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Running- what's best to aim for?
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1981m · 01/05/2018 10:07

I started running in sept and can now run 5k in about 31minutes at the gym without stopping. I am doing this 2-3 times a week.

I am frustrated though as before the easter hols where we went on holiday and I ate lots of chocolate, I was running 5k in 26 minutes and was 4 lbs lighter. I can't seem to get back up to that running time, I am finding the 5k hard going where before it was ok and I ve lost my motivation.

Anyway, my question is. Should I stick to trying to get faster times for my 5 k or should I move on to working my way up to 10K? I want to enter a 10K race but I am finding it hard to leave behind my mindset that I must get my 5k back to where it was before. I seem to have hit a barrier with 5k and can't seem to go any further. Perhaps my motivation will come back if I have a new aim-10K?

Also, which is best in terms of toning and weight loss? Going faster or going further? My friend said that after 30 minutes of exercise your body stops being at its peak for burning fat/calories and I should concentrate on getting faster. Is this true?

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1981m · 01/05/2018 10:11

Ps- how much further should I try and run each time to eventually get to 10K? I know you're I can buy apps but a) I don't want to pay and b) I feel like it's a backwards step to go to interval training like that as I can currently run 5k without stopping.

But am I better trying to run the whole time to work my way up to 10K going further each time or do the run/walk thing and do 10K that way each time?

Hope makes sense. Sorry so analytical

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theredjellybean · 01/05/2018 10:18

I think you might be over thinking but can sympathise.
I have been running for five yrs and vary from being half marathon standard to barely doing 5km.
And speed/times widely varied.
So I now just ignore times /splits etc and am currently aiming for 10k'fit '.
I can run 6-7km but slow... I add about 250m per week and do three to four runs a week,
I'd try to stop obsessing about times and just run.. Try enjoying it without the pressure of timings.
Can you run outside? It's much more fun, been proven to burn more calories etc, and you get your vitamins d levels up.

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1981m · 01/05/2018 10:24

Thanks jelly. Yes think I am overthinking it and now getting frustrated over it means I am not enjoying it anymore. Will try and forget about the time and just enjoy it again. It's crazy how quick fitness and go up or down. So that's about 1/4K per week to add.

I really want to loose more weight so I think that's making me obsess a bit as to best way to tone/loose weight. And yes I know diet is key! I ve lost 1 stone since beginning running so it's a big motivation for me. I feel so confident.

I could run outside and have tried it before but didn't get on with it. I like certain conditions. Tv on, music on, not hot, not cold, like to see the time, how far I ve run. I am quite in my head when it comes to running

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BalloonFlowers · 01/05/2018 10:24

I reckon if you start running further sometimes, your 5km time will come down when you do a shorter run.

So I'd mix it up, sometimes aim for 5km going quite fast, sometimes slow it down a bit and go further.

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Bytheseabythesea · 01/05/2018 10:35

Suggest you mix it up and do some longer runs and also some runs outside -'i find outside running very different (and harder!) to inside. Parkrun is good if there's one near you. I vary wildly in distance and time and have to go slower to go further, but the variety is best for stamina, muscle toning and ultimately being fitter and healthier

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Bytheseabythesea · 01/05/2018 10:36

Ps I also think if you can run 5k comfortably you can run 10k. I would just enter a 10k and the atmosphere and support on the day will get you there

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LemonBreeland · 01/05/2018 10:41

I agree you need to not think about the times and just enjoy the run for what it is. If you want ot increase to 10k the advice is not to increase by more than 10% a week.

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theredjellybean · 01/05/2018 11:06

Yes to all above.. I run varied routes, varied paces, sometimes do hiit runs, sometimes stagger slower than a disabled tortoise..
My mantra is 'some is better than none'
I hate treadmill running.. So guess we arw all different :)
Hill running is good for stamina and yes I do onky add about quarter km a week but I have found that is a rate I can maintain and not slip back.
I was told to run the slightly longer distance at least three times consecutively and then you have established that distance and then add again.. I found I picked up the add on distance a bit the more I did.
So starting from 5km Mark, I added 250m each week for 4 weeks then felt fitter with better stamina so added 500m at next run and added a fourth run into week, so found after two weeks was ready to add again.

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RobsAKnob · 01/05/2018 11:22

I think you can do a bit of both - increase your long runs by a bit every week (250/500m, whatever you feel comfortable with), at an easy pace, and then do some intervals (faster pace) or some shortish, steep inclines/hills on your 5k runs.

That will get you faster on your short runs and also build up your long runs.

This works for me when I'm training for a race or trying to shift a few pounds. I find that if I try to follow a proper schedule, I tend to fixate on it and set myself stupid goals that I feel defeated by, and then I give up because I don't enjoy it.

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pizzaandhoops · 01/05/2018 16:46

Try doing strength training 2-3 times per week also. Are you always running on the flat / same route? Try interval speed runs and hills etc for shorter periods.

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CaffeineAndCrochet · 01/05/2018 16:49

www.halhigdon.com/training/51122/10-K-Training-Guide-Novice-Program

This is what I used to get me from 5k to 10k. I found that running for longer helped increase my speed at the shorter distances too.

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Mominatrix · 01/05/2018 17:02

Anyway, my question is. Should I stick to trying to get faster times for my 5 k or should I move on to working my way up to 10K? I want to enter a 10K race but I am finding it hard to leave behind my mindset that I must get my 5k back to where it was before. I seem to have hit a barrier with 5k and can't seem to go any further. Perhaps my motivation will come back if I have a new aim-10K?

Working your way up to 10K will result in you having a faster 5K time. Don't worry about times or distance, and focus on time running - I know it sounds backwards, but increasing one will increase the other 2, and it is often the time running which is a greater barrier than increasing distance. Whist running, mentally segment off splits saving your fastest for the last 5-10 minutes.

I agree with those who said vary your distances, but I would also add that you need to be running more often than 2-3 times a week. One a long slow run, another shorter at "race pace" for a shorter distance, another shortish with varying speeds, and another moderate pace long-is run.

If your goal is to lose weight, miles run is key. However, unless you are putting in serious miles (40+) a week, you really can't outrun a bad diet, so fuel up wisely and well.

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1981m · 01/05/2018 18:37

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I am definitely not enjoying it as setting myself goals which I am not reaching so getting frustrated. I am finding what I was finding easier harder now too.

Going to try and forget about times and now increase distance to hope this then means I am quicker over shorter distances.

I would struggle to run more than 2/3 times in a week. I do HIIT training once a week so that takes up what could be a running session. But thought this was the right thing to do to increase fitness, stamina and to tone other areas of my body and have variety. Should I drop this and run instead?

Plus I have a three year old who I have to work around and I can only book her into the crèche at the gym at certain times, she has several activities in the week when I can't go. I have a 5 yo to pick up from school and I am knackered in the evening. Plus I find my body needs a rest after runs. I currently do running tue, HIIT wed and running Friday. I then try and go at the weekend but it depends what we have on and dh doing the childcare.

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MNscum · 01/05/2018 19:16

You need to do 3 different types of running.

So one run do an endurance run, so your current 5k pace and just keep nudging the distance up.

Next run. Hill intervals. And you should need to walk for periods of this. So set the treadmill to a slow run, and you go no lower than 2% for the whole run. Then you do an interval where you run at 4% for 1 min, anywhere between 6-8% for 30 seconds, then anywhere between 8-12% for 30 seconds. Then back down to 2% and have active recovery for one min, so either slow jog or even a walk. They’re examples of times and inclines, you need to push yourself. Over the next few intervals you can add 10 seconds more to each incline interval every time.

Next run. Sprints. So interval training again. My PT doesn’t tell me a speed but will tell me an effort %. So he might tell me to run at 70% effort for 1.5 mins where I can only say 5 words before needing a breath, then 30 seconds at 80% effort (three words) then 15 seconds at 90-95% effort (1-2 words). Then active recovery for 1-2 mins. So that might be fast walk or slow jog. Then repeat and every time you’re increasing the length of your speed intervals by about ten seconds.

My PT reckons this is the best way to improve speed and endurance.

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Runsandreads · 07/05/2018 19:57

I'm in a similar situation to you - I can run 5k comfortably, if not especially fast. I've done 10ks and half marathons in the past but am not currently up to that standard. I also struggle to run more than twice a week due to childcare (and also do a weekly HIIT training session on top of this), but I've found this fine in the past for training up to a 10k as long as I'm consistent and don't skip sessions.

I agree with previous posters that it's good to change things up a bit and not run the same distance/pace all the time. At the moment I'm working up to 10k so one of my sessions will be my longer run (at a slowish pace), then for the other sessions I'll either do a Parkrun (so 5k but at race pace, trying to beat my PB) or just recently I've started doing hill reps or intervals. Intervals are tough - I've started by running hard for 30 seconds then at a slower pace for 1 minute, repeating this for 20+ mins with a 5 minute cool down at the start and finish. You increase the length of the faster bursts as you get better. The idea is to get used to running at a faster pace than normal and as a result increase your 5k time.

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BrassicaBabe · 07/05/2018 21:08

A v helpful thread for me too. Thanks all

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1981m · 08/05/2018 10:57

Very helpful. Thanks all.

I beat my PB today and back to under 30 mins for 5k but so tired couldn't increase distance too. Will try doing a slower one for longer on my next session.

More importantly though, I really enjoyed it, which I haven't been recently.

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catstring · 08/05/2018 14:05

If you want to focus on a faster 5k time, i'd include core strength work into your week. All too often neglected! I ran a 5k PB last year with hardly any specific running training under my belt but I'd been doing Martial Arts for a year which involved a LOT of burpees, push ups, shuttle runs, boxing, wrestling etc.
Also include hill and speed work. Run a 1 mile, 800m, 400m, 200m, 100m rep hard, with a short recovery for example.
If you want to aim for a 10k, increase your mileage but still do that core work!
It's amazing how a strong core and efficient style improves matters.

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