Improving Your 5K

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Seeking suggestions (Read 810 times)

    * Seeking advice on improving 5K times Been getting faster 5K times over last year or so, but just yesterday did not manage to record a time any faster. It was the same course many of previous races were on, and I've been doing somewhat more distance and speedwork, so was expecting to get faster. Any suggestions?
      Here are some thoughts: 1) Do not stress/worry when one race is slower than a previous one. It happens. 2) Read and join the Goal of sub 20 5k thread. It is great motivation. Copy/paste and then live by the first post on page six. good luck


      I've got a fever...

        2) Read and join the Goal of sub 20 5k thread. It is great motivation. Copy/paste and then live by the first post on page six.
        Good point, and good post. Soprano, you and I appear to be doing about the same kind of mileage so far for '08, which is to say, a decent amount, but not really enough for sufficient improvement. You've done a nice steady progression over the last year, but you'd be amazed how much better you'll get of you can get your weekly mile consistently above 30. Over the course the the fall and winter, consider ditching the speed workouts and and focus on lots of easy miles, at a conversational pace. As much running as you can easily do without getting hurt. Then, come sprint, you can start mixing it up again with some speed. Speedwork, particularly intervals, are the icing on the cake. But you need to have a good cake first -- base mileage. To race faster, you must run more. To run more, without getting injured, you must run slower. Or put another way, one of my old cross country coaches had me do nothing but easy miles over the winter. He said no speed (the occasional strider excluded) until I was up to 40~45mi/week. He wanted my to focus on the cake before the icing.

        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 want to thank you all for your advice. It made a difference. I am delinquent in getting out a response, but here goes now: My last 5K (Dec. 6) was a 21.47 - a nice improvement over my last 2 5K's at 22.19 each. I took your advice and increased my weekly mileage (ran my first half-marathon too), but still added in a little speedwork. I also used the "sticky note" as a guide for the week of the race. My first 2 miles of the race felt pretty good (a 7.09 and 7.04 - Note: If this seems slow to some, I have only been training since Spring 2007). My last mile and beyond I paced by feel since I now had more endurance (a 6.52 pace for the last mile). With about 3/4 of a mile to go I started to lose my peripheral vision (gray on the outside and blurry in the middle). I could tell where I was and just kept running to the finish. I reasoned that someone would pick me up if I passed out - not sure if this was wise or not, but was soooo glad to finish. (Anyone ever had this happen?) My hope is to increase my mileage this Winter. I've always liked going fast for short distances, but now I'm enjoying those long runs - though I do find it challenging to run them slowly. Thanks again.
            Thanks for the update, and congrats. I do not remember having those specific symptoms after races, but it is possible. I often feel horrible after a race, but the feeling goes away fairly quickly. I try not to remember because it is not that pleasant...


            Right on Hereford...

              I want to thank you all for your advice. It made a difference. I am delinquent in getting out a response, but here goes now: My last 5K (Dec. 6) was a 21.47 - a nice improvement over my last 2 5K's at 22.19 each. I took your advice and increased my weekly mileage (ran my first half-marathon too), but still added in a little speedwork. I also used the "sticky note" as a guide for the week of the race. My first 2 miles of the race felt pretty good (a 7.09 and 7.04 - Note: If this seems slow to some, I have only been training since Spring 2007). My last mile and beyond I paced by feel since I now had more endurance (a 6.52 pace for the last mile). With about 3/4 of a mile to go I started to lose my peripheral vision (gray on the outside and blurry in the middle). I could tell where I was and just kept running to the finish. I reasoned that someone would pick me up if I passed out - not sure if this was wise or not, but was soooo glad to finish. (Anyone ever had this happen?) My hope is to increase my mileage this Winter. I've always liked going fast for short distances, but now I'm enjoying those long runs - though I do find it challenging to run them slowly. Thanks again.
              Nice job! The tunnel vision syndrome occurs when your brain isn't getting enough oxygen. It is a sign that you are working really, really hard! I have had this happen when doing a time trial on a rowing ergometer, but never while running. Usually, people only experience this when using more than one large muscle group (rowing requires legs, back, and arms) at a high level of intensity. Basically, your muscles rob your brain of oxygen. Kind of interesting, but it sure hurts!
                Well, I've spent over a month increasing my mileage at a slow pace and now I feel very, very slow. I find an 8.00min. mile to be tiring. It used to be that my favorite pace was a 7.30min. mile. Nowadays that feels difficult. These days, I feel very tired every time I run. I have a 5K coming up on 14 February and am afraid that running it at even 23 minutes will be difficult. I've added in some speedwork, but it also feels very hard - and my intervals are slower than they used to be. Any advice? Am I overtraining? Undertraining? Are my expectations too high? Is it just Winter? My goal for this 5K was to run under 22 mins. (my last 5K in December was a 21:47), but I just don't know if I can do that. I think I've run one 7.00min mile since December and I knew I could not do 2 more. Any thoughts? Thanks!
                  What does a typical week look like for you? _______________ Check out these links to get suggestions on pacing based on your current (not goal) race times: http://runbayou.com/jackd.htm http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm http://www.therunzone.com/ntrz/?page_id=221 I think the majority of miles should be slower than the "easy" pace the above links suggest. What pace is the majority of your miles?
                    I'm now running between 42 and 50 miles per week. Most of that easy - with paces generally between 8.00 - 9.24 min. miles (varies depending on the day and with whom I am running). I do a little bit of tempo within those easy runs (7.20-7.40min. mile pace). I do a set of intervals most weeks - 4x400 or 5x400 - and am working my way back up to 6 or 8x400. I take at least one day off per week (sometimes 2). Thanks for the chart and calculations. I took a look at those. It seems like I'm reasonably within those training recommendations, but it's hard to tell as they calculate based on my last race. I haven't raced since December and I'm fairly certain that I am now slower than I was in December.
                      You are stressing about the time you *think* you are going to get in your next 5K. My suggestion: trust your training, run the race, and then decide if things are not going the way you want. Let everyone know how it goes.
                        Well, a disappointing race this weekend - a 22:40 5K - definitely not my best. First 2 miles were going pretty good, but I developed a major side stitch and breathing problems around 2.4 miles. I actually had to stop and walk for a few seconds to breathe out the stitch! That hurt. I picked back up then sprinted in the last bit of the race. I became quite nauseous and nearly lost my breakfast after they took my bib number. That has never happened to me before. I had a second 5K race about 1 hour later - decided to do that as a training run instead of racing hard- very tired, but finished. No blurred vision for either race this time, but very tired and heavy legs. Fun, but disappointing race day - I obviously have a LOT of work to do to make it to a sub 21min. 5K.


                        Certifiably Insane

                          Soprano, the only time I've gotten side stitches was when I ate something with too much fiber, then drank too much Gatorade in the hours before a run. Look back over everything you ate and when, starting with the morning of the day before. You may be able to find a pattern if it happens again. Don't let the race get you down. Everyone has good days and off days. A lot of things factor into that, too, that you have no control over. (Course, weather, etc.) Or, you may have just been kind of worn out that day. If you felt crummy and had to walk a bit, that still wasn't a bad time. It was smart to take the 2nd one easier, too. Plus, it puts you at an advantage for your next race: Chances are that it will be a whole lot better that this one! Smile
                          On the road since 1978! "To be good is not enough when you dream of being great." I am not obsessed! I'm just INTENSE! "Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool." Why? Because race results stay on Google forever! (Reasonably recent) PR's: 5K - 16:40 10K - 35:04 HM - 1:18:30
                            Thanks much. I did (for the first time -just to see how it would go) have a cup of coffee about 5.40ish a.m. before the 8.30am race. I've read that it can help, - not so sure it did for me. I keep trying out different things because I am finding there is almost nothing I can eat before a race (even 3 hours before) that won't have some negative effect. Power Bars are about the only thing that work.