improve time

Hey Guys

i am just wondering what is a realistic improvement rate on timing?

if you do yor first 10 km race in 1:05 and your first half marathon in 2:10 does that means that is more or less your  potential or can you hope for drammatic improvement?

I have been running for a year or so.

I feel improving my time is the next step I am willing to work hard but what would be a realistic goal? and what about timescale?


  • I read somewhere that, with work, you will improve over the first 10 years of running no matter when you start.

    Nobody can really answer your question except you. We know nothing about your weight, lifestyle, training ability, etc. but I bet we would all say that after 1 year of running you are going to get a whole heap better.

  • Your HM time is considerably quicker than your 10k time.  How far apart were these events? Is this down to increased training?  Maybe you could you use this as an intial gauge of your improvement.

  • Thanks guys

    PCS btw I am 39 yrs old male 170 height and 75 kg weight ( trying to loose 3 to 4 kg bfore my full marathon in march).

    Lou diamonds I guess my time improved thanks to the addition of intervals on my training. I also feel that cross training (bike) has been very beneficial.

  • Yeah, if you put 1:05 for 10K into McMillan's pace calculators it gives a half marathon time of 2:24. So you've definitely improved there. And if you put 2:10 in for a half marathon, it gives a 10K time of 58 minutes. Obviously these aren't cast iron guaranteed times, but I bet your next 10K will be a fair bit faster than 1:05...

    If you're only 39 and basically healthy and you've just started running fairly recently, with decent training you should be able to improve quite a lot. Especially if you also manage to lose some excess weight, which really does slow you down. I reckon (pure guesswork of course!) you should be able to get your 10K time below 50 mins and your half mara time below 1:55 if you just stick to a basic training schedule and drop the weight. One of the runners at my club is well over 50 and still considerably lardy and just broke 50 mins for a 10K for the first time ever. Of course, if you're focusing on a marathon you're not specifically aiming to improve your 10K time and if you get used to running long and slow you may not notice a huge improvement in your 10K unless after your marathon you take a while to focus again on shorter faster races

    Realistic goals for you would be to aim for a couple of minutes at a time off your 10K and maybe 5 minutes at a time off your half marathon, maybe running two half marathons a year and four 10Ks. That's the way I'd set about it anyway. If you set yourself a goal of running your next 10K in 40 minutes you're quite likely to fail, but if you just aim to nibble off a couple of minutes at a time, the small successes will keep you feeling positive and in the right frame of mind to continue pushing yourself. You also don't want to go at it too hard too soon and risk injuries.

  • It's how long is a piece of string time.

    I reckon you should be abel to knock pretty big chunks off those times if you keep training consistently & are prepared to hurt yourself in races.

    You are at an age where it is just starting to become an issue - i.e. it will be becoming very slightly harder to reach the same time as when you were in your twenties, but the  biggest thing by far is the effect of training. If you look at races, you'll see that guys well into their 40's and even 50's are very often up at the sharp end, sometimes even winning them. I've just turned 41, and restarted running in earnest a year ago. Did 46 mins for 10k at New Year, 42:25 at Easter and now hoping for a sub-40 in the next few weeks (the big aim I have been working towards).

    How low your times will go is anyone's guess really, there are so many factors. Your own physiology for a start, how much time you are prepared to give to training, how hard you are prepared to work, the quality of your training, your ability to stay injury free etc.

    It's often a good idea to have some more long-term goals, and so shorter term ones which are stepping stones along the way. I'd suggest that a longer term goal of sub 50 minutes for 10k within a year or two would be feasible, and aim to have cracked the hour by say Easter. As you hit or miss the shorter term targets you can adjust your longer term goals if they seem to be unreachable or too easy.

    Remember it is not necessarily all about actually hitting your targets though. My sub-40 target is what kept me motivated and going out so that running has become a habit. I've lost 12kg, am much healthier than I was, approximately 10 mins quicker over 10k, and had a lot of enjoyment from running over the last year. Suddenly the difference of a few seconds over an arbitrary barrier doesn't seem so important.

  • runs-with-dogs thank you for the info about McMillan calculator, learned something new!!

    exiled claret i am definetly prepared to work hard to improve.

    I have to say guys your replies sound really incouraging. Frankly i didnt no what to make of my HM time as it sit roughly halfway among all finishers. I will definetely set short and long terms goal next goal being to run a full marathon  finished with no particular time in mind.

    It' s good to know that i am still young enough to try to improve drammatically..



  • As another not-quite-40-year-old, it's good to know I'm not the only one who considers 39 still young!image
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