Improving fitness / times

Hi ! completely new to the forum.  I've been running since Feb this year (decided i was very unfit and overweight) and since then i've improved a lot i think.

It's mostly been treadmill (in my kitchen) and i've gone from not being able to run a mile without walking half of it to running 4 to 5 miles a few times a week reguarly in ok-ish times (39 yr old male)

I'm wondering where i go from here really?  I really enjoy running after work for a few miles, but what next?  I know I should be looking at some 5k / 10k road races etc.... marathon maybe?

I know I shouldn't be obsessed with times, but i'm currently doing a shade under 35 mins for 5 miles.... what else should I be aiming for?  I've done all this on my own and just constantly pushed myself each week to go further and faster etc...

All comments appreciated, Thanks


  • Hello Simon and welcome, I would look at maybe joining in at a parkrun event, that's a good starting point for most or finding a local 10k race and see how you get on.

    Best of luck.


  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭
    yep I agree. definitely get more experience outside n enter a local race 5 or 10k and have fun!
  • Good man!

    You've cracked the 7 min /mile for 5 miles which certainly is competent. I'd imagine that under the pressure of a 10K race (6.21 miles) I think you'd come in under 43:30 which would be a terrific beginner time, you'd certainly beat a good number of competitors in most 10K races. My only concern is that the treadmill might be flattering your times. The only way to find out if you can crack 35 minutes on the road over 5 to try it!!

    What I think you need is a good training plan plus a goal. Why not find out if there is a 10K race near you and apply?

    As for training plans, you seem to be in the stage where your times improve rapidly despite a lack of structure. Would I be right in saying that you run all your five mile runs each week at a similar pace (not far off max effort)? I'd be very careful of picking up an injury. 

    Most established club/intermediate level distance runners have a plan that seems to involve one long slow run each week and up to two quality/speedwork sessions. The other days usually involve steady/easy runs that are not too taxing.

    Best of luck....

  • Thanks all

    You're right Jamie, I do think the treadmill is a bit flattering on the times - although i've done some 5k's outside and whilst certainly tougher, I found it good going and faired quite well.

    I think I need to find some local races and get involved.  And you're also right about the 4 / 5 milers after work, all done pretty much at roughly the same pace (not flat out, but not far off) I did pick up an IT band injury a few months back, but since then (touch wood) i've been ok.

    I'll take the advice and do a slow long run, and a few quick sessions and see if I can improve more !!

    Thanks again, lets see how I get on tomorrow morning.

  • Hi Simon,

    First of all well done. You seem to be running at a really good pace!  I would concur with Jamie's comments that you should enter a specific race to structure your training around.  Try a 5k or 10k outside - I am sure there will plenty of races in your area.  

    You could have a look at runners world smart coach to help you plan a training programme - 

    Best of luck!!

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