Improving Your 5K

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Speed, distance, or both? (Read 746 times)

    Hey everyone! I was just wondering if you guys think that speed workouts or distance workouts are better training to help get a good 5k time. Or are they equally good? My PR for a 5k is 20:37 and that is my first time running it. Some examples of speed and distance workouts would be helpful. Thanks! Smile
    2008 goals mile:5 :30 5k: sub 20:00


    On the road back

      Your first 5k was almost sub-20? My guess then would be that you've been a runner for some time before doing the 5k or you're young (or both). You may be able to handle some speed work, but for most people the speed gets faster as they build a bigger base of miles run. We probably need more info to give you the best feedback. Making your logs public helps us see where you are in your running, too.

      2013 Goals: Run more. Smile while I do it. Complete 2 marathons in a year. (1 down, 1 to go)

        Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure how to make my running log public. I think the answer to why I had a pretty fast 5k is because I'm young. I run about 30 miles per week and my long run is about 8-10 miles if that helps.
        2008 goals mile:5 :30 5k: sub 20:00


        On the road back

          Click the Options link in the upper right corner of the browser window. Choose the Log preferences link and then select the option for "allow everyone to see my log."

          2013 Goals: Run more. Smile while I do it. Complete 2 marathons in a year. (1 down, 1 to go)

          RunAsics


          Person of Interest

            Being young and/or running for a long time does not always equate to a fast first 5k. Natural ability is a larger factor. You need both speed and distance workouts but, based on your performance, you could probably get away with just adding the speedwork to your current training. If you've been running 30mpm for some time then the speedwork should not be a problem. Typically that will involve interval based speedwork, such as 400 and 800s, and a tempo run. A longer run at the weekend will help with endurance. When training specifically for a 5k, I personally never went much beyond 10 miles but opinions will vary. I ran mostly 400s (up to 12) for my intervals and a standard tempo run the same week (rather than alternate). Speedwork is best performed on a track. A marked trail/GPS watch or even, heaven forbid, a treadmill works too. You may want to look at a 5k training plan to give you a framework to work from. Hal Higdon has an array of training plans suitable from novice to an "advanced" runner (whatever that means). CoolRunning.com also has some decent training plans. McMillan Running Calculator will provide suitable paces/times based off your last 5k.
            "Only a few more laps to go and then the action will begin, unless this is the action, which it is."
              Ok thanks
              2008 goals mile:5 :30 5k: sub 20:00
                Hey everyone! I was just wondering if you guys think that speed workouts or distance workouts are better training to help get a good 5k time. Or are they equally good? My PR for a 5k is 20:37 and that is my first time running it. Some examples of speed and distance workouts would be helpful. Thanks! Smile
                I am a new convert of distance first, speed later. With tons of speed works and crazy intervals (relative to my slow 5k times), I only lowered my 5k PR by a mere 8 sec from Oct 05 to Apr 08 (2.5 years). I then gave up speedwork (a tempo every 2 to 3 weeks, NO intervals) but upped my mileage from 40+ to close to 70, I lowered my 5k PR by 34 sec in a few months to 20:31. I am now back in pursuit of the sub-20 goal. But later, I may do some intervals every 2 to 3 weeks too to sharpen a bit.


                I've got a fever...

                  My old XC coach gave me off-season workouts, and he had a strict rule of no speedwork until you build up to at least 40~45 miles per week. (I need to find a way to fit that mileage in again). Speedwork is the icing on the cake, but you need to finish the cake (base mileage) first.

                  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.

                  RunAsics


                  Person of Interest

                    In the short term, adding speedwork to a 30mpw guy will likely provide results, especially with a 1st 5k of 20.37. Long term, an off season increased mileage base will allow for further gains next season. That's a no brainer. However; it all depends on a plethora of variables such as personal goals, time commitment and starting point (current ability vs potential).
                    "Only a few more laps to go and then the action will begin, unless this is the action, which it is."