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So for anyone that has read any of my other posts, I'm a 28 year old guy that just started running about 3 months ago. After the first few weeks of running, I decided to join a few 5k races around where I live. So far I've run four of them, with my finishing times listed below:
9/8/12 - 27:27
9/22/12 - 24:14
10/20/12 - 22:55
11/3/12 - 23:16
Although I'm training for a half marathon in April of next year, I still enjoy running the 5k as a different type of challenge. In between doing long runs, I've been doing some interval runs as well.
My ultimate goal is to do a 5k under 20 minutes, and the last couple of races, I've gotten around 23 minutes as you can see. My question is this - how long should I expect it to take to get my time down from around 23 minutes to 20 minutes? Now I know it's a tall order, and I also know that I've only been running for 3 months. I'm actually very happy to already be running it in 23 minutes, but I was curious how long it might take to drop down to 20 minutes. For anyone that runs it under 20 minutes - how long did it take you and can you offer any advice as to what I need to do to acheive it? What, if anything should I change in my training? Any input is appreciated. Thanks!
Hill repeats, intervals and tempo runs are probably your best investment for increasing speed. Of course, when you are increasing the long run schedule to prepare for the half, that will also be of benefit. Cross-training with maybe some strength exercises might be of assistance.
It sounds like you are improving very well with finishing times, but also be prepared that there is probably an area where you will stabilize in a similiar range for the 5k and then have to work with additional efforts to slowly improve.
The WAVA rating calculator may help with some age predictions and estimates.
Congrats on all your efforts and best wishes!
I'm not a speed guy, but the guys that I talk to that toe the front of the 5K starting line all tell me that it is about 3 things:
2) hills, and
3) making sure that you are loose and ready to run on race day.
I'm told that #3 is the important part (assuming that they've done 1 & 2) because there is no relief and no letting up in a 5K. When the gun goes off their legs have to be 100% ready to run hard. A couple of the guys run a modest negative split (just barely), but they tell me that it is only because as soon as they get to that last mile that are running as hard as they can and still make it to the finish line. They each have their own pre-race routines to get their legs ready to go and they seem to have to time it just right (can't let their legs get cold or stiff and so on....)
Go get 'em...!
6/17/2012 AA HM 2:09:01 (I shouldn't have run this one this soon after the DexAA HM)
6/3/2012 DexAA HM 2:00:31
3/11/2012 St Pat's 5K 0:25:42
11/10/2011 A2TT 10K 0:52:27
10/9/2011 Chicago Marathon 4:49:55
9/3/2011 Milford 30K DNF (cramped out at 14m)
6/25/2011 Solstice 10M 1:27:15
6/5/2011 DexAA HM 1:58:53
5/1/2011 BP10K 0:51:58
10/17/2010 Detroit HM 2:06:19
6/6/2010 Dex-AA HM 2:09:30
Your weight is an extremely important factor in your running times. You want to be on the light side. Every additional pound costs you 2 seconds per mile, as a rule of thumb. So if you are 10 pounds heavier than you should be, you are running slower in your 5Ks by 10 x 2 x 3.1 = 62 seconds.
I'm a dark horse, running on a dark race course.
Thank you all for your input and advice! I've actually started to change my training slightly, including adding a "hill" workout once a week (and by hill, I mean increasing the degree of incline on my treadmill), stretching more before and after my workouts, and getting my legs looser right before racing. I've actually ran 2 more 5k races, and below are my times:
11/24/12 - 22:35
12/1/12 - 22:16
It's a slow progression, but I feel like I'm getting there. I'm actually running another 5k race this Saturday, and I'm hoping I can break 22 minutes, or get very close to. I've also been increasing my long runs, and even ran 8 miles for the first time a few days ago. I'm hoping that will help with endurance, as the last mile has been a positive split time for me (I run the first 2 miles in 7 minutes each, with the last mile around 7:30). No matter what though, I'm really enjoying the journey, which is the main thing anyway!