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Running out of energy... (Read 111 times)

Kirkland_runner


    A couple quick stats...  65 years old, ran a lot in my 50's with some Marathons, several half's, etc.  After a 2013 Marathon, I got lazy, and stopped running.  Well, I got back into the game now, starting in March, running about 100 miles in April, 110 in May, and tracking 130 or so in June, which is what I would like to do on a monthly basis.  I run one intense hill run of five miles a week, and a variety of 7-8-10+ mile runs during the week, running 4-5 days a week, and run with a co-worker who is about 40.

    My issue is this:   I can keep pace with my co-worker for the first 5-6 miles of each run, and am not stressed at all with an 8:35-8:40 pace.  (Don't laugh, I am 65 after all...)  I start to slow down a little bit during mile 4-6, but sometime at that distance my legs just tighten up, and I slow down to about a 9:15-9:45 or worse pace.  My heart rate during this time is consistently about 144 bpm,

    So its driving me nuts.  Todays 8 mile run was a perfect example. My splits were 8:39. 8:16, 8:40, 8:45, (then, at mile 5) 9:27, 9:23, 10:11, and 9:34. The slowdown is that sudden, and I feel all the muscles in my leg "tighten up" for lack of a better word, at which point I tell my co-worker that I'll see him at the end.  I hate that.

    Do you think it might be...

    • Diet? (While I don't eat junk food, I don't really eat to run.)
    • Stretching (I suck at stretching)
    • Age
    • It'll fix itself, don't worry

    Any unsolicited advice is appreciated.


    an amazing likeness

      ...

      • Diet? (While I don't eat junk food, I don't really eat to run.)
      • Stretching (I suck at stretching)
      • Age
      • It'll fix itself, don't worry

      Any unsolicited advice is appreciated.

       

      You're going out at a pace your current fitness can't sustain. You are not running enough base miles to sustain 8mi at 8:30-8:45 mile splits.

       

      If you reversed your pace splits so that mile 1-3 were at 9:20s, you could turn the last miles faster.  Also, at 65, you need to recover with shorter & easier days, especially on your lowish base miles.

       

      Your partner's early pace is killing you.

      Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

        Your pace is too fast and you are likely running at your threshold pace which at some point with body temp going up and blood volume going down.....you can't hold the pace and you can't keep up with the body and muscle's oxygen demands so you start to go into anaerobic overload which forces you to slow so you again can keep up with body's oxygen demands.  Think of racing a 5K at 8 min pace but then wanting to keep in going for a 10K.....you slow down because you can't maintain 8 min pace for another 3 miles because of anaerobic overload. It is about physiology and not your diet, age, stretching etc....you just aren't fit enough to hold that pace. AND trying to is setting yourself up for an increased risk of not recovering properly and increasing injury risk. The goal with training and especially the first several weeks/months in running is to run mostly easy and sometimes hard. Once fit a good formula is 80/20 easy to hard but newer runners it is best to follow 90/10.   With all this being said....with another 3 months of proper training....you will definitely be more fit and be able to hold a faster pace.

        SMART Approach Training - Run Injury Free. www.smartapproachtraining.com

        darkwave


        Mother of Cats

          Another approach - it may simply be that you are someone who really needs to ease into their runs.  The older one is, the more likely that you need a gentle first mile.

           

          My first mile these days is rarely faster than 9:20, and often closer to 10:00 flat.  Once I've warmed into the run, I can cruise fairly comfortably (though it's not quite easy) at 7:3x pace for a long time.  But if I try to start at 8:00 or ever 8:30 pace for that first mile, I invariably have a rough run.

          Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

           

          And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

            Yes to the gentle start.  As I've gotten older 'warming up' has taken on a whole new meaning.  The older I've gotten the more I need a 'warmup' (slow jogging before even 'easy' running) AND the longer those 'warmups' need to be before I can run at a quicker pace.  I can only presume that as I continue to age the 'warmup' phase of my runs will become my entire run!

              It sounds a lot like aerobic decoupling. As Tchuck says, you are too close to the threshold to sustain. See here

               

              https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/efficiency-factor-and-decoupling/

               

              Your heart rate stays the same as the pace slows.  In time your aerobic fitness should improve, and you should be able to sustain a faster pace for longer without slowing.

               

              The last two comments are good advice about getting a proper warmup, but I think they speak more to perception of effort than the actual thing you are experiencing.

               

              This is why it is difficult to find compatible running partners.  We all vary in fitness levels.  It is good to run with your friend but it is also good to run by yourself or with someone slower to balance out the efforts during your week. 

              After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting.  It is not logical, but it is often true. - Mr. Spock, Star Trek episode "Amok Time"

              Kirkland_runner


                Dangit, I was afraid that was the answer...The one thing I cannot change is my age..  I know I am actually lucky to be at my age and able to run even a 9:30 pace for just a mile or two, let alone 25-35 miles a week, but sometimes I refuse to admit I'm not 10 years younger.

                OK, starting with tomorrows run, I will start off at a 9:30 pace, and slowly pick it up from there,  trying to run last mile at about 8:45.  My goal is to consistently run  a half marathon under two hours. 


                Elite Jogger

                   

                   This is why it is difficult to find compatible running partners.  We all vary in fitness levels.  It is good to run with your friend but it is also good to run by yourself or with someone slower to balance out the efforts during your week. 

                   

                  Exactly!  Even folk who are roughly at the same level when it comes to race times have a different approach to training and I think that running with a partner/group can sometimes be negative. Ask your co-worker next time to run the first couple of miles at 9:30ish and maybe he’ll also see the overall benefits of a proper warm up!

                  5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)

                  kilkee


                  runktrun

                    I'm not totally disagreeing with the advice to slow down, or suggestions that you're starting out too fast...BUT your complaint about legs tightening up made me think of my woes.  Perhaps your running economy has suffered during your time away from the sport - so your mechanics aren't as good as they used to be and you're actually compensating for a weakness and you literally can't fake it any longer than 4-5 miles.

                     

                    Obv keep running easy effort miles for a good base, but I would suggest working with a PT or trainer to help you with basic strength and stability like core control and good glute activation.  I find I "tighten up" around the 2hr mark of a road run.  My VO2max is insane, I have 15 years of fairly consistent base mileage, and have run (actually run, not power hike) trail marathons and ultras with no problem, but put me on the road and I tie up miserably at 2hrs no matter the pace, and I'm pretty sure it's related to hip instability.

                     

                    But also "it'll fix itself" has proven true quite often in my experience.  The body will adapt.

                    Not running for my health, but in spite of it.

                    Kirkland_runner


                       Ask your co-worker next time to run the first couple of miles at 9:30ish and maybe he’ll also see the overall benefits of a proper warm up!

                       

                      Exactly what I'm going to do.  It will be good for him too.

                        My heart rate during this time is consistently about 144 bpm

                         

                        As another 65 year old I can relate. Not knowing anything about what you have done since your 50s to maintain your base fitness, I would expect that while you may be physicallly strong, you are no longer aerobically fit.  Running at a consistent HR of 144 sounds to me like it is a relatively hard effort. Where is your heart rate when engaged in an easy effort?

                         

                        Consider the max heart rate estimate formula of 220-age, if accurate, your max heart rate would be 155. Granted the formula could well be inaccurate by several beats. But for now let's  go with it. A heart rate of 144 is getting up there close to the ceiling.

                         

                        My suggestion would be to borrow a page out of the Maffetone playbook and do a MAF (maximum aerobic function) test to get an idea of how well or poorly you are aerobically conditioned.

                         

                        To do that, set your running watch to automatically tick off a lap everytime you complete a mile.  If your watch has a heart rate alert feature, set it to bark at you whenever your heart rate hits 120. Maffetone prescribes a heart rate of 180-age as the MAF heart rate. If age 65 or older, you get to add another 5 beats. So for you it would be (180-65)+5=120.

                         

                        Now, go to a track where it is flat and do it in the morning to avoid heat and warm up easily by walking and jogging for 15 minutes. Then, start your watch and run exactly 5 miles without allowing your heart rate to exceed 120. If it goes over 120, slow down even if you have to walk. When you have finished 5 miles record your data for each mile. Each mile should be successively slower.

                         

                        If you find that you are doing a lot of walking, your aerobic system is no longer fit and you will need to do perhaps three or more months of training strictly at or below your MAF heart rate to redevelop. During that time, repeat the MAF test every four weeks and compare to previous MAF tests. You should see steady improvement. If not, it will be necessary to examine other areas such as diet or stress to determine the cause. But if all goes well and you get your aerobic system in order, you can then start adding speed work and faster tempo runs to your mix. But now you will be much better at using fat as your fuel and less reliant on glycogen. And we all have plenty of fat.

                         

                        For more information you can join the Low HR Training user group in RA or refer to The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing by Phil Maffetone.

                         

                        Good luck.

                        I intend to live forever . . . or die trying.

                          I am 59 and would be overjoyed to run 5 miles that fast


                          Elite Jogger

                             

                            Exactly what I'm going to do.  It will be good for him too.

                             

                            Good. Just because you’re 65 and he’s 40 doesn’t mean much to me when it comes down to overall fitness. 👍

                            5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)

                            LRB


                              Hmm, if you're running "easy" to a pace, are you really running easy...

                               

                              If easy is truly an effort, the resulting pace can be anywhere in a 2 minute window based on the time of day (early morning runs for me are woeful), the day of week (Monday and Tuesday runs are usually my slowest coming off of weekend long runs), and where you are in any given 30 day training block.

                               

                              I stopped running easy to pace years ago. In fact, I rarely look at my watch while running easy other than to start or stop it if caught by a traffic light. Whether running 8:30s, 9:00s, 9:30s, 10:00s or anywhere in between, none of it really matters. Easy running should be just that, easy. There are stressors and adaptations going on with your body constantly. What you did at work the day before or in the yard two days prior or on the track a week ago can all have an affect on your easy pace. If and when I glance at my watch and see a 10 minute pace, I just laugh. What's important is how I feel. A slow run can be a good run if I'm not feeling like a slug. You know the ones, where 8 miles feel like 18? But yes, to the points made earlier, the back half of most of my easy runs are usually nice and loose. They almost always look like progression runs even though I don't consciously change my effort.

                              2020 - Adapt