Why aren't I getting any better?!

i stopped smoking and started running 6 months ago. I'm 44 year old female. Fairly fit due to hill walking before starting running but hadn't done any 'proper' running for decades.  

First couple of months I was doing so well, got 5k down to 26.30, 10k to 58 minutes 
but I can't go above 8 miles without legs giving up and can't go any faster on 5 or 10k
my heart rate for runs when I'm pushing it is 175 which is max for me.

 I'm running 3x a week (fast 5k, one long run and a medium type run  too or interval or hill training) covering about 15 miles altogether and also doing a strength and conditioning gym class. 

I want  to be able to do a half marathon but seem to have been improving then stuck at this level. Have had a few novice type injuries along the way too. 
Any tips you knowledgable lot?! X


    If you can't extend the distance of your longest run then you're training too fast.  80% of your weekly mileage should be done at easy to long run pace, this is the training that builds a strong aerobic system.  Based on your 10k time this pace should be 11:15 to 11:45 min/miles for easy and 11:15 to 12:15 min/miles for long runs.

    Your HR is irrelevant if you don't know your actual maximum heart rate

  • Like shades said try to slow down to increase your distance, perhaps even give yourself an extra day or two of rest before trying a longer run.
  • As a guide your max heart rate is supposed to be 220 - your age. I don't agree with this however as mine would be 177 but I hit 185 to190 ish on a run every time.
  • I am on a similar plan (I'm a 40yr old female) and found I could only up my distances by slowing right down. Soooo slow! But it worked!
  • Eek, I've planned to give myself 5 months to train from a very low level of fitness to half marathon. Now I'm scared…
  • It's a very fine balance it seems between over training and getting injured, and not improving at all! Grrr!!
  • I agree with what Shades has said. I would make sure your medium run is at an easy/steady pace where it feels like you could carry on for longer once you're finished. Still do one faster run per week (5K parkrun would be great), but your long run needs to be done at a pace where you can comfortably talk in full sentences whilst running. If you're struggling with this then just back off the pace more or don't run as far and build it up slowly. I would look at adding in another run during the week in the not too distance future too. Hill reps/intervals like you've mentioned you're doing would be good for this.
  • <span>"... long run needs to be done at a pace where you can comfortably talk in full sentences whilst running"

    Food for thought indeed.
    I'l try slow my pace right down then.

  • I would agree with the others. Overtraining can cause muscle breakdown as your body breaks down muscle if not getting enough glycogen between exercising. Either more rest or shorter distances rotated with the longer ones.
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