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 Any non-track runners that are really fast?
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pacpie

18 Posts

Posted - December 01 2012 :  15:01:00  Show Profile
I ask this question because I've made it a point to talk to the guys who usually win 5Ks and their story is usually similar - they ran track when they were younger and have been running ever since.

Do you know of any guys in the area who did NOT run Track and just picked it up for fun but became really good at it and really fast through hard work?

I love running. I started in April and have been trying to improve on my times ever since. It's certainly not easy and takes a lot of hard work, of which I'm willing to do. Is there hope for a guy like me (30 years old, in pretty good shape) to significantly trim my times (not necessarily win a 5K or anything that crazy).

Just curious to hear some different perspectives on this one.

rodikman

5 Posts

Posted - December 01 2012 :  15:59:13  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by pacpie

I ask this question because I've made it a point to talk to the guys who usually win 5Ks and their story is usually similar - they ran track when they were younger and have been running ever since.

Do you know of any guys in the area who did NOT run Track and just picked it up for fun but became really good at it and really fast through hard work?

I love running. I started in April and have been trying to improve on my times ever since. It's certainly not easy and takes a lot of hard work, of which I'm willing to do. Is there hope for a guy like me (30 years old, in pretty good shape) to significantly trim my times (not necessarily win a 5K or anything that crazy).

Just curious to hear some different perspectives on this one.



Disclaimer: I came up through track and cross country as a kid and teen. I quit running at 19 and got out of shape and gained 40-50lbs over the next 10 years. I got sick of being a lazy slug so I started running again at 29 and ran my first marathon that fall. I then stopped running again for the next 4 years and just lifted weights and hopped on a treadmill once in a rare while. Last year I started running again in January and hopped in a race in April: the running bug bit me and I started doing triathlons and running races. I'm 36 now, I am completely obsessed with running and getting more joy out of it than I ever did while competing in HS or College. I just ran the Reindeer Run in 18:15 today which is a 2 min improvement over last April's 5k!
Here is my point and answer to your question: the only carry over from my teen years is mental otherwise I've rebuilt from scratch. Everyone has a different level of natural ability but hard, consistent work makes all of the difference. Love the sport and embrace the work and dedication it takes to improve. Run a lot, smile while you run, smile bigger when it hurts and run some more. Read and learn the sport: how to train, how to prevent injury and read about inspiring runners. You may find that while you don't stack up the way you'd like in 5ks you can hang and have more left in the tank at the end of a 15k or 1/2 marathon or marathon or perhaps you have the pain threshold and insane endurance to run ultra marathon trail races.
30 doesn't have **** to do with it, there is certainly hope for you! Smile, love the sport, run more, ice more, stretch more, run more and smile more, rinse, repeat. Obsess and revel in it. Have fun; I'm excited to hear of your progress!

Sometimes you have to give up on your dreams and let them chase you for a while.
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Shirfan

61 Posts

Posted - December 01 2012 :  22:25:16  Show Profile
30 is not too late (there probably is no "too late").

I am not really fast, but at 35 I am quite a bit faster than the high school me, who ran very mediocre XC and track times. And "running ever since" is not how it happened -- I just ran casually with almost no racing for over a decade.

When I did come back to dedicated training and racing last year, the marathon bug bit me, but my first one was a train wreck. So I followed a Pete Pfitzinger plan (18/70) religiously, got better at shorter distances as a side effect, and crushed my goal time the second go-round.

If you make running a priority, avoid injury, and do the work, you will get faster.

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DMRuns85

564 Posts

Posted - December 03 2012 :  11:21:11  Show Profile
quote:

...became really good at it and really fast through hard work?


I think that describes almost any runner who is considered "fast", regardless if they ran in HS/College or not. Most runners are not talented enough to be tearing it up out of the gates when they begin. I had a very modest beginning, running in the 24s at our team time trials my first 5k as a HS Sophomore. By the end of HS I was running 4:40s, 10:40s, and 17:15-30. Now I have run 1:09s and 2:29s for the half and full marathon, paces that basically match my race paces for 3200m and 5k back in high school. My guess is that most of the "fast runners" have progressed similarly to myself.

Got endorphins?
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DMRuns85

564 Posts

Posted - December 03 2012 :  11:29:36  Show Profile
quote:
30 is not too late (there probably is no "too late").


Couldn't agree more with this. I know plenty of runners who picked up running post-collegiality who have excelled.

Got endorphins?
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pacpie

18 Posts

Posted - December 03 2012 :  18:50:33  Show Profile
Thanks for the input, guys.

This subject fascinates me. I'd still love to hear from someone who hasn't run track at all in their life and put up good numbers. I was pretty slow to begin with and have made some good strides. I'd love to take it to the next level and approach the lower 20's for a 5K.
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JF

2688 Posts

Posted - December 03 2012 :  20:17:12  Show Profile
In order to run a fast 5K, you have to increase your leg speed, aka turnover. That means you need to get to the track and do speedwork. You can get this done, you have to embrace the track and embrace the speedwork. The faster you train, the faster you'll run.

XXIV
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DHUE

121 Posts

Posted - December 03 2012 :  21:50:26  Show Profile
U need to get to the track and u have to embrace the track? Nonsense!!
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DMRuns85

564 Posts

Posted - December 04 2012 :  07:35:52  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by JF

In order to run a fast 5K, you have to increase your leg speed, aka turnover. That means you need to get to the track and do speedwork. You can get this done, you have to embrace the track and embrace the speedwork. The faster you train, the faster you'll run.

XXIV


False.

Got endorphins?
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jeanne

233 Posts

Posted - December 04 2012 :  10:51:37  Show Profile
Although not 30, Michael Moore is tearing it up. I understand he played hockey. Is that correct?

jeanne
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lkizz

1001 Posts

Posted - December 04 2012 :  11:57:36  Show Profile
quote:
I'd still love to hear from someone who hasn't run track at all in their life and put up good numbers


It depends on what you define as good numbers. I didn't start running till I was 32. In high school and college I never participated in any sport, mostly because it was against the grain of my bohemian life style. I was the guy who was always chosen last for any game. After 3 years of running (age 35) I was running 17 min 5ks on only 25 miles a week, which then wasn't all that good, today that time would win some races.

You may actually have an advantage coming in late – as your legs are a bit more ‘fresh’.
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pacpie

18 Posts

Posted - December 04 2012 :  15:20:28  Show Profile
That's EXACTLY what I was looking for. 17 minute 5Ks is tremendous, especially considering you didn't run track or participate in any organized sports. Thank you for the feedback.

quote:
Originally posted by lkizz

quote:
I'd still love to hear from someone who hasn't run track at all in their life and put up good numbers


It depends on what you define as good numbers. I didn't start running till I was 32. In high school and college I never participated in any sport, mostly because it was against the grain of my bohemian life style. I was the guy who was always chosen last for any game. After 3 years of running (age 35) I was running 17 min 5ks on only 25 miles a week, which then wasn't all that good, today that time would win some races.

You may actually have an advantage coming in late – as your legs are a bit more ‘fresh’.


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JF

2688 Posts

Posted - December 04 2012 :  21:31:02  Show Profile
OK, you might not HAVE to do track work, but you have to increase leg speed and be able to go out fast to run a good 5K.

XXIV
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DMRuns85

564 Posts

Posted - December 05 2012 :  08:03:53  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by JF

OK, you might not HAVE to do track work, but you have to increase leg speed and be able to go out fast to run a good 5K.

XXIV


Falseish/Trueish.

It depends on your current fitness and where you want to go and what you consider fast. A 20-21 minute 5k guy can get down to the 17-18 minute range within two-three years simply off running more miles, longer long runs, and adding in strides. My guess is someone who isn't doing track work and only running say 20-30 miles a week and is in their mid-30s won't take really well to throwing in 2-3 hard interval sessions a week if they have never done it. To me that sounds like a good way to get hurt.

Ideally I would work on increasing overall weekly mileage, making my long runs longer, doing strides most everyday, and then maybe after doing this for 2-3 months start adding in some fartlek/tempo type stuff two days a week. This alone will make your 5k faster, significantly, if you are running low 20s for a 5k and not really doing a whole lot of mileage or any workouts.

I've done this with high school kids quite successfully. Remember, up to a point, strength is speed.

Got endorphins?
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moore73

112 Posts

Posted - December 05 2012 :  23:20:13  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by jeanne

Although not 30, Michael Moore is tearing it up. I understand he played hockey. Is that correct?

jeanne



Thanks Jeanne. You are correct, I am a hockey player, and never ran track or XC in HS or college. I've been running for 5 years now...

This is an interesting topic. There is definitely hope for you at 30! The sky is the limit! I'm 32, and ran a sub-18 minute 5K a month ago. My advice to you is to set a goal and achieve that goal by training accordingly... and once achieved, set a new goal, and repeat. Just make sure you continue to enjoy it and embrace it! I started doing serious training a few years ago to become a better runner and my times have come down big time (and the guidance of an awesome coach has been an enormous help as well).

I still hit the ice every now and then too... is the NHL looking for replacement players yet?
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techshlepy

709 Posts

Posted - December 06 2012 :  01:16:13  Show Profile
LUVAMAN!!!
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JF

2688 Posts

Posted - December 06 2012 :  15:21:17  Show Profile
I haven't done real track work in about three years and I only run three miles per day six days per week, although I did throw in a 4 miler a couple Sundays ago.

I do try to run the 3 milers "fast," and do throw in some 30 second surges once in a while.

I did manage an 18:06 at our Turkey Trot this. Not bad, not great, I suppose, but I "trained" to run 18:30, so I guess I did enough turnover to accomplish this modest goal.

LSD (long, slow distance) is a good recipe for fitness, but as a friend of mine once said, "long slow distance makes for a long, slow runner. To run a good 5K, you have to go out faster and be in more oxygen debt than a 5 miler or 10K. In many ways, the 5K hurts more.

For me, going out in 6:00 is not that hard, but to run near 18:00, you have to average 5:48. I went out at the trot in 5:46 and was really hurting, but I hung in there. If I had gone out on 6:00, I would have felt better, but come home in 18:40 to 18:50.

The point is you have to train your body to run faster mile pace. My only problem with the long distance racing crowd is that many hate 5Ks, and they often view 5K runners as bottom feeders. You notice all the magnets for cars say 26.2 and 13.1----where are the 5K ones? The reason they hate 5Ks is that they spend more time in the "hurt box," in a 5K than they do in their 15K when they can set comfortable spilts/fractions. They run good times but it feels good while doing the run.

There's not much fun when you race a 5K, and I still think the toughest race I ever did was the 1500/Mile because it just hurt the whole way----4 minutes of pure agony. In contrast, I loved running the 10,000 in college because I could really get into a good running rhythm.

So, running fast requires training fast whether you use the track or not.....but remember....

"The track does not lie."

XXIV
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