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I want to improve my 5 km time

(22 Posts)
mckenzie Sat 06-Oct-12 20:13:58

I've always preferred much longer distance, have stamina rather than speed. But my body can't cope with the miles and miles of pounding any more and so I'm restricted to max 10km, twice a week and lots of pilates, stretches etc to keep me pain free.

I need a new challenge though and so would like to get my 5km time back to what it was pre children. (nothing special, like I say, I'm not fast smile).
I can do a monthly handicap with the local running club and have my times from that pre children so I know I need to try and know 2 and a half minutes off, minimum.

I'd love to find a programme to follow to tell me exactly what to do as then i will do it. It I have to be inventive myself, I think I'll fail.
I need to do my running during the day other wise I would do the running club sessions which I know are fab but... too many other evening commitments at the moment mean that it wouldn't be fair to also sneak off running when there is nothing to stop me doing it during the day.

So, any good programmes on line that you know off? Or (pleading voice now) any knowledgable runner care to write me one??


SerendipityAlways Sat 06-Oct-12 20:31:54

Watching this one, as I too am in the same boat. I do sprint triathlons and also need to shave time off my 5K for next year!

mckenzie Sun 07-Oct-12 21:25:40

let's try a 'bump'

sheeesh Sun 07-Oct-12 21:33:26

No programme to recommend but I found that including a shortish run that includes a long steep climb made a huge difference to my strength and fitness and then when running flat I was able to run much fatster.

Steep run is about 2.7 miles and a few times of doing that shaved off 1.5 mins off my time per mile.

SummerLightning Sun 07-Oct-12 21:39:26

I want to do this too! 1.5 mins off PER MILE? blimey I would be happy with 1.5 mins off the whole thing.
No hills round me so can't do that so easily. I do do intervals once a week and I'm trying to do a tempo run once a week too. But I think I need to do some slower runs too.

monsterchild Sun 07-Oct-12 21:40:31

wind sprints can help, where you just do a number of sprints, instead of distances.
the hill running helps too, as does cycling, if you can do it.

And changing terrain, if that's available can also help, as it adds hills, declines and flat.
We used to have to do exercises, like lifting our knees high, or kicking our own bums while running which was to develop those muscles too.

Not a great expert, just remembering what I did when I was in training!

nocake Sun 07-Oct-12 21:49:02

Lots of good advice here but I'm going to throw in a curve ball... try some long slow miles. 7-10 miles at a fairly easy pace, about 1:30 min per mile slower than your 5k pace. Mix that with the intervals and hills and you should see results.

sheeesh Sun 07-Oct-12 21:49:21

If no hills then yes add some sprints. I was amazed the difference it made tbh. But I went from slowish to less slowish grin

mckenzie Sun 07-Oct-12 21:55:35

thanks for the posts. There are a few hills round here that i always have to go up wherever i run and I always run off road when I can so lots of different terrain.
I am trying to do a hill session once a week or a sprint session but I don't know if I'm doing enough in that session. I do the drills that you mentioned monster child in my warm up before a proper session. That I remember from the old days of proper running club sessions smile

I can't do the longer runs any more nocake. I so wish I could but my back and knees just scream "NO".

NimpyWindowMash Sun 07-Oct-12 22:01:20

I would like to improve my 5k time. I am fairly new to this and I did couch to 5k but have not got much further than that.
My time over 5k is around 32 minutes. I know it's nothing special, but I notice no-one else has actually said their time. Anyone willing to say?
My DH is a more experienced runner and he has suggested I do repeated sprints or hills to increase speed and strength.

SummerLightning Sun 07-Oct-12 22:05:37

I do sprints but I haven't got much faster in a while now. What got me faster was running with guys from work who are faster than me and making it hurt. I would still like to be faster though as I'm still not exactly fast!

SummerLightning Sun 07-Oct-12 22:08:14

Nimpy mine is 25:18 (not a proper pb though, self timed). That 18 is very important though as I'm trying to get under 25.
Dh has been casually running twice a week and went out and ran under 25 mins and I'm really peeved!!

SummerLightning Sun 07-Oct-12 22:09:56

Nocake one of the guys I go running with says I need to do more long slow ones too. But I don't have time at the mo as I do a lot of cycling too

Babieseverywhere Mon 08-Oct-12 08:35:20

I am a beginner runner and I want to do a faster 5k but I don't understand most of the things referred to in this thread, LOL.

I have been doing 5k runs three times a week and worked up a weekend run to 10k (first 10k run this weekend, yeah me)

My only official time for a 5k is 39 minutes and 6 seconds which I was so happy with at the time, not bad for a fat middle aged chick. But now I know I can run 10k I want to speed up my 5k time.

Can anyone explain in very short words what I should do, as I know nothing about running training. TIA

SummerLightning Mon 08-Oct-12 10:56:48

Someone said to me "just generally run most of your runs at a pace that hurts"!
More specifically:
Intervals - fast sections with slow sections between. If you have smartphone get something like Runkeeper or endomondo (though I think endomondo is a bit crap for intervals) and program it to tell you when to go fast and slow. So for example I have 400m fast 400 m slow repeat x 8
Tempo run - run as fast as you can as if you are in a timed race!
Hills. Find a hill. Run up it.

And slower "recovery" runs between.

I have found it really good to go out running with people faster than me (think i took about 5 mins off my 5k time just doing this) so is there anyone you can go running with?

notsohot Mon 08-Oct-12 21:13:40

Have a look at the NHS 5+ podcasts - there is one on increasing your speed, which uses interval training basically telling you when to run fast or slower. There is also one on stamina and another one on 'something else ' (helpful).

I have used the speed one and it uses beats per minute to drive the pace - which I find a bit hard to understand (no rhythm) so I just alternate running fast and slow. Like others have said if you are told to do it you do it.

mckenzie Mon 08-Oct-12 22:29:57

notsohot - I could only find 'couch to 5km' options. Am i looking in the wrong place?

NimpyWindowMash - last week I was 25:47, PB since 2000 22:38 which is my new target.
PB prior to 2000 is unattainable me thinks smile

SummerLightning Mon 08-Oct-12 22:39:48

Mckenzie i found it - just typed in nhs to iTunes and it was near the top.

I am sure if you used to be able to do 22:38 you can do it again! I am faster than I've ever been so starting to think I can't go any faster. My short stumpy legs just won't do it.

SummerLightning Mon 08-Oct-12 22:40:41

Oh sorry - thanks notsohot. Will have a go with them at some point!

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 08-Oct-12 22:43:33

this is my goal too over the winter. I have a dreadfully slow 5k of about 37mins. I can do 3k in about 19 but can't keep it up. More training is the only thing I think, but I can only fit in 2 runs a week. I want to get to a 30min 5k by the end of winter

Babieseverywhere Tue 09-Oct-12 12:33:53

Thanks MNers for the training options.

Here is a link to the NHS C25K Plus Podcasts which I found and will be using.

I also love the advice for hills, it made me smile smile.

"^Hills. Find a hill. Run up it.^"

We live at the top of a killer hill which I have been avoiding, so I will indeed endeavour to 'Run up it' It might kill me but if it doesn't I'll get faster at running, ace !

mckenzie Tue 09-Oct-12 13:26:27

thanks guys. I'm downloading them now.

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