Faster Minute Mile for 5K races
I'm 40 years old and I started to run consistently four months ego. My running time went from 9 minutes miles to 7:30 minute miles in a 5k. Is it realistic for me to think that I can achieve 6 minute miles at my age? what training would you recommend to me?
Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your question about improving your 5k running time.
There are plenty of 40+ years old runners who can do 6 minute miles and faster.
So, yes it is possible.
You haven't provided a lot of background on your current running training, so I can't comment on how to alter your training.
Generally speaking, I would advise you to make sure you have got a good base first and foremost. You have only been running for four months and have already gotten a lot faster. Building a base takes years.
That's not meant to discourage you. If anything, it is a positive. It means that you can look forward to quite some improvement over the next few years if you play your cards right.
Building your base is generally done by covering miles without doing speedwork. Even 5k races are mostly aerobic, so you'd benefit a lot from improving your aerobic system (which is done via base running drills
See, if you can build up your long run to 6-10 miles or so. When you can cover 10 miles comfortably, covering 5k at a fast pace is suddenly a lot easier!
After building up your base, add in some speedwork. You can do this via fartlek sessions
or interval running
It may take some time, in fact, take your time to get there. Keep up running consistently for four more months, eight more months, a year, etc and you'll hopefully find that you'll make improvements as you go along.
Enjoy the journey!
P.S. As a last article to review: check out the increasing mileage safely