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First of all a quick hello. Just joined up today and I have a few questions I hope someone out there can answer.

The last three years I've done the same 10k. I didn't do a great deal of training for any of them. The previous two years my times were around 1h 2mins. This year it took me 1h 7mins. Ok so two things came out of this. First of all I want to improve so rather than running as an occasional thing I want to get better and hopefully find it easier and therefore enjoy it more. Secondly I'd like to understand why my time increased by so much. I've gained around 5lb since last year so maybe that's part of the reason. So I have a few questions.

How much does weight gain affect performance? Would one expect to run 5% slower because of a 5lb gain or is it more likely to be due to other factors? If I got down to around the middle of my ideal BMI (I'm currently at the top end) and therefore lost around 1st am I likely see see an improvement without an increase in training?

As for improving, I was thinking of going out and doing 5k three times a week and sticking with that distance until I can manage it without any walking. Once I don't need to walk it any more then should I focus on increasing distance, improving time or a combination of both. My aim is to do better at 10k and for the moment don't plan do enter any longer distance events.
 

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On the weight thing...I don't know if it makes much difference to performance time if it's only a little weight difference (it may make a difference to elite runners) but I've recently lost nearly a stone. I have noticed 2 things...firstly it feels easier as there's no wobbling as I pound the pavement but I have also noticed that I've started getting really bad stitches at the start of every run and it last a long time. I read somewhere that it could be because of there being less fat which acts as a shock absorber for your organs.
Your plan sounds like a good idea. If you can do 5k comfortably then you should be able to push yourself more on a 10k race. Good luck. :)

Welcome, by the way. I've found this site really helpful and everyone is really nice and friendly.
 

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Performance can vary on a day to day basis on sooooo many factors, from what the weathers like, through how much sleep you had, to what you ate for dinner the night before!

Weight does account for a change in running times, generally (from what I've read) it's considered to be around 2secs per lb, per mile. so about 56secs for 5lbs over 10k.

Your aim to run 5k three times a week sounds fine... once you can do that comfortably there's plenty of scope to change the schedule, including longer runs to build endurance, and speedwork session to improve your natural running speed ;)
 
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