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!
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!
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)
I agree that it may be a little late in the game to incorporate. 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!!
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
+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.
+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!!!!!
I did it! I wasn't very fast but I actually did it! 35:10... which I suppose isn't terrible for my first. It was much more "hilly" than I had anticipated and it was extremely windy which I also hadn't planned on... but it's done! I'm pumped about my next one... in 2 weeks! I'm hoping I can shave off a little time (this next one will be on flat terrain). Thanks for the advice!