I feel like my running is getting worse

Hi all, new to the site.

I have been running now for just over a year and have completed 4 half marathon and over 30 parkruns. Each half marathon has been getting quicker with my last being 2 hours and 8 mins. I have also recently joined a running club who I run with every Tuesday and Thursday. I do Parkrun on a Saturday and aim to do a slow long run on a Sunday. I have also started doing some strength exercises every Monday and Friday.

I really enjoy running however lately my running has felt harder and I am getting slower. On Parkruns I feel out of breath and don’t feel like I can go any faster. Over a month ago I got a PB at Parkrun with 24:45 however since then im managing just over 26 mins. Im also struggling on my long runs where I feel sluggish from the start. Im not sure why im getting worse or what to do about it. I don’t feel too tired when I start I just struggle to finish. I feel a little disheartened at the moment about my times and really want to get quicker.

Any help would be much appreciated.


  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Welcome Jack.

    I think the important thing here is not to feel too disheartened. We all have those periods when things do seem to be a bit of a struggle and then for no real reason things turn around and suddenly you're flying again.

    It sounds as though you've probably changed your training routine recently with joining a running club and doing strength training and it sometimes takes a while for the benefits of a routine to kick in. It doesn't happen overnight, unfortunately. 

    I went through much the same thing last year where I was finding Parkrun a struggle and not being able to improve on my time. I think the problem was that I was running with someone who always went out fast and in keeping up I wasn't able to get into my own rhythm. So on one occasion I decided to run it as a progression run and told them I was going to go at my own pace. I resisted the temptation to keep up with them and at the turning point they were a good 75m in front, but because I'd run within myself I managed to pass them before the 2 mile point and went on to record my fastest time for a while. I'd also enjoyed it a lot more as it was like a plan coming together.

    It might be an idea, then, to use Parkrun as a training run. Try different things in terms of pacing it, either progression or intervals or a fartlek. Something that just means it's not just a race. You may find something clicks into place for you.
  • Well said Guarddog... we all have disappointing runs and feel like we are not getting any better... I felt a bit down with my running over the past 3/4 weeks, but have just continued running, and haven't pushed the running. I ran a 10k over the weekend  and was only 8 seconds slower than a good 10k time I did 2 years ago... so I would recommend to continue running but don't  push it .. enjoy the runs... Your good times will come back again when you least expect it.

  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Couldn't agree more Dave and well done on pushing the 10K time.

    Running relaxed and enjoying things is the key. We all get hung up on training for events and wanting to do a good time and it can sometimes feel as if running becomes a grind rather than something we should be enjoying.

    I've got a special half marathon trip this weekend and I've decided I don't really care about the time. I'm just going to go out and enjoy the occasion, soak up the atmosphere and take in the sights. I even plan to stop every now and then to take photos. 
  • Jack you've hit the nail o  the head as I'm having same problem. I've gone from mon n wed run on my own and parkrun sat and I was improving got back below 25 min. Joined club run Tues n thurs I've got slower on a sat each week since. I'm hoping it's short term loss for long term gain but feel quite disheartened at moment. Is it a day less rest or am I making excuses
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    As above, Steve, it might just be that you've changed the training routine and stepped it up a bit. What are you doing for your runs Monday through to Thursday in terms of length and pace? It may be that you're just overdoing it at the moment.
  • enrvukenrvuk ✭✭✭
    One other possibility is that your runs are at too high intensity. If all but your long runs are full on you might not be giving your body enough recovery time. You need recovery time to benefit from your exertion.

    if you have specific goals in mind I’d find a training plan that supports them. Most plans that I’ve seen will have a mix of intensity. 
  • My guess is that now it’s a bit colder your form has suddenly returned?!? Am I right?
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