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2011-05-17 10:03 AM
in reply to: #3501821

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Champion
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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

OK, my N=1.  I started running Spring of 2008 after a few aborted attempts and no prior experience.  In the Fall, I did a HM in a few ticks under 1:40 not really pushing very hard, and a month later ran 3:20 and change in a flat marathon, pushing hard.  Spring of 2010 I ran 1:28 and change in a hilly half marathon.  Spring of this year I went 1:26 and change in the same race, and probably could have gone a few minutes faster with proper pacing (I was chasing an over-ambitious goal and blew up).

As for long-term goals, I've recently consciously decided that running is my focus and that triathlons are 'on the side', although in fact I will race about as many tris and running races this year, and indeed now I'm focused on ITU Worlds.  So I love tris and will continue to do them, but I am willing to let my tri performance suffer a bit, even in 'big' races, for the sake of focusing on running. I'm sure that for me, at least, reaching anything close to my potential as a runner (I'm nowhere near there yet) will require sacrificing tri performance.  I'm OK with that.  I think that you are likely to face a similar decision, as others have suggested.



2011-05-17 10:52 AM
in reply to: #3501821

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Elite
5313
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Alturas, California
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

I had no run background.  I started off the couch (9/2007) with a 1 mile run of 10:30 ish.  My first half mary 6 months later was 1:48:xx ish.  3 years later my 5k is 18:30 ish and marathon 3:19:xx.  I haven't run another half marathon, but my 13.1 splits during a marathon are in the 1:33 to 1:36 range.  So 6:00 mpm for short races, 7:00-7:10 mpm for intermediat races and 7:36 or faster for marathons.  I think that I still have a lot of room for improvement, once this hamstring gets better 8). Put in the miles, get in some speedwork and see what ya get.  Like any sport it is all about the consistency.

    

2011-05-17 11:51 AM
in reply to: #3501821

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Master
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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

I agree with everybody else who emphasizes the value of consistency and persistence. Reaching your potential can take years.

I'm a recent return to running, and still trying to figure out whether my body can handle it without breaking down all the time. But my experience related to the OP's question came many years ago when I was running in my teens. When I started out I wasn't a particularly fast runner at all. I recall that in my early races I tended to finish at or close to the back of the field. No evidence of any great talent. But I really enjoyed it, so I kept on training. From one year to the next I would always get a little faster, and gradually would catch up to my peers. My main focus was mid-distance track, and after a few years I found that instead of finishing last I was winning some similar races, and whereas I had at first been a classic plodder, I eventually had a reasonably good sprint. On the road my bests were around 16 for 5k and 34 for 10k. For me the things that I think worked were:

-- Stick at it. Gradual progress can add up to a whole lot of progress over time.

-- Challenge yourself by being around faster runners. I mostly ran with people who were much more talented than I was, and so it helped that I never felt that I was fast, and was able to set high expectations.

-- Lose weight if you're carrying around extra, as it can make a big difference (this is one that I learned more recently)

-- I now drink the run easy/often Koolaid, but at some point if you want to go really fast you need to train really fast. But this needs to be balanced against consistency. If you get injured, then you're grounded, no matter the training program, so injury avoidance has to come high on the list. But most of us can get quite a long way with minimal run speedwork, especially if we're getting some kind of HIT on the bike.

2011-05-17 12:14 PM
in reply to: #3501821


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Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

I think it depends on your age and training level. I was a swimmer in HS and never ran. At university I began to run for fun and never kept track of my time but probably ran in the high 7min mile range. When I started training for a triathlon I got serious about running. My 5k time went from 22ish to 18:34 with fresh legs and I ran my first triathlon split in 19:35. That was only 3 months of training, but given I'm pretty young and had tons of time to train.

My run training consisted of running a long slow run of 10-14 miles per week, one track/ speed workout a week, one 5k TT per week, and one easy 4-8 mile run per week. On top of tons of biking and surfing. The training is easy, the hard part is not getting injured.

2011-05-17 12:24 PM
in reply to: #3503670

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2011-05-17 1:10 PM
in reply to: #3501821

Expert
2555
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

I had no prior running background when I started at age 44. Ran my first HM in 1:58 at age 46. My most recent HM at age 54 was 1:33. I'm now 55 and still getting faster.

No real secret on how to get faster. Run more, more frequently, and keep it up for a long period. Since I started getting more serious about running 4 years ago, I've improved steadily. As long as I can continue to put in the time I see no reason I can't still improve even more for a few more years.

You are relatively young. Put in a few solid years and you will likely have solid gains. That's years, not weeks or months.



2011-05-17 2:25 PM
in reply to: #3501821

Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?
I went from a 1:42 to a 1:21 1/2 in about 3.5 years and ran my first marathon at a faster pace than my first 5k that was about 3 years earlier. The key is definitley running consistently through out the year and staying injury free (easier said than done)!
2011-05-17 3:45 PM
in reply to: #3501821

Elite
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Ontario
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?
Thanks everyone for the input, it's been informative.
2011-05-22 12:47 AM
in reply to: #3501821

Regular
86
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Western Kentucky
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?
Started running in 2007 at 35 years old. Ran my first HM spring 2008 in 1:27:30. Ran my PR in fall 2009 in 1:22:02 after missing a turn and running two blocks extra. Consistent mostly easy running 6 days a week, no excuses. Heat, rain, snow, 60 mph winds. If people aren't calling you crazy for the conditions you train in then your're not training consistently enough!
2011-05-22 1:42 AM
in reply to: #3511952

Master
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Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

That means, from a run perspective, I want to focus on the HM distance because I have a goal to go faster at this distance, while improving my run base for HIM races.

It makes sense to put your focus on running if you're going to be doing standalone HM events.  But for the HIM, you can also pick up a lot of time on the run by improving your bike fitness.

2011-05-22 6:02 AM
in reply to: #3501821

Regular
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Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?
Started to get serious about running last year when I got into triathlon. I've always ran but never had any structure to any of the runs, just ran when I felt like running(didn't care about time). I'm an addict to high volume training so basically I would run 50-70 miles a week when I was training for triathlon last year.  Now I'm well above 100 miles per week mostly just focusing on running this year.  So far this year I've qualified for Boston(2:40 marathon), ran a 1:15 half, ran a 12 hour race, and just yesterday ran 50 miles at a 8:06 pace.  Honestly though, none of that is that great compared to what some other amazing athletes are putting up.  My only advice is to stick with the things to love to do and be consistent. The more time you put in the more you will get out. 

Edited by chicagosurfer 2011-05-22 6:04 AM


2011-05-22 7:01 AM
in reply to: #3501821

Member
25
25
Athens, GA
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

This thread really hits home with me. I have been a plodder for years and only in the past 3 years have made the conversion from "running" to "training". At first the results came quickly, but then tapered off. It is hard not to be discouraged sometimes, but reading posts like the ones above is extremely encouraging. Thanks guys!!!!

I recently have been comparing my paces to my HR on a given run/ride thanks to my garmin 305. Anyone else do this? Are there charts or formulas that detail ones fitness/improvement capabilities?

2011-05-22 7:41 AM
in reply to: #3501821

Elite
3315
20001000100100100
Miami
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

this sounds promising.

1st hm 1:39 running only in z3 entire race.  hope to hit 1:35 or lower next hm

2011-05-22 11:41 AM
in reply to: #3501821

Extreme Veteran
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Seattle
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

I ran my first half marathon at 24 in 2:04.  I had a running background (x-country through HS) but was just getting back into it.  The whole distance scared me, I undertrained, went too long on my long runs, and added no speedwork.  Needless to say, even though I finished my results were not spectacular.  And I tore my meniscus and had to get knee surgery, so I took 1 year off.

After PT was done I started training for real, got a HRM, picked up triathlon, etc.  I found partners who would push me, and I got competitive.  I did my next HM 2 years later in 1:47.  Repeated that result the following  year.  The next year, I broke through again with a 1:39.  I haven't run that distance since, but am pretty sure I could go faster since I've hit that in a marathon split (without blowing up).  So over the past few years I'm down 25 min.  I'd love to get down closer to 1:30, I'm taking that to be my lower limit.

Training, not running.  Adding speedwork.  Adding more miles, and not just on the long run.  Nailing nutrition.  Thinking you can do it.  Training with partners/team.  All of that helps. 

2011-05-22 1:09 PM
in reply to: #3501821

Elite
3683
20001000500100252525
Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Quicker Runners - how much faster did you get?

I started triathlons and running in 2008, at age 33. I had some prior experience, but nothing to write home about. Ran a little in the army, and played around on the Army run teams. Wasn't fast enough to hang with those guys, though.

Once I started to train consistently, my times started to drop. In 2008, my first HM was in the 1:35 range. I ran that race as hard as I possibly could. Today, it's probably 15 minutes faster.

As others have said, consistency is the key. Consistency. Just run more. Start to build your volume, smartly, and you'll get faster. That's pretty much a guarantee.

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