distance/time - am I being realistic?

Hi, I've been running for a few months now, after a break of a few years.  I do parkrun every week (PB 35:48) and treadmill for 30 mins twice a week at the gym.  I'd really like to head for a) a much faster time for 5k and b) trying out a 10k.

Any suggestions on how best to speed up for 5k? and what sort of time should I be able to do before taking part in 10k events?  It's really irritating me that I used to do under 30 mins for 5k and just don't seem to get close since I restarted (although I've taken nearly 4 mins off my time since I started parkrun in October!).

I'm thinking that to do better at 5k I need to train at longer distances and my endurance will increase - is that right? I can now run the whole 5k, at least, without walking breaks.

Advice gratefully received image


  • You do not need to be able to do a 5k in a certain time to do a 10k event. Just increase your long run once a week by no more than 10% until you are at 10k distance.

    To speed up for a 5k, have you tried interval running? ie running a bit faster than you usually do for very short periods like 1 minute with a minute or two rest at a slower speed in between. Best to get more info on this and find something that works for you but this could easily be done on your treadmill runs.

    Don't work on speed and endurance in one run.

    Good Luck!

  • I wouldn't bother about doing any intervals or speed work for now as to do them properley you would need to warm up for a mile or two first and then cool down afterwards......

    for now i would just start running some more.building it up.,... I would start by doing a run outdoors as this is where you will be doing the 5k and the 10k.............slowly build it up from 30 mins then to 50 and then 60 mins.............

    when you are running for 60 mins then i think you will find that your 5k time will bget faster....then you can decide if you want to add another run to make 4 or just maybeincrese the other 30 min run


     good luck

  • Agree with seren.  First thing to do is, as you identified yourself, work on your endurance.  Get more slow miles into your legs... so you're doing a good long run once a week (working steadily up to at least an hour)....  and 2 (or even 3 or more?!) shorter ones in the week... maybe half the distance of your long run.

    Ideally, stop doing your park run every week...  or it will stop you having the weekend to available for bulding up the slow miles - which are vital.  I suggest being patient and build up the slow miles for 6 weeks before next having a tilt at the park run.  But if that takes away your enjoyment/motivation, then carry on enjoying your park runs,,,  enjoyment is the most important thing!

    In just 6 weeks, you might even take another 4 minutes off your PB if you follow that plan. Then it might be the time to introduce a speed session, perhaps one week doing a few intervals.... and the next week doing throwing in a 'fast' mile into one of your midweek runs.  That's the time to start re-evaluating where you're up to.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks folks for the advice.  I guess I do need to think more carefully about my runs and what I'm intending to achieve - so far I've just been going for speed each time, rather than endurance, but if I'm going to do more than 5k I need to train more seriously and vary things a bit more. The last couple of non-parkrun runs have been out on the roads just enjoying being out, rather than focusing on speed, and that's brought a little more pleasure back into it.  Shame it's back to work after next weekimage

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