Will this help me run faster?

I've been trying to run a sub 30 minute 5k for years and never made it, feels like I've hit a wall and I can't get any better. I can do 37:40 but thats my best.

Recently I bought a HR monitor and calculated my heart ranges. I also got the running formula book. One of the exercises it suggests is running at threshold HR for 3x1 mile with 1 minute rest inbetween, which I've been doing once per week (it also suggests a 5x1km of the same thing, but it takes place 2 days later and my legs are taking 3-4 days to recover so I just do more easy runs for the week)

It's not too terribly hard to do. Feels rough and my body wants to give up but by the time I'm halfway through it's not so bad anymore, and I know from experience I can take it. I wonder, is this enough for me to improve though? Right now I'm doing this and 2 x 50 min E runs per week. My plan being to mix in the 5x1km T run when my legs are recovering fast enough to take it. But I've got a friend telling me I training is where t's at for fast progress. Should I drop these T runs and go straight I runs instead, alongside the E runs? Or should I just keep doing these T runs until I get to the point where the book tells me to start on the I runs?

Maybe I'm being inpatient, I just feel like I'm not progressing. And my friend says the E runs are to build resilience for the I runs so I wonder if I should be doing that first and maybe mix in the other kind of runs later


  • You need to keep your training varied to shock your body into improvements.

    If you can only do three runs per week you need to make them count. 

    Always have a longer easy run. If that is a 6 or 7k in 50 mins try adding a bit more distance each week. No more than 10% increase each week. This will build you endurance. 

    You other two runs will be shorter with some targets, you can mix up any of these:

    Hill repeats
    Sprint intervals
    5k negative splits
    Piramid intervals
    A good interval workout for getting a 5k PB is 5x 1k intervals at 5k target pace with 2 mins rest. Do this every 2 weeks and each time shave 30 seconds off your recovery time. After 8 weeks you will be running 5k at your target pace (if you have set a realistic goal).

    Good luck- and have a look at my book for other tips. :) 

    Jake Fricker (Author of "I am a Runner" and qualified coach)


    5k- 19:03
    10k- 39.28
    HM- 1:28.25
    M- 3:07.59
  • That sounds like a good session - I've done similar - 1 mile intervals with a walking break in between. 
    I like to do it on the treadmill and I'll increase the speed slightly every week.

    What other sessions are you doing though.  

    What does a typical week look like ?

    How did you determine threshold ?

  • Thankyou jake. I don't think I can run 1k at a 5k pace right now though, I can manage around 5 minutes at that pace before I reach my HR limit and have to stop, otherwise I get hit by a severe sense of nausea and my limbs start to seize up, forcing me to slow down.

    My current week varies a bit, the weather has been mental lately. When the weather is fine it looks like
    Sun: 30 min E run with 5 min warm up and cooldown walk
    Tue: 10 min E run, 3x1M T, 10 min E
    Thu: 30 min E run
    Sat: 50 min E run

    My aim was to switch the Thu run over to 5x1km T but the weather has been so bad and I just cant make it to the gym with my scooter like this, and since I missed a lot of Es over the last few weeks my legs hurt so bad from the Tue session that I'm not ready for a thu T so I've switched it over to E til I improve my resilience again

    I wear a HR monitor when I do my T sessions. I calculated my max HR by running at 8mph to cause my HR to increase fast (fastest I can run while maintaining my cadence), it took me 2 minutes to hit 178HR. When it got to 173 I started to get the awful sense of nausea and when it hit 178 the nausea was unbearable. I tried to push on anyway but in about 5 seconds my limbs seized up and I had to hit the stop button on the treadmill. I take that to mean that 178HR is my max HR. I then calculated my T HR as 88-92% of my max HR, which is 157-163. From experience, staying in that range feels tough but I don't get nausea or a stitch, it just wears me out, as my HR will steadily increase as the workout progresses.

    I start off running at 5.5mph (the treadmill uses mph) which will keep me at about 160-163 for a few minutes, but by the end I'm running at 4.5mph and my HR is still 160-163. 4.5 is usually my easy pace so I guess my heart gets tired or something. My second E run of that sessions is usually 4.0, which is barely above my walking pace and can hardly even be called running, but anything higher is well above my E HR by that point

    As for my target, I need to run at 6.2mph for 30 minutes to hit my 5k target. I can run for 5 minutes at that speed if I'm fresh but I'm at the high end of my HR by then. Attempting it a second time after 2:30 of walking I get about 3 minutes in before my HR peaks and forces me to stop or to slow down. As it is, I need to maintain that pace for 6 minutes to do a single 1k at target speed, and I can't quite manage that even when I'm fresh, let alone 5 times in a single workout. I can run at a 5.0mph pace for 30 minutes without stopping though, I measured and my HR reaches around 150 after 5 minutes, stays like that for about 5 minutes, then rises steadily and reaches around 170 by the time the workout ends, so I consider this to be the fastest I can run a 5km without stopping from either my HR peaking or from the buildup of lactate that occurs after I pass 163HR. I end the workout feeling mildly nauseous, but it's not too bad. If I continue for another 5 minutes then my HR is 173, I have a stitch and the nausea is becoming unbearable by that point
  • A shame that no one knows
  • I find that doing a longer session on a treadmill with a mix between jogging / max capacity / walking and repeating the cycle over a few weeks really helps with the average pace. The body needs to be taken out of its comfort zone in order to find a new comfort zone that was initially uncomfortable!
  • I find that it helps to run with a friend or a pacer when you're trying to shave off some time. You'd need to train too of course.
  • kmo86kmo86 ✭✭✭
    Yea I’ve found running with someone helps you run faster without realising. I should be running with someone for the 10k next week but she’s been ill so not sure if she will still be doing it. If not the man who organises the run may end up running with me.
  • Hi Jennifer, yes I strongly suggest doing the 1mile with the minute rest and repeat method but try and either push that wee bit harder each mile or even try to maintain the pace of your first mile or slightly decrease your rest period after each mile eg from 1 min to 55s then from 55s to 50s...

    Also id add some explosive HIIT (high intensity interval training) into the mix with things like sprints or rowing for bursts 15-20 seconds at 80 to 100% output then getting enough recovery (however long you need that your able to push to that 80/100% again) repeat that method for about 6-10 intervals or around 20 mins max. This will be sure to increase your speed and overall fitness

    hope this helps

    all the best T :)
  • HercHerc ✭✭
    This will make you a believer
    Eve if this shit is not true
    This will make you commit murder
    Baby, I'l kill for you.

    Can I start making my own threads please now? I only need one thread please and that's it. Please.
Sign In or Register to comment.