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2279 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2011 6:39 AM by squilky RSS
squilky Pro 91 posts since
Jul 18, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 22, 2011 8:10 AM

Confused...

I completed the couch to 5k a few months back. I would like to build my distance up to 10k distance over time. One of the things that is confusing/frustrating me is that my time is not getting any better. I run a 5k in just under 35 minutes. I was hoping that I could finish it in closer to 30 minutes. At this point, should I focus more on running further, and run at the same pace? Or should I focus on both increasing distance and going a little faster? I did a 4 mile run last night and finished that in 45:41. An average pace of 11:21. Should I continue to run at that pace and try to extend my distance to 5 miles? Or should I stick with running 4 miles and try to get my pace down to 11 minutes or better?

 

 

MK





Couch to 5k completed: 7/15/2011

USPTO 5K 10/16/2011; 29:14 110/238

Bull Run Festival of Lights 5K 12/31/2011; 31:30 324/683

Primal Mud Run 4/14/2012; 1:29:29

Cody's Crew 5k 9/16/2012 31:15

  • Terranss Legend 268 posts since
    Feb 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 22, 2011 9:42 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Confused...

    Have you looked into a 10K training plan?  There are a couple things that a 10K training plan will do for you regarding your 5K speed:

     

    1. Interval workouts - you'll work on leg turnover and anaerobic running, which will help you improve your 5K time.

     

    2. Long runs - longer runs will help establish greater capillary networks in your muscles, which will help you push harder at shorter distances.

     

    If you're not interested in a 10K training plan and would prefer to go at your own pace (so to speak), then I would recommend that you mix your distances and effort levels.  If you are running 4 miles @ 11:21 pace, try to go out in a couple of days and try to run two miles at 9:30 or 10-minute pace.  Then, go out the next day and do three easy miles (12:00+ minutes/mile).  This will get you used to different effort levels, which is key in helping you improve.  As long as you are building it safely, continue to increase the long distance run, too.  Work on getting to 5 miles, even while continuing to do your 2-mile faster-pace runs and 3-mile easy pace runs.  You'll see your 5K times start to drop quickly once you start doing some kind of speedwork.

     

    Good luck!

  • Terranss Legend 268 posts since
    Feb 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 22, 2011 10:31 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Confused...

    That sounds like a good plan; 10-minute miles will still put you right around a 31:00 5K pace, so that would be a huge gain!

     

    If you find that 2 miles at 10-minute pace is too fast to sustain, you could also throw in a brief (~2-3 minutes) walk after the first mile to catch your breath.  The important thing here is that you get your feet moving faster!

     

    Best of luck, and I look forward to hearing how it goes!

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Aug 22, 2011 10:31 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Confused...

    You need to change something, either add distance or speed.  Don't do both at the same time.  For most newbies adding distance is the best way to go.  So if you pick a 10K program by the time you are ready to run a 10K your 5K time should be faster.  Don't rush things you want running to be a long term goal, only bad things happen when we rush.

  • akaerock Pro 120 posts since
    Apr 7, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 24, 2011 11:00 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Confused...

    Hi Squilky, What are your running goals? is it to run a 5k or do you want to run long distance? If its long distance just focus on building mileage. If you want a faster 5k time then I suggest doing some speed workouts.

     

    The McmIllan Running website has excellent articles on training. This article explains the 4 Key Training Zones and gives you a pretty good guideline on creating a workout plan.  http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/training1.htm





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  • Terranss Legend 268 posts since
    Feb 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Aug 24, 2011 11:19 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Confused...

    Nicely done, Squilky!  That was great that you hit your target pace!

     

    Regarding your form, it sounds like you have yourself figured out pretty well.  I would continue to keep your breathing controlled, and time your arm movements with your leg cadence.  You're right; pumping your arms faster won't get you there faster unless your legs keep up!

     

    Hopefully you feel okay after that effort.  If you can continue to do a high-effort run like that once or twice a week, you'll definitely see your speed increase.

     

    Lastly, I don't know what your long run plan was for this week, but definitely try to fit in something in the 4-5 mile range.

     

    Great job, and keep us posted!

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Aug 24, 2011 1:39 PM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Confused...

    Seeing as you've only recently finished Couch to 5k, I would recommend very strongly against speed work. If you try to focus on speed right now, you're likely to suffer an overuse injury. It takes quite a long time for your musculoskeletal system to adjust to the new stress of running (it only takes a few weeks for your cardiovascular system to adapt).

     

    For the time being, I'd focus on building mileage. I'd suggest Hal Higdon's Spring Training program -- it's a good program that's designed to get you to the 10k distance. You'll find that as you add mileage, your times at the shorter distances will improve. After getting some more mileage under your belt (a common guideline is a few months of 20 miles per week), you should be ready to go with speed work. When I refer to speed work, I'm talking about interval sessions (e.g., 4x400m -- that translates to running 400 meters -- about a quarter mile -- at a fast pace four times with some walking/jogging in between; say, two minutes).

     

    As BOSNPM says, though, don't try to increase speed and distance at the same time. That's a recipe for disaster.

     

    Good luck!

     

    Don





    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Aug 25, 2011 10:36 AM (in response to squilky)
    Re: Confused...

    Sounds like you have a good feel for things.  Form is very important and is the 1st thing to break down when we are tired or when increasing speed.  You need to have a strong but relaxed upper body.   Core work and lower back are very important to distance ruuners.  Don is right, don't start speed work until you have been running for a year or so, you can do pick-ups, but I would wait on the speed work for a while it adds a lot of stress to your body!

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