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How much faster can you get in a year?

by RunnersConnect: Coaching Community, Running Experts, Inspiring Runners, No Fluff Blog
January 13th 2023

Do you have a goal time you’ve been eyeing but aren’t sure if and when it will be attainable? Or are you fairly new to running and wondering what to expect from your... More

Hello fellow runners, I am your host, Finn Melanson and this is the run to the top podcast podcast dedicated to making you a better runner. With each and every episode. We are created and produced by the expert team of coaches at runners connect dot net where you can find the best running information on the internet as well as training plans to fit every runner and every budget. Before we get to our conversation, I wanted to talk about the importance of electrolytes, especially in the winter maintaining healthy electrolyte levels is not only important for your run, but your recovery and overall health as well. That's why we recommend all runners check out element this winter. It's loaded with everything you need to replenish your electrolyte balance with 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium in 60 mg of magnesium and it doesn't include anything you don't need like extra sugar or anything artificial. Stay tuned for how you can get a free sample pack at element dot com, That's L M N T dot com forward slash runners connect as you can tell today is friday and we're releasing a new podcast episode.

What's the deal? Well, based on your feedback, we are going back to a two episode per week format as we launch into 2023. Many of you have loved some of the new content styles. We've produced the last few months, uptempo chats roundups, training plane rescue etcetera, but you may miss getting your favorite podcast styles less often. So to help feed your need for more running knowledge insights and fun. We're going back to releasing two episodes per week, Wednesday and friday. Today's episode is a slight twist on our traditional coach chat episodes. Coach Andy is going to be discussing the topic of how much you can improve in one year or what your rate of improvement might be over the next year. However, she'll also be taking questions from our runners connect members. Not only will you get an expert breakdown of the topic but will hopefully answer some of the follow up questions you might have and hear from runners just like you, I think you're really gonna love this episode and we can't wait to hear your feedback for now. Let's let Andy take it away.

Hello, everyone coach Andy here with runners connect on today's coach chat, we will be talking about the rate of improvement and what we should expect if we've got a big goal coming up or we have a big goal that's been kind of looming out there. When should we be expecting to maybe go after those types of goals. So we'll chat about all those different things. We'll kind of go over the different parts and pieces that are connected to, you know, getting faster, what things we need to be thinking about improving because really this concept is actually fairly broad, so well there's no one thing that's gonna make you faster, there's no one thing that's gonna point to your progression is going to be actually hard for us to really know for certain what this is going to be the answer. And like I said in the post for this one is it kind of depends. So we'll go through some of the different things that we're gonna factor into helping us to make these decisions really know what to expect, all of that good stuff. So starting out though, I wanted to share the question that we got from one of the other runners connect members, you know, that brought this conversation forward and so quickly read through what he mentioned and and go through what his specific scenario is.

And then we'll kind of dive into a little bit about his specific scenario. And and then go through kind of what kind of things we can be thinking and what kind of things to expect. Some of you may find yourself very similar to his scenario. And suddenly this will be super helpful. Let's go ahead and we'll hop into it here. So to read and just start off here, this is what the user sent to us. So as a new runner, 64 weeks and counting, how do you know what rate of progress to expect after the initial surge. So a lot of times, you know, when you first start training, you're gonna have a lot quicker rate of improvement. And so we see that with a lot of people like they're not really sure where their fitness is going to be building, fitness happens fairly quickly. We see kind of some progress made, and then a big leap in that training and that the times they're just coming down, we see this really sharp curve, but we also seem to find that there's reach, everybody reaches a certain point where we start to level off a little bit, not the we're going to plateau, but that we're going to start slowing down and we're not going to be seeing such major gaps in our and how much that we're improving season to season. So maybe you pr by you ran your first marathon, and it was kind of just, we're going about it.

Let me try to finish and then you are preparing for your second and you've got maybe a little bit more specific training kind of lockdown and you're following a training plan. Maybe you signed up for runners connect and bam you see this 20 minute pr or something crazy like that, is it will we continue to see those 20 minute prs most likely we won't continue to see that large. The pr we may kind of start to see ourselves, you know, a five minute pr the next time, maybe 10 minutes. And then it kind of will start to trickle off. So, if you think about what that curve is gonna look like, it's gonna go like this, and then it's gonna start to go like this, and then we kind of just have to figure out like where are we, what things can be impacting us, what things do we need to really nail down and that's where that improvement curve is gonna come from. But let me go ahead and finish reading through his questions. So one of my long term targets, which is when people start laughing saying, yeah, right, is to run sub 20 minutes five K by the time I am 75 I have 29 minutes to go and having just done 23 55 not a clue whether sub 20 is a realistic at that age, but I have money riding on it. I have lots of longer distance targets, but this is the one that people seem to find the funniest to me, it's just training in plus time to absorb it equals results.

Am I being unrealistic over and over confident. So let's dive into this here a little bit. So one thing that we do know of about running and as we age is that one of the first things to go is that speed is a little bit harder for us to kind of reach a certain level. That that's what starts to fall off a little bit quicker and that has a lot to do with after muscle, we lose muscle as we get a little bit older. So, one thing that's gonna factor in here specifically is as this user gets older, he's going to need to make sure that he is really doing a good job of getting that strength work in. So that's, that's where, you know, as we get older, we do need that balance of strength work and of the training, so we don't want to necessarily start to push the volume up or do anything too crazy on that front because really we need to have a good balance of, you know, musculature and strength there in order for us to continue to see some of that power output, because, you know, as we get longer in distance, it's that power output that we need, we also want to make sure we're protecting the muscles from injury stuff like that, so we're more susceptible to a little bit more injury in different ways as we get older. So we really have to be mindful about, you know, all the injury prevention stuff and the strength training being really, really well done and really well designed and we're actually paying a good bit of attention that not just the running, so, you know, it's not quite just training in and then time to absorb it, that is a piece of that, but there is also going to be, you know, the factor of how we go about this, so let me go ahead and share an article that got loaded up here for you guys because it's gonna get a little bit more in depth and kind of what we want to share here.

So it's an article from running magazine, I think it's from Canada is from where the articles from. But anyway, so how long what does it take to see results when you start a new training program? Whether you're beginning a new running plan for health reasons, adding strength training into your current resume to build muscle or increasing your mileage and hopes of lowering your PB. It takes time to see progress. But exactly how long does that process take? The answer to? That depends on what type of improvements you're looking for. But regardless, it will take time and patience. So things that we're going to need to kind of really consider your heart rate and blood pressure as you get fitter, your heart gets stronger, which allows it to put more blood with ever repeat this in turn leads to a reduction in your resting heart rate. So we're gonna see some stuff that's happening a little bit more internally. When we start to build up our, you know, start to run more, do more cardiovascular fitness type stuff. That's one thing that we're looking at. And then we've got the aerobic fitness that comes into play. So when it comes to speed and endurance, your rate of improvement will depend on your current fitness level. If you're just starting a new running routine and were previously inactive. You can see improvements in your cardio respiratory fitness within 4 to 6 weeks if you've been running for a while, You're trying to get faster, it may be a few months before you see any noticeable gain.

So, you know, when we're starting out or, you know, even for me, I took a three-month break at the end of 2020 after also having some injury issues through 2020. So a lot of that year was actually fairly down for me, not a lot of training through that entire year. Coming back from that, and especially three months of like very inactive period for me, which was, you know, was a lot less than I'd ever done in my entire life. That coming off of that period, you know, this strengthen the gains that I saw an improvement in performance. It did happen over the course of a year, it took a bit, but I was actually seeing a little bit more of that progression just in those first few weeks now, as I moved into, you know, this last year, the progression slowed down a little bit, There was still some strength that was gaining, seeing the time's coming down and seeing things being a little bit easier than last year, but not as large of a leap as it was before. So that's something to consider, you know, over the course of the last year, for me, my first five K, I did coming back from this break period was in 18 30 then this year I ran 17 something low.

So even in that scenario, that's a minute and a half or so. But I've also been starting from a period of training where I'm already, I mean, I'm fairly well trained, I just had to take some time off and it wasn't like it was a ton of time off. So when we look at it that way, you know, we're not, I haven't completely de trained, I hadn't lost all my fitness, I had just, you know, I had lost a significant amount, but not enough that I was, you know, start back from scratch or something like that. It might have felt that way, but just, you know, looking at that like that's actually also coming from a well trained perspective. So if you're really starting out new, we're gonna see that window of time, that you're gonna see that improvement be fairly large. So as you get fitter, those improvements will happen in smaller and smaller increments as well. When you first start running, you may be aiming to knock minutes off your time. So as you continue in the sport, those minutes will become well more often become seconds. So muscle and strength gains. So if you're looking for more immediate gratification, the gym is the place to go according to some research, it's possible to see muscle gains after just a single session of strength training. This is due to a phenomenon known as muscle pump, which is just an increase in blood flow to your muscles and while it's only temporary, it does make you feel like you've accomplished something when you leave the weight room to see actual sustained muscle and strength gains, beginners should expect to wait roughly 6 to 8 weeks while more experienced weightlifters may take upwards of 12 weeks after starting a new program.

It's important to note, however, that muscle growth is highly variable depending on the individual. Sometimes tend to put on muscle more quickly than others. So you don't see the games right away have patients. So, you know, even in this conversation, there's another factor that we're looking at here is, you know, with muscle and strength and stuff like that when it comes to even just the training that you're doing, you have to have a really good balance of your fueling when you're, when you're interpreting you're putting all this stuff in. So you could do all the work, you can do all the training can go hard as hard as can be. But if you're not fueling appropriately around your training, then we're more likely to see injury. We're more likely to see, you know, other issues arise. So, you know, oftentimes as a coach, I actually would rather see clients make smaller incremental gains and their fitness as opposed to like really, really large leaps because sometimes that can be too much for your body at once and it doesn't end up being sustainable now for people who are again, like if you're starting out and you're and you're in a place where you just haven't really done all the things yet to really seek out that potential large gains aren't gonna be problematic.

It's really more when we get into, like a really diving deep into the training, we're really, we've already kind of reached that point where now we're trying to, you know, assess what more can I reach that? We really don't want to get ahead of ourselves too much. If you've been training consistently for, you know, several years now and have seen little anybody gains, like, as you've gone along, then, let's keep on that track, let's see what other things we can improve within that. So, what does that look like? Maybe we improve your fueling, maybe we improve your strength training. Maybe we incorporate maybe a little bit more different types of strength training. Maybe we, you know, alter a little bit of how we're training for things. So, if you've been marathon training a lot, maybe we do a five k or do something like that in the shorter distance just to work a different muscle group and then go back to that distance, maybe we need to work in the mental games. There's all these things that are included in in, in within this whole, like, what is, what does it look like to improve. So, just to keep those things in in mind as we go. So mental health, the great news as well, physical changes are a little slower to appear. You can experience the mental health benefits. Regular exercise almost instantly by starting out.

So, those are just a few other things that I just wanted to make sure we're I just want to go through. This is just a general list of some things that we're looking at in terms of like, how can we, how do we know what, how much faster will I get this one Also shows that if your blood pressure is already within a healthy range, you likely won't see any significant reductions when you start a regular exercise routine. This is really just talking about some of the heart rate type stuff. So we do want to know, we do want to kind of keep those things in mind, but we don't want to kind of be fixated on them. So now we're gonna move over. I've got this race time improvement calculator that I found. Um, this is gonna be just beneficial for looking at kind of what the percentage will look like. What are we looking at in terms of, um, you know, how much improvement that we need to make and, and and what, how much, what's the percentage there. So let's say, let's go ahead and put in the example that we've got here. So be what we've got is let me see how do I use the zero here and then we've got, okay, 23 55. Okay, so looking at this here in order to break 20% or 20 minutes, we would have to see a more than a 10%, you know, increase in fitness just from where we are starting now.

And so that's just like something to keep in mind when we think about what well, what are we looking at here? So let's go into here a little bit more. So let me see, keep running in Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. There's there is some stuff down here that I wanted to go over. So results displayed the math behind running. So target time improvement. It was 5% of the new time would be improved time by 95% of the uh, there's just some instructions here. I wanted to skip through this. So, run by step by step with our calculator, harder, longer, faster improved race time. So the longer you run the more you train, the more difficult it is to cut minutes off your time probably. You know that observation very well. Sometimes using a percentage to plan running improvements is much more practical. Highly trained athletes should expect improvements in the 2 to 4% range. While newbie runners can look for slightly better rates of initial enhancement. So, reading somewhere and I can I remember where I saw this. I was looking for it before we hopped on. But for the most part, right, we are weird looking at kind of that the way that we see this improvement in the way that we kind of are interpreting all of this different stuff.

And so athletes that are in the highly trained, they're gonna be looking at those 2 to 4% range improvement maybe over the course of an entire year. Whereas, you know, some of this this improvement, we may be still improving a little bit higher rate, but we're also looking at still over the course of a year over the course of the season. We'll see some of these marked improvements and then we'll head point where we're like, okay, now it's gonna be all the nitty gritty stuff that we have to look for. So, really high trained athletes are probably more on this 2% range in a single season. We're not you're not seeing these huge jumps. Oftentimes the way that the training recovery cycle is going to work is that you're going to you're going to even from the start of the season. Let me flip back to my regular screen here, even from the start of the season, we are seeing ourselves, you know, improving, improving, improving, improving will peek out a little bit Well, we'll go down just a tiny bit as we take before the race, we'll race. Hit that new pr and then after the race, we actually want to see a little bit of the training, so we can dip back down below. So, at the start of the season, part of our rate of improvement is actually getting that fitness back in and then allowing ourselves to get even higher in that next block.

So again, if that's the case, if we're in that bucket, if we're been trading consistently, you know, start to think about how have you improved over each season, have you been seeing some consistent increase and how does that been feeling? We you don't want to get your you into a cycle of overtraining just because we're chasing a goal that's like really just maybe a little bit ahead of us. So what I like to do is kind of think about, let's focus on, you know, for for this next 29 months here, let's look at, you know, what can we do in the next six months, maybe we look at dropping that to 33 down to a low to low 23 or maybe 7, 23 then, you know, the next six months coming off that maybe we look at, you know, improving that a little more, but, you know, part of this is gonna be kind of how are we training? How are we, are we keeping some consistency? So one of the biggest things and one of the biggest pieces just seeing improvement involves our consistency. So if we aren't able to train consistently, then we're going to have a hard time seeing any improvements at all.

So that's where we ride that fine line of training of not being not over doing it. So we overdo training, we are more likely to get injured, more likely to over train and be too fatigued to really even, you know, show up to race day feeling good and a lot of times. Then we have to, we have to plan an extra recovery time, we have to go through the injury recovery cycle and so that curve that I was showing you that we want to do this, sometimes it's gonna end up having to do this and then we kind of just stay stagnant a little bit. So that's why I typically want to encourage that. We're not looking at, you know, running 20 minutes too soon. You know, look at, see how your, how I look at your curve and kind of look and see kind of like how you should from here. So like, say if your first, you've been training for 64 weeks, which is a little over a year. So let's say, we look at what's your, what was your first five K time, then let's look at what was your second five K time and kind of look at some of your race times and you can look at it from all the different businesses and start to see if there's any correlation and about how much time you gained in each of those and also look at some of the more recent variables.

So how have you recently been increasing, how recently have you and getting a little bit faster? And were there any little things in the middle there that caused you to either have to pause training or change what you're doing or injuries or any of those things that have gotten in the myth, that could be changing the way this looks. You know, I think this is one of those things that can actually be almost scientific a little bit where, you know, running is a lot of numbers, a lot of this stuff and so maybe I come from a civil engineering background, so maybe this is a little bit from the way that I like to think about it, but you know, start to chart that out, see if you can see any patterns and that will give us a better estimate of when should we be thinking about going for these PRS. And I also like to think on the front of, you know, monitoring and tracking our progress, I think can also be really valuable for enjoying the process and we have to enjoy the process. We have to believe in ourselves. All these things have to come with, you know, going for PRS looking for improvement, stuff like that. So, you know, I used to keep a training journal that was a little that was helpful for being able to just reflect and understand and recognize, you know, where I've made mistakes and training.

So I can correct those in the next cycle. So, you know, even for me right now, I just had, I was supposed to run a marathon, ran into some issues here at the end, you know, what can we change from that so that I can, you know, build on this fitness that I just built up and didn't get to race from and what can I do to improve that in the future? How can I build upon that? And what's a realistic great for me to look at? You know, can I get a little bit faster and some of this is just gonna be monitoring the training, seeing what you're doing here to hear. You know, look back in your training log, if you log on runners go back through, see what your last year was. See what times you were hitting then compared to right now and help that be an assessment factor for. Can I get faster? How much should I expect to get faster and you can use your own data to kind of do that. That's a good reason for actually keeping a record or a log of the training you're doing and being able to see exactly how things have changed because, you know, so much of this is also mental, like we said, you know, if you have to believe that you can run these times and I think it's great that he has this user has a goal that is so ambitious. I think that's great. I think it's important to have those goals out there just for being able to see yourself improve.

Being able to see yourself go after something that's challenging. I think it's, it's good, I think it's really good to have these large goals, but you can't let them dictate you. So, you know, keep fighting and keep getting faster and keep focusing on what you can do to be better each day for yourself now and for the future. So when it comes to training, we really have to be a little bit future focus because if we focus too much on the races of the present or what we've got going now, we oftentimes shortchange our future performance and you know, especially if this goal is something that's big and maybe a little farther out, we really want to be thinking about what can I do now, that's gonna help me. So that in the future I'm still working towards this goal and not, you know, having injuries or stuff like that. So as big of a goal we might have don't fixate on it so much that every season you have to do it, you have to do it cause it's gonna make it a lot more to enjoy it and then to also feel like there is a possibility or, you know, sometimes what happens too is if, you know, this is what I experienced, I was trying to run a specific time. So I could qualify for the marathon olympic trials and I was constantly trying to race and I wasn't listening enough to my body to help my body get back into a good rhythm of feeling good.

And so I never saw any marked improvement. I actually was seeing a decrease in performance. I wasn't building upon these seasons before because I was rushing things and just kind of continually going after something that was definitely possible. But you know, you have to think about if this isn't working and this is something that I need to do or if I need to rest or I need to do this, those are important things for also seeing that improvement. So listening to your body is huge when it comes to seeing that rate of improvement. So it's not just going to be, you know, putting the, you know, getting out there running, doing all the things, it's also about staying balanced and everything that you're doing with rest recovery, looking at your season as a whole planning, your training out. So there's so many factors that we want to actually stay on top of and not just kind of thinking about singular braces, stuff like that. You know, this is also where some of that plant, you know, we've talked about in the past, some of that seasonal planning and how important that can be. So, you know, if you're starting out and you're gonna figure out, you know, what are my goal races for this spring? Map them out, set them up, set up a plan.

And also think about where those natural recovery breaks need to be built in. I personally like to have two breaks a year. I am kurt taking a two week break for this season, and then I will build back up for a spring marathon. So pay attention to where those are going to fit into your cycle naturally, because I think sometimes when we shortchange recovery in between cycles, that's where we actually see a lot of this stagnant stagnant training where we aren't seeing ourselves get any faster. We need a little bit of the recovery and the training in order to actually see a lot of this take shape. So we need a little D training, we need a little these things kind of built into our programs, that's where a little this is gonna take a little bit more forward focus. Did you know that you're likely to sweat as much, if not more in the winter than in the summer? That's because we often wear such warm clothes to start our runs, which leads to more sweating towards the end. Plus sweat gets absorbed by our clothes. So it's harder to notice. Now, you already know that when you sweat, you lose electrolytes which are essential for your body's best performance, but you've also been told that too much salt is bad for you. So it can get confusing to know what to do.

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I can't break two hours on my half marathon time. So I know a BQ is way out of reach right now. So I like this question because she's bringing up the fact that she's having some struggles with breaking two hours in the, in her half marathon. So I think this is and the reason that I like this question, the way she phrased it is that I think it's important to, you know, what can we do to also help us give us some milestones that are shorter. You know, the half marathon is a great indicator of some of our marathon performance or potential marathon performance, but it's also a race that we can, we can do a few more, we can do a little bit more often. We have a little bit more feedback from that. Whereas you like a marathon you build up for a marathon, it's not gonna be easy for us, you know, bounce back to another marathon in a month and do that. But whether we're not, we're gonna see a lot of improvement in that is just really dependent upon, you know, circumstance. So, you know, for the most part, you know, being able to do some more have, it's gonna give us a little bit more realistic idea of where we are fitness wise, we can do more of them. So if we end up with a bad weather race are only indicators aren't just gonna be from bad weather races. Maybe if we have one that's warm or humid or not great and then we, we can enter one in a month to really see where our fitness is.

That's a nice thing a marathon, you can come out to race day and have something go wrong and not even be a realistic look at your eyes actual fitness. And so that, that can be the frustrating thing when it comes to marathon. So I think it can be good to use, you know, something like a half marathon as a bench marker, like start race a few of those and then, you know, do a marathon at the end of it, see where we come out and then start using those as kind of indicators of where we are fitness wise. I don't know Sarah what your BQ time is. So I can't really say like what, what are we looking at in terms of how many years to go. Let me look and see if we've got, I'm gonna stop sharing my screen real quick. I'm gonna do a little investigating here to see if we can find out what the BQ time we're looking at here is so put back on my default screen real quick, I'm gonna hop into Sarah's profile and see if we can find, okay, so for that age group, let's see if we can find here. So Sarah is looking at a three hours and 35 minutes for a marathon time. So, you know, it depends again, like it's so hard to say like exactly how long it's gonna take somebody to see this improvement, you know, but I do think like consistent training and doing all the things that you can to really, and really formulating a good race plan and a good strategy for, you know, long term growth is the best way we can do this.

You know, I have a friend who ran, I think her first marathons were maybe in the three thirties or something like that. She just ran a, the olympic, the 2024 olympic trials standard with a 2 36 40 recently, so she's your last marathon before that she ran a 2 37 something before that, it was like 2 39 or 2 40. So she was seeing very small incremental growth, year to year, but she was seeing that and she was seeing consistent performance and consistent training. She was seeing those things happening. So, you know, focus on those things. First focus on the things that you can nail down and you'll feel maybe that means Sarah that you focus on nailing down that sub two hour half marathon first marathon is a lot to put on your body. So if you feel more comfortable, you know, shooting for some half marathons for a bit and getting some speed and I think that can also be a really good way to work on our running economy. So that's one thing that have covered yet is part of your improvement curve is also going to not just be your cardiovascular fitness, but also you're running economy. Different things that we need to work on to biomechanical, how we move?

Are we running efficient? Are we doing things like that? Because that's going to play a huge factor. And if we're able to see those improvements we need to have, we need to practice using good form, maybe we need to do more form drills, things like that. So if you feel like you're having some some difficulty with any form related things, you know, do some short distance training for a bit of time, because that's also gonna help us to actually work on the form more. So those are some things to consider if you're trying to think of some other ways that we can see some of this improvement just like that. So moving back over here to our next question, So let me go back to sharing my screen here. So she asks, I have a question, can I do my speed work on the treadmill when the weather is bad, it's beginning to snow in michigan and like the pr in my 10-K by december, my goal is under an hour. So, you know, doing training on the treadmill is totally fine. I would say one thing that we typically recommend is to put the treadmill at, you know, 1% grade, you know, especially if you're doing just that, that's mostly just so that we're making sure we're utilizing the right muscle groups.

So playing the treadmill, the slight incline just helps us to recruit the glutes and the and everything in the same way that we would, if we were running on flat ground. So that could be a good way to, you know, still do your speed work on the treadmill and so that, you know, the speed work maybe a little bit difficult on the treadmill, just, you know, some of those places can feel super quick, so just be very careful with it, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to do any of this stuff and if you're able to go outside for anything at all, if things can get clear or any of that stuff, I think that's great for just a couple of your runs, just to make sure that we have a good idea of what those places feel like on the outside on like true true conditions, I think we're gonna need a little bit of that if we're able, but be very careful, we don't want you to get injured running outside in tough conditions. So joseph asked all also interested in this one coming back from a long hiatus. I'm curious to see how close I can get to old pr times or maybe even surpass them. I personally have seen great progress but also frustrating when comparing current self to past self. The biggest thing I'll say that too, that joseph is, you know, we've already talked through a lot of the things that are gonna help us to assess if we're getting faster or not or what our rate of improvement is going to be.

But when it comes to comparing yourself to your past self that I think can actually be very prohibitive to your input, so you can use those goals as you can kind of put those out there. It's just reframing in your brain how you think about those and make them more exciting to go after as opposed to making them be something that makes you feel bad about what you're doing. Like I said, you have, we have to kind of enjoy what we're doing, we have to be excited about it in order for us to see growth improvement and all of that stuff because your brain has such a huge impact on your performance. So the way that I would say to really shift that for you, joseph would be to, you know, I don't think about how much faster you used to be, think about how close can I get to being as fast as I was at this age when I am this age, I think that that's a fun way to kind of look at it and be like, I'm gonna try to beat my 20 year old self or something like that. So think about this person whose times were X and think about them as somebody else that are out there on the course and be like, you know what, I'm whatever age, you know, I'm 32 now, that's what I've been using as my fuel is.

I'm 32 now, but I'm gonna run faster than I ever did in my twenties. That's kind of the way that I have fixated on the current goals, is to see if I can do that, it's not gonna be the end of the world, if I don't, that's not gonna be the make or break, but it just kind of is exciting to see if I can do that, you know, prove to myself that I've got more in the tank then, you know, just because I'm older doesn't mean anything. So I always use that as a challenge and challenge yourself to think that way and think think also age is just a number and let me see what I can do and at the very least we covered this on a recent podcast, I'm talking about masters runners and and how some of that, how how How can we run faster at 40 than we did when we were younger. And I think one of the ways that we can do that is just to be a better racer and now perform our younger selves, even if the times aren't any faster. So you can look at the age graded stuff, you can look at kind of to see kind of where you are age graded comparatively. I think that can be really valuable to kind of see that you maybe you are outperforming the runner that you used to be. So I think that can be really cool to also motivate and stay focused on just improving from where you are now because that that's that's the best way to get faster, is you know, be where you are now and think about what you can do and and move forward.

So yeah, thank you guys for those great questions there. I know that this topic is super hard to really definitively give a great answer on its there's just so many variables, so many things to consider when it comes to the rate of improvement, what we're looking at, I think, you know, set yourself some some big goals and then each season some smaller, more incremental goals that are achievable. And that way we're constantly looking at, you know, something that's a little bit more short term, a little bit more, you know, that gives us a little space so that we're not fixated on the must run 20 minutes in our five K. What about, you know, just looking at, okay, this next five K I have on the calendar, let me see if I can drop 30 seconds off, you know, conservative goals I think are great because it helps us to be still moving forward, seeing our progress not getting ahead of ourselves in terms of feeling like we need to do anything. I think it's, it's a lot of, there's so much mental involved in this. And then beyond that it's more of the, you know, what ancillary work are we doing? Are we staying consistent? Are we preventing injury?

Are we doing things that we can from that front because all of those things impact our long term, you know, performance gains. So that just about covers everything here. Anyone listening to this recording, if you have any questions, I know that I talked a lot a lot and there's a lot of little things all over the place here. So feel free to ask any questions in the, in the post here in the stream and we'll make sure we get those covered, but you know, any otherwise, you know, thanks. Thanks for tuning in before me and will, we'll cover some more of your questions and coming up and and future coach chats for thanks. So thank you guys for submitting some of those last week. If anyone listening, I didn't see the post from last week, I asked for any, you know, any questions that you guys might want to cover in a future coach chat and so you know, feel free to go add to that list, do whatever you want so we can make sure that we're constantly bringing you guys the questions that you have and answering anything that we can best we can. So anyway, hope you guys enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and the rest of your week and I will see you all again next week. Right by everyone. We hope you enjoyed that episode with coach Andy who covered a lot of great material, including expectations for race to race improvement, understanding the factors involved in getting faster as well as the specifics you can work on to maximize your potential throughout the year.

What were your favorite or your most helpful takeaways? We'd love to hear from you leave a comment or any lingering questions you may have on the episode link in facebook or instagram. Thanks for listening to the run to the top podcast. I'm your host, Finn Melanson. As always, our mission here is to help you become a better runner with every episode. Please consider connecting with me on instagram at Wasatch, Finn and the rest of our team at runners connect dot net. Also consider supporting our show for free with a raid on the Spotify and Apple podcast players. And, lastly, if you love the show and want bonus content behind the scenes, experiences with our guests and premier access to contests and giveaways and subscribe to our newsletter by going to runners connect dot net back slash podcast until next time. Happy Training mm

How much faster can you get in a year?
How much faster can you get in a year?
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