Davey's legs wrote:
That being said, a lot of these posts of like 18 minute 5k's for guys that are 50 or whatever are either A) COMPLETELY FULL OF SH*T, or B) PRO-LEVEL RUNNERS who've been doing this all of their lives and are in the top 5% of aptitude. My VERY BEST time at 43 years old was 25:36. And it was 75 degrees, relatively flat with just minor grades, and I worked up to it by running 2-3 5k's per week for the preceding 4 months or so.
I'm glad you enjoy running, but you are not seeing things clearly. I'm 44 and just ran 18:18 for 5k. I only run 5 days a week, max of 30 mpw. This is very little training and I used to do a lot more. However, never have I been pro level. My current time only grades out to 76% based on my age, so it might be good compared to the few middle age dudes who still race in my town, it's nothing to write home about in the grand scheme of things. The truth is that most guys who keep their weight under control and are sort of built for running should be able to run around 20 min or so for a 5k for most if their lives. Obviously that changes as they get older, but we're talking 50+ before you legitimately start to slow down. If you ran a reasonable amount of mileage (like 25-30 instead of 10-15) your time would drastically improve.
I ran 17:30 on road at 52 (certified course) and pretty much solo. At that I was doing three hard runs a week - reps, something like 6x1000m at race pace; an l/t run; and about 7 or 8 hard for a "long" run; and just jogging a couple of miles on the other days, probably just around 30 miles per week.
And I was no superstar when younger - never broke 15 min - but more speed-oriented (5k was a bit on the long side), so more intense training and less mileage worked OK.