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I want to get ready for a Sprint Tri in August this year and have started slowly training.

OK so I started running at the start of the year along with restarting swimming etc. I have been mainly going to the gym and improving my cardio slowly as I am 50 and not trained seriously for a very long time. Hated the c25k but it did get me started and I tried that a couple of times last year. 

I don't see myself having an issue on the bike or swim and should hope to get them sorted. Running is my issue.

Working on a treadmill I warm up 500m walking at 6km/h and then run for 2.5km at 8 km/h. Not fast but I reduced this from 8.5 to 8 to improve my distance hoping I was on the right lines. Its actually 500m walk 2500m run, 500m walk, 500m run 500m cool down. 

I want to know what to do next? 

Carry on improving my distance running at 8km/h, I think I can easily improve 250-500m per week so should be hitting my 5km goal in about 4 weeks even though it still really is a struggle. Or should i once a week try running 30 secs at 9km/h and 60secs at 8.5km/h walk for 1min repeat. Or similar to get my legs moving faster and used to running quicker. 

Swimming is coming along slowly now reasonably comfortable at 500m crawl not timed but thats helped with the improved cardio but I have a slight shoulder strain that I want to avoid aggravating. 

Cycling I do 7.5km in 15mins on a static bike but will be out when the weather imprives and don't see 18mph as an issue, I used to average 16mph on my mountain bike.

I will start to get out on the road when the weather improves when I can run 5km on a treadmill, I know running on the road is different. 

Goals 5km run in 30 mins. 1500m swim in 30 mins (I know a sprint is only 750m but swimming is my passion and didn't swim for a long time) bike 20km 45mins. 

My running is currently around 12 mins per mile and I really want to get that down to 8 mins/mile eventually but no idea if my running is on the right track.


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Pingu, from what you write running is new to you. Therefore it is no surprise that progress is slow. I would expect it to take 6-10 weeks to get comfortable running 5km non-stop. So I would focus on attaining the distance a whatever pace it takes, or even up to 7.5km, before adding intervals. The time you need to warm up will reduce as you gain running fitness. Pace should also evolve. On a scale of 0 to 10 you should be working around 5 or 6 (60 to 75% of max heart rate if you know what it is). I would suggest that unless you have very poor technique that 30min is a cautious target.

    Shoulder strain in swimming is often caused by incorrect hand entry, i.e. thumb or little finger first. This puts a small strain on the shoulder joint which can become sore after the many repetitions of swimming. The three middle digits enter first with the palm facing the bottom of the pool with a little fore/aft tilt to allow a clean entry. If you're a life long swimmer you were probably taught thumb first and you still see it done today.
  • Harry

    Thanks for the reply, I don't feel so useless now on the running side. I used to run 30 years ago and could do 6min/mile but that's a hell of long time ago. I guess easing off a little now will pay benefits in the long run.

    The shoulder thing could be anything, I had surgery on both shoulders 2 years ago for calcium I need to get that checked out again.

  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    Pingu - I would definitely stay away from speed work to begin with.  It sounds like you just need to condition your body to running again.  Running fast is fast way to get injured so for the time being just keep gently progressing distance and avoid large jumps in volume.  For structure, have you thought about trying to look at a couch to 5k programme?  You can probably pick up a few weeks in based on what you have said and it will give you an idea of a sensible rate of progression (in terms of volume increase) and some variety.

  • Pingu66Pingu66 Posts: 3

    Hi Andrew and thanks for the feedback.

    I tried C25K and always got to about week 5 or 6 and couldn't progress so gave up. I think I just want to progress but need to be a little less enthusiastic.

    Pushing distance up 3-500m a week is not an issue and will keep taking it easy.

    I am getting older now and realise I need to take it a little slower. Only the other week I pulled (only a twinge) a calf muscle and sensibly (for me) stopped straight away. Was fine to take it easy 3 days later but definitely need to make sure I warm up and down properly.

    I measured a few runs on the road last night as I realise that it is very different to the treadmill and will start running outside as the weather improves.

  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    You may find the C25K programme not appropriate for you and I could never do 5km on a treadmill. Give me paths, trails, hills and pastures and I'm away so wrap up and try outdoors, in daylight, as much as you can. Maturer folk generally progress slower than younger ones.

    There are lots of C25K type groups around (Zero to Hero, Fit for Five etc) actively lead by qualified coaches/run leaders who can give feedback and other advice. Your local running shop, athletics club or sports centre should be able to help and there is always England (and Scotland/ Wales) Athletics who could give you a steer. Group running is incredibly motivational. There's also your local tri club. As a coach I would always discuss how training was going before designing the next weeks session plans even within a periodised programme.

    Also us maturer folk loose strength across the ankle joints well before that across knees and hips. Calf problems seem to abound in super vet sports.So consider doing some strength work particularly weighted eccentric (all the war down and all the way up) calf raises. Can start at home on the stairs but as you use a gym do some there. They have eliminated my calf problems and those of those who follow my advice
  • AngiemacAngiemac Posts: 40

    Just a word of warning - when I transitioned from treadmill to road, I had to start by walk/run again - it was almost like I hadn't bothered with the treadmill at all, but I did progress much quicker, due to the stamina I had built up. If possible I would introduce a weekly shorter outdoor session as soon as possible.


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