|Fat and old now|
I just started running again after taking 7 years off from running. Quick background: collegiate runner with pr's of:
9:21 for SC
Ran post collegiate for 1 year with pr's of:
15:25 road 5k
31:28 road 10k
2:33 full -- my one and only thon where I tried for 2:25 and died hard
After the marathon, I was very disappointed and decided to give up and concentrate on other areas of life. A decision I now regret, especially after watching 2 guys I used to run with compete in Houston.
I now weigh 175 lbs with a lot of muscle and some fat (probably 9% bf).
I am having trouble finishing 4 mile runs in 7:00 pace.
My question is: is it even possible to get to 2:19 shape at the age of 31 after 7-8 years off? I know the easy answer is: you'll never know unless you try, but does anyone know of any similar comeback stories like this? I am just looking for inspiration I guess. And I am not talking about 14:00 5k guys who took a few years off.
Thanks in advance.
|Frank Shorter 1976|
You think Bill Rodgers would have logged on to letsrun to ask the same question? Get off your a** and train you little punk! Grow a pair and get to work
Paul McMullen made a comeback in 2004 after "retiring" from running. His break was more like 3 years I think, but he made the trials in the 1500, made the final even, which is a lot harder than just making the marathon trials.
Not sure how long it took him to get into that shape. All of a sudden he started showing up to local 5ks in my hometown running 14:30, then a story in the local paper talked about how he was tired of being a "couch potato." Ran a 1500 in an open collegiate race and went to the trials.
After that he re-retired, nowadays he still randomly shows up on occasion to run 16-20 minute 5ks and win clydsdale divisions.
I had PRs somewhere in your range.
I was off for 6 years and about 2 years older than you. I did not come back with the goal to make the OTs. I just wanted to get back in shape and lose a bit of beer gut. I was 155 lbs and 18-19% bf (where I used to race at 110 and 4%).
I started off gradually, running slow (Hadd type program), no real workouts, and over about 3-4 months got up to about 50mpw. I stayed there for 4 months, then immediately jumped to 70+ for 6 months. By this time my weight had dropped to 116 lbs and 8% bf.
I was doing some tempos, a few hill workouts, lots of long runs, and every day was at least an hour of running. I don't think I went over 80 miles in any week though. Most runs were about 7-730 pace with the tempos (6:30s) and fartlek days getting just under 6:00 pace up to 20:00 (in contrast I used to do 20 milers at 6:00 pace when younger but I think that was overtraining).
After this year of training I started having abdominal problems due to a hernia so I had to stop. But right at the end of it I ran a 10k at about 5:50 pace which was not hard for me (I just wore trainers). I suspect with 10k specific intervals and a few races under the belt I'd have been approaching PRs in about another 6 months. I was also 125 lbs when I ran that, so the extra 15 lbs was probably adding a lot of time.
Unfortunately the injury took me out (hernia surgery), and then life events got in the way and I had to stop training so much.
What I can tell you from my experience is
1. You will have to be patient at the beginning since every run is a slog and you have to take your time.
2. Somewhere along the way (6-9 months) you will really start getting back in shape fast.
3. You probably won't hit your PRs for at least a year or more (unless you do better with specific intervals).
4. The intervals will make the key difference once you are in shape.
5. There's no reason you couldn't expect to start running a series of PRs for a couple years.
6. I suspect you'd need 30:30 - 31:00 10k to be sure you're in shape for 2:19, then you'll need to stay marathon specific until you hit your goal.
7. No guarantee that the trials standard won't get cut to 2:18 or lower for 2016.
Anyway, if you commit to it hard, you could probably do it by 2016 if you don't completely suck at the marathon distance. Your half PR is encouraging. If you reach your PR level (1:10), you need to improve on it by about 15-20 seconds per mile to be ready for 2:19.
I realize my example is not great since I was nowhere near OT level in my comeback but I can tell you in one year I went from barely being able to run a 7:00 mile to easily being able to run under 60:00 for 10 miles.
|Fat and old now|
Thank you! That does help. It is just very hard to accept that I can't do my training runs at sub 7:00 pace any more. I guess I just need to be patient.
I was a bit slower than you in high school and one year of college.... guessing I would have been close to your 5K/10K times if I had 4 years of college running. I took over 10 years off of running and started a comeback at age 32. I started with 20-30 mpw and am now at about 60-70. In about 6 months, I went from a 1:33 HM to a 1:16. I also lost about 20 lbs in those 6 months.
One thing I can say for certain, is that you should see rapid improvement during the first year. You should definitely get a to a level where you are locally competitive in almost no time.
A 2:19 marathon, however, is a completely different story. I know guys with faster PRs than you that have never broken 2:40. I know a guy who qualified for the trials in the 1500 out of college, but has only been able to get to a 2:23 marathon. The marathon is just a completely different beast. You can be in "2:19 shape", but still have to have EVERYTHING going right to get that time.
So, anyway, my feeling is that you could get close to where you used to be after a few years, but I'm not sure that would be enough to get a trials qualifier.
You know a guy who has run faster than 1:10 for the half and 2:33 for the full, but he hasnt broken 2:40 for the marathon??? On what planet does that make sense?
Good call. The guy I know has ran 1:09, but 2:4X in the full. Obviously the OP stated that he has ran faster than that in the full... was just trying to make a point.
Someone that can run 1:09 in the half can obviously run much faster than 2:40 in the marathon. Even if he hasn't done it, it still would be relatively easy when you're in 1:09 shape.
To the OP's case, without the time off, I think you could have gotten your marathon much lower than 2:33. But there's a big difference between running sub 2:30 and running sub 2:20. So even back then it would have been a stretch. Now it seems very unlikely.
Sure you can do it. I am off a three year layoff, never really showed any natural talent, can barely run 3 miles at 8 min pace and fully expect to win my local marathon in February in somewhere under 2:32. It's all in the mind my friend.
I have a friend who ran Columbus in 2:38, then a year later ran Chicago in 2:27. Maybe you should have stuck with it and tried another one before giving up. Chances are, you may have gotten the 2:25 you were originally looking for. Lots of guys drop anywhere from 5-10 minutes from their first to second marathon. For most, the first is just a feeling out race. I wasn't as lucky, I only dropped 3 minutes, but my second was on a tougher course.
Now back to the original question....No, I think your time has passed you. I think that if you would have stuck with it the first time, you could have gone under 2:22, but now the qualifying time is harder and you are older.
This doesn't mean you can't still run PR's and win lots of local races or even a mid-size marathon after training for 2-3 years. Just do it for yourself!