Advice for a time-limited beginner

Hi all,

I'm a relative beginner when it comes to running 'properly' (by which I mean I've been trying to take running seriously for about 6 months now) and I'm after some advice on improving my performance generally.

I tried to start last year, but was limited by a back and hip injury which has now thankfully gone away.  I am currently running 10k's in just over 50 minutes, but don't seem to be able to improve on this at all.

I have a long commute to work each day (2 hours each way) which makes the time I have for weekday evening runs quite limited, but I do like to do my 10k's on the weekend.  I've tried a few runs at this distance during the week, but I'm not finding I'm getting any benefit other than feeling really tired as it's late in the evening and I don't feel I'm fueled properly.

Searching the web comes up with heaps of advice, but I don't really know what to really fix on.  Can anyone offer up any advice that they might have regarding trying to improve my performance in terms of fitness and times, as well as just making the whole process a bit more interesting?

Hope that makes sense, and apologies for the almost certain overlap with other threads on here!



  • Generally speaking I think you need more mileage. Use the evenings as easy runs without pushing too hard, running at a pace you can have a conversation at.

    Can you get out at lunchtime at all? If you could do some sort of interval session once a week on a lunchtime I think it would help. You could also squeeze in a tempo run at a lunchtime too. Hopefully lunchtimes would have you feeling less tired and better fuelled?

    Use a weekend run as a long slow run which goes beyond the 10k distance and gradual make that longer, perhaps increase by 1 mile per week. Making sure it is slow, probably 90-120secs+ per mile slower than your 10k pace. If you did that on sunday you could then also run a parkrun on saturday mornings.

  • Yes, what matt says. It seems like you are assuming that to race 10 kms you have to repeatedly train 10 kms at race pace. This is most definitely not so (at least, not all the time). You need to get yourself a 10k programme and work through it, which should include some easy and short sessions, as well as shorter interval and tempo sessions.

  • I commute two hours each way so use my lunch hour (or hour and 30 minutes in reality) to try and get something done. Perhaps negotiate with your boss as I did that you take 1 hour 30 off for lunch and in return you work 30 minutes longer. That way you get a semi-decent workout and your net loss is only 30 minutes later getting home , which beats getting home when its dark and then having to find another 90 minutes to do some exercise which means you have no life at all.



  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    If you commute by train, a few people once or twice a week get an earlier train, get off a few stops earlier and run the last x distance to work, or do the same going home.

  • If I did that, I would either get run over on the narrow country lanes or get killed by one of the many bulls in the paddocks.


  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    image Must behave... Must behave 

  • I find that the only way to get a decent amount of training in is to set a weekly schedule and stick to it. Tues evening - I run. Thursday lunchtime - I run.

    If I just tried to fit runs in when its convenient, or when I felt like then it wouldn't happen.

    As for fuelling, have a snack an hour or so before.
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