It's been over a year since my original post and I wanted to share that I got myself into a 5-min shape at the age of 44 - 12.5 months after I picked up running first time in my life.
Training summary of 2019.
- I ran about 1000 miles in 2019, averaging close to 20 miles/week. sometimes up to 40/week, but never below 10/week (except for 3 weeks when I pulled my hamstring in March playing tennis 'too competitively' - but it healed perfectly). I've had absolutely no running-induced pain or injury at any time. My busy consulting work limited my overall mileage. But I also didn't want to force it too fast as my first ever injury seriously scared me back then.
- 95% of my miles were easy runs at 7:30-8:00 min pace, lasting between 40 and 60 minutes. 40% on a treadmill and 60% on a hilly paved road outside (2.5K loop with 70 feet altitude change). No track sessions except for a few time trials. No speed work faster than 5:45/mile between March (hamstring) and October.
- I am 5'10.5''. Started running at 160lb, went down to 157 by March, then hit gym during hamstring recovery and ended up 163lb but lean as my waist stayed at 29.5 (newbie gains). Kept going to gym twice a week for the rest of the year.
- In early Nov I tried 5K on track in 18:48.7. It was a hard effort. Maybe running in a fasted state with little tapering wasn't a good idea.
- In late Nov I decided to try a mile on track and surprisingly ran 5:00.8 with 71(409)-74-81-75 splits. I couldn't believe I was holding this pace after my 5K failure. Maybe sugar, caffeine and tapering helped.
- I was planning another mid Dec trial, but ended up on a treadmill due to weather. Completed 5 mins at 4:48/mile, felt like could go for 6 mins run, but decided to stop and save my throat. Both mile runs made me nearly sick for half a day.
First of all, I am very happy to get myself in a sub-5 shape in a year of running! Physically I feel like I am 25 again. I can occasionally play sports like in good old times - soccer, basketball, tennis. My brain is sharp and I again can fly 14 hours non stop with little impact. Great feeling and this was so much worth it!
So, how do I improve from here?
My goal is more of a long term - I'd take running 5:00 mile at 55 over 4:30 mile at 45 any day. I want to stay injury-free as long as a I can.
That being said, I would like to race and race well even as a 'hobbyjogger'. For some reason, I am slow at 5K/10K vs mile time, even though I did very little speedwork. This discourages me from competing at 5/10K. Is this because I am heavy or low mileage? I am built more like 200m/400m runner right now and I have no desire to give up on lean mass at this point in my life.
Do you think I could be better at 800m with the dedicated training?
I would appreciate any advice. I am happy where I am, but I am not sure what to do next.