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Couch to 5K
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‘Mature’ runners - distance or pace?

I’m quite happy plodding away but just wondering: -

How realistic is it to aim for a 6 or 7minutes per kilometre pace if you are a more...ahem...mature person?

Does anyone over 50ish achieve that goal?

I am nowhere near that and my pace seems to improve by a laughable 1 second per run ( i’m not particularly focussed on pace), but at this rate, i’ll be dead before i reach 6 mins per k!

Would it be more realistic to just focus on stamina and distance?

Also, I seem to remember Laura telling me to run lightly - any tips on how to achieve that? I feel a bit heavy footed!

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Hi Pippa,

Yes I agree no need to be obsessed by either distance or pace.

I think it was either NHS One you, PARKRUN, or a google article I read, age related physical performance, even gave you the formulae/equation to calculate your own situation.Also gave stats for actual achievements.

At almost 75 I came out at 28 mins , or less than 6mins/km.In other words everything else being equal, and of course the obvious, nothing physical limiting me in achieving that.

So why not go for it.

Also read stuff on google that by doing a few sprints and some self assessment which they guide you through you can determine where your natural talents lay in respect of sprinter or distance.

Maybe a bit over the top.?

But there are loads of stuff, advice on improving pace, 30:20:10 intervals, hill intervals, fartkek, strides, look at Roseabi’s speed challenge post week 3, over on marathon.

Maybe a point is reached after trying some stuff, you find and accept your comfortable pace.Good to have that extra gear though.

In the early stages,no pressure to decide.Enjoy it and all will become clear.

Yes to run lightly,play and listen to Laura’s stepping stones, stamina and speed podcasts.

If you wish practise by running on the spot.

When you run, shorten your stride , breathe naturally and lightly too,

Short ,quick, light, steps, 1234, kissing the ground,listen to your breathing and your footfall and tune into it.

Hope this helps.

Enjoy it all and keep smiling,

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Thanks! Lots of info there. I suspect i’ m not a sprinter to be honest, i usually feel fine about going a longer distance, but my legs refuse to cooperate if i try to go faster! I would like to be somewhere in the middle though - maybe 7 mins rather than 6 or less!

I’ll look up all those suggestions and try some out.

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It’s good that you know where your strength and abilities lay.

Remember also the power lays within you and it is not where we start but where we finish.

Atb.

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Just trying to work out where that finish is! 🏃🏻‍♂️😃🐌

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I was being philosophical about life, not your pace.haha.

As far as pace goes many posts on this here and B210k, marathon etc,

One gem given by pinkaarvadark

To run faster you first need to run fast.

That and other factors is what makes a pace increase challenging.But at least everything is known on how to achieve it.

Enjoyment is the driver.

You think you are a distance person and the long game increases pace also in a natural way, I am advised.?

Enjoy and just put the miles in.

You can review and change your mind anytime you please.

Take care of you.

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Ha ha! Too focuused on the specific - Perhaps i need to look at the bigger picture!

Yes - i’ll cary on putting in the miles....

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I would say it's up to you and how much quicker you want to go, I'm past mid 50s now. Parkruns have worked for me as there are people who I can gauge my pace off whilst not feeling under any pressure. I've been surprised at how quickly my times have come down. Just remember it's as much about enjoying yourself as anything else so go with what you're comfortable with and do it gradually.

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Good to hear! I guess i am asking

For a ‘virtual’park run to pace myself off - if you’re up ahead of me, i can aim to catch up! I love a target and the enjoyment comes as much from reaching the target as from the activity itself.

I know! Take a chill pill as my children would tell me!

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That's exactly how it works for me, I focus on someone in front, pass them and look for the next one to catch up

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I know I'll never be fast but that's nothing to do with me being 51! I'm just a slow runner so it's distance and stamina. But if you want to go for pace, go for it. Good luck! 😊

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Thanks! I think i fall into the distance and stamina category too, but was interested to here how others do, in case i am not stretching myself enough - i’m naturally a lazy person when it comes to physical activity!

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I console myself with the thought that I'm built for comfort not speed. But of course I marvel at the whippets who finish a parkrun in 15 minutes. Or those oddities on Strava who run 20km at 5min/km pace.

Will I ever get there? Who knows? But fretting about it won't help me. Over time as my legs get stronger and I train properly I'll get faster.

What I do know is that if I do daft things soon they'll put me on the IC and I couldn't bear that. So slowly and steadily does it.

We've amazed ourselves already. There are other amazements out there. We can't quite see them yet, that's all xxx

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Indeed, there are other amazements and 6 months ago i would have laughed at anyone who suggested i could run 5 k wihout stopping! But there are realistic and unrealistic goals to set myself and knowing that someone else the same age or older than me has/could achieve a jaw-dropping sub-6min k (@Tbae) expands my horizons and gives me something to aim for. So although i initially thought that distance was the thing to aim for - i’ve discovered that pace is not beyond the realms of possibility...aargh! Decisions decisions!

What i have discovered though is that i need a goal to motivate me. When I’ve settled on it, sheer bloodymindedness takes over!

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You are brilliant!! And you have the bit between your teeth now. We just need to stay obsessed and on track and be sensible(-ish). I've no idea what that looks like in practical terms either. Let's find out together tho... :-)

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I’m up for that!

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To paraphrase the song I am 57 going on 58, at the start of April I struggled with W1R1, now I have graduated, consolidated and started Ju-Jus gang in the quest for 10k. As for pace I am slowly but surely honing in on a sub 30min 5k, only 30 seconds to knock off now, so set your goals, go for them and I have no doubt you will achieve them

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Wow! That’s an impressive pace - i’m in awe! Only11 mins and 30 seconds for me to knock off my time to equal you. 😂 That IS something to aim for! I probably started at the same time as you - running 5k was on my 60th birthday bucket list so i achieved that with 6 weeks to spare but luckily i didn’t specify any time! But good to know that it’s possible...

Were you sporty and athletic before you started😲?!

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Are you hitting on Berksrover? Shameful :-)

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Ha ha! Weirdly - i don’t consider gender when i’m talking to people here! Berksrover doesn’t have a profile pic so hitting on him/her hadn’t crossed my mind!

Apologies if it came across like that!!!

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Just teasing, hon!! We're all "sporty and athletic" here :-)

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I would love to say I was, but no, not at all, play a bit of golf but that’s about it

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No offence taken @Pippayoungart , strange though that I do have a profile picture 🤔

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That’s odd! It’s coming up as just an image of blue sky on my phone...

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Probably better off seeing blue sky lol

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Oh, I don't know... :-)

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Oooh - i can see you now! Nice frame😉 and for the benefit of @sallenson, i’m referring th the wood surround...

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Of course age makes a difference, which is why parkrun uses age grading, so that you can get some kind of comparison between your effort and that of others both older and younger than you and of course across the genders.

I know people ten years older than me who can run longer and faster than me. Likewise I know people ten years my junior who cannot run the distance or pace than I regularly run.

I believe a vast proportion of the population, regardless of age, could run at 6mins/km if they committed to training to do so, including their diet and lifestyle, which are integral to good performance. Many people starting C25K have doubts that they will ever run for thirty minutes, only to confound themselves when they achieve what seemed unlikely.

If you want to run 5k in thirty minutes, then at your age it is well and truly possible, but it may well take more hard work than you are willing to put in.

Does any of it matter? No, there is actually ample evidence that slow runners live longer. womensrunning.competitor.co...

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Thanks for that!

Yes i need to put in more work than i currently do if i want to improve speed, but it’s interesting to hear that it could be possible! I want to build up to it slowly -i’m a natural snail - think i’ll start by organising a faster playlist...

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