Getting (way) Faster in Your Late 50’s!

1 12 2008

At Scott’s suggestion, I am writing this blog about my 16 minute PR for a half marathon. This blog is for the “run for fun” group. I have been preparing for my goal race, the Outer Banks half marathon in North Carolina since summer training. But I had a lot of traveling during the summer and wasn’t able to be even partially consistent until the end of June. I tried to make up for lost time too quickly and had a little trouble with my IT band. It had also bothered me just before the Bolder Boulder. So, I was a little worried that because I hadn’t started out consistent that it would negatively impact my training for a half marathon. So after getting my IT band calmed down and more slowly increasing the distance, I gradually got back on track.


I did discover that it is not true that “you can’t run too slow.” I had been training for long distances and was able to finish two marathons, one in Hawaii and one in San Diego, but during the time I was training, I didn’t get faster. I discovered that for long distances, I just got slower and slower, until I was just barely wogging and that didn’t help with my fitness or my ability to do distances. Things got much better when I ran at a steady pace and then walked for a few minutes and then ran at a more reasonable pace and walked. I found that I could run for a much longer distance and at a faster speed, instead of just continually getting slower and slower and slower.

I decided to start out in the 12 to 13 minute pace group because I had done just under 13 minute miles for the Boulder Backroads, my last half marathon. But the group took off at a relatively fast clip and I noticed that they were running 10 and a half minute miles and I didn’t think there was a prayer of a chance that I could keep up this pace for 13.2 miles. I kept hearing Scott’s advice, “don’t go out too fast.”, so I slowed down to about an 11.5 minute mile and decided that even though I thought it was still too fast, that I would be able to figure this out in the next mile. I found that this was a really good pace and I could run consistently at this pace every mile. I realized that as I came to the only change in elevation, about half mile up over a bridge at the 10th to 11th mile, that I was averaging between 11 and 11.5 minute miles and though I slowed down going up the bridge, I actually found myself speeding up a bit for the last two miles. I was hoping to run it in 2 hours and 45 minutes and I came in at 2 hours 34 minutes. So I learned that I love running at sea level. Now all I have to do is find a downhill marathon at sea level for my next one. I also learned that running a half marathon in your late 50s isn’t so spectacular in Boulder Colorado, but it is really impressive in North Carolina…..

Just wanted to add that before starting with Fast Forward, I had trained for a year and hadn’t PRed during that time, though I did increase distance. Ever since training with Fast 4ward, I have PRed in all of my goal races, but this one was particularly special.


Christine Yoshinaga-Itano




2 responses

1 12 2008


We’re all so proud of you………….You’re such an inspiration for all of us “mature” runners…………Well Done!…………..Best, Pam

2 12 2008

Yay mom!! Wish we had a camera to get a picture with dad too… but he was too fast for us all! Hope I can get you both back up here for another PR for all!

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