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5k training to break 25 minutes

twatson4936twatson4936 Posts: 121Member Member Posts: 121Member Member
I've started training for my first 5k in several years. I have been running, just no races. I am 55 and have a goal of 25 minutes. I found an 8 week plan, but I modified it to a 14 week plan. I added weeks duplicating previous weeks except where the training increased mileage. This allows for a slower increase. I am running 5 days per week. Here is the plan for the remaining 8 weeks:

11-Feb 3 mi run 6 x 400 Rest 35 min tempo Rest 5 mi fast 70 min run
18-Feb 3 mi run 9 x 200 Rest 35 min tempo easy run Rest 5K Test
25-Feb 3 mi run 7 x 400 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 5 mi fast 75 min run
4-Mar 3 mi run 7 x 400 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 5 mi fast 75 min run
11-Mar 3 mi run 10 x 200 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 6 mi fast 85 min run
18-Mar 3 mi run 10 x 200 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 6 mi fast 85 min run
25-Mar 3 mi run 8 x 400 Rest 45 min tempo Rest 6 mi fast 90 min run
1-Apr 2 mi run 6 x 200 30 min tempo Rest Rest 5K Race - April 6

Mondays is just slow three miles
Tuesday is Intervals, I do the 400s at 7:09 pace and the 200s at 6:40 pace
Wednesday is rest, but I usually lift only working upper body
Thursday tempo run I warm up for 10 minutes then work up to 8:00 pace. I held this pace for 15 minutes last week
Friday is rest or upper body
Saturday is fast 5 miles. I did 5 miles last Friday in 44:25
Sunday is 60 - 90 minutes really slow
I just started week 6 of my 14 week plan. I skipped today because I felt a little tight. I am stretching to fix that. Tomorrow is 6x400 intervals

Wish me luck, I'll report my progress as I go.
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Replies

  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,319Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,319Member, Premium Member
    I'm now a fun runner who has come out of "retirement" and have as one of my goals by summer 2019 to run a 10k at a 9 minute mile pace. So, we have something in common except that at age 63, I've got a few years on you. At my best, probably 15 years ago, my best 10kg was around 7:15/mile pace.

    I think your plan is sensible and if you stick with it, you'll easily achieve your goal. I'll be privately cheering for you. Train smart and be safe.
    edited February 11
  • twatson4936twatson4936 Posts: 121Member Member Posts: 121Member Member
    I'm now a fun runner who has come out of "retirement" and have as one of my goals by summer 2019 to run a 10k at a 9 minute mile pace. So, we have something in common except that at age 63, I've got a few years on you. At my best, probably 15 years ago, my best 10kg was around 7:15/mile pace.

    I think your plan is sensible and if you stick with it, you'll easily achieve your goal. I'll be privately cheering for you. Train smart and be safe.

    Good luck to you too and thanks for the support.
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 1,881Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,881Member, Premium Member
    I'm 55+ and I had thought I'd get back below an 8 minute pace, but I have not even after several years. And, I've been very active with other rolling sports for my entire life. I run 2-3 time a week (that seems to be about what my knees can take) and swim twice, spin twice.

    So, kudos to you!
  • tirowow12385tirowow12385 Posts: 661Member Member Posts: 661Member Member
    I've ran not
  • tirowow12385tirowow12385 Posts: 661Member Member Posts: 661Member Member
    Ive ran for about a year and a half, I hope I can break 25, I've managed 26 not too long ago, good luck on the training.
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Posts: 7,865Member Member Posts: 7,865Member Member
    I've started training for my first 5k in several years. I have been running, just no races. I am 55 and have a goal of 25 minutes. I found an 8 week plan, but I modified it to a 14 week plan. I added weeks duplicating previous weeks except where the training increased mileage. This allows for a slower increase. I am running 5 days per week. Here is the plan for the remaining 8 weeks:

    11-Feb 3 mi run 6 x 400 Rest 35 min tempo Rest 5 mi fast 70 min run
    18-Feb 3 mi run 9 x 200 Rest 35 min tempo easy run Rest 5K Test
    25-Feb 3 mi run 7 x 400 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 5 mi fast 75 min run
    4-Mar 3 mi run 7 x 400 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 5 mi fast 75 min run
    11-Mar 3 mi run 10 x 200 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 6 mi fast 85 min run
    18-Mar 3 mi run 10 x 200 Rest 40 min tempo Rest 6 mi fast 85 min run
    25-Mar 3 mi run 8 x 400 Rest 45 min tempo Rest 6 mi fast 90 min run
    1-Apr 2 mi run 6 x 200 30 min tempo Rest Rest 5K Race - April 6

    Mondays is just slow three miles
    Tuesday is Intervals, I do the 400s at 7:09 pace and the 200s at 6:40 pace
    Wednesday is rest, but I usually lift only working upper body
    Thursday tempo run I warm up for 10 minutes then work up to 8:00 pace. I held this pace for 15 minutes last week
    Friday is rest or upper body
    Saturday is fast 5 miles. I did 5 miles last Friday in 44:25
    Sunday is 60 - 90 minutes really slow
    I just started week 6 of my 14 week plan. I skipped today because I felt a little tight. I am stretching to fix that. Tomorrow is 6x400 intervals

    Wish me luck, I'll report my progress as I go.

    Personally rather than stretching the speed plan I'd have worked up to a 10mi long run in the first phase, them done speed concentration in the second phase. Two sided sessions per week plus a long is quite debilitating in the long term, albeit short distances.

    As a plan there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, it's a little low in volume and I'd suggest that lower body resistance work is important as well.

    Hope it goes ok.
  • twatson4936twatson4936 Posts: 121Member Member Posts: 121Member Member
    This isn't new to me. I have been running for some time. I regularly run 6-7 miles on Sundays if the weather permits. I have learned over the years to listen to my body. So far on this specific journey I have not had and issues. All it takes is a little tightness and I back off as I did yesterday. Today I felt great and went at it hard again.
    I did 4 miles. The first mile was warmup then I did 6 400s at 7:30 pace, a little slower than planned, but still fast enough I hope to boost my fitness. I also set the incline to 1% for this session.
    I do most of my training on a treadmill. I get up at 5:00 am and run before eating. This is when I have time so it is what it is.
    Only running 3 days a week will not get me where I want to go. I don't run many races but I do work to get faster all the time.

    My fast run Saturday was a 5 miler in 44:25. My average heart rate was 157. I then ran 6 slow miles on Sunday. My average heart rate was 139. Other then a little tightness in my right foot all is good after the intervals today.

    Thank you for the concern and the votes of confidence.


    Ive ran for about a year and a half, I hope I can break 25, I've managed 26 not too long ago, good luck on the training.
    Keep at it you got this!

    I'm 55+ and I had thought I'd get back below an 8 minute pace, but I have not even after several years. And, I've been very active with other rolling sports for my entire life. I run 2-3 time a week (that seems to be about what my knees can take) and swim twice, spin twice.

    So, kudos to you!

    Kudos to you as well!
  • twatson4936twatson4936 Posts: 121Member Member Posts: 121Member Member
    update: My last post says tightness in foot, that was yesterday. Today all is good.
  • DX2JX2DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921Member Member Posts: 1,921Member Member
    I don't think I've seen a plan that called for a 'fast' middle distance runs before, especially on top of dedicated interval and tempo work. That plan looks a bit light on long slow distance? My 5K PR (7:45/mile) came at the tail end of training for a half marathon. About 35 miles per week at about an 80/20 easy/hard split.

    That said, if you're already doing sub-9 minute 8Ks then I'm sure you won't have a problem breaking 25 minutes for a 5K. Best of luck!
  • madmickiemadmickie Posts: 221Member Member Posts: 221Member Member
    I have a few questions - what is current 5k time? Are you doing all training on treadmill? What's your current BMI?
  • twatson4936twatson4936 Posts: 121Member Member Posts: 121Member Member
    madmickie wrote: »
    I have a few questions - what is current 5k time? Are you doing all training on treadmill? What's your current BMI?
    Not all training is on a treadmill. I run outside whenever possible. Last Saturday I ran 5 miles and the first 5k of that was in 26 minutes. My heart rate at that point was high 150s. My current BMI is 24.7 and dropping slowly.
  • twatson4936twatson4936 Posts: 121Member Member Posts: 121Member Member
    DX2JX2 wrote: »
    I don't think I've seen a plan that called for a 'fast' middle distance runs before, especially on top of dedicated interval and tempo work. That plan looks a bit light on long slow distance? My 5K PR (7:45/mile) came at the tail end of training for a half marathon. About 35 miles per week at about an 80/20 easy/hard split.

    That said, if you're already doing sub-9 minute 8Ks then I'm sure you won't have a problem breaking 25 minutes for a 5K. Best of luck!

    I swore I found this training plan online but can't find it now. I looked at many now I am thinking I may be pushing just a bit much. I found a Nike plan. Ill try and incorporate my paces into this plan.
    I'll put the new plan out here when I get it.
  • Silent_SoliloquySilent_Soliloquy Posts: 237Member Member Posts: 237Member Member
    Not all training is on a treadmill. I run outside whenever possible. Last Saturday I ran 5 miles and the first 5k of that was in 26 minutes. My heart rate at that point was high 150s. My current BMI is 24.7 and dropping slowly.

    Just base on this, I'd say with tapering, rest, and good food... you should set your goal tine closer to 22:30.
  • DX2JX2DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921Member Member Posts: 1,921Member Member
    Not all training is on a treadmill. I run outside whenever possible. Last Saturday I ran 5 miles and the first 5k of that was in 26 minutes. My heart rate at that point was high 150s. My current BMI is 24.7 and dropping slowly.

    Just base on this, I'd say with tapering, rest, and good food... you should set your goal tine closer to 22:30.

    I like the ambition but 22:30 (~7:15 min/mile) is pretty massive and is worlds different than ~8:30 min/miles. Picking up 30 secs/mile over 3.1 miles to get to 25 minutes is still a pretty worthy goal over the next 3 months.
  • dewd2dewd2 Posts: 2,144Member Member Posts: 2,144Member Member
    DX2JX2 wrote: »
    Not all training is on a treadmill. I run outside whenever possible. Last Saturday I ran 5 miles and the first 5k of that was in 26 minutes. My heart rate at that point was high 150s. My current BMI is 24.7 and dropping slowly.

    Just base on this, I'd say with tapering, rest, and good food... you should set your goal tine closer to 22:30.

    I like the ambition but 22:30 (~7:15 min/mile) is pretty massive and is worlds different than ~8:30 min/miles. Picking up 30 secs/mile over 3.1 miles to get to 25 minutes is still a pretty worthy goal over the next 3 months.

    I agree. That is a HUGE difference in pace. If you don't run it may not seem like much but I assure you it is. My focus is to lose about 40 seconds off my time and I'm spending 8 weeks working on it. Not sure I can do it but I am trying (I normally focus more on distance training).
  • madmickiemadmickie Posts: 221Member Member Posts: 221Member Member
    madmickie wrote: »
    I have a few questions - what is current 5k time? Are you doing all training on treadmill? What's your current BMI?
    Not all training is on a treadmill. I run outside whenever possible. Last Saturday I ran 5 miles and the first 5k of that was in 26 minutes. My heart rate at that point was high 150s. My current BMI is 24.7 and dropping slowly.

    If you can do 5k (3.1miles) in 26 mins and have enough reserve to run a further 3k (1.9miles) then I think you could go sub 25min now. It might take a few attempts to learn how much you can suffer though. If you don't feel like stopping after 2 miles you aren't going hard enough :). Lose a bit more weight ( I went from BMI of 26 to 22.5 and it made a massive difference) and keep knocking in the intervals and I think it's not unreasonable for you to get to sub 24mins.
  • Silent_SoliloquySilent_Soliloquy Posts: 237Member Member Posts: 237Member Member


    Just base on this, I'd say with tapering, rest, and good food... you should set your goal tine closer to 22:30.

    I like the ambition but 22:30 (~7:15 min/mile) is pretty massive and is worlds different than ~8:30 min/miles. Picking up 30 secs/mile over 3.1 miles to get to 25 minutes is still a pretty worthy goal over the next 3 months.

    My bad, i was looking at the math for just 3 miles ... the differnece between 3 miles and 5k is near a minute at his pace...

    But, he did a 26 min 5k as a segment of a 5 mile run at that pace. Which is 8:23 miles and his heart rate was only 150. That sounds like a looooot of reserve left. ...and this is the beginning of his training program.... for his first 5k.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see him shatter 25 minutes by a lot. By more than a minute.
    edited February 13
  • lporter229lporter229 Posts: 4,823Member Member Posts: 4,823Member Member
    DX2JX2 wrote: »
    I don't think I've seen a plan that called for a 'fast' middle distance runs before, especially on top of dedicated interval and tempo work. That plan looks a bit light on long slow distance? My 5K PR (7:45/mile) came at the tail end of training for a half marathon. About 35 miles per week at about an 80/20 easy/hard split.

    That said, if you're already doing sub-9 minute 8Ks then I'm sure you won't have a problem breaking 25 minutes for a 5K. Best of luck!

    Very much agree with this. I got my 5K PR under 22 minutes by training for longer distance races with only one day of dedicated interval training and one threshold paced run per week. I highly recommend the book "80/20 Running" by Matt Fitzgerald. You can get it on Amazon for around $10 and it has so much valuable information regarding training for distance running of all levels. It also includes training plans for beginner to advanced for 5K, 10K, HM and marathon distances. They all revolve around the same basic principle that 80% of your mileage should be done at an easy pace and 20% near or above threshold (he also includes info on ways to estimate where your threshold heart rate is).
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