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Sub 20 5k at 47 (Read 256 times)

Starman


    Hi. I'm a 47 year old male who intends to break 20 minutes in the 5k this spring/summer (my reward to myself will be a dog). I only have time to run 25-30 miles a week. At 38, I ran in the 19:20s on 25-30 miles a week. Last March I ran in the 20:30s while putting in 40-42 miles a week training for longer trail races; I did no speed work at all. I haven't raced or run much since then--until a month ago. I've run the past 18 days straight and could run a sub 22 if I had to right now. Is it possible for me to drop 2 minutes in 3 months? If so, what's the best way, given my age, and a volume of 25-30 miles per week? I'm 5'7" and 147 lbs if that factors in. Any advice would be appreciated.

      Is it possible for me to drop 2 minutes in 3 months?

       

      Plausible...yes

       

      However, since you somewhat admitted that you have taken a year off I would suspect your next effort will get you close to your last 20:30 performance. You don't have a log to view so it's a best guess.

       

      I'd suggest looking farther down the road. Work on getting a consistent base and target some late sumer early fall races.

       

      But don't let me squash that sub 20 desire...3 months might be enough time. Sorry though, I can't make any training suggestions.

      www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building


      Happy

        Hi. I'm a 47 year old male who intends to break 20 minutes in the 5k this spring/summer (my reward to myself will be a dog). I only have time to run 25-30 miles a week. At 38, I ran in the 19:20s on 25-30 miles a week. Last March I ran in the 20:30s while putting in 40-42 miles a week training for longer trail races; I did no speed work at all. I haven't raced or run much since then--until a month ago. I've run the past 18 days straight and could run a sub 22 if I had to right now. Is it possible for me to drop 2 minutes in 3 months? If so, what's the best way, given my age, and a volume of 25-30 miles per week? I'm 5'7" and 147 lbs if that factors in. Any advice would be appreciated.

        Last April (2012), at age 47, I ran a 19:58 5K. One year earlier, I ran the same race in 22:13. I really wasn't running much prior to the 2011 race, though, so I don't know if it's an "apples to apples" comparison to your situation. I began running about 25-30 miles per week from December to April of 2012 (a little over 4 months), and was able to take more than 2 minutes off my 5K time. I didn't purchase or download anyone's training plan or anything, but I did add some interval training into my routine in the last month or so before the race. Sub 20 sounds at least possible to me, given what you've said.

        Feel free to look at my training log and workouts from that period, if it's of any interest. However, you'd probably get much better guidance from a program like Running Wizard. I'm using a Running Wizard plan for marathon training right now, and I feel like it is going very well.

        "Strawberry cheesecake is my absolute favorite thing to eat after a marathon."  -- Meb Keflezighi

        Starman


          Thanks SubDood. Encouraging to hear that another guy my age did it! Of course I know of a few freaks in my community (Colorado Springs and Denver) who still run 17s at 55 years old, but for us mortal middle-aged guys, sub 20 is an impressive enough milestone. I looked, but didn't see any data in your training log. What did your intervals look like? Speed work for me these days is aggressive progression runs: I'll start a 4 mile run at 8:30 pace and build to 7:00 pace for the final mile, but I still need to do some work at 6:20 pace or faster, I know.

          Starman


            Thanks Slo_Hand. If it takes until late summer, early fall, then I'll take it. This isn't going to be easy. I think the last time I ran sub 20 (19:52) on a certified course, I was 40, and it hurt then. I ran 20:08 at 43...and had I known I was that close, I think I could have eeked out 8 or 9 seconds...would have, could have, should have, etc. Good luck with your racing this year!

              I ran a 20:03 in 2011 and a 20:06 early spring last year...I know I have it in me. (I'm 47 by the way). Being that close really sucked.

               

              I've been a bad funk since the last half of last year. I had a great month of Dec but have been nursing some injuries since.

               

              SubDood has re-sparked my interest in Running Wizard and I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger. Biggest reason is I need something to break thru these blah's.

               

              My last race was Feb 2nd. A 4 miler where I ran a 27:10 in 2012. This year I ran 28:30 (ouch)

               

              Best of luck!

              www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

                I had sub-20 as a goal for 2011, but an Achilles injury scuttled the year.  Brought it forward into 2012, after running 20:36 in late DEC2011.

                 

                What helped me the most, I have to admit, was running with a friend capable of sub-20 (recap here).  He helped me push harder than I otherwise would have on the downhills, and I ran 19:44.  Went 19:28 a month later.

                 

                Workouts are pretty subjective.  I was (a) running more miles than I had in the past; and (b) doing mostly 400-1000m repeats at about 6:20 pace, give or take a little (and less than one interval session per week, on average).

                 

                MTA: I was 48 last spring.

                “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


                Happy

                  Thanks SubDood. Encouraging to hear that another guy my age did it! Of course I know of a few freaks in my community (Colorado Springs and Denver) who still run 17s at 55 years old, but for us mortal middle-aged guys, sub 20 is an impressive enough milestone. I looked, but didn't see any data in your training log. What did your intervals look like? Speed work for me these days is aggressive progression runs: I'll start a 4 mile run at 8:30 pace and build to 7:00 pace for the final mile, but I still need to do some work at 6:20 pace or faster, I know.

                  Starman, I went back and looked at my Workouts from that time period. Yeah, it's hard to show what I did in any presentable format. I think the following example (my Notes from one workout) has to be the hardest workout I did leading up to that 5K. This workout was done 2 weeks prior to the 5K, and I probably eased off after this. Again, no formal plan, this was just my own creation, perhaps ill-conceived, probably similar to stuff I did in high school. Oh, and I ran it on a treadmill at work over lunch:

                  "1 mile warm-up;
                  12 x 400m (90sec/90sec x 12)  (10 mph/ 4 mph) (2.5% incline) = 4.3 miles
                  0.7 mile cool-down (6 mph at 3% incline)"

                  Mortal Middle-aged Guy

                  "Strawberry cheesecake is my absolute favorite thing to eat after a marathon."  -- Meb Keflezighi

                    Your performance at 38 age grades between 69% and 70%. You will have to reach 72% to run 20:00 at age 47.

                    This is not a huge improvement but a significant one for the amount of time you have before your race.

                    Let us know how you do- I am hoping to break 22:00 this summer- age 62, pretty similar challenge.

                    PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                        10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                     

                      Your performance at 38 age grades between 69% and 70%. You will have to reach 72% to run 20:00 at age 47.

                      This is not a huge improvement but a significant one for the amount of time you have before your race.

                      Let us know how you do- I am hoping to break 22:00 this summer- age 62, pretty similar challenge.

                       

                      Excellent point.  3% improvement in AG is difficult to achieve if you're already fit.  3% is very easy to achieve if you're not very fit.  I used to race around 65% back when I was in my 30's and 40's and now in my 50's I race in the very low 80% range.  The difference is that I committed to training and became (somewhat) fit relative to what I was when I was younger.  IMO, the only thing holding back the OP from this goal is the time-frame he has to achieve it.

                      Starman


                        80% is amazing, kencamet. You have some inherent gifts in addition to the level of fitness you've acheived. If I were a hundred-mile-a-week runner I suspect I'd only top out at 75%. You must clean up in your age group at local events!

                        Starman


                          Starman, I went back and looked at my Workouts from that time period. Yeah, it's hard to show what I did in any presentable format. I think the following example (my Notes from one workout) has to be the hardest workout I did leading up to that 5K. This workout was done 2 weeks prior to the 5K, and I probably eased off after this. Again, no formal plan, this was just my own creation, perhaps ill-conceived, probably similar to stuff I did in high school. Oh, and I ran it on a treadmill at work over lunch:

                          "1 mile warm-up;
                          12 x 400m (90sec/90sec x 12)  (10 mph/ 4 mph) (2.5% incline) = 4.3 miles
                          0.7 mile cool-down (6 mph at 3% incline)"

                          Mortal Middle-aged Guy

                          Pretty grueling! But if that's what it takes. Something like this once a week for about 2 months. Interestingly, when I ran my 19:20s at 37 and 38, I got there by doing time trials on a 2.75 mile loop with some rolling hills..no structured intervals. But back then I was getting a new PR every time I raced, so I was hungry and just eating it up, not knowing what my limits were (I started running at 35). Now it's a little different as my fastest 5ks are probably behind me. I may need to gut it out with structure and discipline to take one final shot at sub 20 5k before I settle into being a grizzled veteran trail runner/racer or marathoner.

                            80% is amazing, kencamet. You have some inherent gifts in addition to the level of fitness you've acheived. If I were a hundred-mile-a-week runner I suspect I'd only top out at 75%. You must clean up in your age group at local events!

                             

                            You give me too much credit and yourself too little!  Only way to know is to try.  Find someway, somehow to squeeze in some more mileage and some strides and you will surprise yourself.

                            C-R


                               Now it's a little different as my fastest 5ks are probably behind me. 

                               

                              Not true. I hit sub 19 two years ago. Got fat and lost the edge. I will get that PR this year. I found two good speed sessions (structured and at a track) with solid base miles and proper weight did the trick for me. Its tough providing a clue with no running log to review. I say get serious about adding quality workouts and you can get there again. BTW - I'm 46 and not a past runner (soccer was my sport). I came to this sport late.

                               

                              If you want it bad enough, you'll do the quality workouts to get it. Good luck.


                              "He conquers who endures" - Persius
                              "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel

                              http://ncstake.blogspot.com/

                              spinach


                                 

                                You give me too much credit and yourself too little!  Only way to know is to try.  Find someway, somehow to squeeze in some more mileage and some strides and you will surprise yourself.

                                 

                                I agree with Ken here.  Ten years ago I was in the 60s percentiles for my times (I was 45 then) and over the years I have brought my times up into the mid 80 percentiles. I am also running much faster times now than I did back then.  Give yourself some training and confidence and you may bring raise the percentages and lower your times.

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