Run Not Improving
Hello everyone. I am brand new to triathlon after watching the Tokyo Olympics and I've been obsessed ever since after wanting to compete in something again. This has been my first full year of training so far and I've been steadily improving my bike and swim but for some reason my run just is not improving I feel like it should be. I've been focusing on the 5K and 10K distances but eventually I want to get to the 70.3 distance but I think I'm looking WAY ahead with that. My 10K PB I just set last weekend in a training session with a 50:50 which beat my previous best of 54:12 from over 4 years ago. My 5K PR was set earlier this year in a charity race with a 24:28. These times are abysmally slow and I don't understand why I am not getting faster. I did one Sprint Triathlon this year and I ended up with a 25:47 5K which floored me at how slow it was. I feel fast but the times just are not adding up. But I did go out hard on the swim at the beginning and I think it may have cost me later.
Just to give some other background I am 36M 6-2 207 lbs. as of today. This time last year I was almost pushing 230 so I have lost weight. I was a NCAA Division I High Jumper in college around 15 years ago where I was 170 lbs. Even though I gained close to 60 lbs. I still don't think I was ever fat. It's just I'm bigger and heavy if that makes any sense. I was NEVER a distance runner. I think the longest I ever ran in HS and college was my mile warmup. So I'm not sure if I just don't have the aerobic capacity for these distances. It just seems like wizardry to me to see these people running like 16:00 5Ks and 35:00 10K in a triathlon race after biking and swimming.
I've been following a basic Olympic distance training plan that I found in Triathlete magazine and modifying it as needed but I'm doing around 3 runs, 3 Bikes and 2 Swims per week with 1 Rest Day. I literally just found out this year about the 80/20 system and not going for PRs every time you go out to run and that has really helped me feel better about running since I used to dread it since it would just hurt every time. I had pretty bad runner's knee at the beginning of the summer and that new training plan helped me get healthy and say injury free so far (knock on wood). My three sessions go as follows now:
Session 1: 30:00-35:00 Run. I try to go easy but usually end up running 8:50-9:00 miles.
Session 2: Speed Session that is usually around 30-35 mins. (e.g. 12x0:30 hard 0:30 recovery with a warmup and cool down)
Session 3: Long Run (usually around 50-60 mins)
My mileage comes to around 11-13 miles per week. Still having trouble running easy for the easy runs but I have gotten better in the last few weeks.
So my question is what am I missing that would explain why my run seems to be stuck? It seems like I'm getting fitter but I'm just running the same times and ending less and less tired. Is the mileage too low per week? Is my weight still to heavy? Is it possible to just not have the ability to run fast that long? I think I may be comparing myself to elite runners too much but I honestly don't think running say a 20-21 min 5K or a 45:00 10K is spectacular and I should be able to get there. I have another Sprint Triathlon this coming weekend with and odd set up (1/4 mile swim, 17.2 mi bike, 3.1 mile run) so I really want to improve this time.
Any advice is appreciated and glad to be here. Can't wait to see what else I can learn from you guys.