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3902 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Jun 8, 2011 1:19 PM by seanfry8
CourtneyC23 Rookie 6 posts since
Apr 15, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 15, 2011 12:36 PM

How to get faster?

So, I am fairly new at the whole race thing. Last year, I did my first 5k to benefit a family in our church. Much to my suprise, I did pretty good, especially considering I only trained for 6 weeks. I finished right at 22 minutes. I ran on and off last summer, but have not done any other races. I have been running again for the past two weeks. I signed up for another 5k on June 4th. I would really like to be faster than last year. My problem is that other than just going out and running, I have no idea how to train. I have looked up a few training schedules, but I'm just not sure. I'm really not even sure what a reasonable goal time is. I want to do several races this summer, so I need some guidance. Any help would be great. (BTW....if this is helpful, I am a 27 year old female.) Thanks!

  • Barerunner Rookie 7 posts since
    Apr 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 15, 2011 1:04 PM (in response to CourtneyC23)
    Re: How to get faster?

    1st have to say 22 min. for your first 5k is very good....I was in one last weekend and the Top Male runner was 18:10. and the Top gal was 21.12....

    So give yourself a huge pat on your back....I am 37 yrs of age & my wife is 33 yrs young, Ttat event was The Obesity Challenge 5K in Minnesota it was my wife's 1st ever 5K & my 2nd event...

    Since my start of training 2months ago I have shaved my beginning time from 14 min. miles to 12's a lot I feel has been from core strengthening and Hill sprints,your still faster than I ...

    I am not a pro by no means but know enough to say way to GO 2 you !!! YOU Are Fast and this may be something you'll excel in !!

    I am not a pro by no means but have been studying others and learning training tips from groups, check your area for running or training groups and have as much safe fun possible....


                    Run Free ....     Quick One, best to you in future events !!

  • Angelique Simpson Pro 92 posts since
    Mar 24, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 16, 2011 1:19 PM (in response to CourtneyC23)
    Re: How to get faster?

    Hi Courtney,


    Wow, a first 5k of 22 minutes, that's talent! I've been working my way towards something close to that, but its taken a lot of work and weightloss to acheive my recent PRs. As far as getting faster, you need to work on speed work for a 5k distance, but there is a lot to be said for doing long runs and tempos as well. I traditionally do 3 quality runs a week, a tempo run, speed run and a long run. For a tempo run, you would start with a warm-up, maybe 10 minutes, then run 2-4 miles (depending on your current ability on distance) at a steady pace that is challenging but maintainable for the duration of the distance, then finish it up with a 10 minute cool down. Speed work I would recommend doing some 400M/800M/1200M/1600M repeat workouts. As you build up your mileage you will be able to increase these, but my recommendation would be to do maybe 2-3 repeats for 1600s, 3-4 for 1200s, 4-5 for 800s and 5-6 400s. For each workout you will do a warm-up and cool down and in between the "sprints" you'll do a short recovery 2-4 min depending on what you need and then start the next repeat. The long run is a way to build your endurance at a slower pace, much slower than your 5k pace. It should be easy, no labored breathing, very in control. You should probably start somewhere around 2-3 miles and gradually build up to maybe a 5 mile run a week or two before your race.


    These are of course my personal recommendations and are based on my own training plans. There are tons of plans out there for intermediate/advanced runners, so definitely do some research before jumping into one to make sure it fits with your goals, etc.


    You should definitely continue with running and training, I think you have a lot of great potential with a first 5k like that. Good luck!!



    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)

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Apr 18, 2011 8:01 AM (in response to Angelique Simpson)
    Re: How to get faster?



    Angelique advice is very similar to the way my workouts go.  It has work great for me, watch adding speed work and distance together (overuse injuries).  Add 1 quality workout for several weeks before going to two.  You can use a running calculator to get your pace for your intervals/tempo/long runs/ and easy runs.  A very good one is the Mcmillan Running Calculator, just put your 5K time in and it will tell you everything you need, the times work great for me.

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Apr 19, 2011 5:09 AM (in response to CourtneyC23)
    Re: How to get faster?

    200's and 400's are great for speed and turnover and done with little rest is a great workout.  During my marathon cycle last year one of my track workouts was 24 X 400 with 45 sec rest between it was a killer.  Good luck

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Apr 19, 2011 6:03 AM (in response to CourtneyC23)
    Re: How to get faster?

    The basic theory on intervals (as I understand it) is this.  If you want to work on VO2max, your fast repeats should be 2 to 5 minutes, with equal rest.  The idea being it takes about 2 minutes to get to VO2max.  Shorter repeats work more on form, turnover and speed.  You can reap some of the VO2max benefits with shorter repeats by doing them with less rest between - like 400s with 45 seconds recovery.




  • njnitehawk Expert 50 posts since
    Mar 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Apr 25, 2011 3:26 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: How to get faster?

    what are repeats


    and is there a difference between  repeats and intrevals

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Apr 25, 2011 4:49 AM (in response to njnitehawk)
    Re: How to get faster?

    Same thing.

  • how2runfast Legend 207 posts since
    Sep 21, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Apr 30, 2011 11:01 AM (in response to CourtneyC23)
    Re: How to get faster?

    If you are aiming to brea 21:00 in the 5K, you might try interval workouts like:


    6-8 x 400 @ 1:30-1:35 w/ 1:00 RI




    4-6 x 800 @ 3:05-3:15 w/ 2:30 RI


    or tempo runs at a 7:05-7:25/mi pace.


    You shouldn't do more than one interval workout and one tempo run per week.  If you haven't done these kinds of workouts before, you will want to ease into them with fewer reps, slower times, and shorter distances, until you feel like you can do them without getting injured.


    Good Luck!


    Boston Marathon Finisher

    How 2 Run Fast

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    Albany (NY) Times Union Runners Blog

  • seanfry8 Amateur 12 posts since
    Jun 8, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jun 8, 2011 1:19 PM (in response to CourtneyC23)
    Re: How to get faster?

    Definitely look up interval workouts or speed training, and maybe some plyometrics for good measure.

    Learn how to run faster -

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