I'm 35 years old. 6'00 210 lbs. I've never ran more than a 100 yards in my life until mid july. I started light jogging and a short time later a friend ask me to run in a 5k race. I said sure and liked it alot. I ran in 2 more since. My best time was 23:10 and my worst was 24:30. I'm running 3 miles about 4 or 5 times a week. I want my 5k times to be way better. any help or advice is appriecated. I'm not familiar with running "terms and Lingo" thanks for any help
Seeing as how you are running a minimal distance on your runs, the easiest thing you could do is to increase your mileage. Next, add interval workouts once or twice a week. Find a nice 400M track at your local high school or college, rubber surfaced preferably, take a watch with a stopwatch function for timing splits, and run a set of intervals. The intervals can be 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, etc. If you aren't used to running these, start with maybe 8 x 400M or 800M intervals and run about as fast as you can so that you can finish all intervals at the same pace, or maybe even a second or 2 faster for each one. Increase the number of intervals weekly. For mileage, you should probably be able to run up to 10 miles at a time for 5K preparation. Start by increasing your mileage no more that 10% per week. Try running close to your 5K race pace for up to 5 or 6 miles. If you can do this for 6 to 8 weeks you should easily be able to run the 5K in 20 minutes.
If you are serious about running faster, you should get familiar with the "lingo". You might want to subscribe to Runners World or at least look at the web site. Here's a link to some 5K training - check out the intermediate level.
that link is all one line of course. good luck!
For an inexperienced runner, your 5K times are pretty good! You must have the right physique, or raw talent, or both. The previous post is very good, pretty much what I was going to write. I want to add, though, that an interval workout is hard/easy, hard/easy etc. In between those fast repeats, jog or walk for 2-3 minutes. If you're not already practicing rhythmic breathing, do so. Two footsteps per breath in, and two out for harder paces, and three in, three out for easier paces is what I do. That, and body form, are important for improvement. If you can't get to a track, measure quarter-miles, half-miles etc. on your neighborhood streets or use some other even increment such as city blocks or utility posts. Don't underestimate the value of warming up, which doesn't mean merely stretching. Run an easy mile or two, then do some quadricep, hamstring and calf stretches before beginning your speedwork. A traditional training regimen is to separate your "quality" days (the speedwork and long run days) with easy runs of 3-5 miles, and of course take a day or two off each week. Don't underestimate the value of rest days either. After a week or two, when you've gotten into a routine, you could start focusing on form; body held high but with no tension, keep shoulder and elbow joints, facial muscles and hands relaxed. Soft fists, not hard-clenched; chin straight, and look about 20-30 yards ahead. Step light; imagine your body is suspended in a sling and your feet can barely touch the ground. Try for at least 180 footfalls per minute. Practice form on those easy runs, then it will transfer to your speedwork.
DO read Runner's World, and I recommend a good book on the subject. I cut my training teeth on Hal Higdon's Run Fast, about 15 bucks from Amazon, or any bookstore should be able to order it. You'll learn the lingo, learn some varied forms of speedwork, he provides training charts, and it's an all-in-one reference you can carry anywhere. He's a good writer; it's an easy read, not all "tech-y" and dull, and written for beginner to elite. He's a former pro runner, now a coach and Sr. writer for RW. Run, baby, run!
If you can, get a GPS watch. And instead of going by miles, turn in your miles for meters. I'm going to work on an article soon that will cover this topic, but since using the GPS speed watches, which track your speeds, I've set it for readouts in kilometers and minutes/km, and its been SO MUCH EASIER to 'dial in' to the running paces you need to run at. Want a 20 minute 5K? Run your speed workouts at a 4:00/km readout on your watch. Just simple stuff like that. No more conversions of mile paces to 5K times and all that mind cluttering calculation stuff. Running is simple, we should keep it simple. We are stuck in a miles world, but we race in kilometers for all our popular races of 5K & 10K, yet we're always trying to figure out and recalculate minutes/mile paces and using the track as our gauge of success with speed workouts. Well, with the GPS watch, you can get your distances and paces and speeds fed to you instantly, and it makes it much easier to figure out running paces to run at for certain runs, and of course, any distance you want measured from your doorstep to out on the road & back. I use it to measure out a 500m loop I use in my XC team's training. I've also used it to find a 333m loop at a park, which we just did a speed workout at yesterday. I can figure out what paces we ran at for the durations of the loops we ran (once, twice, 3, 4 times around...)
Attached is a picture of that workout.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone wants to discuss this further, on how I implement this tool into training.
Rick Karboviak, CSCS
Pssst....(If you don't want to invest in the watch, 400 meters is pretty darned close to 1/4 mile and 800 meters is pretty darned close to 1/2 mile. It's pretty simple.) I like to do conversions, often in my head while running; mental exercise is important too.