Chasing a 5k PR before baby comes and looking for training advice. (Read 97 times)

    I have a baby due August 1st, my first. And I know that this lifestyle change may at least in the short term affect the amount of time I have to train. So I'm hoping to take another shot at a PR (Adult PR started running 5ks in 2008) in the next 4-6 weeks.


    I have made a lot of training errors in the past and I think I have a saner approach now. Going to run 25-30 MPW. Going to run mostly easy miles, but try to have one day a week that I will alternate either a tempo run or an interval run. Also have one long run per week. I did my first interval work since high school this week. Any advice would be appreciated.




    I started running 5ks as an Adult in 2008. My first race was terrible around 27:45, but I was hooked.  I peaked in 2010 with a 22:03. At that time I had done no real interval work and only was running 15-18 miles per week. I was running most of those workouts hard. I think I thought every workout should be a tempo workout.  With maybe one easy day in the middle. Occasionally I'd mix in an 8-10 mile long run.


    I then started to add miles and ran my first half marathon in an 1:45. But never broke 22 in a 5k. There were times I think I was in shape to. In 2011 for instance I ran a shortened Rutgers Half 9.55 miles in 1:16. I got out too hard in the first 3 miles 22:40. This was too fast for the distance, but I felt like I could have gone a lot faster if I was just running a 5k. Unfortunately I hurt myself in that race, and over training had been a theme for me in 2011-2012. So I was frequently injured.


    Sorry this was so long. But again would appreciate any advice I can get on how to drop my 5k. A couple of weeks a go I did a time trial in 23:18. But I was by myself and really didn't go all out, I'd say about 95 percent effort.

    Fall  2013 Goals: Doable sub 22:00 5k; Challenging Sub 21:00 5k; Unlikely Sub 20:00 5k.

      I don't think I have any words of wisdom about your 5K training beyond the old RunningAhead adage: runs lots, mostly easy, sometime hard. There is plenty of scope for you add in more easy miles, and increasing your mileage gradually will bring major improvements over time.


      More importantly, I wanted to comment about the impact of your up-and-coming 'lifestyle change'.  I had similar concerns (I think I even started a thread on here about it) back in 2009 when we had our first.  In reality, I actually found that the routine we were forced into - going to bed early, getting up really early - was actually pretty good in terms of finding an hour in the day to go out for a run.  To my surprise, I found that I was hitting consistent mileage every week and that first couple of years were actually really good for me, running-wise.  Getting up at 5 or 6AM instead of 10 or 11 on a Sunday morning means - even with a baby around - there are more hours in the day.  What I'm trying to say is:  you may well find that you can continue or even improve your training volume once the baby's arrived.  Obviously your priorities will shift, but once everything's under control, finding time to run may be easier than you feared.


      Most importantly - good luck with your imminent arrival; I hope you enjoy enduring those exciting and exhausting first few weeks!

        Nick thanks for the advice and the well wishes. I am very excited about the baby. But I have plenty of running goals left. Thanks for giving me some hope for the months ahead.

        Fall  2013 Goals: Doable sub 22:00 5k; Challenging Sub 21:00 5k; Unlikely Sub 20:00 5k.

          I've found my training more focused, post-baby. That was the first time I actually followed a training plan. I only get one hour (max) per day to run. I use this to the best of my ability. Before, I would just run b/c, I was focused on racking up miles. Now there is more balance with more emphasis on the workouts.


          For me, 5ks are about doing shorter mile work leading into 5k specific intervals.


          I love 5ks and wish I could run one every week. They don't get the respect of a marathon, but they might make you a better runner in the long term.

          And we run because we like it
          Through the broad bright land