Goal of sub 20 5k (Read 13549 times)

    I'm beginning my 5th year running (I'll also be 55 this year). Last year by far was my best year. My goal for a 5K was to finally break the elusive 24:00 barrier for me. I finally ran a 21:37 on the same course. I also shattered my 5M times by about 5 minutes 37mins and change and ran two 10Ks in the low 47s. All of these were faster paces than any of my previous 5K paces. But I'm not greedy, so this year my goal for the 5K is to break 21:00 and get under a 7 min mile pace.
    Very nice improvement. Good luck on breaking 21.
      I'm beginning my 5th year running (I'll also be 55 this year). Last year by far was my best year. My goal for a 5K was to finally break the elusive 24:00 barrier for me. I finally ran a 21:37 on the same course. I also shattered my 5M times by about 5 minutes 37mins and change and ran two 10Ks in the low 47s. All of these were faster paces than any of my previous 5K paces. But I'm not greedy, so this year my goal for the 5K is to break 21:00 and get under a 7 min mile pace.
      Nice job on the PRs! You do realize that a 21:37 is under a 7 min mile pace. It is something like 6:58 per mile, so.... goal attained. Sub-21 would be 6:46 or better.
        Sub 20 is my current goal as well. I ran a PR of 16:11 my Junior year in high school (14 years ago) and took about 12 years off from running after high school. I ran my first 5K last June after picking running back up about 6 months earlier @ 23:55. My next one in September was @ 21:55. I ran a third a few weeks ago @ 20:22; Almost there! I'm curious as to how low I could go if I really committed to training. I'm not sure i'll ever be in the neighborhood of my PR again though. Has anyone had any success in getting back into great shape after taking years (and years) off?
        Based on your low milage totals so far and your previous talent level you will easily break 20. I ran a 20:30 in high school on about 20 miles a week and only about 8 months total training. At age 34 after about 3 years of training and 30 miles a week I ran a 20:17. It is much harder in your 30s to run times you ran in your teens. But if you put in the miles your time will drop. I see you haven't been running very many miles yet so your times have a long way to drop if you keep increasing mileage. You have natural talent to draw upon. I don't know about running low 16s again but you should be able to go below 18 in my opinion maybe even get close to 17 ... if you get up above 35 miles a week. Increase miles slowly though.
        evtish


          Well after grabbing my book DANIELS RUNNING FORMULA I realized I should only run 4 miles worth of Tempos since I am only running 40 miles per week. That sounded better. I ran a mile warmup then sauntered onto the track very nervously for some jr high kids were in the seats watching me and I didnt want to blow up. I got myself relaxed and did fine. 7 minute pace is really not that fast if you hit all the splits which I did nicely. I actually did 4 X 1600 meters. Split 1.... 6:59 Split 2....6:59 Split 3... 6:57 Split 4...6:49 Tried not to get too carried away but I felt good on the last 1600 meter interval. I knew it was no time to be fancy but I kept strong even though I could have loafed in the last 2 laps I took 80 seconds rest between each 1600 meter interval. Total miles today 8...weekly miles 34. It was a good test today.
          Dude, you didn't do a tempo run, you did 4x1600 intervals. Your tempo run would be nonstop 20 minutes at 7mm pace. 7mm tempo run would convert to about a 6:30 5k pace, which would just miss sub-20. If you can run your 20 min tempo run at 6:45's, that should convert to a 6:15 5k pace and you got it. You've got to do your mile repeats at about a 6:15-6:20 pace to be on track to break 20. Crank it up and train faster, run your 400 intevals at 5:40's. If you run your 400 intervals and tempos at these paces once a week for 4 wks, you'll break 20 in the 5th wk no problem. You have plenty of speed to do it, you're just letting your brain get in the way, it's called paralysis by analysis.
            Dude, you didn't do a tempo run, you did 4x1600 intervals.
            I would call what MF ran a tempo interval session. I'm not sure his pace was bad for that type of run. According to McMillan, a person with a 5k time of 20:17 should run tempo intervals between 6:46 and 7:00. I like these runs early in my training season because you get a nice workout in without too much stress. My 5k time is 20:34. Next week I'll to 5x2000, at about 7:00 minute mile pace, with 2:30 recoveries. Then I'll finish with 3x200 in 40 sec., with 200 meter jog recoveries. I'm not disagreeing with evtish, MF did run a type of interval rather than a standard tempo. However, his pace was fine for a tempo interval run. I also agree the MF is right there.
              Dude, you didn't do a tempo run, you did 4x1600 intervals. Your tempo run would be nonstop 20 minutes at 7mm pace. 7mm tempo run would convert to about a 6:30 5k pace, which would just miss sub-20. If you can run your 20 min tempo run at 6:45's, that should convert to a 6:15 5k pace and you got it. You've got to do your mile repeats at about a 6:15-6:20 pace to be on track to break 20. Crank it up and train faster, run your 400 intevals at 5:40's. If you run your 400 intervals and tempos at these paces once a week for 4 wks, you'll break 20 in the 5th wk no problem. You have plenty of speed to do it, you're just letting your brain get in the way, it's called paralysis by analysis.
              Thanks for the thoughts. And I will be glad to debate the ideas. I am just doing what Daniels book told me to do. Maybe it is called threshold pace in Daniels book but is similar to tempo work. I agree with you in that to run a tempo run I would do 4 miles at about 7:05 per mile pace. And I did a tempo run this past week 6 miles at 7:26 per mile pace...Because it was longer than 4 miles I could slow the pace and still be a tempo run. What I did 4 X 1 mile is a cruise tempo/threshold interval run and was much easier than 4 miles straight with no rest at tempo pace. As far as doing 5:40 mile speed in my quarter mile repeats I think that is too fast. I am only aiming for 6:27 mile pace in my race so I see no need to run at a much faster pace for 85 seconds when I am doing it now in 91 seconds and it is much easier pace for me (and still much faster than anything I will need to do a sub20 five-k. I don't know if I have plenty of speed to do this. I think one can only run a sub20 5k if one is in shape to do so. You cannot will yourself into running it unless you have put in the balls to the wall training or are extremely talented.
                In a sense I get what evtish is saying. So I should point out why I am doing the runs I am doing. Phase 1 build up basework. Last year I ran about 1500 miles (30 mpw). I took a couple weeks off in October and built back up to around 40 mpw today. I feel comfortable running that many miles in a week...maybe I will try to add some more if I can hack it but not priority number one yet. Once I got to 40 miles per week for a few weeks I started adding a longer run on Sundays. Started at 6 miles and increased... today my long run is 9 miles. Almost all miles in base state was slow 9:00 per mile pace. Phase 2 is ithe phase I am in currently. It is a 6 week phase of working on short fast runs. I continue 40 miles per week and one long run on Sunday. Most runs 8:30-9:00 per mile. Once a week I might do 12 X 200 meters in 45 seconds and rest as long as needed to recover between each. The next week I might do 8 X 400 in 91 seconds with similar rests between each. These reps are not harmful at all since you are always recovered when you run them and they are so short. The purpose is to get me used to fast stuff and make me run economically better at high speeds. So that is one day of speedwork per week. I also do one tempo run a week. In my case I did a cruise interval tempo 4 X1 mile at 7:00 pace with 80 seconds rest. Or this week I did 6 miles at 7:26 pace with no stops. *********** Phase 3 is the next phase which lasts 6 weeks. Once I get there I will work on intervals. This includes 3-5 minute runs at race pace (6:30ish per mile or so for me) Take a break equal to time spent running. Repeat 5-6 times. This is much harder on the body but I hope to be ready for it by doing my speedy short reps in phase 2. I will keep doing the short reps as well for a 2nd day of speedwork during Phase 3. Phase 4 is the peaking stage. Probably keep miles the same at 40 or so. I havent really looked too much at what this Phase entails. A little less focus on quality runs perhaps but one should work on their strengths in this stage since the time to work on weaknesses is early in your training (farther out from races).


                I've got a fever...

                  As far as doing 5:40 mile speed in my quarter mile repeats I think that is too fast. I am only aiming for 6:27 mile pace in my race so I see no need to run at a much faster pace for 85 seconds when I am doing it now in 91 seconds and it is much easier pace for me (and still much faster than anything I will need to do a sub20 five-k.
                  I'm not sure what kind of mileage you're doing, but the general rule of thumb is that more miles will improve your time more quickly than intervals. If you're already doing substantial miles and have been for a while, then intervals are great for helping you peak. Don't discount the idea of the fast quarters. Shorter faster intervals stress your body differently and affect different systems than your race pace. Even though you need to get under 6:27/mile to break 20 minutes, running quarters at 5:40 will benefit you if for no other reason in that they will make your race pace feel slow to you. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't be doing intervals, I just wanted to make you aware that the pace of short intervals serves a definite function. As a related side note, a really good variation on the old 5k standby workout of mile repeats is to do them as a 600-1000 superset. The workout is 3x(600-1000) with 4 minutes recovery. Run the first 600m extremely hard, then without stopping, downshift into your current 5k race pace. The fast 600 will make the race pace portion feel slow, and will also train you to run at 5k speed under some duress.

                  On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                    I'm not sure what kind of mileage you're doing, but the general rule of thumb is that more miles will improve your time more quickly than intervals. If you're already doing substantial miles and have been for a while, then intervals are great for helping you peak. Don't discount the idea of the fast quarters. Shorter faster intervals stress your body differently and affect different systems than your race pace. Even though you need to get under 6:27/mile to break 20 minutes, running quarters at 5:40 will benefit you if for no other reason in that they will make your race pace feel slow to you. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't be doing intervals, I just wanted to make you aware that the pace of short intervals serves a definite function. As a related side note, a really good variation on the old 5k standby workout of mile repeats is to do them as a 600-1000 superset. The workout is 3x(600-1000) with 4 minutes recovery. Run the first 600m extremely hard, then without stopping, downshift into your current 5k race pace. The fast 600 will make the race pace portion feel slow, and will also train you to run at 5k speed under some duress.
                    I have heard alot of ideas and with my analyzing brain I often throw all the ideas in the hopper and try most of them. But I finally went out and bought Daniels Running Formula. I must adhere to coach Daniels wisdom here. Daniels says one must run for at least 3 minutes for intervals at hard paces to get maximum results. Since if you only run for 90 seconds your max HR is not achieved until well into your run. You may only get 30 seconds of quality running in each 400 meter lap. But by running for 3 minutes hard you might get 2 minutes of running at 95% heart rate or higher for each interval. So by doing 5 repeats of 3 minute intrevals you have 10 minutes of hard running (67% of the time running). But by doing quarter mile repeats you are getting less than 50% of the time when you are running near max HR. There is a place for going 12 mph and it can help but I see no reason to do so for more than 30 seconds at a time (like a few striders at the end of runs every other day at the max).


                    I've got a fever...

                      There is a place for going 12 mph and it can help but I see no reason to do so for more than 30 seconds at a time (like a few striders at the end of runs every other day at the max).
                      I had the 5:40 pace (85sec/400m) in mind for R-Pace workouts, not I-pace. Looking at the numbers a little more closely, I see that your 20:17 5k corresponds to an I-pace of 95sec/400m and an R-Pace of 89sec/400m. So 5:40 pace is a little fast for R-Pace, but not unreasonable. Look at it this way -- if you're doing a Daniels R-Pace workout, and you're felling really good, your might find your self running that fast. FYI to non-Daniels readers: Daniels prescribes R-pace workouts as fast reps of about 90sec in duration with full recovery. MTCST (modified to correct stupid typo)

                      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                        I had the 5:40 pace (85sec/400m) in mind for R-Pace workouts, not I-pace. Looking at the numbers a little more closely, I see that your 20:17 5k corresponds to an I-pace of 95sec/400m and an R-Pace of 89sec/400m. So 5:40 pace is a little fast for R-Pace, but not unreasonable. Look at it this way -- if you're doing a Daniels R-Pace workout, and you're felling really good, your might find your self running that fast. .
                        I appreciate that. I can see myself cranking out the last one or two 400 meter reps at that pace...not so sure about all of the reps. I have never been much of a speedster. A lot of long slow stuff may have permanently challenged my fast twitch fibers.
                        evtish


                          You're right about the 5:40 400's. If you can repeat those at say 8x400, you "should" be able to run 6:15 pace 5k. I used that bc I knew you had a solid base, and if you really want to break 20, you have to work the intervals to get that speed. Just think of it this way , if you can get to the 5:40's, breaking 20 will be a breeze for you. First week you may only be able to hold the pace for the first 2-3, but by wk 4 you will be able to hold it for the full 8x400. Re Daniels, your paces are right on for where you're at right now, but you need to up it a little to where you want to be. Good luck! You can do it.
                            There's a lot of great info here. I especially like the idea of the 600-1000 superset, I will definitely be giving that a shot after my current training program. I also like seeing that there are more people on these boards around my (our) level.
                              My short goal was to do 5K under 25 and I did it today! Now my longer goal is to go under 20, but who knows how long that will take. I run 5k everyday and guess I am going to start running 6 or 7 once I get more comfortable with this. Good luck to you!


                              Supa Dupa Fly

                                It is much harder in your 30s to run times you ran in your teens. But if you put in the miles your time will drop. I see you haven't been running very many miles yet so your times have a long way to drop if you keep increasing mileage. You have natural talent to draw upon. I don't know about running low 16s again but you should be able to go below 18 in my opinion maybe even get close to 17 ... if you get up above 35 miles a week. Increase miles slowly though.
                                Yeah, that's the long term goal. Right now my primary goal is my first triathlon April 26th. With the time I need to put into both swimming and biking, i haven't had (or made) the time to get my running mileage up higher. So my side goal is my first sub 20 5K in years. After I do a few tri's this summer and slowly get more and more running miles in each week, i may take a month or three and do some focused 5K training and see what I can get down to.
                                ~TC --There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't--