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Fuck it! Do I just have to accept that I am too old and slow?

(57 Posts)
IrianofWay Sun 17-Apr-16 19:46:25

I ran my 5th 10K today and 2.5 minutes slower than the same race last year. But the worst of it was that I ran my hardest - I gave it everything I had and I was nearly sick at the end. It was marginally faster than the 10k I did last month but even so.... I am 51 so maybe I just have to accept that I that is the best I can do?

All the other women who joined the running club at the same time as me are resolutely getting faster but I seem to going the other way.

I am trying to give myself little pep talks but it doesn't work. I am so disappointed.

anotherbloodycyclist Sun 17-Apr-16 19:56:46

Don't be so hard on yourself! I suspect it's less to do with age and more to do with the training. What's a typical week like in terms of your running? I found adding in a bit more speed work/ intervals really helped pull my times down. I'm 48.

CMOTDibbler Sun 17-Apr-16 20:14:44

Sometimes things just don't line up, for any number of reasons. As another says, more intervals or hills might help and some cross training?

MrsMook Mon 18-Apr-16 07:21:57

There could be lots of factors at play, the weather, hydration, food, sleep...
Then there's training. Were you rested enough before?

I was about 3 mins slower yesterday. My main problem was being at the back of my wave from the queue for the ladies. I was then much slower on the first 2k in a busy crowd, and weaving around people running in groups. Add in the cold dry wind and hot sunshine which is different to the cool to mild damp I've run in for months and that's a couple of minutes gone.

DoreenLethal Mon 18-Apr-16 07:33:34

Was it in a city that starts with D? I ran the 3k fun run and didn't come last. I am 49 and I was well chuffed with that!

IrianofWay Mon 18-Apr-16 08:03:42

Hi thanks for rhe replies.

Doreen - no, it was in a town beginning with B! grin Well done you!

Mrs M - it was hot although cold in the shade. But I can usually cope with the heat. I was reasonably hydrated and I slept OK beforehand. Training - well... that;s the thing isn't it. I did a warm-up run beforehand - 2 miles including a few hills because I normally struggle in the first few miles before I get warmed up so I thought I get that in first but maybe it was too much.

cmot and cyclist - well I am not sure about my training. I have been doubtful for a while and I guess if I am going to do this anything like seriously I need to look at it. I run a 5k during my lunch hour on Monday - that is the run I usually really push the pace - I can just about do it in under 30 mins ( i told you I was slow!). Tuesday evening I do another 5k in the winter (have to stick to places with street lights) but tend to do a 10k in the summer around the country roads. Thursday is club run - between 4 and 5 miles or shorter with fartleks or hill training. Saturday is my favourite run - I have been doing 10 miles or 13 miles recently but it's slow. Thing is that is what I love doing but I know it isn't doing my pace any favours.

A lot of my club do parkrun and I am sure it has helped them but I don't fancy it. I like my own company and besides they are all on saturdays and I don't have a car then. I know it's just an excuse and I could get a lift but I like my long meandering saturday runs! I could also do a club run on Tuesdays which is when the more experienced runners come but they are all seriously fast and I will confess I am nervous of trying to do 7 miles at their sort of speeds.

I don't know. Maybe I just have to accept that I can either enjoy my running or get ouf of my comfort zone and be faster!

Drinksforeveryone Mon 18-Apr-16 08:20:31

I might follow this thread and see what the advice is OP.

I seem to be getting slower too - its very frustrating.

But as pp have said - any number of factors on the day can affect your time. There's no 'perfect' race, is there.

I like parkrun, buthave stopped going to my local one as it's just too busy - over 700 runners last time I checked! Also considering a local club, but am a little intimidated by their running prowess.

Just keep at it for now - maybe try different routes ? Join a running challenge ? I've just joined one on the Running Bug forum.

IrianofWay Mon 18-Apr-16 08:26:26

Hi Drinks

a club is good. Ours has lots of beginners and they are just starting to really cater for them with some training runs etc. Problem is there is a clear divide between beginners and the others and I'm afraid to cross it! There are lots of supportive people - I just have chosen to be a slightly semi-detached member I guess.

MorrisZapp Mon 18-Apr-16 08:27:38

I'm 44 and took up running last year. I am slow, and I don't think I'll ever speed up.

But I'm really chuffed with my progress. I'm a grafter - I plod along but I keep going and keep going. I do ten mile and half marathon races.

I won't be getting faster. I came to running relatively late in life and my body is the opposite of athletic. But I can knock out mile after mile, and best of all is that I really enjoy it.

I have mum friends who run much faster than me, good luck to them. There's room for all of us out there.

suzannecaravaggio Mon 18-Apr-16 09:23:38

For me the purpose of running is not to get from A to B quickly, I run for the health and wellbeing benefits, slow running provides those benefits.

I think every runner has a pace which for them is sustainable and (relatively) comfortable, the sweet spot where you get maximum benefits for minimum injury risk

MrsMook Mon 18-Apr-16 19:02:18

I'm in a city with a lot of Pride. grin

I like a longer slower meandering run and am not great at pushing myself for shorter speed sessions.

If you do want to make the push on speed, then stepping up to the speed sessions with the more experienced runners would be worthwhile. It's quite easy to get into a routine of putting the same in and getting the same out, particularly when you're progressing from beginner to improver.

lljkk Mon 18-Apr-16 19:21:24

There are schools of thought that say doing 10-13 miles fairly slow is perfect for building up speed at a 5-10k (don't ask me to explain, some of those training regimes are well nuts). You could try cross training, too.

I don't think anything will ever make me personally anything but very marginally faster, but then again, marginal improvements will be amazing for me. I was always one of the slowest and weakest, anyway.

ootsideinbacktaefront Mon 18-Apr-16 19:26:39

Morris can I ask how slow you are?? You sound just like me but anybody else I hear saying this is well faster than me! Iv been running for years and just do not get faster, I do have asthma though and struggle with that 😀

MorrisZapp Mon 18-Apr-16 19:28:13

I run 12 minute miles, my friends are round about 8 minutes.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Mon 18-Apr-16 19:35:00

This is quite a nice article in Women's Running

My motto after just getting back into jogging is "I might be slow but I'm going faster than a couch potato"

anotherbloodycyclist Mon 18-Apr-16 22:25:49

I think your long Saturday run is fine, good to have one longer slower run each week especially if you're looking to do a half. I'd tweak your Tuesday session so that instead of doing another 5k you sub with some kind of session, either hill reps or some interval training to mix up the pace a bit. If your pace falls off I'd also ditch the 2 mile warm up in a race and just accept that the first couple of miles will feel a bit harder.
But really, just enjoy it! Remember why you started and think about how far you have come rather than the negative stuff. You sound like you are in great shape.

ootsideinbacktaefront Mon 18-Apr-16 22:56:13

Yes I'm about 12 to 13 min miles too smile

IrianofWay Tue 19-Apr-16 09:22:14

Thanks cyclist. I am planning a 10k tonight - flat canal path but there are a few small hills I can do reps on (will confuse dog!) and I can certainly do some interval training. Round here it tends to be dead flat or very very hilly.

I know the warm up on Sunday was a mistake. It certainly helped the start of my race but I am not sure it was any better being knackered at the end than at the start. Last year I ran/walked to the start (about 1.5 miles) but it didn't seem enough to get the motor running. Hence the longer route with some hills followed by another mile walking. Not again!

IrianofWay Tue 19-Apr-16 09:23:42

DontBuyANewMumCashmere - I like that article! I never used to be so hung up on speed until I joined the club and then I guess competition kicked in.

LemonBreeland Tue 19-Apr-16 15:34:50

I think you need to worry less about speed. You enjoy your long slow run and that's what it should be about, enjoyment. Not constantly trying to improve your time, or be as fast as others.

I am a slow runner and I don't care. If I finish a race and get a medal I am happy.

IrianofWay Tue 19-Apr-16 16:19:18

You are right of course lemon.

I think this running thing might be own small MLC. I have always been 'alright' at things never really good. I wanted to be really good at something I guess. Maybe I need to choose something easier to excel at!

But onwards and upwards1 I have just signed up for the Glastonbury 10k - the town will be full of druids that day - wonder if any will be running?

IrianofWay Tue 19-Apr-16 16:20:52

my own small MLC!

lurkingfromhome Wed 20-Apr-16 07:52:55

I'm so glad I found this thread. I am suffering from the same problem. I did my first HM last year and was pretty pleased with my time as it was my first one, but really aimed to shave off quite a few minutes this time round. Instead, I'm way slower than I was this time last year. I use the Nike+ app so can look back over all my previous runs and it is quite disheartening!

I'm in my late forties and I too have been wondering if this is it, and I'm just going to have to forget all notions of improving but just congratulate myself on being able to run at all. The problem is, of course, that I need goals to keep me motivated and the obvious goal is to get a bit faster. I do 10.5 minute miles, give or take, but last year was doing 10 minute miles with ease.

I'm doing one HM at the end of May and another in early October. I'm thinking about starting a new training plan after the first one to really focus on speed work etc to see if it makes a difference. I try to do a bit of speedwork at the moment but it inevitably ends up being not very speedy as I am more of a one-pace-for-everything plodder. If anyone has any tips on how to get faster when you're ahem ... a bit older, then please share! smile

IrianofWay Wed 20-Apr-16 09:31:24

Hi Lurking

you sound in a similar boat to me. Frustrating isn't it?

I took the earlier suggestions from cyclist last night. I ran a 10k - fitted in hill reps - and completed it in a time of just under an hour. Really pleased. I guess I just need to push myself harder more often.

suzannecaravaggio Wed 20-Apr-16 09:37:52

It seems as if there is a running battery and if you drain it too much your performance suffers, elite runners have batteries which are way beyond those of mere mortals

Obviously that's a metaphor but it seems to me that the various mechanisms involved do function broadly in that manner.

I think that unless your focus specifically on speed many runners tend to drift down in pace, I also think that it you put a lot of work into forcing yourself to go faster you may wear your battery out more quickly

So maybe there is a trade off

Perhaps muscles and tendons lose elasticity with all that pounding, also muscle mass will decline without specific strength training

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