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Speeding up my 5km

(16 Posts)
Ostagazuzulum Sun 29-Sep-19 08:59:54

Hi I've been doing c25k for ages. Been running since May this year and will reasonably easy run 5km. Problem for me is that I'm so slow compared to what I'd like to be and can't seem to speed it up. I'm doing 7.5minute km so my 5km takes 37
Minutes. Id really like to work towards getting it under 30 minutes. I start off slow thinking it's important to run for the full time and taking it steady means I won't wear myself out. I'm running at full capacity (legs ache, breathing hard and wouldn't easily hold conversation). I go to the gym a lot usually doing 20-30 minutes on cross trainer and weights. I tried a personal trainer but all they did was have me squat for 30 minutes and tell me about their 30th birthday party 🙄 if about 2-3 stone overweight at mo (menopause but that's another thread). Any advice? Thanks

EarringsandLipstick Sun 29-Sep-19 09:24:09

Well done OP it's brilliant you've stuck with c25k and I think your time is fine.

But if you want to increase time, you need to start with weight loss, so looking at diet.

In terms of increasing pace, change it up a bit. Instead of starting slowly and doing 5k all the time, do shorter distances, faster eg 4 x 200m at fast pace with short break in between and repeat. Or run 2k faster.

Finally mix up training. I know a PT trainer didn't work before but find a new one? Or go to classes like HIIT, strength & conditioning, circuits which will improve your overall cardiovascular ability.

Ostagazuzulum Sun 29-Sep-19 11:08:18

Thank you! They're really helpful suggestions! The weight gain is a nightmare. I went into surgical menopause at the end of last year and it's wreaked havoc. I'm just about to try the Keto diet to see if it helps shift a bit because my normal tactics aren't working 🤬 I'll have a look at some
Hoot classes (I haven't before because I was embarasssd I'd not be fit enough) but i think how's the time to throw myself in. X

MsMartini Sun 29-Sep-19 14:34:23

Well done OP, that's the main thing.

And I agree - mix it up. I am 52, started running May 2018, could run 5k after couple months but slowly, diagnosed with anaemia, took iron and speeded up! In the absence of anaemia (!), try running shorter distances on the treadmill at the gym and gradually increasing the speed. I used to do 3k on treadmill and built up to doing that in 16-17 mins. I then built up to 4k and 5k at that pace outside - so I now do 5k in 27.7 mins, 5.5 min per km ish. That feels like it may be about my limit! SO build pace and then extend distance. or do hill sprints and jog down. Or longer runs with some sprints. And Hiit classes great fir fitness tho I could do them fine and still find running hard. And I use the cross trainer on non-running days to build stamina as well.

MsMartini Sun 29-Sep-19 14:37:05

Also, yes try some classes. I do hiit circuits, boxing, pilates, love them all. I am built like a welsh pit pony, go bright red, and am clumsy. Have learned loads and feel great! Unless your gym is some specialist place, there will be asll sorts at the classes, and the instructors are used to adapting exercises. Try a few and see what you like!.

Runningonempty84 Sun 29-Sep-19 15:05:22

If you want to run faster - you need to do some faster running!
There are so many complicated ways of doing this, but the easiest is to incorporate faster intervals into your current 5k runs. Start off doing the first 3k at your usual pace. Then for the last 2k, put fast intervals in there. So if your usual pace is 6/10 effort, do intervals of 9/10 effort, separated by a slow jog. To measure your intervals, use lampposts, trees, or whatever you have.
For example - 3k usual pace
Last 2k - fast pace for two lampposts-distance, slow for four lampposts, fast for two lampposts, slow for four, repeat to end.

Once you're used to that, step it up by doing slightly more formal speed training, such as reps of 400m all-out, with a 2-min walk recovery between each rep. Hill training, too, can help speed - run hard up the hill, jog recovery down, x5.

I've taken my 5k from 32mins to 20 mins since I started running.

Ostagazuzulum Sun 29-Sep-19 16:43:31

There's some great advice here! Thank you! I'm really excited about trying some of this stuff now!!

MouthyHarpy Mon 30-Sep-19 21:22:04

Do some HIIT style running training. And don’t diss the squats! They make your legs like steel and your gluten like iron and this will help with speed too.

Try jumping squats - a full squat into a jump.

For HIIT training I do stuff on the treadmill - working on either increasing speed or increasing incline.

For example: start at 8kph & an incline of 2. Warm up at that for a couple of minutes.

Then do a pyramid going up either speed or incline over the next few minutes.

Run for say, 45secs at 9kph then jump off for 15 secs and put the speed up to 10kph. Do 45 secs then jump off for 15. Put the speed up to 11kph. At that speed I would run for 40 secs on,20 secs off.

At maybe 13 kph I’d run for 30 secs on 30secs off.

I’ve done this up to 16kph where I could only manage 20secs - I freaked myself out about the speed so I keep going back to that to get more used to it.

When you get to the fastest speech Ed you can bear, that’s the top of your pyramid and then you work your way down.

The one tricky thing you have to learn is how to jump off the treadmill and get back on. Basically, grab the sides with your hands and then jump your feet off the band onto the sides of the machine. To get back on the moving treadmill, support yourself with your hands and start running until you’re up to speed then let go of the sides. It’s a bit like the cartoon running in the air!

You can do the same exercise with the incline. Start running at day 8kph and then do the same 40secs on, 20secs off and increasing the incline each time while keeping speed the same.

You only need to do 10 minutes of this regularly -maybe once a week or once a fortnight? - and you WILL get faster.

My treadmill jogging rate doing C25K used to be 5kph warm up then about 8kph jogging. I now can run (on the treadmill) at 10kph quite comfortably.

Well - “comfort” is a relative term .... grin

ScrambledSmegs Mon 30-Sep-19 21:44:25

I recently watched this Ted Talk on nutrition and fitness for women - very informative. Might be helpful, OP.

youtu.be/e5LYGzKUPlE

Pandora71 Mon 30-Sep-19 21:53:54

I run Parkrun in 33mins buy a regular lone 5k in 37mins. Try it!

TranquilityofSolitude Mon 30-Sep-19 21:58:42

There are some NHS podcasts to help you increase your speed after you've done C25K. Coincidentally I tried one this morning for the first time. You run to the beat of the music and they alternate fast minutes with slower ones. I found it very good this morning and would recommend them.

If you have a podcasts app on your phone they're easy to find.

TranquilityofSolitude Mon 30-Sep-19 22:11:46

These are the podcasts:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-plus-running-podcasts/

SudowoodoVoodoo Tue 01-Oct-19 17:18:55

Another fan of C25k+ podcasts. I use them to keep a steady pace and put them back to back when I want pace on a longer run.

Mix it up. A shorter run with faster intervals. Longer slower runs. Strength work helps too.

Some larger parkruns do pacers every so often. One I go to does the first Sat of thr month.

Jumbojem Thu 03-Oct-19 22:04:09

Intervals will help. I do "lampost" runs which keeps it simple, run slow to one then sprint to the next, then slow again to the next and so on. I do this for a mile or so with longer slower runs at the weekend. Also, getting a Garmin and setting the virtual pacer just just slightly faster than my steady pace pushes me to go a bit faster. I have to say though, at mid 40s I'm only slowly chipping away at my times!

sauvignonblancplz Thu 03-Oct-19 22:10:45

Some really brilliant advice on here, I’m at the same stage as you . I run with the pram which is hard and am generally just a poor runner I think but really enjoying it.
I just finished couch25K and started the 10K app, some advice I got was improve your endurance , run for longer .
I’ve also entered into a fun run to help change it up.
Will be stealing the advice on her as well, great post grin

LeGrandBleu Fri 04-Oct-19 10:35:15

Totally agree with PPs. To increase speed in long distance run, you need to do sprints. Do 100 sprints, then walk or slowly jog to recover, repeat sprints , recover until you have done at least 10.

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