Bionic Woman – faster than I was before?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of hamlet_cat hamlet_cat 3 years, 3 months ago.

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    Avatar of Tamara

    Those of you who read my most pathetic of all blogs know that I broke my ankle earlier this winter. On top of already being out of shape from having a baby last year, this has dropped me to the position of newbie to the fitness world. Once I’m off crutches, I’ll be at square one where I was 15yrs ago.

    That being said, I’m now in my late 30s and in close to the worst shape of my life. Was it really just 2yrs ago that I did my third half ironman? I was never a fast runner, and have gotten slower in the past few years. Is it unrealistic to try and return to running at a faster speed? I mean, normally you’d run at the aerobic rate that works for you and improve from there. But, let’s presume that I’m going to have to work to even run a 5K. Is there any reason that instead of starting by running 2miles (for example) at 11min/mi, I should make my first runs at a 9min/mi even if it means I can only run 1mi to start and then build from there?

    If you were me, where would you start?

    Avatar of groovyjen

    Be compassionate with yourself. I say start slow on the speed and short on the distance. If you try to go tearing out the gate straight off your crutches you’ll just end up back on them.

    Good luck. This too shall pass.


    All good things take some time.
    Please take your time to build some base, train your core and finally some speed work. This will work.
    As Jen said, if you come blasting out of the gait you will hurt yourself.

    Best of luck getting back on the horse.

    Avatar of dkhartung

    I would definitely start short and slow, and build up to five mile runs. Then you can start incorporating in some faster work. My assumption (and hope) is that you would be targeting to build up to being able to go do a reasonable 5K race first, and then you can use your time there to reset your pacing for training to move up to a 10K.
    Slow and steady…
    And yes, you can definitely get back to and surpass your previous speed. You’re not that old!

    Avatar of TriSooner
    Tamara wrote:
    Is there any reason that instead of starting by running 2miles (for example) at 11min/mi, I should make my first runs at a 9min/mi even if it means I can only run 1mi to start and then build from there?

    Seems like a recipe for injury. I know there is debate as to whether “speed before distance” causes injury, or whether “going too far, too soon” causes injury. I’d say in your case, since you are already coming off an injury, I’d try to build a base first (ie, go slow-ish), then add some speed.

    Avatar of Tamara

    Not the answers I wanted, but agree you’re right. I suppose I was presuming that my limiter would be more of a cardiovascular issue rather than a muscular-skeletal one, so short and fast would eventually translate to longer and faster. Wishful thinking my part!

    Avatar of PrinceofClydes

    Patience, girl, patience.

    regarding your last, – you broke an ankle. Your lungs & heart are fine. They will respond much quicker than the structural stuff. Work on strength & flexibility – moderately. I caution against any heroic efforts at this point. Take heart, you will surprise yourself at how well you recover, just don’t overdo it.

    The cycle of toomuch-too soon, re-injury, healing, too much-too soon, re-injury.. is well documented. You”re smarter than that.

    I broke an ankle in my thirties. It took two years to get back all my strength & agility but I was able to play again in just 3 or 4 months. And I played high level basketball again after that too.


    Avatar of hamlet_cat

    Well, I just went through this myself, except that I didn’t break my ankle, and I am a couple of years older than you. I did try to push my speed, exactly what you mentioned. Starting off running fast but for short bursts of distance and then built my mileage up from there. I found that I rode the threshold of injury and fatigue for about six months doing this. I also had problems with my immune system crashing a lot, and had to take various weeks off to recover from bad colds and flus. I never really saw my running times get back to what they were before “pre baby,” I ended up dropping this strategy to focus on base building at an aerobic level that I could manage in order to build up my base properly. I am now 20lbs lighter which makes the running easier and I will probably be able to add the speed work back in within a couple of months. Unfortunately I won’t know if my change in approach will have better results. Based on what I have heard from other triathletes, I think proper base building is the key to success. Those that are fast, seem to have years of consistent base building under their belts. Unfortunately base building sometimes seems like you are just logging “junk miles” but I think it is the key to success.

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