadmill? If you're on a treadmill then maybe you're just going at the pace it goes at and if you were outside you'd feel more free to find your own pace.

  • well, I have just come back from interval run (4mph x 8 mins, 2 min walk) I did 3 miles in 49:35 and a new pb at 3.11 of 51:14.

  • So, you see, you ARE getting faster - you are just a bit impatient! Definitely try a parkrun, though. That will start your times tumbling.

  • my wife says I am very impatient! I sometimes think I can run before I can jog! see what I did there! Yesterdays run I did as if I was at a park run. I did my walk/warm up first and then started with the interval session.

  • The one and only race - no park run here sadly - I be been in, the person who finished last got the loudest warmest cheers and applause.

    Runners recognise guts, and the courage and dedication to the sport by those who do not run because they can win ....but run because they love it despite not "winning".

  • Hey guys, just find out this website. I'm a 56 year old man, for most of my life I trained, run, bike, play hockey, ski and what not. For a number of reasons I can hardly explain, at around age 40 while I was in very good shape, I almost stop training, it became something I did once in a while. At age 54 I ended up on my back with sever discal hernia, 2 bad knees and so many articulation problems. At some point, I was on daily morphine for about 2 months, until I decided that thing had to change and I felt there was a lot left in me, I was overweight at close to 190lbs, considering that for most of my life I was 155-165lbs lean and fit. A year and a half ago I took matter into my own hand, took a week vacation in Florida ( may 2016) and once there I start running, biking and roller skating, at first I could barely run a street corner being totally exhausted, but I persisted and after few days while I felt every muscle in my body was in pain, it was a good pain that I had long forgot... Long story short for the last year I have been training at the gym 4 times a weeks and running twice a week but sometime I would replace the run with a bike ride, I run an average of 6 - 8km per run and run my bike an average of 25 to 50 km. I am now back at 168 lbs, no more back pain, my discal hernia is gone, I no longer have pain in the knees or anywhere else, my body is starting to look like what it was before. Yesterday I ran a 6.8 km in 23 min 55 second, correct me if I'm wrong but that is 3min 46 sec per km, it's the first time in my life that I am able to run a km below 5 min. Down get me wrong yesterday I pushed myself to my extreme limit, as I wanted to see what's left in me at 56. My words to anyone, be patient, you have to see thing in the longer run, make your self realistic goals, dont compare yourself to others. Before you start training hard you need to bring your body to a certain fitness condition, that could take between 2-4 months depending on your condition. Everyone can find it's own athletic level, you just need to train properly and gradually, before running 5km, you need to be able to run a street corner, you may need to walk at some point in order to catch your breath, just keep up your body will adapt and your condition will get better and better, take great care in the ways you feed yourself, food is the most important thing, stop eating fast food and start preparing your own meal, you also need rest, you should sleep 8 hrs a day, this is when you body recover. I hope my story can help others who perhaps have health issues or lack motivation. Remember you only live once, dont spill the only life you will ever get, take you life back and you will enjoy every minute of it. Cheers to all. XXXX AA

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