5k running - how to get faster

I have recently completed the couch to 5k and am now running about twice a week. I would like to get faster (down to about 30 minutes for the 5k) - I am running at about 35 minutes at the moment. I am wondering about running to the beat of a music track. There is an app called rock my run where you can download songs with specific beats per minute.
Can anyone help with how many bpm I would need to run at to get down to 30 minutes for a 5k.

Tia

Replies

  • vollkornbloedchen
    vollkornbloedchen Posts: 2,242 Member
    It's not a matter of bpm (only).
    If wanting to get faster there is one sure way to achieve this: Intervals.

    A more general guideline on what else needs to be taken into consideration can be seen here:
    https://www.wikihow.com/Run-Faster
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,842 Member
    Agree with @Nativestar56 - as you increase your mileage your speed will naturally increase. Three runs a week, plus you want your long runs to be long enough that 5k feels like nothing much. I saw my biggest jump in speed when my long runs started reaching about 8 miles, but even five miles made a big difference. Just increase mileage gradually.

    The usual advice is to aim for about 180 beats per minute cadence, but if you are running slower than 10 minute miles that is gonna make you feel like a sewing machine. You can worry about stuff like cadence when you have a few more miles under your belt.
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
    Then work on increasing your weekly mileage by around 1% a week.

    Oops, that should be 10% :D
  • dougii
    dougii Posts: 661 Member
    Just keep putting miles under your feet and your speed will increase of its own accord. I agree with running 3x per week and very gradual milage increases. Most of all enjoy your runs!
  • Bioluminescentbeachh
    Bioluminescentbeachh Posts: 25 Member
    edited July 2019
    Running speed is highly genetic. I ran in high school track. We were told to increase miles and when I upped my miles, my times always went down. I never did intervals or sprints (outside of track practice). I just ran 50-100 miles a week. I wasn’t a sprinter. I typically run 5k as my shortest run.
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,146 Member
    kittynat wrote: »
    I have recently completed the couch to 5k and am now running about twice a week. I would like to get faster (down to about 30 minutes for the 5k) - I am running at about 35 minutes at the moment. I am wondering about running to the beat of a music track. There is an app called rock my run where you can download songs with specific beats per minute.
    Can anyone help with how many bpm I would need to run at to get down to 30 minutes for a 5k.

    Tia

    The simplest way to get faster is to run more, especially if you're a new runner. I would suggest running at least 3 times per week (if you alternated days you could get 3 days one week and 4 the next if that fits your schedule) At this point you're still building your aerobic base and speed should be the least of your concerns but by increasing, gradually over time, your total weekly running volume.

    I had a coach, years ago, give me the same advice that erickirb gave you....not to worry about a fast 5K until you can run a slow 10...

    Interestingly running cadence doesn't change that much with speed, last fall's 5K at the Army run was 28:58 and my average SPM was 183, one of my 5km training runs last week was a bit over 35 minutes at 178 SPM.
  • VioletRojo
    VioletRojo Posts: 594 Member
    It sounds counter intuitive, but to run faster you need to run farther. Slowly add mileage and you'll see that as your longer runs get easier, you shorter runs will get faster.
  • FibroHiker
    FibroHiker Posts: 339 Member
    I used running to lose weight about 12 years ago. When I got to the point that I was running a 5K at least 1 time per week I went to run my first 5K race. I did really well, placed third for women in my age group with an overall time of 26:04. My time had been cut significantly over my usual weekly running time. There were three things that I think helped me to be faster that day.

    I am really competitive and it showed in the race. I think in part to "racing" against other people pushed me to try to run faster.

    Another thing that helped me to increase my time was building my muscles. Hill running helped me to train my muscles for higher demands. I wasn't good at hill running at first. I picked a long, large hill near my home and I would attempt to jog up the hill as far as I could until I couldn't jog any more and then I would continue to walk up the hill until I reached the top. Then I would jog back down the hill to my home. I did this two times per week and ran a 5K on the flat one time per week. I kept doing this until I could run the whole hill without stopping.

    Being competitive and training muscle doesn't matter if your lungs can't keep up.
    When I first started the 5K race I tried to pace myself with the men, for just a little while, wanting to get a good start to the distance and hoping to cut down my overall time. What I noticed was that while my muscles could handle the demand, my cardiovascular system could not. I quickly noticed that my lungs were hurting and felt tight, like I couldn't get enough oxygen. They weren't adjusted to running that fast and I was forced to slow down. If you can gradually increase speed over time, your cardiovascular system will grow accustomed to handling the increased demands.

    When you have built up some more muscle strength, design a route with markers for various legs of the distance. Then tell yourself that you're going to cut X amount of seconds off the first leg. (This can be any amount, even as little as 5 seconds.) Set a timer on your phone or your fitness watch so you know whether you met your goal for that stretch of the route. Keep practicing until you meet your first goal and then keep cutting your time until you hit your overall time goal.
  • grimendale
    grimendale Posts: 2,194 Member
    kittynat wrote: »
    I have recently completed the couch to 5k and am now running about twice a week. I would like to get faster (down to about 30 minutes for the 5k) - I am running at about 35 minutes at the moment. I am wondering about running to the beat of a music track. There is an app called rock my run where you can download songs with specific beats per minute.
    Can anyone help with how many bpm I would need to run at to get down to 30 minutes for a 5k.

    Tia

    The simplest way to get faster is to run more, especially if you're a new runner. I would suggest running at least 3 times per week (if you alternated days you could get 3 days one week and 4 the next if that fits your schedule) At this point you're still building your aerobic base and speed should be the least of your concerns but by increasing, gradually over time, your total weekly running volume.

    I had a coach, years ago, give me the same advice that erickirb gave you....not to worry about a fast 5K until you can run a slow 10...

    Interestingly running cadence doesn't change that much with speed, last fall's 5K at the Army run was 28:58 and my average SPM was 183, one of my 5km training runs last week was a bit over 35 minutes at 178 SPM.

    This. I started with the C25k again in January after a long break, and my first 5k was pretty slow, even by my standards. I went from there to the 5k to 10k program, which led to a pretty significant drop in my 5k time. I'm now working on a 10k to half marathon program, which is introducing speed work and intervals for the first time. I'd definitely agree that your best move at this point is to progress to a slow 10k now, then see about adding some interval or other speed work. I personally like the Nike Run Club app for run training.
  • rodmelching
    rodmelching Posts: 69 Member
    @kittynat . . . congrats on the c25k! Slowly add miles and you'll get faster. Intervals are very important, start out with 2x200 (200 meter sprint) once a week. You'll be surprised how quickly your mile time will drop.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,772 Member
    kittynat wrote: »
    I have recently completed the couch to 5k and am now running about twice a week. I would like to get faster (down to about 30 minutes for the 5k) - I am running at about 35 minutes at the moment. I am wondering about running to the beat of a music track. There is an app called rock my run where you can download songs with specific beats per minute.
    Can anyone help with how many bpm I would need to run at to get down to 30 minutes for a 5k.

    Tia

    The simplest way to get faster is to run more, especially if you're a new runner. I would suggest running at least 3 times per week (if you alternated days you could get 3 days one week and 4 the next if that fits your schedule) At this point you're still building your aerobic base and speed should be the least of your concerns but by increasing, gradually over time, your total weekly running volume.

    I had a coach, years ago, give me the same advice that erickirb gave you....not to worry about a fast 5K until you can run a slow 10...

    Interestingly running cadence doesn't change that much with speed, last fall's 5K at the Army run was 28:58 and my average SPM was 183, one of my 5km training runs last week was a bit over 35 minutes at 178 SPM.

    This....
  • oceangirl99
    oceangirl99 Posts: 161 Member
    Congrats on finishing the program! I'm a slow runner too. I have a good base so I'm going to work on intervals/hills, etc. to improve my speed. I also know that if I drop 20lbs I'll be faster for obvious reasons. So, not sure if this is something you need to do as well, but it is something to think about. I had tried to do C25K about 18 months ago and I found it really difficult - pretty much impossible. I lost about 40lbs and suddenly I could do it no problemmo!
  • kittynat
    kittynat Posts: 25 Member
    Thank you for all your helpful advice. I will try and gradually build up the miles to see if this helps!