Running after extended time off, and getting older (Read 129 times)


    Currently 33 years old, 5'9", male, 165lbs.  165 is kinda fat for me, my ideal running weight was always around 140-150.


    Currently, I can run an 11 minute mile for MAYBE 2.5 miles before my RPE shoots up and I have to stop.  Last time I could run a decent pace without dying, I was probably 27 or so, and could run an 8 minute mile almost indefinitely.


    Back in my early twenties, after some time off running I could effortlessly get back to 8min/mile pace within 2 or 3 weeks.  Right now, I doubt I could run an 8 minute mile if I had to, which is kind of embarrassing and concerning.


    So I guess my question is, with getting older and heavier, how long should it take me before I can run an 8-9 minute mile for 3+ miles again?  It doesn't seem like it's anywhere in sight.  Do I need to lose 15-20lbs before that can even happen?

    SMART Approach

      Give yourself 6-9 months minimum. Don't rush the process and do the ramp up smartly. Adding miles gradually with most being easy paced is the ticket. If trying to race all your runs then you will get hurt and progress halted. Work up to a minimum 4 days a week and 25-30 mikes a week. Then evaulate from there. If you lose weight in process you will definitely benefit.

      Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

      Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

      Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique



      Are we there, yet?

        There's a big difference between 2-3 weeks (barely starting to lose fitness), and 5-6 years (basically starting from scratch now).  The extra weight doesn't help, but the bigger problem may be your memory of what you once were able to do.  Training paces are based on current fitness, not your goals, so you probably need to slow down your runs even if it means running 12:00 pace or including some walking.  A beginner's 5K training program should help give some structure and variation to your running. You also don't need to be too concerned about age slowing you down until you hit 40+ and even then it can usually be offset with increased training.  I was still running faster than my HS times when I was in my mid-40s.

         2023 Races:

              On IR for now




          33 is a baby. I was 33 when I started running. I set most of my PRs at 41 (then 3 years later -- 5 years ago, today) received a metastatic cancer diagnosis that cost me a lung lobe, so my PRs are definitely in the rearview.


          Weight is really a significant factor. I think the estimate is something like 3 seconds/# (my own experience definitely bears this out), so dropping 20#s would likely yield a solid minute, even without any training. Add consistent and appropriate training to the mix and you will likely see another minute or three drop from your pace, but it's not something you want to rush -- injury from overdoing it won't get you where you want to be.

          Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

          remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

               ~ Sarah Kay

          The Dementor

          Got Run, eh? in 2022

            Good luck, it will happen.  I agree with all the previous comments.  Concentrate on getting more easy miles before working on the pace per mile.  4 to 6 runs a week and get up to 25 to 30 miles.  If you do easy miles, injuries will stay away.  For men, it is easier to lose weight.  Keep the same intake and you will probably drop 2 to 3 pounds per week.  At 5' 9" which is my height, 150 to 155 would be "light".  Under that would be rail thin.  Also, find a buddy to run with as much as you can.  Misery loves company.



              Thanks everyone for the replies.  I'll continue being patient, logging mostly easy miles and build up to 25ish miles per week, then start working on pace when it starts getting colder late this year.  Getting down to 150 or so sounds like it'll help a bit.


              Everything is already starting to feel better, even just a few weeks back into running.  Thanks again all.

                Miles, miles, and more miles.


                If you work up to 30-40 miles a week, the weight takes care of itself. So does the speed. Don't worry about how fast you're going NOW, 12:00 is fast enough for fitness.

                60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying


                  Getting old at 33... My goodness... I would love getting 33 years "old" 

                  paces PRs - 5K - 5:48  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile

                    The age of 33 has nothing to do with it.  It's just time off from running and you should easily beat your times from your previous running as long as you put in the training.  I've recently set PRs in my late 40s.  Much of what used to be believed about aging athletes has proved to be myth.  As others have said, approach increases in mileage and pace very carefully and you shouldn't get injured.  Strength training has also proven to be essential in my staying pretty much injury free.  Single leg squats are amazing!

                    Personal Records:

                    5K - 20:07 ran in September 2021 (The second half split during the 10K run listed below.)

                    10K - 41:10 ran in September 2021

                    8 miles - 56:15 ran in November 2021

                    Half Marathon - 1:39:06 ran in September 2020

                      33 is to old to start back running.

                      just forget about it old timer


                        Great post