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Running pace is getting slower

I used to be an avid runner, member of my running team etc. However once COVID hit I had to start running on my own and would run 4 or 5 miles every day during lockdown and my pace for 4 miles was about 27 minutes. Then about 15 months after the first lockdown I read an article about how frequent strenuous exercise can be dangerous and so practically gave up running and started swimming.

In the two years since I have not run as religiously like I did, I will maybe go for one run a month if that but I have noticed my times are starting to get slower and slower. I looked on Strava this morning and I have actually only done 15 outdoor runs this year. At the start of the year I was around 7:42 minutes per mile and then over the next few months it started getting slower, the slowest I ran was about 8:14 minutes per mile, and then the last two runs I have done have both had an average pace of 8:05 minutes per mile.

I have had issues with my knees over the years and I think they are finally catching up with me now as whenever I go for a run I feel incredibly stiff afterwards. I have also been recently diagnosed with asthma which has no doubt affected my capability to run outdoors.

However I can still run on a treadmill in the gym no problem, I can run for 40 minutes non-stop and not even feel out of breath.

Will I just have to accept that I have lost my pace when it comes to running outside?

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