Do I need to work harder?

I’m a 49 year old male who started running back in April of this year. I entered my first 5K race in May and did it in 29mins. Last weekend I ran a 5K in 24.55 is that the sort of improvement that is expected or do I need to work harder?


  • That sounds like an impressive improvement on a time that was already good for someone who had just started to run. How hard are you working just now, Stewart?

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • I run three or four times a week with my local club (Sutton Runners). I’m told I doing well but you would expect plenty of encouragement from your running mates!
  • Depends what you want to do next, Stewart!

    If your main objective is to improve your 5K time, you'll benefit most from track sessions and shorter runs with your club (and if you run with a club, you've got plenty of other runners to compare your progress with). If you're looking towards longer races, you'll have to think about including a weekly long run in your timetable.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • I would like to do a marathon at some point. I have done two 10k races my second was only marginally better than my first ( 55.17 54..31) which was disappointing. How long will it take to get to get to my peek allowing for my age?
  • To give yourself a good shot at a first-time marathon, you should probably be looking to do one no sooner than next autumn. It's possible to do one sooner, but that would mean increasing your distances more quickly than is ideal, resulting in a higher risk of injury. And unfortunately, those of us who start running when we're a bit over 21 are more likely than the youngsters to get silly overuse injuries.

    The long run is definitely the most important part of marathon training - nothing else can prepare you for the grind of being out there giving your all for several hours.

    There are lots of guides, in print and on the internet, to marathon training. Gobble them up! Also find out if there is anyone at your club who can advise you or, better still, train with you.

    Happy running!

    Cheers, V-rap.

    PS. This is "do as I say, not as I do". I'm not as fast as you and spent most of the early part of this year mollycoddling an overuse injury, but my form for London 2003 has been sent off.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Stuart, what sort of training do you do in a typical 4 day training week?
  • Longish run on Sunday (5-10 miles), 4-5 miles on Tuesday, short run on Wednesday lunch time (2miles) and quality running on Thursdays 4 one mile reps with a 2 minute break in between.

    I sometimes go to the gym on Fridays. Saturday is my day of rest (I go and watch my local football team!).
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