Am I Way Below Average?

Just wanted to ask your opinion here with regard to the progress I have made over the past 10 months.  I keep getting ridiculed by my husband who loves to tell me how slow I am and it's starting to get to me now.  I know I am slow but I thought I was making some progress.

Anyhow, I am 36 year's old and female.  I started the Couch to 5K program back at the end of February having never done any running at all since I was at school.  Completed that in April and then went on to work up to 10K with a plan which I finished at the end of May.

My 5k PB is 25:14 and 10K is 56:10.  Should I be doing a lot better than this with regard to time?  The furthest distance I have ran is 13 miles.  I never entered a race as yet as am not confident enough.  I just do my local Parkrun.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted some opinions/advice image



  • Sounds like you Are about middle of the pack in most larger races at the moment image
  • That's good to hear, I am pleased about that. 

    If I don't do any speedwork will my speed naturally increase or should I be doing speedwork?  I am clueless as to what to do with regards that.

  • iluvstaffies wrote (see)

    Just wanted to ask your opinion here with regard to the progress I have made over the past 10 months.  I keep getting ridiculed by my husband who loves to tell me how slow I am and it's starting to get to me now. 

    Don't like the sound of that, what's his pedigree?

  • Well he's never been a runner but used to play a lot of football and so was quite fit until he got a knee injury and has been unable to play since, so I think it gets to him that I have become interested in fitness. 

    Even so I would love a bit of encouragement once in a while lol.

  • there is a local race on new years eve near me....they have a fun run and they have an elite race..............

    for women to get into the elite race they have to run 5k in 25 mins.for men they have to do 20 mins...

    so are just outside their standard for much faster than 20 mins is your hubby.....

    My son makes remarks about me being slow all the time.but I know its just friendly banter because every now and then he has told me how proud he is of me


    does your husband ever told you how proud he is that you have gone from nothing to achieving so much..if not then you need to sit down and have a word with him as it seems that it might be more than serious banter and he is putting you down

  • So I'm not too bad then really I suppose image  My New Year resolution is to run a sub 25 5k and I WILL get there.

    No, I never get any encouragement at all from him.  My friends are really impressed how far I can actually run, no matter how long it takes me!

  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭

    If you asked random members of the public to cover a mile on foot as quickly as possible, most would be nowhere near 9 minutes, which is the pace you have covered just over 6 miles. So by that criteria you are definitely not slow.  You have found that you have become faster since Feb thru' following steady running plans, which is absolutely the correct approach for someone with no running background (for 20 years, at any rate). You will become faster via the (careful) use of speedwork; the term "slow" then becomes relative - eg my times across various distances are "slow" to some, and "fast" to others - you can only do your best with what you've got, but most of us are capable of more than we might think.
    Good Luck. 

  • Thanks for that.  I will have to look into a bit of speedwork as my next plan.  I like having something to work towards, hence the plans I have previously followed to take me up to HM distance.

    Does anyone recommend any particular speedwork plans I can have a go at?  Anything nice and straight forward.

  • Sounds to me your husband is jealous of your running.Keep it up you are doing really well .Start doing a few fartlek runs for speedwork.

  • Thanks.  I love running and no one will ever stop me getting out there and doing it.

    With fartleks, does it just mean running fast for so far then slowing back down again and repeat.  Say, run faster from one lamp post to the next and then slow down again to recover and then do it again?


  • What Mark says. If he's really bothering you with his comments just tell him, chances are he's your classic dumb ass bloke who thinks it's "banter" when really it's hurtful.

    Seren, appreciate your sentiments, but taking the "elite" times from what sounds like a Santa fun run isn't any more realistic than classing someone who runs the whole way elite in a race for life! image

  • yes thats the idea and keep it random, so do 3 lamposts, slow for a minute or so, then pick another point further down the road eg post box and fast to that then a slow bit, repeat until you finish.

  • Will give that a go then.  What total distance should I be doing them over do you think?  Or should I be doing them over a certain time rather than distance?

  • Cheeky so and so! I've been running for years, am 2 years younger than you and would kill for your times. I have a very supportive and very fast husband who has had to wait around at finish lines on many occasions ... 10 minutes at a parkrun but potentially upto an hour and a half at a marathon.

    Well done to you...bit of fartlek then challenge him to a race...maybe the great north run?!
  • You're certainly not slow and if your PB's are not in race I'd place money on you knocking time off them in a race. Most people find that extra bit on race day.

    Your husband should be very proud of what you've achieved this year, not slagging your times off.

  • Eggyh73 is right in a race you would get a extra push from somewhere! Reading what you have achieved I'd say your doing great, and depending what your wanting to get out of your running does speed really matter? is it just for fitness, enjoyment or are you wanting to win races? 

    You keep it up Iluvstaffies, by getting out there and running your already winning and your already GOOD times will only improve, be proud of what you have acomplished!

  • Thanks guys.  Speed doesn't really matter that much to me, but I would like something new to focus on next year.  A new plan to get stuck into and a new goal to aim for!  This year I just wanted to be able to actually get out there and run some kind of distance and I am proud of myself that if I did want to enter a HM I would be able to complete it now.

    The main point of my running is for the fitness aspect.  I have found something I love doing and it makes me feel great.

  • I would simply ask your husband to accompany you, maybe he can help you speed up, he will either help you and join in, and will see that you're not slow in any way, or he will politely back away. End of banter, no male pride hurt in the process.

    If your husband has an injury that prevents him playing his football he will feel under pressure as you're developing your sporty side.

  • Does it really matter? My motivation tends to be improvement. It's nice to run a race and come in the top 50% but that only occasionally happens for me.

    Taking your running easy for the most part just getting miles in your legs will see good improvements. Run a timed fast 10k every couple of weeks and note your times. Those times will drop and hopefully give you confidence.

    We all like to know how we compare with others but enjoying what you do is just as important.
  • Time is a funny thing. sometimes over the years I would think that if only I could shave a minute off my 5k time that would be great and 2 minutes off would be out of this world. Truth is that if I had shaved 2 minutes off then I would then be thinking, if only I could shave a minute off my time then ....... There are people out there who are maybe running 8 minutes quicker for a 5k than yourself who worry constantly about how they would like to be faster and there are also people out there who are running 8 minutes slower who are over the moon with how fast they now are.

    Your time are good.



  • I get grief all the time as I am apparently 'always' out running. I just tell her how many hours a week I do, which averages less than a hour a day. And then not long after she starts saying I am always out running again.... A bit tiresome.... But keep at it, don't over do it; but I would say look around for an interesting race to enter in the spring or summer. It is a great buzz and keeps the motivation up

  • Am definitely looking for a race to enter next year.  I feel ready now.  Have been looking on the race finder on here but can't seem to find anything local at the moment, unless I am doing something wrong.

    ETA - yep, must have been doing something wrong because just been on the event search again and found one I like.  The Runner's World Trailblazer!  Just got to pluck up the courage to go for it now.  I know for definite that I can cover the distance, just got to sort the nerves out about actually attending and taking part in a race.

  • In my experience the nerves are the thing....  I have been racing more years than I care to admit. Despite this my pulse was at 110 beats per min as I got out of the car for my last race. A 10 mile fancy dress cross country... When I do not get nervous I will pack it in! Do not worry where you come; do it, learn from it, move on....

  • Gee! Your times are more than fine for races. As a previous poster says you'll be mid pack, not that that is too important. Get in there and go for it. You'll be a bit nervous the first time but will be on a real high once you've done it and just want to do more. Hope your old man comes good, probably just dented his pride. Good luck with it all and keep on running.
  • Hi,

    I started running 4 years ago and completed my 1st half marathon 3 years ago in 2hr.30 plus, not really improving but pleased to be fit and injury free, (10 years older than you). Competed in a 10km race this moring, finishing in slow 1hr 11mins, but this was 3 mins faster than last years event so happy with that, my hubby is quietly proud but hides it well image

  • The nerves add to the excitement of the races I'm reasonably new round the running scene in comparison to many on here, Ive ran for about a year now but I've only ran in 3 'organised race's' 1 of which was the Great North Run and the nerves are huge. I mean I knew I was never going to be challenging to win any of these races and I also knew I wouldn't finish last, but I guess I was just nervous to try and achieve a good time!

    I would definitely encourage you to start running in races (your partner) could even tag along and support you. As for finding local races you would be best getting involved in your local running club they will tell u about loads!
  • Craig, funny you should mention my early racing days I didn't think anything of races, easy night's sleep, no nerves at all. I remember awaiting the start of one of the hardest half marathons in the south one year, hands in pockets yawning, thinking this'll be fine.

    Now, the adrenaline kicks in the night before, and doesn't go until the gun starts the race!

  • Fear of failure? You chose to run the race. Nothing happens if you walk or drop out. But the fear is there...

    It's odd.

    The more races I do the worse it gets.
  • your times are perfectly respectable. i am also impressed at your restraint in not  punching your husband.

    parkruns are races, in my view. so you are a racer now.

    speedwork, fartlek, hills, long slow runs, high tempo runs. these are all good....the key is to keep your body guessing. mix it up.

    well done

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