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Let's run 5K in sub 20min!Feel the burn from those 4 minute Ks


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#1 unicron

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:52 AM

Is this a goal for anyone else? Have you recently broken the 4min/K barrier and if so, what was the secret? If you're working towards this goal like I am, i'd love to hear about your progress.

My 5K times have gradually been coming down this year from consistent training and my current PB is 21:37 (I only broke 25:00 about 12 months ago). However I am really enjoying parkrun and am determined to get there more frequently next year and bring my time down to 20min or under in 2015.

Would love to hear about your fun & challenging interval workouts and how you mix up your schedule to fit these in amongst the longer slower runs. I still want to complete longer runs inc marathon distance next year so balance will be key.

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#2 Eagle

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 09:30 AM

I am getting a bit old to realistically expect that I could do this again. It might have been 3 years ago that I did it but then again I do not train to run short and quick. However in the new year I wanted to compete in the Nationals for Masters that are being held in Sydney. I thought that might be an opportunity to change my training a focus for a couple of months and just see what I can do. Nothing will start until mid to last January.

#3 BogFrog

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 10:21 AM

Yep, think I've got the same goals as you unicron.  Marathon in April, 5K later in the year.  I did a 20:37 in June and stoked with that result - i had been aiming at getting a sub 21 for quite a while.  Practicing 5K races was key for me.  Also doing hill repeats really helped with speed.  I haven't done any speed workouts recently (except races and tempo type runs), but will be starting them again next week as my niggles are subsiding.  My go-to sessions are 10x200, 8x400, 4x1000, 4x1600, 8x300 hills.
And unicron, don't be fooled by Eagle - haven't beaten him around the bay yet!  Eagle, might be nice to do a few sessions together?

#4 Rilla

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 10:44 AM

Hi unicron, no doubt you can do this with the right targeted training.  A sub 20 5K requires speed endurance so you need to work on this.  Looking at your 1k pb you clearly need to get this down.  If a sub 20 5k is your main focus i would suggest two lots of interval sessions per week, 1 session with 3 or so mile repeats or 6 or so km repeats at around 3:50km pace and the other session with shorter faster stuff, say 400s done at no less than 85 seconds each (3:30 pace).  Once you can consistently hit these paces I think you can go under 20.  Don't neglect the weekend long run however as a fast 5k still requires good endurance.

#5 OurDogScruff

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:02 AM

Interesting, I want to get back to sub 20 and then sub 19.  I was on target back at the start of 2012.  I ran 23:03 last night, with a little walk ...up a hill, but don't tell anyone I cheated :Shocked:   So I'm probably around 21:00 to 21:30 currently if I really went for it I would think.  

There's a whole world of difference between that pace and sub 20 I think.  Obviously you need to be fit, but if you're close to going sub 20 you also need to be able to block out the pain as you're right on the limit.  That's not as easy as it sounds, for me at least!  My body always screamed at me from 2km to 4km to stop.

So I looked at my Garmin history, I ran sub 20 several times in Feb 2012, so here is my history for November to the end of February to give you an idea what I was doing.

Attached File  Running.PNG   252.13K   74 downloads

The first week is big, but 75km of that is a friends run, who borrowed my Garmin for an ultra :)  And the other big 67km week is another friend who borrowed my watch for Coast Trek.  So I ran just over 330km between Nov 11 to March 12.  

What that shows me at least, is I didn't run very much, no change there then!  My average speed was just that, average.  And most of my runs seem to be about 5km or slightly longer on average.

So I looked at what sessions I did.  At that point in time I was training with Hills Athletics every Wednesday night, doing speed sessions.  I was getting my arse kicked by runners older than me, younger than me and the same age as me.  So I ran my guts out each week to try and get towards their level.  That's the first time I'd really done speedwork since I started running in 2005.  

I know that is what made the difference.  Doing speed work on your own is like trying to run a 5km PB in a race on your own in training.  You cannot replicate race conditions.  Having other people on the track to chase pushes you harder than is possible when you're on your own

So my plan to get back to sub 20 is to do speed sessions once a week in a group.  Even better if that group is much quicker than you and you're lucky last.

To run a quicker 5km in a race, run quicker in training, it really is that simple.  Get those intervals done.  Mix them up.  You don't need to run 50km to 100km weeks.  Nothing like it.

Eventually running sub 4 pace becomes like when you first made the transition from 6:00 to 5:30, to 5:00 to 4:30.

#6 Robbo78

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:36 AM

Hey Unicron, sounds similar to me too. I ran an unofficial PB of 22:16 back in August (Just as ODS described, by myself in a training run :) ). I was thinking sub 21 next year but after starting training with a group doing interval sessions my speed has improved dramatically in 5 weeks. Id never done a sub 4 km before an i did 3 of them in one session a few weeks back. Im hoping to do SMC next month and see what i can do in an official race (maybe take a bull dozer out and flatten the hill before it :) ).

Im starting to train for the GOR Marathon in May so my plan is to keep the group interval session, do a marathon pace run 10km and increasing it & the long run with some hills reps on the end of it. The rest will just be jogging with the dog and recovery runs. See what happens :)

#7 lazydog

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:30 PM

View Postunicron, on 13 November 2014 - 08:52 AM, said:

I still want to complete longer runs inc marathon distance next year so balance will be key.

If you still have an eye on marathons - 5km improvement and marathon training aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.  For many average runners  (me included - I mean not tops runner already running high milage) the extra volume/endurance of marathon training delivers PB's in the shorter distances too.

My 5km Park Run PB came down from 22:36 last Sept to 19:48 2 weeks before Melbourne Marathon. In that time I was pretty much doing marathon training only (that was 1st priority) and had minimal speed work.  Fastest sessions were the occasional (maybe 8 all up for the year) longer interval set (1km) at 5km pace. Nothing faster.

With that said  - this year I'm taking a slightly different approach. I think I've got a pretty good base and it's time for a change (and no marathon planned till next June).  So I'm going to focus on 5km  - and hence will be doing some speed work for the next few months and see how that goes.  Will be interesting to see how the body reacts to the different stimulus.  I'd love to get sub 19 in that time.  In the meantime... bring on the intervals.

#8 Libertine

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 04:21 PM

When I started running I would never have believed in a million years I could run 5k in less than 20 minutes. Even now that I'm hovering in the early 22s it still seems such a stretch. I can run 1km in 4 mins but stringing together 5 is a different story! However I guess it's like everything, you set a goal, determine the steps you are going to take then give it a shot.

One of my issues is I'm reluctant to give up the mileage. I don't think I could do another quality speed session a week (I currently do one) unless I dropped the length of my long run. And I I don't want to drop my long run too much as I really enjoy being able to keep up when I get invited along to trail runs which are inevitably long lol. I know someone said above that the two goals are not usually exclusive, it's just a recovery issue I guess.

However this just gets me back to my main problem which is that I want to do everything and therefore do nothing well. No idea why I am completely unable to just chose one goal at a time lol.

#9 RunningSurfer

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 05:06 PM

Willing to see if I can do it - My PB was set a while time ago and have committed to a long hot summer of running slowly, so come Autumn next year I will see how it comes together with some more intense training and see where I end up. Sub 20 would be an achievment for sure, but plenty of work to get anywhere near it next winter.
Best of luck everyone chasing this goal!

PS - Libertine there is nothing wrong with wanting it all! Just don't hurt yourself

Edited by RunningSurfer, 13 November 2014 - 05:07 PM.


#10 lazydog

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 07:47 PM

Just getting back to volume post marathon and feeling recovered --- (my gosh 42.2 does knock you around a bit) so today was a tester run to see how I'm fairing speed wise.

My gosh that was hard!  Think I prefer the slow pain of the long stuff (must be the frog in hot water thing) to the intense 5km.   Clocked in at a frustrating 20.01 on my GPS--- but the kind park run officials gave me 19:59 as the official time :Star: .

So I'm not quite back were I was-- but very close.  Starting up with the speed work this week so now I've got a benchmark to measure against.

#11 StormFront

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 10:55 PM

I only run 20 to 30km per week off 2 or 3 runs per week and today I improved my Park Run PB to 17m 48secs, less than 20 seconds to break 17 min 30 secs in Park Run.

#12 Taeliesyn

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 11:03 AM

Having just hit 22:00 for my parkrun, and having gone 3:56 for a 1km section (13k already done for the night) I've got a friend who thinks I can do the sub 20. I'm keen to give it crack but I may need to tweak my 'program' as currently I'm not training for anything but mostly trying to build mileage and keep decent elevation stats, as I'm more tempted by trail runs and hills. I currently do my speedwork session the day after my long run. Like Unicron and Libertine I want to keep my mileage up and get faster. I think time and consistency is going to be the key to 'doing it all' without falling apart.

#13 Tauros

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 08:24 AM

View Postunicron, on 13 November 2014 - 08:52 AM, said:

Would love to hear about your fun & challenging interval workouts and how you mix up your schedule to fit these in amongst the longer slower runs. I still want to complete longer runs inc marathon distance next year so balance will be key.

I first ran under 20mins for a 5k when training to break 40mins in the 10k distance - Ran a 5k event in week 4 of an 8 week cycle and it just happened for me. I subsequently then went on to break the 40mins for the 10k 4 weeks later (was even faster through the first 5k of that event as well).

As someone has posted above, the longer distance events and a fast 5k aren't really exclusive. If you are looking to longer events keep doing the quality long aerobic work and that will pay dividends for both disciplines.

For specific workouts, I find longer intervals with short recoveries are very effective for simulating the stress of race conditions. You don't smash round in the pace that you would for a 400m rep, but you don't get nearly as long to recover either. So your HR stays up as do your lactate levels. As the session goes on, it keeps accumulating and gets tougher and tougher... Which is just like an event itself.

Do you have access to a track or GPS watch you can pre-program with distances? If you do, perhaps have a crack at these - see if they work for you:
  • 6 x 1,000m @ 4:10-4:15 with 200m jogging recovery in 75-80 seconds
  • 4 x 1,600m @ 6:40-6:58 with 200m jogging recovery in 85-90 seconds (work reps at 4:10-4:15 like above)
Your current 5k PR is at 4:19 pace - so these put you slightly faster for more than 5,000m, albeit with some short rests. Rather than belting around at huge paces for a short distance that you're never going to actually run for any longer than about 800m, these force you to keep consistently working as you fatigue. It's important not to go too fast and only hammer the final interval if you still have the juice left to do so.

If you can knock both these over, take another 5 seconds off each interval and rest period and try again (if you absolutely smash the above times take more off - you'll just need to do the number crunching for the 1,600m rep like I did). If you work your way to do the 6 x 1,000m for around 3:55s, then I'd be surprised if you have an issue breaking 5k at that point.

I alternate these sessions in with shorter speedwork like 400s. So over 4 weeks I might do: 1000s, 400s, 1600s, 400s (less reps for a recovery week).

View PostStormFront, on 15 November 2014 - 10:55 PM, said:

I only run 20 to 30km per week off 2 or 3 runs per week and today I improved my Park Run PB to 17m 48secs, less than 20 seconds to break 17 min 30 secs in Park Run.

That's awesome. You are obviously a somewhat gifted runner! (nice shoes btw, I race in those too)

Libertine - looking at your goals, I don't see any reason why you couldn't tick the HM, 10k and 5k all off as part of an overall plan. If you planned it all out with a good base behind you no reason you couldn't crack the 5k and 10k in the build up to the HM if it all fell into place for you!

Edited by Tauros, 18 November 2014 - 08:27 AM.


#14 RunningSurfer

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 11:21 AM

Some pretty handy advice being dispensed on here already, hope a few people can achieve the goal! Still working on my slow base building and am still trying to break 30mins for 5km at my low HR!

#15 RodN

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:27 PM

I cracked this milestone last year. I was oh so close on many occasions.

Two workouts that helped me most are the tempo workout and the interval/V02 workout.  I am assuming you know how these work.  Tempo's at Threshold pace and intervals at 5k pace.

What I found was that by doing these alone I was barely knocking off the times.  Earlier on I was running the intervals at 4:00 or faster pace but not improving in the park runs. The thing that helped me across the line was realised about being relaxed at 5k pace. So in the early days when I did my intervals they were quite "forced" but I started just trying to relax through those intervals (which in training slowed to 4:05/4:10 pace) and performing a while/running kind of meditation technique where i would start at my head and work my way down my body relaxing all my muscles as I went.  It's hard to explain but that helped with an improvement in efficiency I reckon and along with consistent training I was able to knock the time over.

Although you shouldn't dispense the long run completely and I agree that a large base will improve all times, if you want to run fast 5's you do have to prioritise your training to that end. Super long runs will leave you tired for your quality threshold and 5k pace workouts. So you won't get the most benefit from those on such tired legs.

#16 cakeboy

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:59 PM

For those that have used parkrun as a way to get to a sub 20 5km PB, did you run hard at parkrun every week to get there (treating it like race conditions) or did you use them as training hard runs but not eyeballs out type runs?

I'm wondering if I should back off every now and then in Park runs or keep running them like a race every sat morning to get faster?   (on top of 2 hard sessiosn during the week)

cheers

#17 Taeliesyn

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 04:20 PM

I haven't reached the sub 20, but I do use parkrun nearly every week as part of my training. Generally I am to run comfortably hard, definitely not eyeballs out I'm gonna die! type runs. If you've already got 2 hard sessions during the week cakeboy I'd back of a little at parkrun. Have a good hit at your PB maybe once a month and the rest go with the comfortably hard. If you need a pace guide, see what McMillian says your 10k pace is, based from your 5k pb and try to run about that pace.

#18 RodN

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 04:53 PM

View Postcakeboy, on 18 November 2014 - 03:59 PM, said:

For those that have used parkrun as a way to get to a sub 20 5km PB, did you run hard at parkrun every week to get there (treating it like race conditions) or did you use them as training hard runs but not eyeballs out type runs?

I'm wondering if I should back off every now and then in Park runs or keep running them like a race every sat morning to get faster?   (on top of 2 hard sessiosn during the week)

cheers

That's too many hard sessions, well for me I did it like that for a while and got ITB issues.  I have read Daniels and Pfitzinger and they have similar advise to Taeliesyn - run them comfortably hard otherwise you will over stress the body and will not improve. I would treat comfortably hard parkrun as your V02 session, do another tempo session and a longer run and make the rest easy runs.  Then target a parkrun every now and then for an all out effort.

#19 McNick

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 07:03 PM

Attached File  2014-11-18_19.58.17.jpg   10.76K   19 downloads

I think you should only run balls out once a month!

#20 OurDogScruff

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 10:40 AM

I didn't use parkrun, but like RodN, I did the (extreme) equivalent of this for a while and got injured.  I found the the thrill of running quickly quite addictive, looking back at my times around that time.  I ran sub 20 three times in 6 days at various events/time trials, all within 3 seconds of each other, one of them being my PB.  I can remember at the time thinking you shouldn't be doing this as you're body is screaming out to stop, but I ignored it as I wanted another PB :)  

That's a bit extreme compared to once a week at parkrun, but once a week, for my body, to be running a flat out 5km is and was too much.  I'll know better when I get there again....I hope.  I'd take the advice above and have a real crack at it once a month or so.

#21 runmaamrun

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 12:28 PM

Wow - sub 20 5k seems an age away to me! I am only just  starting to get close to sub 25 (25.14 at the moment).

#22 lazydog

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 02:57 PM

View Postcakeboy, on 18 November 2014 - 03:59 PM, said:

For those that have used parkrun as a way to get to a sub 20 5km PB, did you run hard at parkrun every week to get there (treating it like race conditions) or did you use them as training hard runs but not eyeballs out type runs?

I'm wondering if I should back off every now and then in Park runs or keep running them like a race every sat morning to get faster?   (on top of 2 hard sessiosn during the week)

cheers

Good question.  I was going to go "all out" every two weeks or so... but reading above maybe I probably should stretch this out to every 3-4. So tempting to go for the regular feedback/thrill :Batting Eyelashes: ...

#23 CountryMuzz

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 06:55 PM

Not yet speaking from experience (I'll report back mid next year :)) - but my coach has just put me on a program that will see me running a quick 5k every second week This is in amongst my regular program of speed work etc. Long runs look like staying around 2hrs for a while.
The aim is to get my cruising speed down, so that when we rebuild the big miles next year, I have more chance of hitting my marathon target.
I am hoping that a few months of that might just get me close to the 20 minute mark. Fingers crossed.....

#24 StormFront

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 11:31 AM

2 or 3 interval sessions or 5k and 10km time trials.
The other days can be easy jogs, walks, cycling or gym work outs to mix things up.

Are 200s and 400s reps better than 800s and 1km reps?
What paces do you guys run the 200s and 400s?
How many reps?
How much recovery between each rep?

Edited by StormFront, 20 November 2014 - 01:18 PM.


#25 e_tan

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 08:09 AM

I was recommended the 12 week 'Up And Running' program by JORG from a friend and now in week 6 of the program. The program incorporates intervals and steady efforts and next week I step it up to some hill reps and a threshold run! I'm already noticing improvements in speed and I think the strength & core routine is contributing to this as well. It's a great guide to running explaining all the training methods you need to be including in your plan and lots of technique tips. Definitely recommend giving it a go for those looking to improve times! Looking forward to seeing what my final time trial at the end of the program brings :)

For those that aren't familiar with ithttp://www.jorgfitness.com/#!news/c1fr7

#26 lazydog

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 03:41 PM

Well... how's everyone's training going???

Just done my first two weeks focusing on speed and have been really enjoying it.  Used the "workout" feature on the garmin for the first time and it's been nice to do some different sessions.  I thought I'd get annoyed at the constant changing lengths and watch beeping but instead found the different lengths/times and change up made it mentally easier to complete (breaks the session down).

Week1 key sessions (all up 77km for week) :  
Short Repeats: 4 X (200R, 200jog,  200R, 200jog, 400R, 400jog) R = 3:42min/km
Tempo Intervals: 5x1600 @ 4:20, 1 min rest
Hilly run:  Not hill repeats as such but about 500m vert including some steep/stair sections

Week2 key sessions (all up 75km for week) :  
Short Repeats: 10 X (400R, 400jog),  R = 3:42
Threshold Intervals: 6 x (2min I, 1min jog, 1min I, 30s jog, 30s I, 30s jog) I = 3:58min/km.  
Park Run:  Couldn't help my self (new shoe enthusiasm) and went for the all out effort.  But PB at 19:36 :Party:
Got tempted by some good sales recently and got some lighter weight "fast" shoes now--- so figured I have to deliver if I wear them.

Been making sure I keep my easy runs VERY easy - especially as it's getting warmer -and have also dropped the intensity (keeping volume) of my cross training.  So all up the "hard" running (above zone 2 or 79% max HR) is about 11% per week if you include cross training and 18.5% on running alone.
All up legs seem to be handling the speed work well and I'm feeling good.

#27 RodN

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 05:41 PM

Congratz Lazydog!

Just goes to show how the work is paying off.

I've just been building mileage with lots of easy runs, a tempo effort and a hilly run but I'm over 80k's per week now. I have a 10k coming up which I hope to crack 42 mins.  I may have a go at a parkrun next weekend, work permitting, to see how i'm coming along.

Edited by RodN, 29 November 2014 - 05:41 PM.


#28 Eagle

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 09:00 PM

Nothing as regards anything that resembles speed training will start until mid January

#29 unicron

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 09:01 PM

Slow base building for me too. Up to ~45Ks per week and hoping to get to 50-60 in January in time for a decent hit out before Gold Coast Marathon. I've given up PB hunting for the summer months but i'm keen to keep doing a speed session every week & this thread has given me plenty of inspiration!

I have signed up to do the International Womens Day Fun Run next March so i'm eyeing that off as a decent 5K "race" - hopefully between the base building and with a buildup of quality speed sessions into next year i'll be able to shave a minute and a half off my PB (it will certainly be easier when the weather starts to cool down again).

Edited by unicron, 29 November 2014 - 09:03 PM.


#30 Libertine

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 07:15 AM

I may be more of a lurker than participant in this thread as I not sure if sub 20 is an achievable goal for me but never say never....

So I'm just about to start tapering for a 30k race in mid December then I'm planning on a rest from big weekend runs for a few weeks. I've looked at next year and I'd like to tick off a new 10k and Half pb on route to the marathon in July. I've got a loose plan for next year and as part of it I've got time to work on short fast stuff with the intent of improving my 5k. I'm actually quite excited about focusing on this! As I've always been doing longer runs I tend to always take the 'long' option at the speed session (and if I'm honest I don't always give it 100%) so it will be good to have a definite focus and short term goal. I'm thinking I'd like to try and get my 5k down in early 2015 (pre marathon) then post marathon try to improve it further.

#31 Taeliesyn

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 01:33 PM

I'm going to keep my focus on base building, I hit 70k for the week two weeks ago and I'll be very happy if I keep it around that level over summer. Might be able to sneak a few more km's out. After my pb run at parkrun yesterday, sub 21 is definitely in sight, after that sub 20 will be on the board. I'll stick with my current 'program' in general although I may play around with my intervals or SSR on my speed night to help with the 5k speed.

#32 WhyDoIDoThis

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 09:42 AM

Good thread. Another lurker here. I've got my eye on a sub 20 also, as part of my journey to (eventually/hopefully) sub 40 over 10k.

I ran a 20:45 in Sep last year doing slow/easy (50-70k per week). Then trained well for about 6 months, including sessions of 5 X 1km at ~4min pace. Would probably have gone something in the low 20:xx range based on that - but lost 3 months to a muscle injury before I got the chance to try. Lost lots of fitness, really frustrating.

But it was all my fault - I didn't listen to the body or recognise I was overtraining. Slowly building that fitness back now, will hopefully be smarter this time!

I don't have much advice to offer, except for this: Don't be afraid to take a few days, or even a week off, if you need it!

#33 Eagle

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 09:59 AM

I might run a 5k TT in the next 2 days as a benchmark as to where I am at. It will be done with no speed work. I suspect in the range 22.30 - 22.55. Which means I have some work to do to get a 20.xx :Praying:  run. For too old to even consider a sub 20.

#34 lazydog

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 12:18 PM

Seems like a few are getting some base work in - it's all leading in the right direction though!.  As it get's warmer those PBs will be harder to come by for sure - I'm just telling myself it will just make me appreciate winter more...

RodN. Thanks! 80k's per week is a good amount. Best of luck for your 10km--- get to that parkrun if you can.  It's always nice to get some positive reinforcement from your training and it will help set your pace for the 10km.

Libertine You're story sounds similar to mine this time last year - and seems like you're planning a similar year to the one I did this year. So I'd say just focus on the marathon for the first half of the year - you'll find you're shorter distance PB's come down during marathon training anyway.  This then acts as a good base for some faster focused stuff in the 2nd half of the year.  Sounds like a fun 2015 ahead for you!

Taelieyn   Congrats on the PB!!!  

Keep up the good work everyone.

#35 CanadiangirlinOz

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 02:17 PM

This would be my absolute untimate dream!  I did a PB of 21:08 well over a year ago but didn't race this last winter as I did Brisbane Oxfam and then started training for Melbourne.  Having said that I did a big PB at the Melbourne marathon (3:28).  I am now training for Hell of the West (triathlon) so just doing 3 quality runs a week.  It's way too hot in Brisbane to PB in summer but now I'm thinking I should get out for parkrun at least once a month to give it a real hit anyway knowing it will help me when it gets cooler.

I am still doing a 10km time trial once a month but last month was a fail (hot and windy conditions) for a time of 46:48.  Have another time trial this Saturday so will pace myself more according to the hotter conditions and hopefully still come in under 47 mins.

Thanks for all the advise on here.  Will definitely be taking it on board over then next few months.

#36 StormFront

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:53 PM

You need to get used to running under the type of duress that a 5k brings.

Start doing 5x1km once a week at 5k pace with 2:30 recovery. Jog the recovery at around long run pace. Drop 15 seconds off the recovery each week. If you need to stay at a certain recovery time for an additional week, do it. You must run strong for the entire session each time, that's the most important thing. If there's no race, speed up the pace by 5 seconds per km and repeat the process over again, starting with a longer recovery.

I don't care if it's not quite the 'right' way to train. Doing the exact same session each week with decreasing recovery allowed me to get very used to the specific challenge and I made improvement over a short period of time.

#37 CanadiangirlinOz

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 10:33 AM

So after reading all the feedback yesterday I attacked my intervals this morning with a vengeance!  Did 8x400m with 400m rest as hard as I could.  Did the first 6 between 3:29-3:38 pace.  The last 2 I struggled in 3:46 & 3:43 pace.  I was close to vomiting! But I know this is a really big stretch target for me so I guess I have to give it my all and see how I go.

#38 Taeliesyn

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:07 AM

After crunching various numbers, with my target race for next year and target time in mind, this has become a much larger spot on my radar. Discounting the effect trail running has on speed, and only taking elevation change into account, I apparently need to get down to around a 51min 12k on flat ground, this calcs back to just over a 20min 5k, so I figure if I can dip into the 19xx range I'll be standing pretty good for my race.

#39 lazydog

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:39 AM

View PostCanadiangirlinOz, on 02 December 2014 - 10:33 AM, said:

So after reading all the feedback yesterday I attacked my intervals this morning with a vengeance!  Did 8x400m with 400m rest as hard as I could.  Did the first 6 between 3:29-3:38 pace.  The last 2 I struggled in 3:46 & 3:43 pace.  I was close to vomiting! But I know this is a really big stretch target for me so I guess I have to give it my all and see how I go.

Great you got motivated.  That's what I like about these threads too.

Sounds you got a bit too excited and went out a bit fast though.  From what I've read you want to have just enough left to make the last effort your fastest. So I'd suggest backing off a little at the start and aim to finish strong.

There's a few tables you  can use as a guide plugging in your latest race or TT effort - you use your current times not your goal pace too.  As a guide if your currently at 20min for 5km fitness Daniels says 400m repeats should be at 3:38 pace.  Mcmillan also says 3:35 to 3:48.

#40 CanadiangirlinOz

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 12:56 PM

View Postlazydog, on 02 December 2014 - 11:39 AM, said:

View PostCanadiangirlinOz, on 02 December 2014 - 10:33 AM, said:

So after reading all the feedback yesterday I attacked my intervals this morning with a vengeance!  Did 8x400m with 400m rest as hard as I could.  Did the first 6 between 3:29-3:38 pace.  The last 2 I struggled in 3:46 & 3:43 pace.  I was close to vomiting! But I know this is a really big stretch target for me so I guess I have to give it my all and see how I go.

Great you got motivated.  That's what I like about these threads too.

Sounds you got a bit too excited and went out a bit fast though.  From what I've read you want to have just enough left to make the last effort your fastest. So I'd suggest backing off a little at the start and aim to finish strong.

There's a few tables you  can use as a guide plugging in your latest race or TT effort - you use your current times not your goal pace too.  As a guide if your currently at 20min for 5km fitness Daniels says 400m repeats should be at 3:38 pace.  Mcmillan also says 3:35 to 3:48.

I agree Lazydog and I obviously went out too fast!  I normally look at McMillian and use that for my workouts but just got carried away this morning.  I also did the Endeavour 500 relay a couple of weekends ago which was a killer... ran over 40kms in a weekend in 4-5km race type environments including running down the range so I think I'm feeling the positive effects of that :)  Next week I'll be a bit more sensible.

#41 asherama

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 03:12 PM

I've had one eye on this goal for some time but never had a decent crack due to focus on longer events.
But now I think I should be ready and will go hard at parkrun this weekend to find out.
My best is 20:51 from January this year but got injured shortly after and have spent the rest of the year either injured or building back up.
Now 3 months into the latest build up and the last month has been reasonably productive.
Two weeks ago at City2Sea according to Garmin I went through 5 km in 20:07.
The start there has some downhill in it and who knows how accurate that is... but it gives me some confidence.

Examples from the last few weeks:
7km with 1km @ 3:34 & 5 x 200's in 40 sec.
15km with 5 x 2 min @ 3:54-4:03 pace.
8 x 400's @ 3:19-3:26 pace.
Some interval & tempo efforts on the bike and in the pool.
Easy/Aerobic runs have gradually increased and now up to 20 km.
This morning after a 14 km 'warm up' was 4 km @ 4:10 pace.
.
Will have a couple of easy days Thu & Fri and make a sacrifice to the weather gods.

#42 unicron

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 04:06 PM

Plan for tonight is 4x1000m @ 4:10. It's not quite goal pace but my fastest 5K is more like 4:20/k so it might still be a stretch.

Felt like I was so close to 19:xx when I started this thread but now I see where everyone else is at and i'm eating your DUST! :(

Still, it's great to get motivated seeing people's times come down & there are lots of good suggestions for intervals here... keep it up! :)

#43 unicron

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 06:21 PM

Well that did not work out as I planned... My circuit was slightly uphill for the first 400m and then flattens out and heads back downhill. Got half way up the hill and realised I was running into a pretty strong headwind :(
First interval was 4:00 but faded horribly from there... 4:40, 4:26 and 4:41 to finish.

And to kick it off I got a sharp pain in my shin after finishing the last interval, and had a stitch for most of it.

Wonderful! Oh well.. might make this a regular workout and try and look for some gradual improvement.

#44 Taeliesyn

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:17 PM

Headwinds suck, doubly so during intervals. Bonus for extra resistance though ;)

I did my intervals tonight, plan was 5x 1km with 300m recovery walk/jog. Distances were done off a friends 910XT with footpod. Target pace was 4-4:15. First interval I went out too hard with a 3:58, second wasn't much better at 4:01, then I settled in with the rest at 4:10-4:14. I found a major kick at the end of the 5th interval, so during the interval I decided I'd hit a 6th one. Glad I pushed it out.

#45 RodN

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 09:05 AM

Unicorn I reckon that 4:15 or 4:20 is fine. I love the 5x1k or 4x1k workouts, but am careful to do them "comfortably hard" and not at race pace. When I stopped running too hard at training last year was when I finally cracked the 20 mins.  Funny I say that cos then I trained too hard for Melbourne Mara and injured myself anyway so I have no recent sub 20 min performances to my name!

I'm up for 2 by 2k @ 4:10 today in prep for the 10k next week where 4:10 is my race pace.

This sounds hard but about 90% of my running all week is super slow walk/run.

Edited by RodN, 03 December 2014 - 09:12 AM.


#46 unicron

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 10:04 AM

View PostRodN, on 03 December 2014 - 09:05 AM, said:

Unicorn I reckon that 4:15 or 4:20 is fine. I love the 5x1k or 4x1k workouts, but am careful to do them "comfortably hard" and not at race pace. When I stopped running too hard at training last year was when I finally cracked the 20 mins.  Funny I say that cos then I trained too hard for Melbourne Mara and injured myself anyway so I have no recent sub 20 min performances to my name!

I'm up for 2 by 2k @ 4:10 today in prep for the 10k next week where 4:10 is my race pace.

This sounds hard but about 90% of my running all week is super slow walk/run.

Yeah I realised pretty quick that I had gone too hard but by then it was too late and i'd burnt through all of my energy :)

Next time I do them i'll try for ~4:20 and if I have something left at the end I can always give the last one a bit of a kick.

#47 lazydog

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 11:16 AM

Some fab work being done.  I think the other bonus of the interval work is learning more about pacing...  especially as most go out too hard on race day. Doing some reps at 5km pace will definitely help dial that feel in.

#48 Robbo78

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 11:35 AM

Another good session ive found for pacing is some short intervals followed by a tempo after. For example, on Monday at group we did 8 x 400m w/2 min walk recovery and then after a 5 minute break we did a 10 minute tempo at 10km goal race pace. I managed to keep the 400's all under 90 secs (89/89/85/85/86/9088/82) and then knocked out the tempo at 4:27 pace which felt really controlled and comfortable. Id also doen an extra 6km before the group started so big confidence boost to knock a tempo out feeling good after about 11km of running before :)

Have a 3km time trial at the track in two Monday time, did one about 8 weeks ago in 12:51, hoping to get that down to >12:30. So a little way off sub 20 5km times but 2015 has started yet :)

On a side note, i did 100m strides after a 12km session last week and knocked out a 14 second rep, would be nice to do that pace for 5km :)

#49 RodN

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 04:34 PM

WIth training sessions like that Robbo you'll bust it open if you can remain consistent.

#50 StormFront

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 04:38 PM

A year ago I could not break 20 mins for 5k. Now I am closing in on sub 17:30, 5k PB is around 17:40 on road and 17:48 for Park Run.