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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm aiming to run 5k in under 20 minutes. At the moment I can run it in about 21 minutes.

I'm running about 3 or 4 times a week and am looking for some advice as to how to structure my training to get under the 20 minute mark.

Is there any benefit to running over 40 mins?
Should I be including interval training (< 2 mins) at greater than 5k pace?

Any advice much appreciated,

Thanks,

Tom
 

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Can't help you much - I've been hovering at 21 minutes for 3 years... I did make it to 20:03 once...

But I reckon the answers to your questions are:
- there is some benefit in doing long runs - so if you have the time to do long runs then do (I do a lot of long runs and it clearly hasn't helped me)
- there is *lots* of benefit in doing interval training at greater than 5k pace - if you can find others to do this with, then do! (I don't do many interval sessions or much speed work at all... if only I did....)
 

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The only thing that got me down from 21.30 in the 5k to 18.56 was long runs. I don't do any speed or interval training, but I do at least one or two 10 mile runs per week (with 2 or 3 10ks during the week). I will run a half marathon every month or so. I found this helped my 5k time, although I rarely run 5k.
 

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You need a combination of training.

Structure:

Run day 1:- 10 min warm up jog 5min run at around 6min/mile 2 min jog easy, 4min 6min/mile 2min jog, 3min run 6m/m 2min jog 2min 6m/m 2min jog, 1min 6m/m 2min jog, 10 min jog cool down. Total 45mins

Run day 2:- 8-9 mile easy run with 2x5min pushing the pace along. Total 1 hour

Run day 3:- if you have a track... mini Bondarenko :15 min warm up then 3x1200m off 1:30 rest (starting at 6:30m/m getting faster by 5 secs each 1200m), 2x800m off 1:15 rest (getting faster by 5 secs each rep), 1x400m fast as you can. 10 min warm down jog. Total 1hr 30min (ish)

Run day 4:- 1hr - 1hr 15 longish run, last 5 minutes of run do 5 x 15 secs fast strides with 45 sec jog recovery.
 

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lewis - that training plan is too hard...

for a 5k race you do not need to do such long runs and it is far to hard...

i am the same standard as this mr tom and no way could i run your training schedule...

tom, what i did was increase my runs from 3 runs a week to 5 or 6...

i posted my training plan here on this forum maybe that'll be useful:

http://www.runnersforum.co.uk/training/2769-revs-training-plan.html

i have adapted it a bit... so i think it is good to be flexible with it and when you have rest days...etc.

e.g. i found that i wasn't able to do very long runs (as people suggested)... so what i did to increase endurance was to run 3.5 twice and 5 miles 3 thrice... i have neglected speedwork a bit... i cut out tempo session... i'll do farklets tomorrow and maybe i'll go crazy and do it twice, lol...

good luck!
 

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Revenged, that programme is when you're doing 4 runs a week, when you have plenty of rest days so have to push the run on a bit and have time to recover.

If you want to run at 20min pace for 5k then it is an average of 6:26/mile pace.

The first day you could start off at having the pace around 6:30 mile pace and maybe decrease the mile pace by 5 seconds a week until it's around 6 minutes.

Maybe the second day should me 7-8 miles, I was unsure. The main thing is to get used to being on your feet for around 1 hour. It doesn't matter how far you go, you just want to keep going and try hitting the ground with your feet 160-180 times a minute.

Again with the Bondarenko, Perhapse add 10 or 15 seconds onto the starting time but you should work down to a starting speed of 6:30/mile pace. Which is around 20:15 for 5km pace. You could also add another 30 secs onto the recovery but I wouldn't say any more.

To give you an idea of what I do My day 1 I'd run at 5:15 mile pace, day 2 1hr 15 with 4x5min at 5:30 mile pace, day 3 3 x 1600 2x 1200 starting at 5:30mile pace and decreasing by 5 secs a rep and finishing with a 400 in around 60 secs. day 4 I'd add in 12x30 secs hard with 60 secs easy into the run.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice guys. I think your original plan would have been a little too hard for me. I'll incorporate some of the ideas in my plan.

So for the long run, I think I'll max out at 40 mins. I can't really see any benefit running any faster, when the 5k will be about 20 mins. Any advantage to running further?
 

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running further will build your endurance and it will make you faster over the shorter distances. Before I started doing 10-14 mile runs, I could run a sub 20 min 5k, but it was a lot harder and it took a lot more out of me physically.
 

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Indeed... I'd say it's definately worth running longer than 40mins for your long run, I'd say try and build your long runs up to 10miles, and it'll make quite a difference :)

You can develop all the speed you like, but it's of little use if you can't sustain it throughout the race!
 

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Hey Tom,

You say you do 3-4 runs a week at present. What sort of runs do you do? (Distance, pace etc). It'd be easier to advise you if you let us know what you are doing at present. But I would suggest that Team-Lewis's schedule is far too advanced unless you are a very experienced runner (no disrespect Team-Lewis!).

But I would suggest a couple of things:

Build up to one longer run a week (60-70 mins) by adding 5 min a week to your 40 min run. Keep this at an easy pace (8:30-9:00 min mile pace). This may seem slow but you are building endurance so it doesn't need to be fast. The long run is important even for 5k, as this race is 80% aerobic and 20% anaerobic. So you need good aerobic conditioning.

Do a tempo run a week if you don't already do it. Run a miles easy, then 20 mins at 7:30 min mile pace , then a mile easy to finish. This will improve you ability to hold a fast pace in a 5k.

Do you other runs easy pace too, with a few bursts at 5k pace or quicker for 20 sec at the end of these runs.

Once you have added these elements to your training you could add some quicker interval training, but I'd suggest getting used to the above first.
 

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Good post LJ... read through it and I think it's a near perfect answer to the original question, if only all posts were like that eh? :rolleyes:

Only one point I'd add to the above, is that the bursts at the end of the run should of course still be followed by a proper cool-down. :)
 

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Cheers Richard. Actually thinking about it I've never done a 5k race (I've done a 3 mile race) - I'll have to sort one out when I get a chance.
 

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Which one of the sessions was too complicated / hard and why? Your PB is already 21 minutes, which is 6:46/mile and I'm sure you ran faster on at least 1 of those miles in the 5k race. So asking you to run at 6:30 pace for 1/4 the time shouldn't be too hard should it?
If you start running at the faster speeds then you will get faster a lot faster.

And it doesn't matter if you're on your knees at the end of the run or each rep.

Again if you're running only 4 times a week these are the sessions that will get you faster and fitter quickest.

The thing with running longer than 40 minutes is that your endurance will increase and so will your aerobic capacity.

I don't think enough is said about leg cadence, you should aim to have 180 foot strikes / minute, So that is 45 every other right feet per minute. It's easy to count if you're wearing a stop watch. It doesn't matter how far your strides are, as long as you get the cadence up, eventually when it becomes natural then you can work on increasing the stride length.
 

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Hi Team-Lewis,

I don't think anybody is questioning that the program you outlined would be good IF someone was pre-conditioned. But I would suggest if you are currently running 3-4 times a week, 5 miles at a time, switching to the mileage + intensity you outlined would most likely be too harsh.

I think most runners early in their training ramp-up would need to build up more steadily.
 

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I didn't think that Tom was early in his training, he said he was running 4 days a week which is fine for a recreational runner. Not many of the sessions there were above 5 miles. And he was racing 5k's. So maybe assumption is in this case the mother of all... well you know what I mean, but I don't know Tom and his capabilities so it might have been ambitious or it might have been realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the replies. I'm running about 3-4 times a week. In the past I use to just go out and run 40-50 mins, but now I'm doing shorter runs (<5 miles) with pace running sections of approx 5 mins. In the past I've run a half marathon in 1hr 40 mins, a 10k in 44:40 and a 5 k in 21:10.

I'll look to change my plan based on all your comments, particullary team-lewis and LazyJones.
 

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new runner

3 months ago at 15st and 5f 10in,i decided to start doing some running(tread mill)at first it was so so hard to do 5k running twice a week doing it in 30mins,in 4weeks doing it in 25mins,4 more weeks 22mins,the last to runs i knocked of over a minute each time.this morning running in 20:01,my problem is i am getting out of breath within the first half k...then seem to be like that till i finnish.i dont want to start running long distance's,and losing more weight.at mo 12st 8lb.

any advice on my lung capacity!
and my pulse was 192!

please dont take the ubove as some king of brag,its not,just letting you know where i am at...
 

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Hi,

I'm aiming to run 5k in under 20 minutes. At the moment I can run it in about 21 minutes.

I'm running about 3 or 4 times a week and am looking for some advice as to how to structure my training to get under the 20 minute mark.

Is there any benefit to running over 40 mins?
Should I be including interval training (< 2 mins) at greater than 5k pace?

Any advice much appreciated,

Thanks,

Tom
Unless you are a young 20s male doing 5k in sub 20 minutes is not simple. It is do-able but not simple. Going from 21 minutes to 20 is a big leap.
You can certainly do it with 40 minute training periods, I did. If you focus solely on speed ie through 1 or 2 minute intervals you WILL do it BUT it will be tricky as you will not have trained to maintain your speed. The ideal 'shortcut workout' is based on 5x1km intervals 'cos that's harder right? Well if it's harder it's probably more the right session to do!! 20 minutes is not easy.
If you are a 48 year old woman (which you are not) then a sub 20 minute 5k is an 80% age graded performance. Ie that is a mammoth achievement.

Some of the replies to your post are not overly helpful as you are not starting out as a beginner. You are already half decent so you can go STRAIGHT into VERY hard sessions. And as one of the other posters pointed out that you SHOULD be knackered at the end of your sessions.

So if you are doing 20 x x1 minute then at the end you should be exhausted. And I mean unable to do one more.

You also need to rest.

Yes there is a benefit to going over 40 minutes. Many people support that and to a degree it is true. HOWEVER if you are pushed for time then just plodding along doing half marathons will not help. You need to train to push up your speed and VO2 max.

loads of stuff from me here
http://the5krunner.wordpress.com
 

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3 months ago at 15st and 5f 10in,i decided to start doing some running(tread mill)at first it was so so hard to do 5k running twice a week doing it in 30mins,in 4weeks doing it in 25mins,4 more weeks 22mins,the last to runs i knocked of over a minute each time.this morning running in 20:01,my problem is i am getting out of breath within the first half k...then seem to be like that till i finnish.i dont want to start running long distance's,and losing more weight.at mo 12st 8lb.

any advice on my lung capacity!
and my pulse was 192!

please dont take the ubove as some king of brag,its not,just letting you know where i am at...
Awesome improvement. Well done!!
Now the put down (sorry :) )
What gradient do you have the treadmill on? I think it needs to be 3-5 degrees to represent reality.
you are out of breath because it is hard!
Regardless of how close to a real world performance is, you've done a good job. Your improvement in times is excellent. You must be young and male!
Your lung capacity is not relevant in terms of how you ask it. Look for VO2 max on the net. That tells you how good your aerobic system is a processing oxygen. You will only use about 20% of your lung capacity, as do most of us.
Your heart rate too is not necessarily relevant. Yours is high like mine. It doesn't mean you are fit or not fit. Your max HR may well be over 200. The 220-age formula is wrong! your maximum heart rate is "YOUR maximum heart rate". However 192 probably means that you have a small, relative to other people, heart that pumps faster to do a similar level of work!!

Now go and do a free parkrun.com 5k timed run this saturday. LEt's take the training and times from there!

roll on 19 minutes

http://the5krunner.wordpress.com
 

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I will be going sub 20 pretty soon, I've been training damn hard for it and will do it, if it helps have a look at my Garmin link for my training which is working for me, I've done 20.28 at Poole parkrun against real hard wind so I'd say I have it in the bag soon, oh and I'm 44 so you should be flying way past my times :)
 
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