My New Plateau

I started running for the first time since high school back in March. Since I started up again I’m now running around 5 miles per day, every other day. I’m feeling better and I’ve been adding days to my schedule now that I can comfortably run 5 miles non-stop (no walking). That said, I’ve reached a plateau and I’m not sure how to get past it.

I seem to be stuck averaging a 10 minute mile pace. I’ve tried doing intervals where I’ll run faster, then go back to a “normal” pace, then faster, etc. but by the end of the workout, my average is still around 10 minutes per mile. Looking at my splits shows that while I may be running around an 8 minute mile pace during my “faster” periods, my “normal” pace is actually slower than I usually run.

My knee pain finally seems to be under control (it’s not completely gone yet) and adding more days to my calendar is working just fine, but I’d really like to get faster. Once I can increase my pace then I’ll look at increasing my distance, but this is bugging me. What suggestions do you have?


3 thoughts on “My New Plateau

  1. It sounds like what you’ve BEEN doing is Fartlek Training (fast bursts followed by slower than baseline bursts), which I’ve personally found to be super effective in increasing my speed overall on runs where I just stay a flat-speed. I think it’s usually used to help with your anaerobic endurance or something that I don’t really understand like that.

    Have you been doing any runs where you just stick to one comfortable speed? you might be surprised to see that it’s faster than you anticipated. Hope this helps!

    • My “normal” runs are where I just try to maintain a steady pace. I’ve been around 10 minutes per mile average over the 5 mile run. My splits from yesterday during the “sprints” were pretty encouraging, but the “regular” pace is way slow. I went back to the Couch to 5K Week 1 schedule, but instead of walking during the slow intervals I ran “normally” My splits from RunKeeper are below:

      Intervals Pace (min/mi)
      5:00 (warmup) 9:56
      1:00 (steady) 6:24
      1:30 (slow) 10:12
      1:00 (steady) 6:37
      1:30 (slow) 10:17
      1:00 (steady) 7:09
      1:30 (slow) 11:41
      1:00 (steady) 7:17
      1:30 (slow) 12:23
      1:00 (steady) 7:12
      1:30 (slow) 11:59
      1:00 (steady) 6:43
      1:30 (slow) 11:19
      1:00 (steady) 8:03
      1:30 (slow) 11:44
      1:00 (steady) 9:01
      1:30 (slow) 12:04
      27:50 (extra) 11:18

  2. Have you tried maybe increasing the distances on your long runs (at this “slower” pace?) Maybe that would help to increase your speed on your shorter ones by helping with endurance.

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