Brick wall

Hi all,

I’ve been running since about August last year and with the odd break because of colds, I’ve run at least three times a week since then. I use the NRC app and started off with runs of anything from 1.5k to 3k. In the last few weeks I’ve increased that to 5k every other day. <div>
</div><div>At the 3k distance, I was managing 5:50ish/km but now that I’ve increased to 5k I’m struggling to average 6:30/km (I range from about 6:21 to 6:59 at each split). </div><div>
</div><div>After 6 months, I was expecting things to get a bit easier but I’m worried now that I have some kind of cardiovascular issue that’s preventing me from progressing. At the minute, 5k is about my limit and I’m done in when I’ve completed that distance, I just can’t see how I could do a 10k, 1/2 marathon or full marathon eventually😞</div>


  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    Forgot to say, I’m 53, 5’10” and about 85kg
  • Hi BR36 - well done on getting into running.

    I wonder if you're focussing on trying to run too fast in every training session?

    Ideally, you should be doing about 70-80% of your runs at a very comfortable, slow pace - you should be able to talk in full sentences if you were to run with someone else. The commonest mistake when folks start regular running is trying to run every session far too fast. Take things more steady and you will be able to progress over time.

    (I was going to type that it's unlikely that you have a cardiovascular issue but I'm in no place to say that having no idea about your medical history - if you are genuinely worried about cardiovascular issues you should get checked by a medical practitioner... taking the current challenging situation into account!).
  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    Thanks Little Nell,

    I don’t have any medical history and no CV symptoms to suggest anything is wrong, I just thought I’d be making better progress by now so wondered if it was a ‘fuel supply’ issue😁

    You probably have a point on the pace, I certainly couldn’t speak to a running partner, occasional comments perhaps but wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation. <div>
    </div><div>The pace I’m running at feels pretty slow already, I’m not sure how I’d slow it yet further without it almost becoming a fast walk (I can walk forever at a good pace BTW with no ‘fuel supply’ issues).

    Is there an easy way to set a consistent pace more accurately, I use the Nike running app which gives the 1km pace but I’m never consistent across each 1k (it’s usually the first 1 or 2 that are quicker and the last of the 5k slowest)</div>
    I agree with Little Nell, sounds like you're running too fast.   You need to slow down, that can take practise  but it's the slower running that improves your aerobic system so focus on completing each run at a comfortable pace that doesn't exhaust you.   Then you can start increasing the distance of one of your weekly runs.

    Not a good idea to have a watch/GPS that sets your pace as you should be running within your capabilities not at a specific pace .   I'm not sure how accurate those apps are, I've heard they can be unreliable on the distance which obviously means on pace too.   Most of us use a GPS watch such as a Garmin.
  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    Sounds like I need a rethink then🤔. Will try to judge pace on my ability to speak as suggested, I feel OK with the distance (5k every other day for last few weeks) but should I be mixing it up a bit?
    It's good to mix up the distance and the routes for variety.   You just need to hold back the pace for a while and you will find that running becomes more comfortable and enjoyable.
  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    Did a 3.5k run last night and slowed the pace down as suggested (about 1min/km slower than I’ve been doing) and felt comfortable......although a bit pedestrian🤷‍♂️<div>
    </div><div>I’ll try to sustain the slower pace for a bit and see if that gets some improvement. Just out of interest, what’s the ‘science’ behind slowing things down a bit, I imagined pushing the boundaries would be the way to improve fitness, not operate within a comfort zone🤔</div>
    Completely the opposite.   Have a read of this, it's a long read but explains it well.

    What is “Base” Training? | McMillan Running

    Well done on the slower run, you will get used to it.
  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    Thanks, I’ll have a read 
  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    Wow! So even as a beginner I’ve not been running long enough at the right pace or regularly enough since I started back in August. That explains the poor progress😞. Time to set up a proper plan I guess. Thanks for pointing me to that info👍
  • JF83JF83 ✭✭
    Definitely agree with the advice above. It's a problem for a lot of runners find it difficult to "run slow" but you get used to it and it will help you move your fitness level up.
  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    <blockquote class="Quote">
    <div class="QuoteAuthor"><a href="/profile/JF83" class="js-userCard" data-userid="7540155">JF83</a> said:</div>
    <div class="QuoteText">Definitely agree with the advice above. It's a problem for a lot of runners find it difficult to "run slow" but you get used to it and it will help you move your fitness level up.</div>
    It does seem counter intuitive but having read that article it does make sense.....I just feel like I’ve wasted 6 months of my running 🤦‍♂️
  • Thanks for digging out a good "base building" reference, Shades - I was going to do similar.

    BR36 - don't worry about it. A large number of runners make a similar mistake when they start out (and some for a lot longer into their training too!). You had the good sense to ask questions, have taken advice on board, and aim to make changes in the future... it's all good! :smile: Those six months have helped you learn about what you need to do to improve.

    BR36 - you haven't wasted 6 months at all and now you know the theory of base training you've learned what some runners take 10 years to find out.

    Don't go mad with your new training plan, if you want to run say 3 times a week then I'd suggest you do 2 sessions of 40 minutes.   I don't think an aerobic session of less than 40 minutes is that useful.   Then for your 3rd run I'd suggest going out for an hour, that will be your 'long' run.   It doesn't matter if you take a walk break if you feel tired but I think with the slower pace you won't exhaust yourself.   Out and back routes work well for this sort of training so run out for 20 or 30 minutes and then turn back for home.

    Let us know how you get on.
  • BR36BR36 ✭✭
    Thanks for all your advice, I’ll be starting the new plan tomorrow and will feedback as I (hopefully) progress👍
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