• Mike - you're doing all the right things but MASSIVELY underestimating how hard it is to improve. Sage advice from Stevie that you need to set much more realistic medium and long term goals to work towards

    Your initial trajectory and time frame was always going to be unachievable.

    Don't get too disheartened. If you're in it for the long haul you will def see improvements by simply upping mileage but stop setting yourself unattainable goals since there's no surer way of getting pissed off with the whole process and giving up. Taking a few seconds off gets harder and harder the quicker you get. You're STILL setting unrealistic goals by talking about 4 secs every week and 3 minutes or whatever in a year

  • JH 1JH 1 ✭✭✭
    Mike - You need to calm down a bit. Talking world class are setting yourself up for a fall. It'd be great to see you run well and I'd be interested to see how you go. I don't think you're running enough miles though. Just as an indicator of world class Mo is running 100-120mpw as a 5k-10k runner. Not saying you need to be doing that but you do need to get used to running 5-6 days a week to improve. As said by others, join a club.
  • 18:47 - 21mpw

    Not been a good week, missed one day training which was my quality session because I wasn't feeling well. Lots of traffic at the event today because of a 5-aside football tourny going on, cars all over the place. image You can see in the results of the Bolton Parkrun that only 14 PB's were ran out of 159 runners and only 2 pb's in the top 20, quite alot of headwinds to. I love making excuses. image

    In better circumstances im sure I would of beaten my pb, cant control the variables I guess. image

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Mike, would you not prefer to go away for a month, get a decent block of training in, and then race again?

    Doing a 5k every week at your stage I fear opens you up to regular disappointments.

  • Id rather race every weekend because it is a workout in itself and can be counted as a quality session, and its something to look towards to every weekend. My dad and bro goes so its lots of fun. image

  • So no improvement for the last two weeks....... Not as easy as your initial posts made it all sound is it?image

    Have you joined a proper running club yet?
  • Well if I kept improving at the rate I was I would be breaking the world record sometime next year. image. But yeh its harder than I thought, it will only make me work harder though.

    Nope not yet, costs £50 to join for the year, money isn't a luxury I have in abundance at the moment. But, next month or the month after I will. 

  • Mike, Unfortunaly it gets harder the better you get; law of diminishing returns and all that. Listen to that dodgy scouser and have a break from racing and kill the training. Then come back and muller the lot of 'em!
  • Oh and get this. I have been running 2 years and am 42 ( ancient) and quickly subbed 40 for 10 k ( within a couple of months) but have had the same time for 5 k as you for a year now.

    You are young and have potentially er..more potential but the point I'm ham-fistedly trying to make is there is a ceiling, and it affects everyone but for now young padawan, crack on and do yer thang*

    *me feebly attempting social discourse with the yoof but failing miserably
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Tru dat, and ting Dash.

    You can carve the chaff off your times very quickly...but squeezing the juice out takes years of patience and dedication.

    Probably the 2 worst words in the average teenager's vocab image

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Stay off the sauce old son...there's a good chap.

    The advice myself and others have given Mike will stand him in good stead for improvement, whereas your numerous comments have been sarcastic and mickey taking of Mike, under the guise of "support".

    You even mailed another forumite to say you thought he was a WUM.

    Check out a thread by a guy called Skinny. A guy who puts the miles in, has a realistic aim, and I'm helping him achieve this...hopefully this thread will reach similar realism soon, and then Mike will find support from everyone.

  • Nick, not sure where that came from but probably a bit strong perhaps?

    If this behaviour continues I may be forced to lend you both one of my handbags. Thinks patent leather and leopard print will suit! X
  • Hey guys, nice to be back, my laptop broke so I haven't been able to post.

    So for the last month my times have remained the same; between 18:43 - 18:48. Probably expected because I have been keeping a steady 20-25mpw for the past 4 weeks without speedwork(I had intervals scheduled but didn't want to risk injury as I had a couple of niggles).

    Now that I'm starting college next week I can plan my training schedule around that, ive done my base training so I think its time to get serious with the intervals and increase my mileage by introducing recovery runs, so I expect my 5k pb to gradually improve and by chrismas my target is still to go sub 17:45; a minute improvement. sub 17 by April and sub 16:30 in 11-12 months time. 

  • Mike, as you have had niggles, the one run I would have dropped is the parkrun every week. Also a race doesn't always make a great training session, and I guess you have seen that as your times plateaued. Runners will often go several weeks

    just training, and not racing. Impatience can undo the hardwork of training. I think you will need to radically rethink the training and targets. I know you said the cost of a club was too much at present. Does the college have any sports clubs or staff who might be able to provide you with some direction?
  • I don't think you have done your base work... Not on 20-25 miles a week- even for a 5k.
  • I had niggles in my upper achilles tendon, but it would only last a day, maybe it was just soreness from running on very uneven surface? My college sports department has 5 teachers, none of which do running and from first impressions I probably know more about running than them, which is saying something. image

    Tommy, your probably right, but the legs are getting less fatigued after every run now so I think the time is right to introduce 1 speedwork session and gradually increase the mileage to 30-35mpw over the next month. 

  • Mike, the achilles niggle is a warning sign.  As it happens achilles trouble was my first injury when I started upping the intensity of my running and, as I remember, getting a little carried away trying to chart my progress with a succession of 10k PB's over a few months.

    Do yourself a favour and concentrate on building up a base of EASY mileage.  The odd tempo run will be enough to top this up; drop the weekly parkrun, maybe do one a month to see how things are going if you want, but in all honesty I think you've seen yourself that you're not going to see week-on-week progressive improvements in your times.  You may well have a sub-17 5k in you but it won't happen any time soon, and definitely not if you injure yourself.

  • The pain was just below my calf, and I could only feel it when I tensed my calf muscle, so I didn't think much of it, but i'll defo be cautious.

    I want to carry on doing the parkruns every week, I do it with my family and is great socially, I can think of it as a tempo or a HI session during my training? Can't hurt.

    And i'd just like to point out that I've never had any injuries in my legs, never, apart from the odd bruises from playing football. *Touches wood!* Could mean im not injury prone. image

  • That's because you've never trained at the level of a 17ish 5ker though.

    Base train first- easy miles. If you run parkrun treat it as a tempo. After a month to six weeks of this introduce some intervals.

    Your Achilles will come back to bite you if you don't be careful. Base train,properly, and phase in sessions gradually.

    People can get quick results in running but more often than not that involves a drastic increase in training which in turn leads to breakdown.
  • How much running does the typical 17min 5k runner do? Just curious.

    Well, I have been doing 'easy miles' for the past 3-4 months, I started at 5-10mpw and I have gradually increased it to 20-25, is this mileage not enough to introduce speedwork? I read somewhere that some sub 16min guys do 45-50mpw but do alot of quality work. 

  • It depends on the person but I doubt you'd get near the fitness required on 20-25. Minimum 40 I'd have thought.
  • Yes, it really depends on the makeup of the person, and how well you use those training miles. Looking back, you had runners like Bruce Tulloh who could produce 14 mins, barefoot running, training 35 - 40 miles per week. I'd suggest this is a real exception, from an 8 stone talent.

    Whatever mileage you do whether it be 40 or 100, you need to use them wisely, and you need to build up the mileage carefully. I really would try and find the money to join a club, and get some coaching. Otherwise you're going to be a busy fool, chipping off a second here and there. You have huge targets; you need this reviewed and backed up by the right advice and training programme
  • I've been keeping an eye on ths thread out of interest.

    I have little advise to offer as I don't seem to be able to get my own 5 k times under 20 mins myself.

    I can tell you that your getting some sound advise on here though. Certainly I can confirm the comment above that niggling injuries seem to come back every time I up the intensity of my training. It's infuriating but in my case at least definatly true.

    Have a look at these training plans to give you an idea of what you need to do to achieve different times.


    I suspect you will be a bit quicker than the suggested times as your young and quick anyway but thought you might benefit from the info.

    The plans are on Mike Gratton's web site. He was a London marathon winner. Now i don't know if it's a coincidence but someone by the name of Mike Gratton runs sub 18 mins at Bushey Parkrun most Saturdays.

    Anyway the reason I decided to put my post in here was because I noticed you state above that you will be starting college soon.

    Surely they will have an athletics team or club that would be happy to take you on and may well have a coach that can help you out or give you some pointers that are specific to you.

    Good luck.
  • The faster you go the more likely you are to expose inefficiencies whether they be gait or strength.

    Highly recommended that to complement any training plan a core routine is also used. This would help a lot.
  • Thanks for the advice Jim, I enjoyed the read, definitely learnt a thing or two.

    Did my first interval session today!

    13 x 400m w/ 200m slow jog recovery. I wanted to average 1:25 pace and I managed 1:24 throughout, this sums up to a 17:30-35 5k, over a minute faster than my current 5k pb.

    Just wanted your opinions, did I run it too fast/too slow? The pace felt between 'comfortably hard' and 'exhaustion', so I was very tired at the end of it, but I wasn't exhausted, probably should point out I did it on a gravel track, so there's less grip, and I did it at midday so the heat didn't help. I love excuses! Nah it wouldn't of made much of a difference im sure. image

    Now, 4 hours after the workout, my legs feel fresh again, couldn't do the workout again but you know what I mean! I feel like I could of ran it faster but oh well, its a good start methinks. 

  • Mike - others might have a different view, but I would say that was too fast.

    If my mental arithmetic is right, that is 15 seconds a kilometre, or 24 seconds a mile quicker than your current 5k time of 18:43.

    That's a big margin, and I think you would be much better slowing it down a bit, and training more at your current pace, rather than what you want it to be.

    It will be interesting to see how you feel tomorrow, or the next time you try and do a decent run. The "trick" is to do a good hard session, but then be able to go again the next day, or the day after.......
  • Well, 18:43 on a 5k course which includes hills, if on a straight course I could probably have a 20 second faster 5k, thats irrelavant though. 

    Surely if you want to improve your times you have to run at a pace faster than your current race pace, isn't that common sense?

    Thanks for the reply btw! 

  • Mike, is that the same course that has the 1km on a running track? If so, you can't complain about hills, as a track is as quick as you can hope for.

    Where did you pick that track session up from?

    When I've done 400s, just for comparison, I've done stuff like 10x400 at 5k pace, or 16x400 at 10k pace.

    You're kind of inbetween those 2 for rep quantity. Also, you might want to look at a 60sec recovery, rather than 200metre jog, which presumably is about 90secs or more? Otherwise, you're taking longer on the recovery than the rep, which makes it too easy.

  • Stevie, I did 18:45 at heaton parkrun last saturday, and theirs no track on that course, the 750m on the track at bolton does help, but the 200m uphill section which i estimate at a gradient of 25-30 degress doesn't, which you run up twice during the course, and there are other smaller uphill sections. Until you've run the course yourself, you can't really comment on how hard it is. image

    I got 13 x 400 because that equates to 5200m, so im able to maintain a faster pace for the full 5k distance.

    Yep, thats my plan, before I reduce the interval time I plan to reduce the recovery time to as little as 30secs, that session I just did was between 90-100secs recovery, so a couple months before I get to that point. Next interval session I plan to do 800's at 2:50 pace x 7. Not sure what my recoveries will be yet, I might push for a 2min recovery and see how that feels after 2-3 reps. 

  • That is true young Mike that is true, although you don't know I haven't image

    However, giving disclaimers about the hardness of courses and conditions and the time in theory it's cost, is a key thing to develop as a runner image

    I think you're doing too much distance, and too fast for those reps.

    It's asking a lot to do further in reps, then the target race pace.

    However, I feel you'll decide to do it your way. For now at least...

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