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2793 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2011 5:21 PM by ShepMathNerd
ShepMathNerd Rookie 3 posts since
May 17, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 15, 2011 5:06 PM

Trying to get faster...

I have been training independently for the past 4 weeks and am running my first 5K this weekend.  I am just now finding this great site and wondering if it's too late for the C25K program to help me at all.  I am already able to jog for 30 continuous minutes and run the 3 miles but I am afraid I'm going to be the slowest one.  My husband, who is a former marathon runner, has been giving me pointers and tips throughout my training.  I am wondering if anyone has any advice regarding how to get my speed up...


Thanks in advance!

  • Angelique Simpson Pro 92 posts since
    Mar 24, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 16, 2011 10:59 AM (in response to ShepMathNerd)
    Re: Trying to get faster...

    Unfortunately, for your race this weekend, I think its too late to get faster than where you are now. You really have to spend some time, weeks/months, doing speed training in order to improve. For this weekend, you should go out there and do the best that you can for the training you have done so far. You definitely won't be the slowest, especially if you can jog for 30 min, trust me. Then, starting next week you can start working on your speed and preparing for your next race. I like to do 3 quality runs a week, each has its own purpose. For you, I think doing some speed work such as 400m and 800m repeats would really help out your speed for a 5k distance. Just starting out you can do a very simple speed workout by doing the following:


    1 - 5-10 minute warm-up (very slow jog or even a fast walk)

    2 - 2 minute sprint (run as fast as you can, but are able to mantain for full 2 minutes)

    3 - 2 minute recovery (slow jog or fast walk to bring the heart rate down)

    4 - repeat steps 2-3 up to 10 times

    5 - 5-10 minute cool-down (slow jog or fast walk)


    Once you are ready to focus and do more specific workouts you can try 400m and 800m repeats, which is the same idea as the above but its based on distance instead of time.


    Good luck this weekend!



    Race History
    5K - Apr 2009: 39:00
    5K - Jun 2009: 36:55
    5K - Sep 2009: 34:06
    10K - Oct 2009: 1:13:45
    5K - Nov 2009: 34:23
    5K - Feb 2010: 32:28
    Half Marathon - Apr 2010: 2:39:06
    5K - May 2010: 29:49
    10K - Jun 2010: 1:01:48

    5K - Aug 2010: 27:57

    Half Marathon - Oct 2010: 2:12:18

    10K - Nov 2010: 52:44 (PR)

    5K - Feb 2011: 23:45

    Half Marathon - Apr 2011: 1:49:18

    Marathon - May 2011: 3:56:05

    Half Marathon - Oct 2011: 1:49:14 (PR)

    5K - Nov 2011: 22:20 (PR)

    Marathon - Dec 2011: 3:41:42 (PR)

  • ColoCorredor Pro 97 posts since
    Dec 14, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 7, 2014 6:06 AM (in response to ShepMathNerd)
    Re: Trying to get faster...

    I agree that it may be a little late in the game to incorporate speed workouts.  But for future, you can increase your speed by running hills, interval workouts, or fartlek runs.  Here's a bit more detail...


    Also, buying a pair of lightweight performance shoes can improve your time on race day, but, I would recommend breaking them in first.  You may have time to do this before your race, I'm not sure.  It would also depend on what you have been training in, and if your body and feet are strong enough to run in a shoe with less support.


    Good Luck with your Race & Happy Running!!

    Believe you can do it. Think no other way but “Yes you can.”
    The human body is capable of considerably more physical endurance than most of us realize!!
  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Mar 17, 2011 5:42 AM (in response to ColoCorredor)
    Re: Trying to get faster...

    Some very good advice already posted above.

    I would add a word of caution.  There's no real pressing need to push your body too hard, too soon.  That way lies injuries.  Pay really good attention to your form and to the messges your feet and legs are sending you.  If something hurts, slow down ease up and try to adjust so that it doesn't hurt any more.  It's very easy to run faster than you safely can sustain.   If you want to be a runner for years and years and enjoy it, take time to build a good foundation now.   They say that if you work on smooth and easy running form the speed will come without your hardly noticing it. Be smart about it and have fun.

    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Mar 17, 2011 7:23 AM (in response to Joseph Tree)
    Re: Trying to get faster...

    +1 to what JosephTree said.  If you have only been training for 4 weeks, you shouldn't be worrying about speedwork.  Building a base is far more important.  Get to the point of running 20 - 25 miles per week, then consider speedwork.  Just getting to that point will improve your pace anyway.  Lightweight trainers are a mixed blessing.  Yes, you may be faster (but we're talking seconds per mile, not minutes).  But they also offer less support, which takes some getting used to.




  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Mar 17, 2011 8:10 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Trying to get faster...

    +2 on Josephtree and Len,


    Just getting your base miles up safely without a overuse injury will get your 5K time down, you could drop it back as much as 10 mins with just base work depending on your time now.  After 8-12 months of running then try to add some speed work in.  No need for running flats for a while!!!!!

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