Sunday, 29 November 2015

Running a faster 5K: 1

O.K., my goal is to run a faster 5k.

Specifically, I want to run a sub-20 minute 5k parkrun.

Now, realistically, this is unlikely.

My local parkrun is hilly. My best time there is 20:43. This year, my best time was 21:39. And this was prior to my lung problems.

But this is my goal.


I had a good week of training:

Mon.: run 5.6 miles
Tues.: no running (but a 3 mile walk in the evening)
Weds.: run 1 mile + 4 x 1000m intervals on the track (speed workout)
Thurs.: swim 1300m; run 2 mile race (+ 0.5 mile warm-up and cool down)
Fri.: no running
Sat.: run 5.8 miles (parkrun + warm-up and cool-down)
Sun.: run 7.1 miles (hilly)

With a goal of running a faster 5k, I want to have some speed work, and generally increase my training volume. So my equation for a faster 5k is the following:
consistent running + some speedwork + good volume = a faster 5k

I'm not going to break 20 mins., but I'm hoping to get faster.

I also recognize that a given week's training will not be reflected in that week's 5k parkrun time.

Nonetheless, over the next few weeks, I hope the times will come down.


This week's 5K parkrun was an inauspicous start to my efforts to run a sub-20 minute 5k.

It has been 10 weeks since my last spell of lung problems.

These 10 weeks have been interrupted by travel, but I have been running when possible. So I was hoping for an improved time.

Unfortunately, the day dawned rainy, cold and windy. I tried to maintain an even pace, but felt a bit winded. I'd eaten a light breakfast before the race, but could feel it a bit in my stomach. Also, because it was cold, I was wearing long running trousers. Somehow, I had not tied the drawstring and these felt like they were sliding down during the race. It was a distraction. Eventually, on the "hearbreak hill" portion of the route, I tied the drawstings.

I crossed the line in 22:01. I was 24th out of 129 participants, my highest placing of the year.

However, I'd felt good during the run. With better conditions, this perhaps could have been in a 21 minute something 5K.


In part one of the reasons I think a sub-20 minute 5k is a stretch is my speed workout this past Weds. On the track, trying to run hard, my 1k intervals were 4:06, 4:09; 4:11, and 4:07. These were intervals with a 2 minute rest between each one.

To run a sub-20 minute 5k, I need sub-4:00 minute kilometers the whole way.


Earlier in the week, on my walk with young friends, the ruins of our local palace were illuminated.

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