Will I get faster?

I'm a 34 year old male and I'm 5ft 10 and currently weigh about 237 lbs which is about 17 stone or just a tad under it. So I'm currently about 5-6 stone overweight.

I've been running on and off for about a year and a half and I've struggled a bit with my diet and while my running has improved a bit when I keep at it, my pace hasn't massively improved which is perhaps unsurprising considered I didn't lose much weight.

I was out running yesterday and my pace is awful, somewhere between the 14 min/mile and 16 min/mile pace. Snails can pass me out.

A runner friend of mine who would be at the complete other end of the fitness scale (his 10k PB is either 30 or 31 mins) keeps saying to me to forget the speed, just focus on doing the miles and the speed will come eventually.

I realise I'm not likely to get much faster unless I lose weight, but I seem to be so far off what I'd consider average speed of 8 min/mile or 10 min/mile that it seems impossible.

How likely is it that if my weight comes down and I keep running that my speed will get faster and duck under lets say 10 min/mile pace?

I guess it would be good to hear from those who might have lost similar amounts of weight, but all opinions would be welcome too.



  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Peter Maher of Canada was the same height and weight as you. He started running and lost six stone in the first year and broke 60 mins for 10 miles. Eighteen months later and another stone lighter he ran a marathon in 2:12!!
  • You will run faster if you lose some weight - imagine running with a ruc sac and then taking it off, that's the image I use to try and help me lose the last stone and a half. 

    I lost a load of weight, about 4 stone a couple of years ago and it made at least 4 mins per mile difference. 

    I think you need to break it down into smaller goals. Your ultimate goals of losing several stone and 6 mins per mile may be off putting whereas if you aim to run one of your miles a bit faster each week and set mini weight loss targets it might be more motivating.

    Good luck

  • Just to agree with what the others have said. Ive lost around a stone over the last year and my comfortable running pace in training has reduced by around a minute a mile........now to try and translate that into a few PBs this year............

  • Keep at it and keep focus. I did a 5k Park run ( if you can find one locally get out there and do it ) and my pace was 10min/mile pace. I'm apron 4 stone lighter then you and I did an IronMan triathlon in 06.
  • I shaved off 2.5mins a mile after running regularly and losing 3st.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    Who is Peter Maher?
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    He was an Irish guy who was a decent junior runner in the late seventies. He emigrated to Canada and decided he'd rather drink beer and eat loads instead of running. One night while sitting in a bar there was a TV showing a half marathon. The winner was someone Peter Maher used to beat as a kid. He told the assembled mass that he used to 'beat that guy at running'. The bar fell silent before bursting out laughing at him. He started running again that night. He said he was 18 stone and it nearly killed him.
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