5k getting slower, help

My 5k times have been getting slower recently. I am aiming to get to 21:30 or better. In June I clocked 21:44 then 21:55, a week ago 22:05, and yesterday 22:35. I am wondering whether I am ging out too fast at 4:00/Km as I find that I seem to slow at Km 3,4&5. Yesterday every Km was slower than the previous. Should I concentrate on endurance or speed?


  • 4:00 per km is 20 minute pace, so yes, you're going out much, MUCH too fast. 21:30 is 4:18. You need to get that right before worrying about any specifics.
  • I think you are probably right. It is quite difficult to hold back, as you generally feel pretty good at that point in the race. There was an article in a recent Runners World which suggested that starting out fast in a 5k was good strategy, perhaps not. I do find it difficult to get a feel for pace. I am not sure how to get that speed thing right bar looking at my watch all the time. How does everyone else do this?
  • Pammie*Pammie* ✭✭✭
    Hello i read that article too. The idea is to run 1st mile 6% faster than anticipated average pace. Don't know if thats good or not.

    But in the article there were a few other tips, i've implemented in my training. Always used to slow down in the 3rd and 4th km
    So at the end of a long run i have started throwing in a km split at my 5km race pace, the idea is to simulate that 4th km (or in my case 3rd and 4th km when i slowed down)

    Last months 5km i did start out fast, not 6%, but it was fast, but i didn't slow down as much (only about 20 seconds) as i normally did.

    Only other thing i've done different was the introduction of 1km intervals.
    Don't know what training you are doing, has there been any changes to your routine etc.
  • My training has not particularly changed. i have been concentrating on 400m reps @ 15.5km/hr (approx 1:35 for 400m x12, 200m walk 5km/hr rest). Perhaps I need to do 1km reps to build a bit of speed & endurance albeit at a slower pace. I wonder if my pacing feel is not good. The last few races have had small fields and I have not had many runners to run alongside and use as pacemakers (poor excuse I know!). I tend to train on a treadmill and thus the pace is generated automatically, maybe I need to feel the pace a bit more.

    With respect to the RW article my 1st 1k was about 6% faster, 2nd on target, it was 3, 4, & 5 that were the problem.
  • I know people say if you don't get off quick you never get the time back in a 5k. But maybe next time try a deliberate slow start. Really hold back in that 1st K ( I know it is difficult) and you might be picking people off at the end. It's summer there are usually quite a few 5k's around now so experiment a little.
    That would be my advice, choose to ignore if you like I don't really now what I am talking about.
    Good luck
  • The 5k is hard it requires full concentration. Start too fast and the lactic acid will get you, start too slow and you never seem to get it going. Good pacing is key. The real beauty of it is you can do lots of them and practise different stratergy's because you usually recover from them within a few days.
  • I'm trying to improve my 5K and by running longer distances - 7k at least once a week that seems to be helping as my body has more in the tank for a 5 than it would if I was just done 5k on it's own. With the runs I try (and it's hard because I prefer a faster cruising speed) to do 6 minute Km first and then gradually pick the pace up last time I did a 5 a few weeks ago my final K was 5.30.

    And my treadmill training, when I don;t get bored stupid with it that is, are based around 1km reps. Oh, and I have tried putting it on an incline as well. I got some improvement by doing some weight's for core and lower body, that sometimes helps.
  • I`ve been doing 8k runs in 33:00 but am struggling to manage a 5k at the moment as my energy levels seem right down at present, so you may have the same problem.
  • I did a few 1k reps on the treadmill the other night at target pace 4:18/km (14KM/hr)- I found it really hard as I kept looking at the distance travelled and wishing it was over. Seems harder on the treadmill than outside. 400m at a much faster pace (15.5Km/hr)are considerably easier...but perhaps that is not the point;)
  • Thanks JJ. I know that is obvious, but unfortunately I just don't have the time to hit the track at the moment.
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