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Discussion Starter #1
I'm fairly new to running, having run now for about 14 months with a 2 month break somewhere in the middle!

Last year I trained to run a 5K. With an all out effort I managed to run it in 26:24 with about 2 months of training. I then ran another with a fair effort at 28:30. Those runs were in August and Spetember of 2007. (The all out effort left me feeling pretty faint so I decided to approach the later run with less enthusiasm!)

Recently I did the sport relief 3 mile run and recorded a time of 22:30! BUT... not one of use thought that it was actually 3 miles! More like 2.5 ish.

For the past month or so I've had my sights set on running a 5K personal best in the summer. Since I ran 26:24 last year I would really like to get under 25 minutes this year. I have 7 weeks.

I would like to know - What's the best way to train in the next 7 weeks to improve enough to achieve this?

At the moment I train 3 times per week (5k) and sometimes one long, slow (12k) run on the weekend. I manage 5K anywhere between 26:10 and 28:30 when I run hard in training. Of my 3 5k runs, one is run hard, the others moderate.

I will have 3 goes at the same race this summer, in June, July and August. So please give me your suggestions, and if I use them I'll report back here and ultimately let you guys know what time I got! If it doesn't go well the first time, I'll have a month to improve before the next...
 

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i would suggest...

- shortening your long run and make an effort to do it every week...

- doing a speedwork session

so in a week maybe do:

1 x 8k
2 x 5k
1 x 5k (fartlek) or 1 x 3k (tempo)

good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Grant. I thought maybe just repeating 5ks often maybe wasn't the best way to go. I'll try what you've suggested.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also thanks to revenged, I meant to say I'm going to try what he suggested. I'll try it for the next 7 weeks and let you know if I got under 25 mins! Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK

So for the past few weeks I've been basically doing what revenged said. But my long run has been 10k.

Monday 5k tempo
Wednesday 5k tempo
Friday 3k fast or 5k fartlek (alternating)
Saturday / Sunday 10k long run.

With the fartlek, I have to say that I don't do that much fast running, I can manage maybe 4 to 5 bursts between 100-200 meters.

I did train every week apart from one when I managed only one 5k run, feeling under the weather and not enough sleep.

In my 5k runs I've been getting around 26:30 to 28 minutes. For my 10k runs I've been getting more like 52 minutes. Although it feels like I run slower on the 10k run, it seems to take me 2.5k to warm up and get into the swing of things. Does this mean I should maybe warm up 2.5k before my race??

My race is on Tuesday. I'm thinking of doing a slow 3k tomorrow morning (Monday). Any advice?

Thanks.
 

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athomson said:
OKIn my 5k runs I've been getting around 26:30 to 28 minutes. For my 10k runs I've been getting more like 52 minutes. Although it feels like I run slower on the 10k run, it seems to take me 2.5k to warm up and get into the swing of things. Does this mean I should maybe warm up 2.5k before my race??

My race is on Tuesday. I'm thinking of doing a slow 3k tomorrow morning (Monday). Any advice?

Thanks.
I always seem to take longer to get into a Sunday morning run - I don't warm up any longer than usual, though, I just take it easier in the first part of the run. If your racing, it might be different - the buzz of the event might help you get off to a good start.

Personally, I wouldn't run the day before the race, especially if I'm going for a good time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, for my first race I got 28:11, slower than last year. However it was a better "quality" run. ie I wasn't killing myself to get that time :d

I have the same race in 4 weeks time. Any tips on how I can speed up in such a short time?
 

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athomson said:
OK

So for the past few weeks I've been basically doing what revenged said. But my long run has been 10k.

Monday 5k tempo
Wednesday 5k tempo
Friday 3k fast or 5k fartlek (alternating)
Saturday / Sunday 10k long run.

With the fartlek, I have to say that I don't do that much fast running, I can manage maybe 4 to 5 bursts between 100-200 meters.

I did train every week apart from one when I managed only one 5k run, feeling under the weather and not enough sleep.

In my 5k runs I've been getting around 26:30 to 28 minutes. For my 10k runs I've been getting more like 52 minutes. Although it feels like I run slower on the 10k run, it seems to take me 2.5k to warm up and get into the swing of things. Does this mean I should maybe warm up 2.5k before my race??

My race is on Tuesday. I'm thinking of doing a slow 3k tomorrow morning (Monday). Any advice?

Thanks.
Congrats for keeping up running and following the advice! I think you have prepared very well for the race and I'd be very surprised if you didn't finish it in under 25mins.

You can run the day before a race but make sure it is an easy run. I am not sure about warm up, it is not something I really do. Maybe someone else could suggest a good warm up? What I do a small jog for about 500 meters and do a couple of stretches. To be honest though, you normally you have to wait about 5-10 minutes at the race line for it to start so doing more is often a bit pointless in my opinion. What you do is up to you, I'm hardly an expert.

One thing I'd suggest for the race is that you run fast in the first half of the 5k. When you are running 10k it is best to run the second half faster than the first half but when you are running 5k (as it is much shorter) it is best to run the first half faster. This might be the reason why you are running faster for the 10k than the 5k. If you plan on running the first half of the race faster you need to be careful. It can be hard to do, particularly if you are new. A lot of people do it very wrong and sprint at the start to try and keep up with the fastest runners - it is the worst thing to do and never works! What you need to do is hold up right at the start of the race when everyone is sprinting - I think it is better to push yourslef to run quicker after about 500 meters when your legs are warmed up.

I think you have a good plan with starting with 5k. If you want to carry on with running long term it is better to do it this way. It is what I'm doing now (although I'm not sure I'd manage it this month as I've had a week off :confused:). Let us know how you do on tuesday!
 

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Hi athomson, First time I've seen this thread and I'd have loved to have offered my thoughts earlier. Sounds like you're sticking to your training well which is great... though the nature of the runs I feel could be improved a little perhaps.

Two things that sticks out to me like a sore thumb is that within your regime there doesn't appear to be any training done at your goal pace - i.e. the speed that you intend to run for the duration of your sub 25min 5k... without training at this actual pace, I think you're body will find it hard to know what speed it should be running at come race day.

Secondly you're running 5k tempo runs, which in my opinion links a little to my last comment. You're training by running your target distance slower than your target pace - basically teaching your body to run 5k slower than you want it to on race day! Perhaps a little counter productive? I'd perhaps consider something like...

Mon - 1mi Warm Up - 3k tempo - 1mi Cool Down
Weds - 5x 1km @ Race pace (5mins per 1km) with 90secs rest between each (+ Warm up / Cool Down)
Fri - 4mi including some strides in the middle 2mi (fartlek)
S/S - 10k Long Run

Most days will be tough sessions but I'd imagine your rest days will be adequate time for recovery :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey guys,

Thanks for your advice so far - It is appreciated.

Richard I think I will try what you've said, I have just over 3 weeks before I run that race again. I suppose when you put it like that it does seem obvious that I won't be that great at faster running.

I was running my 3k training session and aiming for 15 minutes. I could get close but be totally blitzed at the end. I like the idea of running 5 X 1k with rests. I have a lap locally which measures 1020 metres approx. and is ideal for the job! It's only about 500m from my front door so is that enough as a warm up?

I agree that the 5K is fairly "short", and I think my approach last week was wrong. For fear of exhausting myself, I ran slow-ish for the first half and intended to make up some time in the second half. I did get past a few people, but there was no way that I could make up that much time.... oh well.

Following the race in 3 weeks time, I'm running it a final time in August, 4 weeks later. It's the Swansea Bay series btw (www.swanseabay5k.com). I'm also considering running a couple of 10ks in September / October just to test myself.

I'll let you know what happens in 3 weeks.
 

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everyone varies in what they ideally need as a warm up... most people say a mile to be safe... (around 1600m), so you could jog there and do a warm up lap? Just thinking it's probably be a good idea to err on the side of caution seeing as your main bit of the run will be fairly intense!

Your 3k in 15mins would be a good target to work towards... as a tempo run, or you could work towards it in reps.. e.g, make your 5x1k into 3x1.5k, then 4x1.5k, 2x3k, 3x2k, 2x3k (perhaps with a slightly longer rest between reps)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I missed the july run... I moved house at the end of june and have been busy for weeks. I have a new route of 5.6K which I'm running in 29:20 - 29:10. I have 2 weeks until the last 5k race in which I will try to beat my PB of 26:24.

Given my current times I think it will be close. Any advice for the next 2 weeks? How many days should I rest prior to the race?
 

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I guess it partially depends on what training you're managing at the moment... usually in the week leading up to a race, I'll cut my long run short on the saturday, rest sunday, easy runs monday + tues, rest weds, easy run thurs n fri, rest sat, race sun. Though some people will have a much heavier week leading up to a race - it's all down to preference at the end of the day I think.

Don't worry about pushing yourself really hard in the time leading up to the race, any incredibly hard sessions won't noticeably affect your fitness levels for a few weeks, so there's little point in killing yourself trying to gain that extra bit of fitness ready for the race!

Best of luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
New PB!

Well the race was last night. I managed a time of 24:41, which was better than expected. Thanks for the training advice guys! I will be carrying on now, trying to get quicker again...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well going for 24, then 23 etc in training but by the next time I race I'd like a significant improvement. We'll see...
 

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Fri - 4mi including some strides in the middle 2mi (fartlek)
What are strides?

What next for this training program then? I'm keen to see athompsons PB is within five sec's of mine so next goal of 22/23 mins in common!

I've just been building up my long runs and doing some intervals where for the fast bit i'm running faster than goal pace.
 
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