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I am 35 years old, about 20 pounds over optimum race weight (5'6", 170 pounds, muscular). I've been running and competing for 3 years. My PR in a 5K is 21:48. My PR in a competitive mile is 6:14. How can I reach my goal of sub-20:00 on my 5Ks? I have discussed this with my local Fleet Feet folks and have talked about such issues as weight management, pain threshold, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, cardio fitness, stretching to increase stride length, improving stride style and body positioning, getting more speed work integrated into my runs, increasing overall mileage, etc... What is your opinion? Has anyone experienced a similar situation?
I too am attempting to ramp up the speed, both in a 5K and 10K. BUT- I am a fourtysomething mother of three, 5'3" and 130 honest but muscular lbs. I just wanna get faster so help me too please! Doing the hills now-some say keep up the hills only, and others say stop the hills and hit the track. Others say do both. Whatsa gal to do?? Wanna get to 48-49 (from PR of 50:10 goofing around a bit) in the 10K. Friandshi
I returned to running last year after a 5 year hiatus - bore two children. First 5k back I did 23 mins. My PR is 19 min. I continued to increase the mileage, stretch and cross train and 5 months later took a minute off and got down to 22 mins. Not content, I incorporated hill repeats once a week and track work the following week. I found both hard on my knees (I'm 36 and 120 pounds), so some weeks I would back off (instead of 4 X1000 meters, I would do 3 X 800 meters ) with 15 minutes of cool down and warm up. The hint I was given is to do "stride outs" for 100 meters 4 times before you start your track or hill repeats to warm the muscles. I also incorporated some fartleg work on the tread mill once a week and 1-2 longer runs - 6-7 miles. Bottom line is last week I ran 21 minutes (4 weeks after the 22 minute run), so my times are reducing nicely. I would definitely recommend training with a group for track work - very motivating!
I too I am trying to get to the sub 20's. I have a great coach. I have been training with him for two years and I have cut down my time incredibly. My advise is track work. Always do 100 strides before your track work out, at least 5, and of course a 20 min warm up before. During the week incorporate 1 hour runs with rolling hills or flat. After your distance runs always do at least 10x100 strides, squats, and arm curls this will give your legs strength and your upper body strengthen as well. I use to do 23 min?s in 5k?s but now I am down to 21's but my goal is to do less than 20.min I am 42. Importantly you have to be able to sustain an even pace for at least 30 min. Trying doing this when you do your tempo runs. On the weekends I do hill work I run up 40 min. and down 20. Speed work should only be twice a week the rest is distance/tempo. Hope that helps.. patojaj.
In the case of the original poster, I would recommend weight loss. If you don't change your training pattern and loose those pounds, it will probably be sufficient to get your race time down to below 20 mins. Just make sure you don't loose any muscle when loosing weight. Don't go for a diet, but maybe get in a long run once or twice a week. Great for increasing endurance and increasing your aerobic threshhold, and you will loose a pound a week.
Stretching for improved stride length is IMHO a very dangerous advice. Unless you combine it with some serious strength training for both your upper leg and your core muscles, you are very likely to run into some serious risk of accidents.
Stride style and body positioning on the other hand are very useful to train for, a good coach can help you a lot there. Again, make sure you invest some time in strength training, especially for your lower back. Most people think situps when talking core muscles, but that alone won't help you.
Hope this helps and good luck.