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Improving 5k time

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I am trying to run 3 times per week at the moment. I am not following any particular programme, but using my Fitbit to track a 5k run. I basically run until I feel I need a breather,walk for a minute until I feel able to continue and then stop when I get to 5k.

I am not improving on my times though, so am wondering if I should be following some sort of progressive programme. My 5k time seems to average out at about 32 minutes: I would love to get it to under 30 minutes.

Any advice???
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Replies

  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
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    I suggest you complete c25k to get the running down first. Go slow. Then do c210k to increase distance. That's supposed to improve your time in the shorter 5k.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    Run further, slower.

    So run 4k, 4k, 6k next week then increase the long run slowly to 10k and the other shorter runs to 5k again.
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,445 Member
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    If you are new to running (6 months or less), skip the speed work and focus on increasing your distance only. Work up to 6 miles at a slow pace (you should be able to sing) once a week. Keep the other runs short (3-4 miles max also at a slow pace). Once you get to 6 miles without having to walk, enter a 5k race and you will be surprised how fast you are.

    If you have been running for a while, do the same thing but you can probably add some speed sessions in once a week (or every other week). The trick is to not over do these and back off immediately if you notice anything that hurts.

    Good luck.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
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    Spitspot81 wrote: »
    I am trying to run 3 times per week at the moment. I am not following any particular programme, but using my Fitbit to track a 5k run. I basically run until I feel I need a breather,walk for a minute until I feel able to continue and then stop when I get to 5k.

    I am not improving on my times though, so am wondering if I should be following some sort of progressive programme. My 5k time seems to average out at about 32 minutes: I would love to get it to under 30 minutes.

    Any advice???

    Given that you're still not able to continuously run for 5K, I'd suggest a focus on getting to that first. That'll them give you a baseline.

    Generally what I'd advice for an entry level runner is then adding volume.

    The key to continuous running is to run at a sustainable pace, so slowing down your run portions until you don't need to drop to a walk.
  • jyamiolk
    jyamiolk Posts: 37 Member
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    Not sue if this is proper but I prefer to run intervals, even when I run a 5K. I run around a 6.5 - 7 minute mile for 2 minutes and then speed walk around 10 to 11 minute mile for a minute and repeat th interval. I end up averaging around a 8.3 to 8.5 minute mile and finish a 5k under 30 minutes. I have been doing this for close to a year. When I run 12 sets I finish at 4.6 miles. This is on a .25 mile track.
  • ronocnikral
    ronocnikral Posts: 176 Member
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    jyamiolk wrote: »
    Not sue if this is proper but I prefer to run intervals, even when I run a 5K. I run around a 6.5 - 7 minute mile for 2 minutes and then speed walk around 10 to 11 minute mile for a minute and repeat th interval. I end up averaging around a 8.3 to 8.5 minute mile and finish a 5k under 30 minutes. I have been doing this for close to a year. When I run 12 sets I finish at 4.6 miles. This is on a .25 mile track.

    Depends on your goals, but for most people this is far from "proper."
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    edited July 2017
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    jyamiolk wrote: »
    Not sue if this is proper but I prefer to run intervals, even when I run a 5K. I run around a 6.5 - 7 minute mile for 2 minutes and then speed walk around 10 to 11 minute mile for a minute and repeat th interval. I end up averaging around a 8.3 to 8.5 minute mile and finish a 5k under 30 minutes. I have been doing this for close to a year. When I run 12 sets I finish at 4.6 miles. This is on a .25 mile track.

    Depends on your goals, but for most people this is far from "proper."

    It's unusual intervals as far as Galloway running is concerned, but there is nothing inherently improper about a run/ walk approach. It's not something I'd expect to see in something as short as a 5K, but that doesn't make it wrong.
  • Philtex
    Philtex Posts: 991 Member
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    Given that you're still not able to continuously run for 5K, I'd suggest a focus on getting to that first. That'll them give you a baseline.

    Generally what I'd advice for an entry level runner is then adding volume.

    The key to continuous running is to run at a sustainable pace, so slowing down your run portions until you don't need to drop to a walk.

    This reply is worth repeating.
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,445 Member
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    jyamiolk wrote: »
    Not sue if this is proper but I prefer to run intervals, even when I run a 5K. I run around a 6.5 - 7 minute mile for 2 minutes and then speed walk around 10 to 11 minute mile for a minute and repeat th interval. I end up averaging around a 8.3 to 8.5 minute mile and finish a 5k under 30 minutes. I have been doing this for close to a year. When I run 12 sets I finish at 4.6 miles. This is on a .25 mile track.

    Whatever gets you to the finish. There's no 'proper' way to do it (unless you are elite and plan to win :) ). I would bet that if you ran the whole race slower instead of running so fast for 2 minutes at a time you would be faster.
  • jyamiolk
    jyamiolk Posts: 37 Member
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    Thanks for the feed back.
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,248 Member
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    Run further, slower.

    So run 4k, 4k, 6k next week then increase the long run slowly to 10k and the other shorter runs to 5k again.

    ^^^ This.......a wise coach once told me not to worry about running a fast 5K until i could a slow 10km....

    It sounds counter-intuitive but running slower longer distances will help improve your speed (to a certain extent) by itself (my first 5K race was just under 40 min, I did zero speed work but just worked on my base and longer slow runs and the following year I ran 26:46 at the same race)
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    There is some interesting research showing that over time if you're running the same distance at nearly the same pace every session that over time your average pace will go down not up.

    Mixing it up with shorter pace runs and longer stamina runs is ultimately the only way to get faster.

    Bottom line. Mix it up. or you will hit a rut..
  • aaronmoze
    aaronmoze Posts: 3 Member
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    If I start to add a body weight workout once a week that included legs, will my legs be too tired to run?

    Thanks for the help.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    aaronmoze wrote: »
    If I start to add a body weight workout once a week that included legs, will my legs be too tired to run?

    Thanks for the help.

    It depends
  • MobyCarp
    MobyCarp Posts: 2,927 Member
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    Run further, slower.

    So run 4k, 4k, 6k next week then increase the long run slowly to 10k and the other shorter runs to 5k again.

    ^^^ This.......a wise coach once told me not to worry about running a fast 5K until i could a slow 10km....

    It sounds counter-intuitive but running slower longer distances will help improve your speed (to a certain extent) by itself (my first 5K race was just under 40 min, I did zero speed work but just worked on my base and longer slow runs and the following year I ran 26:46 at the same race)

    Maybe 10K is long enough, I don't know. I do know that since I've been training for marathons, I've been passing people in the second half of 5K races. Don't they know it's just an interval workout, 4800m at interval pace plus 200 meters at rep pace?

    More seriously, the challenge with a 5K is to hold speed over the distance. Being able to run a longer distance improves stamina, so that pure distance in the 5K ceases to be a challenge. When distance isn't a challenge, you can make progress on speed.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
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    aaronmoze wrote: »
    If I start to add a body weight workout once a week that included legs, will my legs be too tired to run?

    Thanks for the help.

    Most likely you will be fine.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
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    MobyCarp wrote: »
    Run further, slower.

    So run 4k, 4k, 6k next week then increase the long run slowly to 10k and the other shorter runs to 5k again.

    ^^^ This.......a wise coach once told me not to worry about running a fast 5K until i could a slow 10km....

    It sounds counter-intuitive but running slower longer distances will help improve your speed (to a certain extent) by itself (my first 5K race was just under 40 min, I did zero speed work but just worked on my base and longer slow runs and the following year I ran 26:46 at the same race)

    Maybe 10K is long enough, I don't know. I do know that since I've been training for marathons, I've been passing people in the second half of 5K races. Don't they know it's just an interval workout, 4800m at interval pace plus 200 meters at rep pace?

    More seriously, the challenge with a 5K is to hold speed over the distance. Being able to run a longer distance improves stamina, so that pure distance in the 5K ceases to be a challenge. When distance isn't a challenge, you can make progress on speed.

    For me, HM distance seemed to be where I made most improvement in my 5K time. That said I jumped straight from HM to Ultra, so have never tried a pure marathon plan.
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,532 Member
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    ^^^ This.......a wise coach once told me not to worry about running a fast 5K until i could a slow 10km....

    Been there. Can confirm.