Losing ground
Monday, 15 May 2017 - Written by NeedhamPaul [profile]
Can anyone offer some advice? I'm a 58 y.o. male runner, running steadily (more or less) for about 18 months.

As of December, I was running 5 or 6 miles at a time, fairly comfortably. Weather derailed me for a few weeks in February, and now I can't seem to get any energy back. I'm cooked after only 2 miles and my times are much slower.

Any ideas? Suggestions for re-building? I've never lost so much momentum with just a short layoff. Thanks!

adigerati says:

It happens. Here are some of the things I've done to help me in a slump:

Use training plans. Even if you don't want to run a race, train for a race.

Set goals, realistic goals based on the results you are seeing right now. If you are currently only getting two miles then do a long run once a week of 3 miles. If you are running 12 min miles, work on running 11:45 min miles. Motivation is a big part of running.
For distance you have a long run day. For speed you have intervals, fartleks, tempo runs, etc. I myself try to focus on one or the other until I've achieved my goal.

Start a streak. Streaking has been an enormous motivator to me. I'm right around 500 days of consecutive running (minimum of a mile per day). This prevents me from taking an extra day off, which turns into a week, which turns into several months.

Run a race. Training for the race is the true benefit, the race is the prize.

I also run by heart rate. If my speed isn't there but my beats per minute shows I'm still working hard, I don't feel bad. I'm not a professional, I'm in it for the heart health.

Hope something I mentioned might help but either way, congratulations. You've been getting it done for 18 months now and I'm sure running is going to continue to be a part of your life. It's a game changer and so long as your getting out there, you're doing great.

Kev500 says:

Great recommendations, adigerati!

Increase your intensity and/or volume. Though there is no science to back it up, the rule of thumb is no more than 10% increase each week in either volume or intensity (not both).

Physical adaptations occur in about three weeks. So after 3 weeks if you are still struggling, it may be worth seeing a doctor for a physical examination just to make sure there's nothing else going on with your body.

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