Want to get quicker for my age

Hi everyone,

I'm 48, been plodding (can't call it running really) for nearly 4 years now. I can manage a 10k in the hour, on a good day...just and my 5k time is around the 32 min mark...like I say, I'm not quick. But, there's the problem...I want to get better and quicker but don't really know how to even start. My 54 year old other half can do a 10k in 45 mins and I envy him!!

Any help / advise would be appreciated




  • skottyskotty ✭✭✭

    you don't really want to be quicker for your age, just quicker.

    it is impressive how your 10k time is quicker than 2x5k.

    difficult to advise without knowing any details of current training but I suspect a proper training schedule is required with different goals eg intervals etc 



  • Thanks skotty,

    I don't have a training plan at all...I run 15 / 20 miles a week energy permitting, but as I said, I just plod around at the same old pace. I've tried some of the on line training plans that include speed work but they just seem way to quick for me and I end up feeling a bit of a failure as I never complete the reps.

    I'm kinda stuck at 10k being my longest run as I get ITB trouble if I try and run longer distances (have some sports therapist sessions coming up which should help get to the bottom of the problem).

    Maybe I should just be happy with plodding...suppose it's more than alot of folks can do!

  • doing one session of intervals a week should help your speed image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Easiest way to get faster for no more effort is to increase flexibility, especially the range of the running action.


  • Sharon

    does your fastest times hurt when u run them -

    i think your feeling blues as ure oHs quicker ???? am i right - it can happen

    theres always room for improvement, but only as u feel like it , otherwise it can become a choir and that would destroy it

    and YES, your doing it and having fun, their not

  • What is quite interesting is that you said that the speed sessions you have seen are to quick - Just because it says in a a schedule to run at this pace or that pace - as long as you are running quicker than you normally do that is fine - the thing to remember is that is a schedule says run 4 tmes 400 metres with X recovery - your goal is to be able to run those 4 intervals and the X recovery at a speed you can complete the session. If you normally run at 10 minute miles, try doing the faster runs at e.g 9:45 per mile which isn't significantly quicker - speedwork doesn''t have to be run at 4 minute mile pace!!!! (the other thing to remember is that you are not going to feel completely comfortable during a speed session (even the like of Mo Farrah and Paula Radcliffe will struggle at times) It is almost as much a mental challenge to go out as it is a physical challenge!! Good luck. (remember to warm up before though!!)

  • Various options, the most obvious being to increase your weekly mileage once you get the ITBS sorted out.  But you could also consider:

    - resistance/core training

    - stretching

    - tempo/intervals

    What is it that stops you from running faster ie do you get out of breath, do your legs start to ache, do you just think 'ooh this is hard work' and just stop?

    tempo and interval paces should be based on your current ability and whilst they are quite hard work should be acheivable, so have a look at mcmillianto check that you aren't trying to do them too fast.

    Could also have a look at smartcoachfor ideas on how you could structure your week

  • All above advice looks sound to me... and I recommend you look again at finding a plan of action. On one hand, don't be over-ambitious, leading to demoralisation when you don't hit the 6 minute mile mark...   on the other hand, don't be too conservative.  Expect a bit of 'pain' as you push yourself.  It's a sign you're stretching yourself... which will make it easier the next time (I say pain... I don't mean injury-pain!)

    One little trick, next time you're doing a training 5K, is to count how many times your right foot hits the ground in a 30 second period when running at your current normal plodding pace.... perhaps take a measurement after roughly 1K,  2K, 3K 4K and 5K. - in other words, at intervals when you're warmed up. Your aim is to find your average stride freqency...  so at this stage, probably best to take measurements on largely flat ground, rather than on hilly bits. Note the time for your 5K

    Next time out, try to increase that by stride frequency by 10%. Concentrate all the way.

    If you think you're starting to struggle a bit, you can shorten your stride a little, but try and keep to the increased stride frequency.    This will hopefully give you a slightly better time, but importantly also get you out of "plodding" mode...  and help you to take advantage the increased fitness that you achieve as you start to introduce more of the speedwork training exercises.  Good luck with it.

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    Good question Sharon! I've been running about the same length of time, am similar age bracket, and I'm trying to get faster too! It's a slow process, but doing intervals as suggested above has helped. (but I don't find them easy!)

    You don't 'plod', you are definately a runner. those are respectable 5k and 10k times. image 

    Let me know how you get on.

  • Thanks everyone for the tips, advice and encouragement! I went out at 5.30 this morning for a 5k, once I was warmed up (which took some doing as it was -7..brrr) I ran as fast as I could between 2 lamp posts then recovered then did it again...several times.....was jiggered by the time I made it home but at least I managed to keep running. I'll increase the distances slowly I think....not very scientific but if I do it regularly...maybe it will help...maybe...

  • To get quicker you need to run more!   Thats the simple way, run at an easy pace.   Maybe some tempo intervals at slightly faster.

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭
    well done sharon. I'm impressed with that early start! and that sounds like a good session. I tackled some hills today. my legs are now telling me about it.
  • Thanks jenf...permission to feel ickle bit smug image. Gonna try a trot tomorrow too as the weather for Friday just sounds like a wee bit too much of an effort at silly o'clock.  Well done with the hills...don't like hills...they hurt image


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