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Running faster

(52 Posts)
neolara Sat 31-Dec-16 09:17:12

I'm a very slow runner - 11 min miles generally. I go though stages of running and then stop as I lose motivation. I ran a very slow 10k in Oct and have been for the odd 25 min run since.

I was thinking about goals for the new year and wondered about trying running a sub 1 hour 10k, realistically around Oct. I appreciate this is easy peasy for lots of people, but I'm just rubbish at going fast.

So, my question is, do you think this is a realistic goal and if so, what's the best way to approach it? Should I aim to improve speed over say 5k in the first place. Or build up to consistently being able to run 10k before trying to run fast. Over the years I've run various half marathons but have always staggered in nearly last. I'm also fat and in my 40s and just don't seem to have the strength I had when I was younger.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

RandomMcRandomface Sat 31-Dec-16 11:09:10

I was going to post a similar thread myself so watch with interest! Although my 10km is late February, and really want to beat a disappointing time from last year. I ran 8.5km the other week very slowly and done some slow 4-5km runs but really need advice on how to up the speed as well.

RandomMcRandomface Sat 31-Dec-16 11:10:39

It's hard to find a plan that isn't either building up to 10km or isn't for very serious runners I've found

AyeAmarok Sat 31-Dec-16 11:16:19

Do you ever do short fast bursts as a run? I found that helped a lot.

So for one or two of my runs a week I'll go out and run as fast as I can for 1 minute, walk/almost jog a minute, sprint a minute, walk a minute, etc. Do that until you've done either 10 or 15 minutes of the fast running. I usually start off with a 1km solid run to warm up before doing the sprints. I noticed that initial 1km was getting faster and faster as a result of the sprints.

Veterinari Sat 31-Dec-16 11:18:32

No advice to offer really but hoping for the same advice.

I'm fat, late thirties and training for my second HM. Also very slow. I'm trying to do some aerobic base training as I suspect I run too fast (though still slower than most!) anaerobically and wear myself out.

Google Phil maffetone and aerobic base building - it makes sense that if you have a stronger aerobic fitness you can then build speed. It's hard though - keeping my hr below 140 means I'm VERY slow so it is frustrating

emummy Sat 31-Dec-16 15:54:52

Getting faster involves doing different sorts of runs. If you can run 3 times a week, you should look to have at least one speed session there. This can be intervals, fartlek or hills, then a steady run and a long slow run where you gradually increase your distance to get up to 10k. Intervals can start off easy harder. So you could run 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery jog and repeat that 5 times, with a 10minute warm up and cool down on either side. Then you can increase the time you run hard for.
Fartlek is looser - you can run harder between lampposts or to a particular tree, then recovery jog, then repeat. Or a pyramid, where you run hard 1 minute, easy 1, hard2, easy2 up to 4 then back down.
Hills can be choosing a short steepish one and running up about 100m and then jogging down, repeat as many times as you like - maybe start with 3 and work up. Or you can choose a bigger hill and run up at a steady pace and down at the same pace and try to repeat it.
There are lots of different speed sessions you can try. The Runningbug website has advice on these, as will other sites. Basically if you want to increase race speed it really helps to do some sort of speed work. And the hard pace is not fixed, it's what feels hard for you.
My 10k PB was 62 minutes for a long time and I hated running 10k races as I felt it was such hard work! Now having done some half marathons and a lot more speed work, I am down to 57:27. I am 45 so not sure I'll get much faster but was just really happy to make it below 60.
Of course losing weight will also help you go faster, and for that while running helps I think it has been shown that dietary changes are also needed. I'm a terrible snacked, would be way lighter if I could sort that!
Good luck OP, you can do it.

yeOldeTrout Sat 31-Dec-16 17:31:54

How fat... can you be honest? Not that fat slows everyone down, anyway fat fast bastards
You can put your PBs into calculators that predict your pace over other distances.
Have you ever had your VO2MAX tested (gives you idea of potential)?

Could you set a set of goals in stages towards planning to do the 10k... like, first see if you can back to your previous 5k pb. Build from there to other goals on the way to doing 10k at a pace you'd like.

They say to run faster you have to ... run faster. Either go out for runs where you run hard the whole time, or do intervals (spells of sprinting). There is no substitute. Would it help you to join a club or an online community? I'm quite shy but I've found a couple groups (one IRL & one online) where I can be my plodder self, too.

RandomMcRandomface Sat 31-Dec-16 19:23:18

So in a training plan we should have one long run, one intervals of farltek, and what should the 3rd run be? Hills, or shorter race pace? Am afraid I won't manage a 4th run a week as need to do yoga/ core as well (have been injured in past)

yeOldeTrout Sat 31-Dec-16 19:26:03

I suggest 3rd run is hills, and alternate (weekly) the intervals run with a "race pace" run, so that you only do one of those really hard ones once a week. More than 1/3 of runs being relatively tough, is too offputting otherwise.

MotherFuckingChainsaw Sat 31-Dec-16 19:37:16

Oooh can I join. I'm EXACTLY the same.

I can run a half marathon and am looking at further distances for this year, but what I'd love to be able to do is run a sub 1 hr 10k

I've managed 1:08 on a very hot hilly course and would love to do better. Every time I try to introduce some speedwory I seem to injure myself. I guess a running club would help, but there's only one in the area and at the moment it's incompatible with my working hours.

RandomMcRandomface Sat 31-Dec-16 20:30:51

Thanks Trout

I'd love a sub 60 as well Mother - do you have a specific event you're aiming for? I think for my one in 6 weeks though my main aim with be 1:06, which is my pre-children personal best.

Another reason why I want a faster 10km rather than training for another half is I struggle to find time for the longer 80-min plus runs which has meant that the training never really pans out for another half for me.

I'm interested in the weight loss idea too - think I read once that ever y 500grms less that you weigh shaves of 30 secs of a half marathon time, but have no idea if that's true.

Fartleks Sat 31-Dec-16 20:34:57

I definitely run faster when lighter. I bounce more!

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Dec-16 20:52:50

Watching with interest!
I've entered my first triathlon. I can do all the individual bits, but not fast! I am much more of a plodder, but this is a sprint tri - 16 lengths (I usually swim 64-80), 4.5 k run ( usually just warming up by 2 or 3 k, prefer to run 10), and a 10 mile bike ride ( I prefer 30+ over a few hours).

madgingermunchkin Sat 31-Dec-16 21:01:48

Sprints/hill sprints.

I do as fast as possible for a min, then light jog for a min, repeat for 20 mins. I normally feel like vomiting at the end of it.

yeOldeTrout Sat 31-Dec-16 21:56:22

Hey @BikerunSki, when is your tri & what are your time targets for the distances? I am seriously considering entering a very similar tri (would be my 2nd) which is local to me. We still need to get heads around all the rules & tricks. Are you getting a tri-suit? I regularly swim & run & bike, so thought I may as well try all in one event.

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Dec-16 22:21:31

End of June trout
It's in my village, every year I watch it, and now the dc are too old to believe my excuses for but entering!
I have paid no thought to targets or anything yet.

MotherFuckingChainsaw Sat 31-Dec-16 23:06:12


No, not as yet. I have my eye on a local ish marathon in late autumn and am looking at some events to use as training in the run up. So,probably a couple of 10ks and a half in the summer.

I've been out of action for a couple of weeks with a grotty chest infection and still can't walk to the end of the street without going lightheaded so
I don't think I'll be starting training this week either. sad

Runbikeswim Sun 01-Jan-17 14:13:47

Hello I am also planning on a sprint triathlon this year and have come across this thread looking in 'exercise'.

I was in the same position as the OP a couple of years ago - 11.5 minute miles. Thought I would never do a 10 minute mile.

For what it's worth I joined a club that runs intervals on a Tuesday evening and then mainly ran as I liked another 2 or 3 days most weeks including a longer run of between 5 and 10 miles at the weekend (mainly at the lower end except when I was training to do a half marathon last year and year before) and I have majorly improved. I can now fairly comfortably run at under 9 minute miles on an easy run and have done a (just) sub 50 minute 10k last year and a 23 minute 5 k. I am 45, an ex smoker and only started running 4 years ago.

Runbikeswim Sun 01-Jan-17 14:34:29

It may be obvious but worth also saying that to get faster decent running shoes and a shock absorber bra should be your friends - as they make you more springy and less bouncy respectively!

DierdrePewtey Sun 01-Jan-17 15:02:46

The good news is that there is a tried and trusted nethod of getting faster. The bad news is it hurts. Do intervals at least once a week. Depending on your goal distance, look to do 100m, 200m or 400m intervals, each one as hard as you can. A training session should be 30 mins or so, and if doing it properly you will be absolutely shattered at the end.

Needastrongone Sun 01-Jan-17 17:01:51

Hi OP, if you are still here! Want me to be honest with your? smile

First, I think it's brilliant that you are looking for have a focus and a goal for your running. That helps loads.

Second, I've run for years and was coached at one stage. Said coach being a really really good runner. So I've picked up a bit of knowledge here and there.

Before you even think about speed work, and there are some great suggestions, you need to commit to running 3/4 times a week, and for more that 25 minutes. You need to build your base. Building your base will actually increase your speed naturally anyway.

I have had a long term injury and started back running in August. I haven't done any speed work at all until last week, just got into the habit of running easy miles 4/5 times a week. One longer run and the rest shorter. So nearly 5 months of easy running only. Then one controlled effort of 3 miles picked up pace, tempo running. Fartlek would work really well though.

Even just running easy, my pace has increased by 2 minutes per miles as my base fitness has also increased.

Work on making running a habit, then add a bit of speed. Then look at a target time.

As mentioned, running clubs offer brilliant beginners courses and there's also the Parkrun, which is ideal for you!

Good luck.

Fartleks Sun 01-Jan-17 18:12:37

Park on top of your usual runs

Runbikeswim Sun 01-Jan-17 22:25:40

Neolara has probably run rapidly away from this thread with all of the hardcore running advice!! :-D

neolara Sun 01-Jan-17 22:41:54

Ha ha - I'm back! You haven't quite scared me off. Thanks all for the great advice and success stories.

So my plan now is 4 runs a week, one easy, one long (although long is relative....), one doing fartlecks, one doing hills (although this is tricky as I live in a town with no hills so may have to hit the railway bridges instead). I'm going to try to find a 10k around May time as an interim goal.

Fingers crossed it will work. Happy running everyone.

RandomMcRandomface Mon 02-Jan-17 08:04:23

I wanted to report in that I tried my first interval run - 3km in intervals of sprinting and I am knackered. Enjoyed the variation though

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