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When I see the finishing times of some folk, I'm astonished how people can finish so quickly, so my question is this.... how long has it taken to get to that level like sub-40 10k's etc. I'm interested in how some of the more experienced runners have assessed their progress from being a beginner. I've only been doing races for one year and I've made an overall improvement of about 5% on my finishing times in this period, so I know it's a very gradual thing for me. Were you naturally athletic all your life or is it just all about improving fitness and strength through experience? Were you always fast from the start? I guess what I'm asking is does everybody have it in them to improve vastly.:)
 

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I'm not a natural athlete at all...was always a footballer, cricketer, hockey and lacrosse player and only went through the motions when running at school.

Started running in 1985 gave it up aftera couple of half marathons and then didn't run again for 5/6 years.

Only in the last 11 months have I put enough time and effort into my running to break pbs that were run up to 10 years ago.

I guess the moral of the story is the more you train the better you become!!

...age will kick in soon no doubt !
 

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Hey Rob,

I guess it's generally a mix. As Steve says the more you train the better you get, but I guess natural ability has alot to do with it too.

I'm certainly not the quickest on this forum but I am lucky that my old man was a good runner so I got some of his speed which helps.

If you've only been racing a year I'm sure there is plenty of potential to tap into yet but it does get to a point of diminishing returns I'm afraid.

You just have to get cuter with your training and try to work on all aspects of endurance stamina & speed. Just keep setting the goals & smashing them, and enjoy the ride!
 

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For me the smallest improvements were had in the first year or so. But when you think percentage wise it's not too bad, as 5% off a big time is a good improvement. As you get faster that percentage will start to drop. Once your body is fully used to running and your joints and muscles have developed the running will become easier and therefore faster.

It used to take me almost half an hour to do the 3 miles from my work to my wifes, now on a good day it's less than 18 mintues and it is treated as a short fast run instead of a 3 mile killer.

Keep it up and keep enjoying, the more miles you do in a week the easier it gets and the better you will get.
 

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Yep, natural talent is certainly a big factor. You must also put in the hard work too. A 5 per cent improvement in a year is not bad at all.

To improve you have to run with faster runners who will push you on. One of my problems is that I think I am fast when I run on my own, but in a race I see how much faster the other guys are!

Also, it may be worth looking at nutrition and lifestyle. Do you eat good food? Do you drink much? Could you lose a few pounds?

Try and find out as much as possible on good athletes and model yourself accordingly.
 

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As an additional point, it is only in the last year that I have started doing races (10k, half marathons).
It is pretty much a change of lifestlye for myself as 2 years ago every weekend would be spent out on the beer, with days wasted through hangovers. I wouldnt have even dreamt of attempting a half marathon back in those days.

Improving my diet and cutting back drastically on the beer has allowed to drop a stone or so and made me faster whilst reducing my injuries because I have less mass going through my legs each step.
 
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