How have your times changed since you started running?


I'm looking for a bit of inspiration!

I recently ran 5k in 28.26 and although this is a personal best for me I would love to get a sub 25min 5k.

Just wondered how people's times have altered since they started running, e.g. when you first started running a 5k, 10k etc. what was your time then and what can you run it in now? And what timescale was that over?

My improvement seems to be relatively slow and need to know it's possible if I keep working hard I can get that time down!

Be interested to hear some stats!


  • I've improved a fair bit since starting. For some daft reason I started off with a half marathon in April 2004 in 1:35. Did the same course 2 years later in 1:23. First marathon two years ago in 3:37, followed 6 months later with 3:19. Hoping to go quicker again in Berlin next month but a few injury niggles may have put pay to that idea.
  • ive got slower
  • I started running april last year. first 10k time was 47 mins, now down to 35.
  • Went from a 54 min 10k to 40:38 in 16 months on basically the same training except gave up smoking four months in. I've reached a plateau so need to up the mileage to go to the next stage (if I'm capable that is).

    So from that you could take that you naturally speed up for a certain period of time on the same mileage as you get fitter. It will become apparent when you plateau and you need to up the mileage or speedwork etc....

    Hope that helps
  • started running with a 1:56 Half got that down to 1:15 would probably take a couple of weeks now
  • Ok so the majority of you have taken quite big chunks off your time then? It's taken me a year to get my time down from 32mins for 5k to 28.26 - not great really!

    Maybe I've got to train harder then? Or could it possibly just be that I don't have a particularly fast 5k time in me!?
    Don't really want to accept that I'm not and never will be a fast(ish) runner.

    Maybe I'm just being impatient, everyone's bodies work differently I guess.
  • Dynamo Kev, Geryi, Grendel - f*ck me!!!

    That is seriously impressive, how did you do it!

    I want some of that!!!!

    I accept that some of that will be down to training - is the rest down to knowing how hard to push yourself in a race?

  • Neems22 - you've made over a 10% improvement in a year, that IS good!!!

    If you applied that to a 10k that would be about 7 mins.
  • Thanks MVB, I guess I should be pleased really but I can't help wanting to take more off! At least it keeps me with something to work at.

    But like you said, those times above are really impressive and such huge differences. Why can't I be like that?!
  • my 10k pb has gone from 52 to 36 mins this year...
  • And hippo, you are seriously impressive with the marathons that you do - I couldn't do that.
  • you could if you wanted to
    it is true that people improve at different rates though

    comparsions can lead to unrealistic expectation
  • What sort of mileage are you guys on a week? I guess you get out what you put in as they say.
  • Sprinting Toffee who long did it take you to reach a 36 min 10k?

    first 10k 63 mins 3 years ago
    Sunday 48.34
    Live each day as if it was your last  give it all you have to reap the rewards.
  • MVB. I do about 30 miles a week and some speedwork but thats my weekness. Going to build up to 50 over the next few months and do some regular speedwork with the aim of going sub 35 next year.

    Neems22. Well done on your times, your improvement is very good! Out of interest have you tried any speed work yet and are you a member of a club? Both these helped me heaps.
  • My first 5k in Summer 2004 took 26.10, my 5k this year took 18.33. I am limited to train as I have a baby and a toddler to care for. Also I stopped running for about 5 months from october 2005 till March 2006. I am going to try and get out to train more now but I am abit stuck for time as husband works full-time and trains as well
  • I ran my first 10k last September in 68 minutes, and got that down to 47 minutes in April (the last 10k I've raced). Since then I've focussed on increasing distance rather than getting faster, so if anything I suspect I'd run it rather slower now!
  • Hey YP1 thats impressive. What did you do - intervals or tempo runs. I have just started ( 10 weeks) and increased distance from 6 miles to 20 miles, but with a really slooooow pace. After a couple of weeks backoff I want to speed up. Sugestions?
  • welsh poppy - Ive entered the odd run for the past couple of years but never really trained for them, joined a club in april so only really been training properly since then...its going well at the moment im enjoying it! youve done really well yourself considering your first one was 63, keep up the good work...
  • Geryi - thank you. I'm not a member of a running club but would like to be. It's just that all the clubs in my area meet on a week night and I'm not home from work in time. I haven't yet found one near to me that I could get there in time for!

    As for speedwork, I do a little. My half marathon schedule I'm following at the moment has me alternating one week with a tempo run and the other with speedwork. Maybe this isn't enough for a 5k? I also only run 25 miles per week at the moment, I guess that has something to do with it also.

    Claire14 - your 5k time is really impressive. What do you think has really worked for you in getting that time down? Speedwork or more mileage?
  • Neems22 - your time is improving, that's all you need to worry about. You're doing good! It took me a year to get under 60 mins for a 10k (first 10k took 1.07) and I was delighted when I managed it at Dewsbury this February. Speedwork with other people really helps. Have you got a heart rate monitor? I find this helps me in both training and races and there's some good advice around about training with an HRM to gain faster race times.
  • With reference to an earlier message my mileage is normally 35-40 a week, but has been up to 50 recently with marathon training.

    Don't do speedwork as such, as I run on my own and can't be doing with remembering how many reps/recovery breaks I've had. Just run a route that's roughly 10k as hard as I can a couple of times a week with a long run at weekends (normally about 16 miles) and a couple of easy runs in between.

    Neems - you seem to be improving at a good rate of knots as it is. One thing I try to make sure of is that I don't get too hung up on what others are doing compared to me - I just concentrate on what I'm doing. Maybe have a go at a 10k or half marathon for a few months - if you then came back for a 5k you'd probably take a fair chunk off it.

    Every now and again I have an injury or niggle that stops me running for a few days and it does help to put things in perspective. I'd be quite happy to have peaked already as long as I know I'll still be out there running in 10 years time.
  • No I haven't used a HRM before, not quite sure I understand the whole concept! But there is a big article in this month's mag so maybe I'll check it out.

    dynamokev - yes that is true, I guess I shouldn't compare myself as I'm going to end up feeling inadequate compared to these times and that's not what running is about. I do always focus on my own times and I know I'm never going to be the fastest runner around. I was just interested in what sort of percentage people have taken off their previous times, whatever they might have been.

    But you're right, the main thing is I'm out there and I am improving, albeit slowly, but I enjoy it!

    Hopefully training for this half marathon will help out my 5k and 10k times eventually.
  • getting an HRM was a good move for me in getting my times down. before I got it, i ran mono-pace and usually too fast. the improvements in my times pre and post HRM are...

    10km 42:10 pre-HRM, 39:01 with HRM
    1/2M 1:32 pre-HRM, 1:19 with HRM
    mara 3:13 pre-HRM, 2:56 with HRM

    Those are improvements over three years though, and reading up on the subject and training smarter certainly made a big difference too

    the bat
  • My very first 10k - 60.43

    Reading O2O 10k last Sunday - 1:14:07 - hhmmmm I guess not training for 3 months doesn't work then <giggle>
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