I'm over 50; my wife got the whole family running last year. We did over six 5K races. Of course, my time stunk, although I did drop 5 minutes for a 5K races over a period of 3 months. I'm told that 10K races may be more suitable for "slower" runners. I train with a heart monitor, but I'm not a good sprinter. Would 10Ks be better for "slow pokes."?
I am also a slow-poke runner and middle-aged. I have found the 5K's to be more relaxed than 10K's. I live in Atlanta and most folks run 10K's to get a qualifing time for the Peachtree Road race, so they might be faster here. You can check results from 2004 races on the internet and see if there are folks running your pace.
Try a 10K and see what you think. I personally like the 5K, but you will never know unless you try one.
LeAtlanta, thanks for your thoughtful comment. You may be right. From a schedule perspective, it may be more "time efficient" for me to train for a 5K. Last year, I dropped 5 minutes off my 5K in three months, so, maybe I'm more pessimistic than I should be.
Congratulations on getting out there and showing the world that we are strong, vital and still willing to 'strut our stuff' at age 50+. I just recently took up racewalking because running was too demanding on my joints. My goal is to eventually finish in the middle of the pack of runners.
We are really out there competing against ourselves. If we are entering races, we are interested in improvement in our times and distances, not how the other guy is doing. More often than not, that other guy is 20+ years younger than we are! As much as I hated 'grading on a curve' when in school, I like checking out my times on the 'age grading' chart. It's encouraging, especially
for older, "pokey" competitors.
I have long range plans, also, for distance. This year I mainly enter in 2 mile to 5K fun runs/walks that aren't competitive but I still always do my best. I, too, have taken several minutes off my time. Next year it will all be 5K competitive events. The following year, I'll move up to 10K competitive events, and finally the 1/2 marathon is my goal. With all the "run a marathon in 16 weeks" advice out there, this probably sounds REALLY 'pokey', but what's the rush? At 50+ and just beginning this racing journey, we deserve to enjoy the entire ride!
Ultimately, I think we should improve at our own, unique individual pace whether we're working on a 5K or 10K at the moment.
Thanks for the encouraging words. Indeed, I run for health but the races help me set goals and improving my own time is a great goal to have.
Hi, Brian - congratulations on your new hobby. Depends on what you consider slow when it comes to running. I consider myself to be pretty slow, too, but everything is relative. I'm 61 and had a pretty major heart attack and by-pass surgery about four years ago. I took up running and really enjoyed it. My daughter talked me into running a half-marathon race about two years ago. It was exhausting but very satisfying. Since then I've run about three more half marathons and a ten-mile race. Sure, a lot of people pass me, but there are a lot of people slower than me, too. My best time is only about 11 minutes per mile average in the half-marathon runs I've done.
If you like to set goals for yourself and challenge yourself, there's nothing wrong with doing half marathons or even marathons. As long as you're not injuring yourself, go for it.
I'm 57 years old, and took up running 9 months ago.
I was always a slow runner, even when I was young.
I'm finding it preferable to run longer distances.
But the thing is you should run what you enjoy. Who cares if you're a slow poke or not? You're not doing it for the medals, you're doing it for health and enjoyment.
Some people find longer runs boring. I don't. Also I'm still trying to lose weight, and I think longer runs are more helpful towards weight loss. So for me, I prefer 10 miles, 15k, half marathon type races.
But if you enjoy the 5k's that's what you should run. You should run the distances that give you the most pleasure, and don't worry about the speed.
This 53 y/o runner is doing his second official 10K tomorrow: The Kingstown Classic. They are fun but a bit daunting to me.
I think of them as two 5K's in one day without a nap in between them.
I do them for endurance and self-satisfaction.
In other words they take me twice as long as a 5K plus extra for fatigue and stress.
Still, I want to do more of them.Try one.
Best Of Luck,
Hi Brian-I happen to like 10k's very much also. I am certainly never going to be a competitive runner-usually average 11-12 minute miles in 10k races-I go for endurance-feel like I am going for a really good work-out-how many people can keep jogging/running for over an hour?! Good Luck to you.
I started running at 49, after a 20 year/40 lb hiatus. I've been running consistenly since then. Up till this year, my standing ironic joke has been "I only look fast." But, with each year, my times have dropped.
Chose the distances you like 3, 5, 10, 21.1 (half marathon), 42.2 (whole) K. Get out there and enjoy them. With consistent training, even at LSD (long slow distance) pace, you'll get faster.