Using Couch to 5K to increase speed?

I did C25K in May 2011 and have been hooked on running ever since. I completed my first half marathon this past August! I am considering using this program again to gain speed - has anyone ever done that? What were your results? I can run a 10:10 min/mile 5K, I'd love to get sub 10 min/mile - I can almost taste the sub-30 minute 5K and I really want it this year! Would be open to other suggestions to increase speed too. And yes, I am aware that straight up weight loss would help me significantly as well :) Thanks!


  • morticiamom
    morticiamom Posts: 221 Member
    I'm interested in this too, as I was planning, once I finished (am at the end of week 5 now), to going back to week 1, and jogging the whole time -- using the walk intervals at my normal pace and the 'run' intervals at a faster pace.
  • iWaffle
    iWaffle Posts: 2,208 Member
    I can almost taste the sub-30 minute 5K and I really want it this year! Would be open to other suggestions to increase speed too. And yes, I am aware that straight up weight loss would help me significantly as well :) Thanks!

    The weight factor is an actual limitation but since you've covered that the other thing I can tell you that works for sure would be to work on increasing your distance. I think a 10% change in speed/distance per week is the most you should attempt. Don't go crazy and run 6 miles tomorrow but slowly increase your running distance and your speed will improve on it's own.
  • starlite_79
    starlite_79 Posts: 97 Member
    here is a good article i found on a good speed work routine for 5k runners. i've only attempted it once myself--and sadly, could only complete the first part of the "ladder." definitely something on which i need to continue to work. (ran a 5k yesterday in 37:17)
  • arc918
    arc918 Posts: 2,037 Member
    You need to build you endurance and you will get faster naturally.

    I suggest you start training for a 10K (or half marathon) and you will see you mile times get better as you build your endurance - even without any speedwork.
  • scottb81
    scottb81 Posts: 2,538 Member
    Can you run one 400 meter race in under 2:15? I'll bet you can. If you can do that single 400m in under 2:15 you already have the speed needed to run a 5k under 10:00/mi pace.

    If so, your problem isn't speed, it is endurance (the ability to run closer to your maximum speed for longer distances).

    The solution is more miles at an easy pace. Doing a bunch of speed workouts right now would be counterproductive and slow down the rate at which you could build the aerobic fitness to reach your goal.

    The more miles and more days you can run without injury = the faster improvements will come.
  • bluefox9er
    bluefox9er Posts: 2,945 Member
    as someone who is very much in the same situation as the OP, I can only agree with what scott and arc have said , because i have seen my pace increase considerably since I started running half marathon/10 milers etc as long training runs. in those runs, i really don't look to run faster than any other pace except that is comfortable for me, and more focused on expending my bodies' energy to finish the distance.

    As a result, my split times have improved dramatically and my 10k times have also improved.

    I struggle to run a 5k at my 10k split times for a 10k are much faster than my 5k times as I am one of those people who builds the speed gradually.

    Increasing the distance within safe levels on a weekly basis will really pay off.
  • Mokey41
    Mokey41 Posts: 5,769 Member
    I don't know that it really helped but I redid the first few weeks of C25K doing the intervals as running at my usual pace for the walk portions and sprinting the run portions. My speed improved minimally but the biggest improvement came from just putting in the miles.
  • HypersonicFitNess
    HypersonicFitNess Posts: 1,221 Member
    Try one of Hal Higdon's 12 week training programs to increase your distance:
  • xgg2rs
    xgg2rs Posts: 145 Member
    I used the Couch to 5k program to start running myself. I could barely run 10 minute miles for my first 5k. Then I ran a 1/2 marathon and every training session and the race, I ALWAYS ran 10 minute miles. Then I ran another 1/2 marathon and suprised myself with running 9 minute miles. Then I ALWAYS ran 9 minute miles.

    Then I trained and ran a marathon, Ok the marathon kicked my but, however I still ran my first full marathon with an average of 10 minute miles.

    After I had rested for a week after the marathon, I ran a 5k averaging 8 minute miles and suprised the heck out of me. Now every training session I have ran since I run 8 minute miles. (Up to 10k distance so far)

    Guess my point is, my personal experience is adding the endurance and over time increases your speed.