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First 5k done. Now what?

(13 Posts)
vvviola Wed 12-Apr-17 19:47:58

I did my 1st parkrun at the weekend, after a 7 week course with our local running club. I came second last (38:56) and was quite pleased with myself considering I'd struggled with running 200m 7 weeks ago, and managed to go almost the whole way without stopping.

But I'm trying to figure out what comes next. There is the running club - but most of them are really fast, and now that the course is over, the leaders will likely go back to their usual runs. Even the majority of people who did the course with me are much fitter and much faster.

I'm wary of being "the one who is always last back".

But the bigger issue is - do I just keep doing 5k 3 times a week (which is what the club were building us up to), until I'm no longer being overtaken by snails? Or do I try for longer?

I won't be able to do the parkrun too regularly unfortunately as it clashes with DC's activities. But could probably do it once every 6 weeks or so.

And there's the Mini Marathon in June (Dublin), but 10k seems like such a stretch right now.

All that rambling is to say. I'm really enjoying running - and this is the first time I've ever enjoyed any sort of sport in about 25 years. And now that I've reached my first goal I don't want to lose momentum - but I don't know what to aim for next.

lljkk Wed 12-Apr-17 20:21:14

You could devise a little training programme to try to just do that park run faster. Set yourself a goal of 10 seconds improvement per week over next 5 weeks. Probably means 3 other runs each week, at a similar distance. Can you find anybody friendly to go with?

vvviola Wed 12-Apr-17 20:37:12

There's two other people who did the programme with me who are a similar speed - I possibly have slightly more stamina than them (I never thought I'd be able to say that about anyone!). They wouldn't be friends as such, but they are nice people and I've enjoyed chatting with them (when I was able to talk!)

So if they are there on the club running nights I'd have someone to run with - but I'm not sure they are thinking about increasing speed.

I suppose if I did two nights with them just focusing on getting through the 5k, and then one at the weekend working on speed, then that might speed me up for the parkrun.

And then if I can manage to reduce my time a bit for that, then I can have another think about what's next

(Although, considering my best time for 5k was 41:20 walk/run before the parkrun, I was pretty amazed at my time on Saturday!)

lljkk Thu 13-Apr-17 09:07:37

You are only supposed to do speed training once a week, anyway. If it's tough, you can't do it more than once a week or you'd come to dread it. So that actually sounds perfect. 2 maintenance runs, fine if these are a bit slow for you, one hard run, and the actual park-run which you can take how you feel you want to take it on the day (fast, tempo, slow, etc. whatever feels right on the day).

As you proceed keep an eye out for other opportunities, too. I only found out about my work-place group by accident.

Down the line maybe you can find a hilly route to add to the mix or replace another training run with.

BlueChampagne Thu 13-Apr-17 13:09:18

Further or faster, it doesn't really matter! If you decide to do further, remember to try not to increase more than 10% per week to reduce the risk of injury from overdoing it. I found that when I started to go further, I got a bit faster - just increased fitness I guess.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Thu 13-Apr-17 18:57:32

Increasing distance helps with speed in the early days as it improves stamina.

You could extend the distance of one run towards 10k (much easier than starting and going up to 5k). Keep one run similar as an easy run and increase speed intervals on a short run.

The C25k+ podcasts are good for this stage as a structure.

vvviola Fri 14-Apr-17 11:53:56

Well, it seems like I need to focus on the 5k a bit before I go for distance or speed. I went out this morning and was very slow and struggled through the first 2.5km. (Although oddly I had the energy to do some slightly faster bits at around 4km).

Took me 41 minutes to get around the 5km route.

lljkk Sat 15-Apr-17 09:25:17

Was yesterday the first time you ran since the weekend, so a 5 or 6 day gap?
I find I must run at least 3x a week for it to be comfortable. Any less and I find running just too difficult & painful. Even if I let just 3days elapse between runs, come the 4th day, I'll be huffing pathetically. Something about running regularly keeps my body tuned into how to do it.

vvviola Sat 15-Apr-17 11:07:31

I'd done a short 20 minute run on Sunday, but yes, other than that, the parkrun on Saturday was my last run as DH was away so I couldn't get out.

I thought it was just me being still very unfit that was the problem, but it's reassuring to know that the gap between runs might have caused some of it.

Wasn't going to be due to run again until Tuesday evening - might see if I can squeeze in one on Monday morning (not sure the family would be too pleased at me disappearing on Easter Sunday morning!)

lljkk Sat 15-Apr-17 11:23:01

...but might give you excuse to eat more chocolate? wink
Little & often sounds good. Keep us posted how you get on!

vvviola Mon 17-Apr-17 10:25:43

Managed a minute faster overall this morning - although it was still pretty hard going (not helped by having to stop at 4km because my eyes were stinging from a lovely combination of sweat and moisturiser - will I have to sport an 80s style headband?! grin)

Next run is with the club tomorrow evening.

lljkk Mon 17-Apr-17 22:19:07

wow, way to go!

yeah.. I did a 5km race yesterday. omg, back of my neck was soaking wet afterwards. yick. at least I can be satisfied I wasn't slacking off.

vvviola Tue 18-Apr-17 22:30:26

Seems I was worrying needlessly about the club. It's a system where everyone heads out on their own route depending on what they want to do (I did 4.5 with the women I'd mentioned before), and the people generally wait until everyone is back at the start point. All very friendly (and there are certain days for shorter and longer runs).

Another go on Thursday grin

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