I'm somewhere in the middle of a transition from rugby to running, the injuries have piled up over the years and it's getting harder to justify being battered and bruised (or worse!) on Sundays as I approach 40 and need to chase after little ones. Still not ready to give it up yet but I'm hoping that a move over to running with some 5k and 10k races will satisfy a need for some competition.
I've got a regular out and back 5k from my house which is my regular run and I got down to 21:58 recently after a bit more consistency in getting out 3-4 times a week. Weekly distances have been low though as each run was the same 5k.
I'm hoping to crack on a bit now and keep pushing down to 20mins as the same round number that seems to be a common target. From a read around it appears that I'm really lacking in base aerobic fitness so longer runs are the main thing I need to add. Yesterday I got out for 15k in a little under 1:35:00 at an average HR of 143. My knees aren't complaining too much so I'll take that as a win. Sadly I don't enjoy the longer runs the same as I do pushing myself over 5k but I guess I need to suck it up.
Shifting some weight would help too, I'm currently 76kg at 170cm. Getting rid of an excess 10kg would likely have me below 20 mins already!
Anyway, background aside, advice on how to best improve would be greatly appreciated. As I said above I normally run 3-4 times a week, 5k in around 22-23 mins with a high 160s to low 170 HR. I'm planning on adding a long slow run at the weekend with a target HR at 140-145 (so a little under 75% HR max and also swapping the other 5ks to a structured session and a medium length run, maybe an hour or is that still too short?
For reference I did a 1k test run (just on the GPS watch) recently in 3:37, which I ran very hard but would have shaved off quite a bit in a "race" I imagine. That's what's really prompted me to look at base aerobic fitness, it feels Iike I'm already dropping off from 1k to 5k and the 6:15 min/km of my recent longer run to keep under 145 HR seemed very slow indeed. Is that how it looks to more experienced people here?
As I said, any tips appreciated!