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Just signed up and this is my first post so apologies if this is in the wrong section.
I started running when I was about 13 years old, I regularly represented my county at cross country and track and specialized in middle distance events; personal bests were 2:06 for 800m and 4.20ish for 1500m @ age 16. I've never done a proper 5k or 10k so never had times for these events.
When I was 17 I tore the ligaments in my ankle and kinda gave up the running. Since then I have literally not run once other than when playing the occasional game of 5 a side. I do go to the gym regularly but only ever train with weights which I guess if anything is detrimental to running as I've put on 3 stone since then.. I have also been a smoker for the last 10 years, and still am although I'm planning on giving up soon.
About 6 months ago my family and I decided to arrange a holiday to the channel islands to celebrate my Mum's 70th birthday. My Mum, despite her age, is a keen runner and so suggested we all compete in a 5k race which is held on the island each year. In total there will be 9 of us competing in this race and my goal... is to win! The ability/level of the other 8 will vary greatly, but I know that the main challenge will come from my younger brother who at 28 is 2 years my junior and regularly competes at this distance. By compete I mean he does one of the park runs every Saturday and normally finishes in just over 20 mins.
We are going in just 4 short weeks so time is very much against me, but I'm hoping that given my background I should be able to make significant improvements in this time.
Journey so far...
So far I've done 4 training sessions. My first was a 5k run/jog which took me 24:18 and felt... slow. My back hurt, my lungs ached and it just wasn't much fun, but you have to start somewhere I suppose.
I've also done two interval sessions which consisted of firstly 12 x 400m @ 1.40 seconds with 90 seconds recovery and 5 x 1k intervals @ 4.10 - 4.15 with 3 mins recovery.
And finally the night before last I did the same 5k in 22:25 which felt much much better than the first.
My target is to get my time down below 20 mins before the holiday, I think if I can do this I should be able to beat my brother and have bragging rights for years to come
I only really have time to train 3 times a week so will be doing a short interval session, a long interval session and either a long(ish) run or a 5k time trial each week.
So what do people think? Is going from 24 something to sub 20 in just a few weeks realistic or even possible? Has anyone done something similar before i.e. used to run regularly and returned from a long (very long) layoff? Any advice on how best to train for this?
I will keep this updated until I go away with results from training sessions and park runs and hopefully this will be the springboard to get me back into the sport I used to love.