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Moving the 5k time to the next level? (Read 846 times)

    Hi all.

     

    First time poster, so please bear with me if I miss some obvious points.

     

    On January 1st 2012 I set myself a target to run 366 miles in 366 days; sounds easy enough. I don't have a history of running,I have ran in the past, however all very much ad-hoc and with no great motivation. I managed to reach my target last week with 45 days to spare. This is impressive for me as I work full time, often away from home with no access to a gym or decent running route, I have 2 young children so really need to plan when I ran carefully, and often cant go for days.

     

    My ethnic group does not have a history for producing runners, so i don't believe I have any genetic advantage, I'm 38,  5'6", weigh 71Kg and have a  slim-to-regular build. I don't have a wiry runner frame, quiet the opposite in fact, with bight thighs and calves, I look more like Sergio Aguero (Argentina Soccer Player, known for his wide  thighs) than a runner!

     

    Diet is good, with not much junk food to it, I don't smoke or consume large quantities of beer, however have a weakness for Scotch Wink

     

    To date I've managed to get my 5k time down to 23:29, this is the fastest achieved and  I'm averaging around 24:00 on most runs. This is a significant improvement on when I set out, at which point I was clocking an average of around 35:00.

     

    Questions is how do I move onto the next level? I want to target 21:00 and eventually a sub 20 minute 5k run - however just seem to run out of steam in the last 1.5k when I set a higher average pace. I've tried combinations of morning, and mid-afternoon runs with a decent carb intake for fuel, however to no major  avail. I've changed my gear too, investing in better footwear and lighter apparel, again it has helped. I'm not naive enough to think it will revolutionise my running speed, but can say it has helped.

     

    So, what to try next to get that time down? Maybe age and my build are against me?

     

    sMooth

      You can't do anything about your age. But there are plenty of people much older than you who have run much faster, so I wouldn't worry about that.

       

      At 5'6" and 71 kg it certainly would not hurt to lose a bit of weight. That's a BMI of just over 25, and 25 is normally considered to be the boundary of "normal" and "overweight".

       

      You've said that you run a mile a day on average? It would help to run more...

       

      As far as training goes - I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice. I wrote some notes for a friend which I've put online: http://blog.rudin.co.uk/2012/11/5k-training.html - but take the advice with a pinch of salt - everyone will have different ideas.

        Hey pr100 - thanks for that.

         

        The average, well though correct,  is a touch misleading, I run mostly 5k runs 9nevery any less), 2-3 times a week, taking breaks every few weeks. As for the weight, I've contemplated shedding a few more pounds, however don't want to look too skinny! Upper body is not 'chubby' now, so I'm afraid of of looking very frail if I get under 70Kg, as recommended by the BMI.

         

        Ill check out that blog, many thanks for posting.

          BMI can be very misleading.  It is a useful indicator for medical professionals - but does not tell the whole story.

           

          I am 5'7 and my lowest weight in recent years has been 70kg.  This still gave me quite a high BMI.  My body fat was 10% at 70kg.

           

          Johnny Wilkinson (British rugby player) has an "obese" BMI.

           

          Don't worry about your weight at all.  Far better to gradually increase your running - adding some variety.  Not all your runs should be 5k.  Try going longer once or twice a week - this will have the greatest effect on our 5k time at the moment.

           

          FWIW - what you have achieved so far (on very little training) is really very very good indeed.

           

          MTA: My body fat is currently about 25%.... but we won't talk about that right now.

            Thanks for the encouraging words Purdey. I agree with you about the BMI reading, a few friends that work in the Medical industry say the same thing. To them I am considered a "weed" in a nice way.  Smile

             

            I will try doing the longer runs, Its been over 2 months since I did a 6.5k, so may opt for a 10k next week.

             

            Thanks again, just got to keep at it and see where I am in 6 months time.

            coach-T


              Purdey is right, the most important thing to do where you are at is longer runs. Anything more than a 10k is going to get you the endurance you need to finish a 5k. Some people also swear by running twice a day, both slightly longer than a 5k but that is often harder to find time for. If you have a day (or two) you can consistently run longer runs every week that works very well. If you have a route you can do specifically one day a week to track your progress for that loop I would also suggest that. Running training times against yourself is good but don't get too into it, leave yourself room for improvement in time, not pushing yourself into injury.

               

              Good luck in your training!

                Smooth,

                 

                More miles and more structured training is your ticket. I may have misinterpreted but when you go out for your 5K runs, do you run them hard/all out each time. That is racing/straining and not training.  If you run 5 times in a row, over a week or 10 days, I recommend a long run (build it up) and only one other harder work out. The other 3 days should just be miles with some striders perhaps at your level. Also, a normal training run and long run should be around 90 sec to 120 sec slower than your 5K race pace.  You need to build your base and this will get you stronger to hold a faster pace. If you train this way, in 6 months you will be much faster in the 5K.

                Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                  Lots of good advice here.  The one thing I will add is spend some time on this site in the forums and check out people logs.  You can learn a  lot by seeing what other people are doing and have had success with. You may notice a trend that most of the "faster people" are the ones who are running the most.

                   

                  There are a lot of people on this site with kids a job, travel and yet somehow they manage to, run really well, and work really well and still have time to be there for there kids.  Its a balance and your schedule may be more difficult than some, but if getting better at running is a priority for you can find/make the time to fit in an extra run or 2 a week.

                    Run more.  Not harder, not faster, just more often.

                    Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                      Smooth, when TChuck says 90-120 secs slower than your 5k race pace he means PER MILE, not over the 5k distance, just wanted to clarify that!

                      We all have different builds, not much can be done about that. Over a longer race it is a big advantage to be lighter but this is not a big factor in a 5k- I am about the same weight as you.

                      If you are fading in the late stages of the run you should train to improve by running at a slower pace for a longer distance, be patient as the improvement is gradual.

                      PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                          10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                       

                        Hi all.

                         

                        First time poster, so please bear with me if I miss some obvious points.

                         

                        On January 1st 2012 I set myself a target to run 366 miles in 366 days; sounds easy enough. I don't have a history of running,I have ran in the past, however all very much ad-hoc and with no great motivation. I managed to reach my target last week with 45 days to spare. This is impressive for me as I work full time, often away from home with no access to a gym or decent running route, I have 2 young children so really need to plan when I ran carefully, and often cant go for days.

                         

                        My ethnic group does not have a history for producing runners, so i don't believe I have any genetic advantage, I'm 38,  5'6", weigh 71Kg and have a  slim-to-regular build. I don't have a wiry runner frame, quiet the opposite in fact, with bight thighs and calves, I look more like Sergio Aguero (Argentina Soccer Player, known for his wide  thighs) than a runner!

                         

                        Diet is good, with not much junk food to it, I don't smoke or consume large quantities of beer, however have a weakness for Scotch Wink

                         

                        To date I've managed to get my 5k time down to 23:29, this is the fastest achieved and  I'm averaging around 24:00 on most runs. This is a significant improvement on when I set out, at which point I was clocking an average of around 35:00.

                         

                        Questions is how do I move onto the next level? I want to target 21:00 and eventually a sub 20 minute 5k run - however just seem to run out of steam in the last 1.5k when I set a higher average pace. I've tried combinations of morning, and mid-afternoon runs with a decent carb intake for fuel, however to no major  avail. I've changed my gear too, investing in better footwear and lighter apparel, again it has helped. I'm not naive enough to think it will revolutionise my running speed, but can say it has helped.

                         

                        So, what to try next to get that time down? Maybe age and my build are against me?

                         

                        sMooth

                        Congratulations on running a mile a day average!!  I'm not going to say too much about technical stuff--TChuck has covered that.  He is a very smart man so listen to what he has to say.  I too have a feeling that you might have been trying to run 5k as fast as you could and use that as a yard-stick of your improvement.  That's not training.  

                         

                        You are basically facing two type of developments right now (yeah, not technical my a$$...): you have cardiovascular fitness and muscular-skeletal development.  In most cases, the former picks up much more quickly than the latter.  In other words, your heart and lungs and all the plumbing will develop faster and you feel you can go further and harder....only to find out that your legs are not keeping up with it.  THAT is when you get injured.  All the aches and pains are signs from your body to say; "SLOW DOWN!!"  You are as strong as your weakest link and right now your weakest link is your muscles and tendons and ligaments.  Keep your pace to the slowest parts of your body; otherwise you'll pay for it in a form of injury.

                         

                        Try NOT to see how fast you can run; try to see how far you can go.  Speed will come later.

                         

                        Don't worry too much about height-weight ratio.  Some people are more stocky and bulky than others.  Some of the greatest middle distance runners or even marathon runners look more like a wrestler than a distance runner and that didn't stop them from being great.  I don't know your "ethnic" but, if it's Argentina, look who won the Olympic marathon gold medal in 1932.  Also, if you watched the London Olympic men's marathon, the country the winner was from had only produced ONE Olympic medalist in the past--1972 in 400m hurdle.  His country was never known for their distance talent.  Ethnic has NOTHING to do with your development and improvement; but only the will to grow and discipline matters.

                          Smooth, when TChuck says 90-120 secs slower than your 5k race pace he means PER MILE, not over the 5k distance, just wanted to clarify that!

                           

                          Yes, thanks for the clarification. Also, to add to it, if you need to go 150 sec slower per mile than your 5K pace, that is fine too. This is more of a recovery pace but I do  that pace too if feeling beat up OR in my case with my hammy tendon issues, I just want to be out there and I run with friends at that slower pace. It makes you feel stronger when you do need to do a harder work out. Recovery is where you get stronger and faster.

                          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                            Some of the greatest middle distance runners or even marathon runners look more like a wrestler than a distance runner and that didn't stop them from being great. 

                             

                            This isn't really so is it? Do you have anyone in mind?

                              This isn't really so is it? Do you have anyone in mind?

                               

                              He's thinking of this guy: 

                               

                              "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

                              Jack Kerouac