Too old to get faster?

Having only started running when I was 50 (two & half years ago) I've since done a couple of 10k's , a 10 mile and a half marathon, (would love to do a full marathon at some point). I'm not that fast 10k =58mins, half M = 2:10. I've tried to do some speed work, but just can't manage more that 1  x 800m speed session and that's it I'm totally shot. Tempo sesions are not too bad.

Should I accept I'm just too old to get any quicker and just enjoy my 10 min / mile plods or is there something else I should try?


  • No don't accept it - you can get quicker - I started again at 51 ( 31/12/2010) and my first 5 mile race was in March 2011 and was run in  50:41 - I improved that to 41:22 in October - am looking to increase that this October - around 37:30 in October - with an ultimate goal of sub 30 Ocotber 2013 -

    Now you say you do one 800 metres and you are shot - that suggests to me that you are trying to run it to quickly - The goal of an interval session like that is to run each session quickly enough that you can fisnish the session but not to quick that you can't finish it - all you have to do is run slightly quicker than your normal race pace -  Also as I try and do a couple of tempo runs each week, I tend to do a shorter interval session  eg 10 times 90 seconds off a minute recovery or 15 times a minute again off a minute recovery.

    My week looks like this

    Monday - 3 miles brisk

    Tuesday - 5 miles tempo

    Wednesday - Interval session as described above

    Thursday - 5 miles tempo

    Friday rest day - so no more than 2 miles very easy

    Saturday 7 miles - run as I feel

    Sunday 3 or 4 miles easy.

    Now I am not sugesting you copy the above as my rest day tends to be a short run!!! and everyday is not suitable for every one ( I will admit to have run in my 20s and 30s to an OK standard) but after 12 years out of  the sport - did really start again using the run walk schedules on here.

    So my answer (eventually) to your question is yes you can run faster - but just look at the speed you are trying to run your intervals.

    Good luck

  • Thanks Grendel, you're probably right in saying I'm going to fast, I've had a problem with training pace since I started. First year or so I was running everything at race pace, now managed to slow that down so will give this a try. I'll try your suggestion of 90 sec sections. I can only find time for 4 runs a week but will try this on one of these.



  • Hi Nelly. As you've only been running for 2 years you can definitely get faster - a lot faster if you maintain a structured training plan similar to Grendel's suggestion.



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