Realistic targets for a 40 something

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  • Think RRR_Caz has hit the nail on the head that as we all get older and ricketier avoiding injury is the bigest challenge. I took up running age 39 (now 43) and it's only really in the last 6 months I've had a decent chunk of injury free training time. Never had anything major - just nuisance niggles which stuff things up in a low level way ! Hitting the balance between hard sessions that lead to improvement and just "ticking" along with easy miles is the hard bit though eh !

    Good luck in your endeavours Jake

  • Fraser... exactly right. Finding that balance is key... and as you get older... the margins get finer...
  • LeedsNick will be looking to be around 46mins for 1st one the second is a club championship race so hoping to go for it and get below 45mins (hopefully )
  • Good luck RRR. Would love to get below 50mins for a 10k... one day... image
  • LeedsNick & Andrew Jones 72, with the mention of ITB problems and not being able to run more than 2-3 times a week/ rest needed...

    Do you do any gym sessions or core work? Other stuff apart from running.

    ITB you're usually recommended exercises for knees/ glutes and strengthening legs overall, single leg squats or similar. Keeping injury free for Andrew, maybe similar improving the body overall.

    My 20miler on Sunday went really well, didn't go flat out, took the hills easy too, finished in 2hrs 37m... Thats a 10minute PB and with 700 ft of hills, previous one was a flat course.

    I do 3- 4 runs a week, one circuit, one speed strength session.
  • Excellent news with the PB, FRC. If you are going to beat a PB, you might as well do it in style image

    A friend has suffered with ITB for ages, and after reading up extensively, switched to some minimal running shoes and has adopted a midfoot strike. Took him a little while to get used to the shoes, but now he cannot run in his old Brooks without all kinds of niggles. He says things have never felt better and the ITB problems have totally gone away (in training at least).

    (Not sure why my replies have an acre of white space?)
  • Jake, when I had Achilles tendonitis problems I switched from heel to mid/ toe strike, then gradually strengthened overall with gym classes.

    Can be something mechanical so ITB can be helped I guess by running style change too. Over pronating or support wrong also?

    No substitute for doing exercises on legs though
  • LeedsNick wrote (see)
    I do my long easy runs very slow. ie. anywhere between 10.30 and 11 min miles... Shorter runs of 3 to 8 miles I vary between 10min pace and 8.30 pace depending on what my aim is. I seem to be fine until my weekly mileage creeps above 20 miles per week. ... it's more like 3 miles, 6 miles and 11 miles say.

    I'm 45 and also have to cope with the danged Leeds hills ... and weather! image

    The problem may well be that your long run is too long based on your weekly mileage. An11M LSR in a 20M week is looking for trouble ... that's over 50% of your mileage in one run and you are not doing enough running to support this LSR. I would typically do an 11-12M LSR as part of a 40M week!

    You would be better off doing a 6M long run and 3 other runs of 4-5M. If that's still too much (from a recovery point of view) reduce mileage evenly (eg. 3M, 3M, 3M, 5M). Keep all your runs easy until you're comfortable and recovering well ... as you improve, you increase mileage gradually and evenly over all your runs. Don't just make the LSR longer ... make sure your longest run is only 20-30% of you total.

    JakeUK wrote (see)
    A friend has suffered with ITB for ages, and after reading up extensively, switched to some minimal running shoes and has adopted a midfoot strike. Took him a little while to get used to the shoes, but now he cannot run in his old Brooks without all kinds of niggles. He says things have never felt better and the ITB problems have totally gone away (in training at least).

    Yes, avoiding heel-striking can really help to reduce the stress on the knees ... and minimal running shoes can help to break the heel strike habit. I was a heel-striking ITBS sufferer but I spent 6 months in VFFs a couple of years back and converted to forfoot striking ... have not had ITBS since. I run in racing flats now.

  • Hi Dr Dan,
    You are right my long run is too long now. But without writing a book... it didn't start like that. 6 months ago it was like 2,3,2,4 (4 runs per week). Gradually increasing so it was 3,4,3,5 (last long run being on a Sunday). So over the months I'd get up to something like 4,6,4,8... and I am real comfortable at this mileage... but around 20 to 22 miles... I can stay at... week after week. But it's not really enough for a half marathon. But once I move up to 4,7,4,9 (24 miles per week) my problems start... I don't ever seem to be recovered. Even though I am adding barely a mile to the weekly total to get there... so I ease back to 4,6,4,8... (22 miles per week) and all is fine again... but I know it isn't enough... ok... 4,7,4,8... (23 m/w) borderline... niggles start... back to 4,6,4,8... (22m/w) ok again... try again... but this time... drop a day... 4,6,9... (19m/w) I'm ok as my weekly mileage hasn't changed much.... then 4,7,9... (20m/w) still ok... 4,7,10... (21) borderline but ok... just... 4,7,11 (22m/w) starting to get uncomfortable again... so I drop another day... 7,11 and I feel ok... but I know it's only a matter of time...

    I just can't work out a way to get past 20-22 miles a week... consistently... without getting injured/recovery fatigued.
  • Dr Dan talking a lot of sense,.. maybe racing flats not for everyone perhaps.

    Leeds Nick, interesting all the varieties you have tried in mixing runs.

    I vary week to week but usually do something like

    Sunday LSR 12-20miles (depending on what training for)

    Tuesday 4m warm up +club speed session 4-6miles depending on session

    Wednesday Speed Strength, optional 4m slow

    Thursday 4m warm up + club tempo run 5-7m

    Saturday Circuit class, optional 4m before either slow/ easy or track session.

    Some weeks I just do the 3 tue/thu/sunday runs but always either 2 circuit classes or 1+ speed/ strength session.

    Previously before January, for 12 months I would do a body conditioning class, a pump fx and a circuit class but lower effort level.

  • Hey running cat. I am only gonna persist with my current regime for a few weeks, as I have a half marathon in a month which I have committed to.
    Then I go to NZ for a few months and will start from scratch. I always run better there. For some reason (warmer?) I can train more often there without the fatigue/niggly injuries... so it will be a good place to get a proper base... see if I can get back to running 4 or 5 days a week... and over 30mpw...
  • LeedsNick Is NZ more trail running? I tend to find this is easier on the legs.. my long run on sunday is half trail.

    NB My training above is for a marathon, half marathon I'd probably do similar, little bit but aim for faster pace on some days. My "warm up" to the club is usually a warm up mile and then 3 miles at whatever pace I'm doing training for.. so 7.45 ish for marathon, 7.30 and below for halfs. Long run would be 11 to 13 miles too.

  • ^I'd love to stick to pretty much your training regime FRC. If I am honest I probably need to lose 10kg and get back down to my young adult weight. I'm 6ft and weigh 86kg.  When I was younger I was around 77kg...  if I can get back to that I'll be running lighter and probably get less injuries/fatigue etc.

    In NZ I run on country roads. But the tarmac there just seems softer. I feel like I am running on a spongy track... it's very nice and flat too. So I am warmer before I start... and without the pavements to run on, I get into a rhythm quicker... and seem to recover quicker. Last time I was there I ran over 10km 3 days in a row... I could never do that in my wildest dreams in the UK... with no ill effects....

  • Hello, some good reading in this thread. I myself am new to this running lark following retirement from a social rugby (more beer than training).  I have also just turned 40. Ten months ago I entered a half marathon which I trained for and completed in a time of 1hr 45 mins. I was then talked into running a marathon 4 weeks later, stupid I know considering the injuries I may have picked up.  I have however, since completed this and in a weird sort of way enjoyed it.

    I would now like to complete another marathon and was thinking of Preston in October. However, having read this thread and the excellent link of 'Training for the right ditance', I am now not sure.  I think I should maybe take a step back and just train for 10ks, 10 miles and halfs. Get more comfy at those distances and then have a crack at another marathon in a year or two. It is now a battle of the head and the heart. Maybe I will have a better idea when I complete my first post marathon run.

  • LPJR ... 1:45 is a decent start. I think you should buckle down to the shorter distances for a year or two and aim to get some landmark targets in the bag while you still have leg speed (sub-20 5K ... then sub 90 HM and sub 40 10K). You can make huge strides in the first few years of dedicated running. The marathon isn't going anywhere ... it will still be there in a couple of years but you'll be in a better palce to take it on properly.

  • Thanks for the reply Dr. Dan.

    The lure of the marathon has been put to bed for the time being and common sense has taken over.  Thinking back I trained for a half marathon and enjoyed that process. I then entered the Manchester Marathon with 3 weeks of training not taking into account the week before and all I did was throw in 3 long runs on my half marathon training. When I read about the percentage of a LSR in relation to total miles and the marathon itself I most definitely was lucky to complete that 3 weeks without causing long term problems.

    The other big issue, when I looked at the decent long term marathon training programmes, I simply do not have time with a young kid and working shifts to do it properly which I would want to do. So decision made 10k to half's only.

    Now the next issue.  The times you mentioned above seem impossible to me.  But I am going to design a training programme based on the 'Training for the right distance link' around my shift pattern.  I may have to check back here with some of the terminology used, but I am going to set my 2012 goal as a 100min half and a 43 min 10k.

    Again, a nice thread this one. Some good info for 40+ beginners.

  • After only 250M in the last 6 months, they seem impossible to me too! Seriously though, I managed to go from 1:42 to 1:30 in 12 months with some sensible consistent training, so stick with it an surprise yourself.

  • Fit-Running-Cat wrote (see)
    LeedsNick & Andrew Jones 72, with the mention of ITB problems and not being able to run more than 2-3 times a week/ rest needed... Do you do any gym sessions or core work? Other stuff apart from running. ITB you're usually recommended exercises for knees/ glutes and strengthening legs overall, single leg squats or similar. Keeping injury free for Andrew, maybe similar improving the body overall. My 20miler on Sunday went really well ...

    Hi Fit-Running-Cat

    Yes, my ITBS has been kept in check, currently running 4 t times per week with 40 to 45 miles. I have a stretch and strengthening program for core. My main problem is that my left knee tracks inward slightly, caused by hips rather than foot/shoe. Chiropractor/Physio clinic gave me the program.

    Until recently all had been well, however I was a little stupid (very stupid) and did something I shouldn't have done due to time committments. I ran a hard training session on a Friday, followed by my Long Run on Saturday.

    The training session was a  full set of  Yasso 800s x 10 @ 3:11 per interval, 11miles incl w/up. w/down

    Then next day overran my long run, aiming to do 20, but ended up with 23miles (I was in search of hills!) and this caused a flare up of the ITBS.

    Things seem to be settling down now after an easier week and avoiding hills. And yes - I know I shouldn't do hard session, followed by a hard sessionimage . Think once, think twice, think 40+

     


     

  • My main injury issues have come after doing hard sessions after mundane activities like gardening or DIYimage. Definitely have to factor these kind of life necessitities into your programme and don't underestimate the effect they have. This year I've managed to keep the DIY/other commitments etc at sensible times and managed about 55-60 most weeks with no ill effects.

  • Shelved my final week's training plan before HM next Sun. Trained hard last week, did my first parkrun yesterday, disapointed with my 25:02 time. Legs felt absolutely washed out before, during and after the run. Going to have a real easy week, probably only club speed session on Tuesday, and v easy 5 or 10k weds/ thurs.

    STITCH?

    Until this week, never really suffered from getting a stitch, has happened several times this week including this am when I was out with my son to do a gentle 1km round the village. Is this something to be concerned about?

    Enjoy your runs anyone going out today, the sun has made a surprise appearance!

  • Good luck next weekend Jake. Maybe your body is telling you... enough for now! I'm sure you'll be fine if you just chill now until the big day...

  • Jake, I did my first HM 5 weeks ago. The week before I was quite similar to yourself, suffering from very heavy legs. For the pre week training I only did 3 x 3 to 4 mile very slow runs and they even felt hard( not sure if it was all in my head or not).  When I set of on the day I was surprised how fresh I felt and ended up running 10 mins faster than my predicted time.

    If your speed sessions at the club are hard I would be tempted to give it a miss.

    Good luck for your first HM. Enjoy.

  • Hi, thought I would take a look at this thread as I intend doing my first HM at the end of this year.  I only started running in June last year at 42 years old.  I don't think I had run since I was 16.  I have got my 5k time (Norwich Parkrun) from 38:20 to 23:06.  I did my first 10k event today and did around 48:56 (awaiting official time). My long training run is currently 10.5miles and I have done this in 1:30:45.  

    Ideally I would like to do a HM in 1:45 - I currently don't do any interval or speed work -  I tend to just run 5-6 miles 2-3 times a week and the a long weekend run.  Do you think I should be mixing in some speed work now?

  • Fantastic progress Bones. I have been running for about 5 years and only improved my 10km time by about 2 minutes in that time... and my HF time by about 5 minutes... I put my slow progress down to old age...image

    I do try and mix my runs up... but I get injured so often I never really get into a routine... there is a lot to be said for keeping things simple...

  • Cheers LeedsNick, I think my 5k progress is quite flattering as I started at such a poor pace.  I think losing 2.5 stone helped get the pace down too.  I have been quite lucky with injury - I had a bad spell with calf muscle pain but a new pair of shoes sorted that.  I have real problems if I push my pace too much.  I am trying to keep things steady and build slowly.

  • Hi Bones1969

    I did my first HM training this year. I typically included one 'hard' session per week such as an interval session, or tempo run, or hill intervals. I found these really useful and definitely gained speed / strength from these sessions. Its worth while doing one of these per week so that you don't fall in to the trap of always running at one pace on your training runs.

    Its also worth noting that injuries cropped up from these, particularly short intervals such as 200m or 400m. For intervals I tend to do 1km or 1 mile now at a decent pace. I run my mile intervals about 25 secs quicker than half marathon pace.

    I would recommend introducing a tempo run midweek. Say 1 mile warm up, 3 miles tempo pace (comfortably hard), 1 mile cool down. That will give you say 20 to 30 mins of quality running.

    I currently run my tempo runs on heart rate, and don't focus so much on the pace while I'm running. I base it on 85% of working heart rate. It stops me from thinking 'must run faster'  which I know can lead to injury

     

  • Jake
    I read your intro post, noted your enthusiasm, and thought that you might like to understand what can be practically achieved. Listen to SerenNos. She is a wise one. I've not read pages 2-5 though. I'll add comment related to my own journey.
    Started at age 39 and a half. 6'0" and then 12st4lb, but no aerobic base.
    In five months, 1st HM was just inside 2 hours. Entered ballot for London marathon.
    12 months from a zero point, and first marathon done inside 4 hours.
    OK you are carrying a little more weight penalty, at the moment, but once the alcohol intake is down and the mileage is 35-40 per week it will come off.
    If you're not carrying it, you'll be faster. Simples.
    Year on year I was able to knock chunks off my race PBs, and a bit of friendly rivalry helped get the training focussed. Actual training advice can be found all over RW. I think that it took me three and a half years to go 3:15 mara, with a 1:30 HM. After that it took several more years, but a peak at age 48 was a 2:59 and a 2:58 marathon. My HM pb stands at 1:23 from the year prior. My weight at the time was 11st4lb. When I look back, it took a lot of dedicated mileage, focussed training, and hard racing.
    I've had two years off now, and put that stone back on!

    The aim of this post was to illustrate that your aspirations are not unreachable. I'm just an ordinary bloke with a family. Just set yourself achievable goals for each year. I was happy if I came out of a whole year of racing with a single PB in any distance. That meant progress.

  • Blisters, many thanks for posting, I hope you are starting back with the greatest sport on earth? Your times are indeed inspirational. Sub 3 hour marathon sounds pretty damned good, when reading requirement for VLM GFA I thought it was very harsh for my age group to to age 59 requiring a sub 3:15!

    Weightwise, it has started falling to as low as I can remember, I only started taking note of weight about 10 years ago. My wife recently commented "Wow you will have a washboard soon", not quite at that stage but being able to do the belt up a couple of extra notches feels good.

    My most recent ponderings have been about post race training, I absolutely love LSR's on Sunday and the thought of cutting back mileage on Sunday is a miserable one. I would like to gradually build up LSR mileage to 20+ so when I start proper marathon training for Valencia in November the distance will not be a problem. Is there any harm in keeping up with 30+ miles per week even when not in training for specific races?

     

  • Bones1969 wrote (see)

    Hi, thought I would take a look at this thread as I intend doing my first HM at the end of this year.  I only started running in June last year at 42 years old.  I don't think I had run since I was 16.  I have got my 5k time (Norwich Parkrun) from 38:20 to 23:06.  I did my first 10k event today and did around 48:56 (awaiting official time). My long training run is currently 10.5miles and I have done this in 1:30:45.  

    Ideally I would like to do a HM in 1:45 - I currently don't do any interval or speed work -  I tend to just run 5-6 miles 2-3 times a week and the a long weekend run.  Do you think I should be mixing in some speed work now?

    Bones - your story is remarkably like mine. Also started at 42 (3-4 years ago) after not doing anything much for 20+ years ....lost weight and made enough progress to get me hooked for life.

    Moraghan's  first 3 posts are very useful for planning how to fit in sessions with mileage ... here:
    http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/training/training-for-the-right-distance/166480.html

    Also, the Middle Ground thread in the "Training" sub-forum is my favourite place to learn about common sense training.
    http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/training/the-middle-ground/158114.html

     

  • I am in the middle of writing my training plan for the summer. I am basically taking Moraghan's HM training plan and fitting it in to my shift pattern. So that would be a long 14, med 9, easy 4 and  a quality 1 and 2.

    However, I was thinking on alternate weeks of doing 800 meter session and a hill session. Which of the above would that replace?  I assuming the shorter quality run, but I just wanted to check.

    The other thing is pace. The only guide I have is my HM pace. I did that in 1.44.15 around 7.58 pace. Going of that figure should my long run be around 9.30, med 9.00, easy 8.30, Q1/2 7.40 and 800s in 3.20 with equal recovery time. Hills? Get up as quick as you can and walk round and do it a again. I have found a good hill that is about 400m long.

    Does the above sound about right.

    Secondly Jake mentioned how poor his phone app was for recording time/distance. Is a Garmin a worthwhile purchase or am I fine sticking with Endomondo.

    Cheers.

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