Friday, 15 May 2015

My Next Running Challenge - 5k In Under 20 Minutes

I've been trying to plan my training for the Great North Run 2015, even though it's not taking place until September. However, starting to build a good solid base now, should help me run my first sub 1.25 half marathon.

In my post What Pace Do I Need To Run A Sub 1.25 Half Marathon, I wrote of how I'd need to be running every 5K in under 20 minutes 11 seconds. I still have not ran a 5K race in under that time... So this is how I'm going to plan to run a sub 20 minute 5K race...

To run a sub 1.25 half marathon, you need to be averaging a pace below 6.30 minutes per mile. Running at this pace for 5K (3.12 miles) should mean you get finished in under 20 minutes 11 seconds. This month, I want to get even faster than that, and get under the 20 minute mark.

Why Run A Faster Pace Than Your Half Marathon Pace?


Quite simply, it's a much shorter distance. If I can only run at my intended half marathon pace for 5K, then there will be no way that I will be able to keep that pace going for the full half marathon race. I need to be able to run faster over the shorter distance. Much faster than I am currently running. So far my fastest 5K time has been at my last Craigavon Citypark Parkrun, where I managed a time of 20 minutes 38 seconds.

While the task of reducing more than 38 seconds from my Parkrun personal best might seem a tad optimistic, I have to remember that this was done during my Running Every Day For A Month Challenge. I had been running 5K for 19 days in a row at this point. My legs were already hurting before I started running. I was not feeling fresh at all.

Since completing the challenge of running 5K every day for a month, I have taken a bit of a rest, with only a few runs being done in the past two weeks. And the first run was a reminder of just how much I'd actually put my body through with so much running.

Running After A Hard Month's Training


5K Running Splits
5K Running Splits

I only ran 5K (3.12 miles) for my first run of this month, and while the first mile or so felt good, the second half of the run just brought back all the aches and pains of the previous month. I feel like my muscles are hanging together by a thread, ready to break down at any time..

Speed Training (Intervals)


This run did not go as planned. I thought with the rest that I'd had, I'd be back on form and better and faster than ever. No. No, this was not how it was at all.

Speed Interval Run
Speed Interval Run

I went out with my brother for a run around Moira Park, where we planned to run a mile for a warm up, and then run at a fast pace for thirty seconds, followed by a slow jog for thirty seconds. What actually happened that I was sore after the warm up. The fast interval run was incredibly tough, and the slow jog lasted for about 5 minutes, until my legs and chest recovered. We managed three short bursts of speed (5.30 minutes per mile) before calling it a day, and running a final slow mile.

10 K Distance Achieved

Running Along The Moira Towpath
Still tubby, but I'll get there...


Next week I plan in running the Banbridge 10K road race, and while I'm not planning to beat my personal best, I thought it would be best to at least get the full 10K distance ran, before the race.

Running Along The Moira Towpath
Running Along The Moira Towpath

I was running along the route that I had been doing all my 5K runs on during my Running Everyday For A Month Challenge, but instead of running a loop, I ran out along the towpath, before turning at the halfway mark. It wasn't a warm day for running, but the Sun was out and made for some nice pictures.

Running Along The Moira Towpath
Running Along The Moira Towpath

I stopped a couple of times to take pictures, but I didn't hang around too much. I have seen people pausing their GPS trackers (Runkeeper, Garmin watches etc) every time they stop, but I prefer to keep mine running. I think it gives a far more accurate account of your run, as every time I stop to take a picture, it's a chance for me to get my breath back.

Running Along The Moira Towpath
Running Along The Moira Towpath

My time was respectable enough, with me finishing in 50 minutes 38 seconds. Again, not a personal best, but faster than some of the 10K race times I got during the Born 2 Run - Run Forest Run Series... Admittedly, this route had less hills, but still....

10K Training Run Splits
10K Training Run Splits

Why Run 10K When Training For A 5K Race?


You may wonder why I'm running a 10K distance, in order to train for a 5K race... Well, the answer is this. If I can run a 10K route without to much of a struggle, a 5K race should not only be easier to run, but I should also be able to run it at a much faster pace. It's about building endurance at this point...

For the rest of this month, I'll not be running any further than 10K. I'm not going to worry too much about distance, more about improving my speed. I hope to get a sub 20 minute 5K this month, and after that start looking at how to get this under 19 minutes.

My training for the Great North Run hasn't started yet, but my training for the training has. I'll get a sub 1.25 half marathon this time.... I just need to be faster, fitter, lighter, less fat, stronger, more flexible, perfect my diet and improve my running form. Simple, yeah?

I'll be running a Parkrun 5K race in the morning, after that I'll see how I can make some rapid improvements....

Half Marathon James

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