Running as slowly as I walk

This is really just for my records - but might be helpful for someone else starting out as old (early 50s) and unfit as me. Could have been even worse though, I suppose, as I had already been doing a fair bit of walking before I started.

I went out and paced out 100m and timed myself to walk and run. My brisk walk was exactly the same pace as my very gentle run - both took 55 seconds, which would mean 45 minutes for 5k. (But over the whole 30 minutes yesterday, my average pace was slower even than this - it would have taken 53 minutes for 5k.)

It's all activity though, and for me, a good place to be starting. I think I found the first attempts so hard because I was going faster (44 seconds for 100m) which at the moment is too fast for me (but if/when I can keep it up, it'd take 36 min for 5k - just about ok for a first parkrun around here, at the very back of the field).

18 Replies

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  • Hi green i wouldnt get to hung up on times too early. I would concentrate

    on just completing the runs, not picking up an injury and just enjoying

    yourself. I can stagger around my local Parkrun in about 35 mins and

    almost last. Good luck, Ed x

  • don't worry about it, I also ran at a similar pace to my walk. This is because I stride out when I walk (long legs) but take quite little steps when I'm jogging. It will still do you good, because your heart will have to work faster and the speed will come later. Really, do not worry AT ALL about speed. Just go with the programme and you will do fine, the key is to run for the amount of time you are supposed to, when you are supposed to and then move on through the programme.

    My speed is only just starting to pick up a couple of months after I graduated and I'm younger than you. Plus, everyone is different, some of us are built for comfort, not speed ;-)

  • Thanks. I'm not worrying about my time at all, I was just curious - but also wondering when I'd be able to take part in a sociable parkrun without being so far behind everyone else that it would put me off trying again. I'd much prefer to be invisible!

    Anyway timing myself has actually helped me to realise that it was the too-fast-for-me-at-the-moment pace, that made me unable to do all 8 lots of 60s on day 2, and it will help me to only build up gradually.

  • In the same age group as yourself and been running since April. I can do 5k in 34 mins, but I don't worry about the time, I prefer the distance.

  • You will find Parkrunners extremely friendly and no one will mind how long you take.

    My one has a tailrunner to make sure everyone has finished before the marshalls leave.

  • I'm sure you're right - but would you want to be as much as nearly 20 minutes behind everyone else! A couple of minutes would be ok perhaps. I probably wouldn't have even thought about it yet if it hadn't been for taking part in a 5k (walking) before. Just wanted to have a bit of an idea how much faster I'd need to be to keep up with the tail end.

    Anyway, the route is on my way home from work, so once I've got running a bit more than 8 lots of 1 minute I can try it out on a non-parkrun day - and maybe even log it as a free run. See, I've even got as far as registering and reading up about it! This bug does seem to have got me already.

  • I discovered during a run on a track that by week 4 my run was slower than my walk! I know that running has improved my fitness levels much more than walking ever did though. I know what you mean about the park run in my local one I think most people seem to finish under 40, I think mine would be 45 and I worry it would demotivate me too much.

  • Well 45 sounds pretty fast to me, so there!

    And as for running on a TRACK?! That sounds much more scary than a parkrun. (Hmm. Maybe one day I might even want to run on a track - ooooo weird thought!)

  • I'm 57 & completely new to running. Yesterday's Parkrun in pouring rain and wind, I came in last at 35 mins and a wonderful cheer! This was followed by mulled wine, chocolate etc. Parkrun is brilliant whatever stage you are! Go for it!

  • That's lovely Rosie - hope you enjoyed that mulled wine, because it sounds as though you really deserved it.

    I think I'll offer to do a stint as a volunteer first, and get the feel ofthe parkrun atmosphere before I brave actually entering.

  • I am 56, never contemplated running before this and have just completed week 3 - I go as slow as possible and this means that I can finish the runs without having to lie down (though not sure what week 4 will do to me!!). I too think that park runs are great and would love to do one but know my capabilities and aim to first get to week 9 on the programme as will know at that stage what I can or cannot do. This is not a race and we all have different levels of speed, fitness, stamina and endurance - Laura tells me I will be running for 30 minutes at the end of the programme and that in itself will be the biggest achievement ever for me - even if i am only covering 4km. Just keep going.

  • Thanks shaky. Yes, getting through the programme first is probably quite sensible! I just got over-enthusiastic! Good to see someone else starting in their 50s - very encouraging.

  • You sound like you are doing brilliantly well!

    I started this nearly a year ago when I was 50. I was only just jogging a little faster than my little short legs could take me on my brisk walking phases but it still works!

    I was taking 42 mins to do 5k just after graduation, but then did a parkrun in just under 37 mins 2 weeks later.

    My fastest parkrun is still "only" 33 but I know I am getting fitter/faster (all comparative!) and am enjoying running so much, even doing 10k races and the odd 8 mile training run! And the boost to my general confidence and fitness are fantastic! (a colleagues husband at our Xmas party 2 weeks ago genuinely didnt know me and when he was reminded who I was said I looked 10 years younger when he had seen me last, at last years' party!)

  • Thanks again Deryn, your story is very encouraging. Amazing that you can now mention 'the odd 8 mile training run'.

    I bet you didn't stop grinning for ages after that compliment!

    This is such an inspiring community.

  • I turned 60 in Week 6 of the programme. I'm not planning to do any park runs or other organised events because I like the contemplative nature of running on my own and run very slowly; I know from responses to my blogs that there are lot of others on here who feel the same . My graduation run was 4.3 k in 43 minutes to my own music. Since then I've stopped timing myself - I'm just happy to be able to run for over 30 minutes. With all this rain, I'm much more concerned about slipping over and hurting myself and then not being able to run, so I'm running slowly and not even thinking about improving my speed.

  • Very wise words. Thank you. I don't think I'll manage to stop timing myself (I enjoy the maths too much - can't help being a geek!), but you are right, the pace bit is secondary.

  • I have the same problem as Greenlegs. I've been power walking for a couple of years and am finding the transition to running difficult as I walk faster than I run. I can also control my breathing rhythm whilst walking which for an asthmatic is important (I use a heart monitor and go way over my range whilst running but have good recovery times) . I try running to the beat of the music but find it so slow at times. Any advice? Just about to do week 2 / session 2 in heavy rain and wind so wish me luck!

  • Must admit I don't take much notice of the beat of the music, I just keep going any old how! I was quite glad today was a rest day for me, as it looked pretty rough out. Hope it went ok for you blackers. I've adapted to running more slowly very easily (because it means I can breath and am not in pain!) - hope you do too!

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