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Have to Run 5K in 25 Minutes - How Do I Prepare?

by Sachin A Jagdhane
(Mumbai, India)

This is Sachin from Mumbai. I am trying for security services and have to run 5 km in 25 mins. I am 28 yrs old and weigh 70 kg. I am able to run 2-3 kilometer in 10 mins. I also have to do pull ups and 100m sprint followed by long jump and shotput. Before trying for the same I was working in tech job for three years.

Please let me know if I can do this and how much time will it take to prepare for this.

running tips
Answer by Dominique:

Hi Sachin,
Thanks for your question about your training for the security services.

It sounds like you have got some basic fitness, i.e. you are able to run 2-3 km in 10 mins (let's assume 2km in 10 min). So you can run at the right speed, but need to work on your stamina.

In addition you need to work on those other events as well (pull ups, shotput, etc.).

By the way, I can give you an idea of what to do. But I can't tell you how much time it will take to prepare for this. Everybody is different.

Just tentatively, I think a three month period is a long enough time to create some significant change in fitness and strength. But again, everybody is different, you may take shorter than that, you may take longer than that.

In order to properly prepare for the running I would advise you to run three times a week and do the following:

  • Long run, build up your stamina doing a slower run (e.g. 5:30 - 6:00 min/km or slower depending on what "easy" feels like for you) that is longer. Start off with doing 4km and build up from there, adding a kilometre every week. Also see the base running page and the page about increasing mileage safely.

  • A faster session, to improve strength and speed some faster running would be beneficial, i.e. faster than your current goal of 5:00 min/km. A good introduction to speed training is fartlek, but also have a look at the interval running page.

  • A third variable session, the third session of the week I would use the first month to do easy running, the second month to do tempo running and the third month to do tempo running and goal pace running.

    I am quite convinced that if you run three times a week consistently, you will be a whole lot stronger and faster at the end of the three-month-period.

    In addition to the running I would spend two or three sessions per week training for the other parts of the fitness test. You can do this by doing those actual components (e.g. pull ups, sprints, shotput), but also by doing weight/resistance training etc.

    Especially pull ups are tough. You may want to start with negative pull ups, i.e. take a chair, start at the top of the pull-up position and then lower yourself down. It takes a long time to go from 0 pull-up to 1 pull-up, but again, with consistent training you can achieve a whole lot.

    I hope this gives you some ideas about what to do and how to do it. If anything, just to repeat it one more time, consistency is key. The above is a reasonably structured approach, but even if you do not have that much structure, just training 5-6 times a week (3 times running, 2-3 times cross-training) for three months will definitely make you a whole lot fitter than you are today.

    Hope this helps.
    Best of luck.
    Kind regards,

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