A bit of advice please

Hi everyone,

I'm new to running and need a bit of advice.

I've been going to the gym for about four months now, I had to build up from doing one class a week to two classes and two gym sessions when I have the time as I also study some evenings. Before this I hadn't done any exercise in about 8 years and 10 mins on the treadmill had my legs shaking.

I'v been dying to do a 5k race and have finally signed up to one in November with some friends. This race also has obstacles.

How can I train for this so that I can complete this race fairly comfortably (if that's possible). I should tell you now I'm a smoker (I know! It's bad, I've had two unsuccessful attempts at giving up this year and am likely to be able to give up before this race unfortunately). I am able to run at least 3k on the treadmill taking me around 25 mins at which point I normally stop (out of boredom mostly as in the gym I go to, the treadmills do not face anything but mirrors so nothing to keep my attention apart from my iPod).

Any ideas on how I can stop myself finishing at 3k, increasing the distance and quickening my pace?


  • Well as a newcomer you should only really be doing your training runs at a pace that is 'easy' or 'conversational'. Even though you smoke, you should be able to find a pace that is slow, comfortable and won't leave you gagging for breath.

    I'd aim to get 15 miles every week of this easy running and build from there. You can increase this amount 10% each week. Try to have one day a week which is your 'long run' day. Don't worry about adding any speedwork. You're 5K time will surely improve on easy mileage alone for the next few weeks up to the race.

  • Thanks Jamie.

    What would you say is a 'long run' or do you mean try and run the 5k?

  • Rebecca- have you heard about Park Runs?


    Loads of them around the place, very friendly, you can always walk the last 2k! 


  • Hi Rebecca,

    You don't want to push hard at all. Every run at this stage should be easy paced. Perhaps barely more than a fast paced walk if that is your comfort zone. Just have one day a week where the distance is longer than the other days.

    If that distance is 3, 4, 5 or more km, so be it. Don't stress about making the distance anything that isn't comfortable. Your body will adapt over the weeks.

    See how you get on with 15 miles a week. A mile in the morning, a mile and a half in the evening might suit you Mon-Fri and perhaps 2.5 miles on Saturday? No pace pressure at all.....

    As the weeks progress, have a bash at adding the odd half mile here and there or onto your Saturday run. 

  • SwissJames, Thanks for the info, I can't get onto the events page on the site at the moment but that's a good idea, there may be more running clubs in my area.

    Thanks Jamie, I won't be able to do the mornings but definately can manage the evenings.


  • try this link for parkrun


    also you could try a Couch to 5k plan, of which there is one on here

  • Hi guys,

    Thought I'd just update you that I ran my first 5k on the treadmill yesterday! Took me about 40 mins, but I walked for a minute of it after every 1km so I'm quite pleased! I really want to get this time down though and not struggle so much for the last half km so I'll keep at it and try to increase my distance a bit every week when i do long runs. Going to start running outside this week too so I can get a feel for it for race day in 5 weeks!

    I had a look at that site and unfortunately there are no park runs near me so but I found another club that do 5k & 10k runs so I may join them when I'm a bit more confident.

    Thanks for your help!

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