Is my 5km time good? - Height, weight and body fat considerations

Hi all,

I am a complete beginner at running but I want to get better at it because I want to run an ultramarathon in a few years. I have been taking part in weekly local 5km parkruns for about 4 weeks now and have been averaging a time of 30 minutes. My Personal Best was 29 minutes 28 seconds.

Here are the numbers:
Distance: 5km
AverageTime: 30 minutes
Height: 6ft
Weight: 108kg
Body fat %: About 35%
Age: 24
Not a smoker, not a drinker, *I only drink water and nothing else*. However, I love sugary and fatty foods and eat plenty of it....I am very unhealthy.

Taking the above figures into account, is my 30minute 5km time good?

Are there any beginner tips you would give me? How should I improve my 5km running time?



  • I wouldn't get to hung up on whether the time is any good but whether you are enjoying yourself.
     As regards to improving, you have already pointed out one problem maybe holding you back-diet!  I'm sure others will have more useful advice to say than me tho. 
  • TrogsTrogs ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Apart from your weekly parkrun, what other training do you do?
    Generally in order to improve you need to run at least three times per week, mostly at an easy (conversational) pace. As your fitness improves your parkrun times should come down.
    Also improve your diet by cutting down on the sugary foods.
  • @Trogs I used to attend weekly circuit training classes for about 5 months but I haven't been in the last 4 weeks. I essentially replaced circuit training with weekly parkruns. Apart from the weekly parkruns, I occasionally do a 20 minute run per week.
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Hi Beginner2UltraRunner - welcome and congratulations on starting on the journey. From where you're starting from, actually getting out there and doing it is good. Thebigeasy makes a valid point, though; do you feel it's a good time? Running is a very personal thing and the biggest competition you will face is with yourself and your own goals. Having realistic goals means that you're less likely to feel disenchanted if you're not reaching them. So in the short term what would be your goal 5K time?

    As Trogs mentions if you're able to get out a couple of times during the week and start to build up your base endurance this will help in taking time off of your 5K. Once you have that base you can then adjust your training to include some speed sessions, which is where you're likely to see significant improvements in your times.

    I think you realise your diet needs to be addressed and the benefit of doing more training will hopefully result in you losing weight. Once that starts to drop that will act is a motivation as well. 

    Good luck with it all. 
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Welcome to the wonderful, frustrating and friendly world of running! Four weeks of Parkrun is really good, you have shown commitment and determination. 30 mins, a time not to be dismissed. As many have said your diet will make the most difference. Try to eat one more portion of fruit and veg a day, then after a week add another. Keep posting, it enables you to track your progress and see how others are doing. 
  • @Guarddog Thanks! Ideally, I would like to run 5km in 27 minutes, that would make me feel great! Mmm, I guess I'll have to cut out the indulgences :(
  • @TT thanks!! I "enjoy" the parkruns. As in, I enjoy when its finally over lol.
    Alrighty, I guess I will substitute the snacks for fruits instead
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Perfect time of year to start eating fruit: strawberries, cherry season about to start, bananas with strawberries (great smoothie).........
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    From where you are now 27 mins is very achievable. If you break it down you're essentially looking to run a minute a mile quicker than you are at the moment. That may seem like a lot, but you're currently in the wonderful position of being able to achieve large gains just by adjusting your training and watching what you eat. 

    I would say take it in steady chunks. Does your Parkrun use pacers at all? If they do then as your current PB is 29.28 latch on to the 29 min pacer. It's sometimes easier to let someone else do the work of setting a pace and you just follow them and to get to 29 mins you'd only need to run 10 secs/mile faster than you currently are. Once you've felt the joy of beating your PB reset and aim to improve on it. Small gains are easier to achieve. 

    Is there a running club you can join? People who run with clubs come in all ages, shapes and abilities. They offer a wealth of support and experience and are incredibly supportive and welcoming. As TT says running is a very friendly activity.
  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Not a smoker, not a drinker, *I only drink water and nothing else*. However, I love sugary and fatty foods and eat plenty of it....I am very unhealthy.
    I've shifted significant amounts of xmas timber in the past by taking Apple Cyder Vinegar capsules. They seem to be a cracking appetite suppressant.
  • @Ynnec ahh! I've heard about apple cider vinegar before, thanks for evoking that memory for me! I've actually been using sugar-free chewing gum to battle those craving. But I may have to acquire a cheeky bottle apple cider vinegar as a replacement, thanks! :D
  • This forum is awesome! I feel more motivated and have a better sense of what I need to work on now - thanks to everyone who has commented!! <3 :star:
  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019

    But I may have to acquire a cheeky bottle apple cider vinegar as a replacement, thanks! 
    If you don't want to look like a bulldog chewing a wasp, make sure you dilute it first.
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Morning, hoping your Parkrun today goes really well. 
  • thanks @TT
    I did 3 independent runs this week (they were 4 miles each) and 1 strength and conditioning workout on my glutes - I've also been eating (a little) healthier. I felt a huge difference in today's parkrun. When I set my PB of 29:28, I was completely gassed out and everything was hurting, I could barely walk. But today, I set a PB of 29:18 and felt like I could run another mile or two with the same pace. It's not the best time in the world but personally, I'm pleased with today's effort.
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Well done, being able to carry on is a fantastic achievement. 
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Good result and well done on the 29:18. Just making those gains each time are incredibly uplifting and if you're feeling the benefit of the other training then it's so much the better.
  • Hi everyone! I cannot say I am a beginner in running but unfortunately I am a smoker and I run 3 times a week. My average time for 5k is 30-32 mins it's not the best but I feel very good and I think that's the point when one is not a professional athlete. I guess if I quit smoking my time will improve. I will keep you posted.
    Cheers! :)
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    That's the beauty of running, Chr1stinaV1t, the only person you have to please is yourself. As long as you're enjoying it and feeling good then nothing else matters. 
  • ShandzShandz ✭✭
    Hi Beginner2UltraRunner, it is difficult to tell how good your time is but as others a have said I reckon it's more important to be enjoying running that anything else.

    I would class myself as quite a competitive runner but also like sugary/fatty foods! I guess it is going to be different for everyone but my wife has found some good sugar free alternative I have been trying (like sugar-free Maryland cookies) which I try and eat instead of loads of chocolate. I stick to sugar free Alpen for breakfast and we also eat meals with a lot of veg in so hopefully not too bad overall.

    One thing I think is important to add is that if you are increasing your mileage is to increase is gradually over a period of time (I've heard a rule of increasing 10% per week) and I think it is also a good idea to warm up and cool down to help avoid injury. Joining a local running club could be a good way of meeting people who will know about this.

    Anyway, best of luck with your running and I'm sure you'll be running Ultras soon!
  • I think the parkrun pacers make a big difference, i went to Ellon Parkrun yesterday and on the first Saturday of each month they have pacers for every 2 mins which alters between odd and even on a monthly basis ie 26,28,30 etc one month, 25, 27, 29 the following month. My pb before yesterday was 27:25 but after latching onto the 27 min runner i managed it in 27:07. I had no plans or even thought i would even get close to setting a pb (last week i was 29 mins although it was much hotter) but just had a good day after latching onto the pacer. I didn't even know about the pacers before i turned up. Joining a running club / jog scotland type group will also make a difference, i run significantly better / faster when running with other people which when it comes to a race obviously helps.
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