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I am a 44 YO man entering the Great South Run this year for the third consecutive time, in an attempt to beat 1hr 25min. My previous times are 1:31 and 1:33.
My weekly training consists of one 6.5 mile run, one 8 mile run plus one yoga session or 1K swim. I have been following this routine for several months with only minor improvements in my times
As I am desk bound during the week, I prefer to run in the evening after work but have recently switched one of the runs to Saturday or Sunday morning (nearer the actual race time). I have also had a 10 day break as I have never included a "week off" in my routine.
Both of these attempts to vary my routine have backfired, my times have been 3 to 5 minutes worse! Is it common to run slower in the mornings?
If anyone has any experience of getting "stuck" on a time or in a training "rut", how did you get out of it?
Should I go back to the routine and risk falling short again, rethink my whole approach to the race and just enjoy it without obsessing over the time or try longer distances.
One idea I have had is to run target time and try to gradually improve the distance.
Any comments or ideas are welcome, many thanks
 

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if speed is your concern then i think you need to change how you train to include some speedwork sessions and maybe try running fewer miles more often...

i did about the same milage as you this week for the first time ever (~15 miles) - encouraged by this forum ;)... but this was from running 5 times a week instead of doing it twice a week like you... but it's your choice what you do...

however, i think recording how fast you run when you are doing very long distances isn't very helpful in my opinion... if you are running for distance to improve stamina then it's the distance you run that's important and not really the time... as a rule, i never record the time when i go for a run... only find out how fast i can run in races... this way i don't get the "i should have run faster, why did i not run as fast as last time" feeling that you describe...

my advice is if you really want to improve you times then i think you first need to be able to run 5k faster by speedwork... then work up to 5 miles... then maybe 10k... and eventually after a lot of work to running 10 miles... but i think that will take time and persistance (i say 'think' because have never personally ran more than 5 miles before)...
 
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jonty said:
I am a 44 YO man entering the Great South Run this year for the third consecutive time, in an attempt to beat 1hr 25min. My previous times are 1:31 and 1:33.
My weekly training consists of one 6.5 mile run, one 8 mile run plus one yoga session or 1K swim. I have been following this routine for several months with only minor improvements in my times
As I am desk bound during the week, I prefer to run in the evening after work but have recently switched one of the runs to Saturday or Sunday morning (nearer the actual race time). I have also had a 10 day break as I have never included a "week off" in my routine.
Both of these attempts to vary my routine have backfired, my times have been 3 to 5 minutes worse! Is it common to run slower in the mornings?
If anyone has any experience of getting "stuck" on a time or in a training "rut", how did you get out of it?
Should I go back to the routine and risk falling short again, rethink my whole approach to the race and just enjoy it without obsessing over the time or try longer distances.
One idea I have had is to run target time and try to gradually improve the distance.
Any comments or ideas are welcome, many thanks
Build up to six days running per week (GRADUALLY!!) with one rest day. At least one of these six runs should be a speed session. Once you've built up to this, keep it consistent for a month and watch your times shoot through the roof. Yes it's hard but it's a hard and unforgiving sport.
 

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I'm not sure he wants his times to shoot through the roof, quite the opposite andrew ;)

Six days of running per week would be ideal - but don't feel overfaced by that jonty, I think i've only had one week running 6 times in the last 3 years (though i'd love to manage it more often!)... If you have structure to your runs then you'll soon improve, at the moment it sounds like you just go out to run and see what times you manage?

Say if you're running 3 times per week, I'd say use Tuesday for speed/strength (speedwork or hills - making the legs work increndibly hard for shorter periods), Thursday for a tempo run (maintained fast pace over shorter than race distance) and then Saturday or Sunday for your Long & Slow run (no concern over time here at all, all about distance).

Then try and fit in yoga/pilates and swims in between - your times should soon improve :)
 
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richardsimkiss said:
I'm not sure he wants his times to shoot through the roof, quite the opposite andrew ;)
And what would that be Richard, his times dropping through the floor? I did say gradually. The only way to improve at running is to run more with the speed and tempo sessions thrown in.
 

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Generally agree with guys but 6 days running a week I think is really for the really dedicated and quick guys and gals....5 days a week is enough if you ask me...it's as much as I do...or am I lazy?!
 
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Steve said:
Generally agree with guys but 6 days running a week I think is really for the really dedicated and quick guys and gals....5 days a week is enough if you ask me...it's as much as I do...or am I lazy?!
I'm on 6 days per week and on two, sometimes three of those days I run twice. One is a speed session and the other is a tempo run. You are not lazy Steve, you just mustn't want it as bad as I :d
 

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andrew_n said:
And what would that be Richard, his times dropping through the floor? I did say gradually. The only way to improve at running is to run more with the speed and tempo sessions thrown in.
Well yeah? you want your times to decrease, not increase?! :huh: Probably just me being weird, lol... don't worry about it :rolleyes:
 

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Personally, as a non elite runner, I think you need a balance. Running isn't the be all and end all.

The difference between 5 days running and 6 days running is negligable so long as each training session is quality training and not 'junk miles'
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the suggestions

Many thanks to everyone who has replied, it has been very helpful. I have basically taken richardsimkiss's advice and added an extra 4-5 mile run at a "sprint" plus 6-7 miles at pace and an 8 mile plus long run giving a total of about 20 miles per week initially.

I'm also going to extend the long run towards 10 or 12 miles over time - when I'm used to the extra weekly run - maybe even bringing a HM within reach (target time 2hrs?). I am trying to fit the swim and yoga in between and I'm leaving the stopwatch alone for a few months until I feel stronger, as it was spoiling my enjoyment of running. I'll be enjoying the long run much more running easy rather than against the clock.

I have always trained at the race pace of 8min30secs - 9mins per mile so I realise now that I need to slow down, enjoy more varied and longer training and concentrate on maintaining a firm steady pace on the day.

Fair play to you regular runners going 5 or 6 times per week or more but that's not for me. Hopefully the new training plan and some cycling in the spring and summer will build the stamina and an aerobic base to break the 90mins barrier for GSR.
I can recommend the Great South Run as a well organised fast flat run at a good distance - but watch out for a killer headwind on the seafront over the last two miles!
 
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