Improving Running Speed for a 5k Which is One Month Away

by Brandi
(Mississippi)

Hello, I am 43 years old and have been running for about 5 years. 3-4 miles about 3 times a week. During the last 2 months, I have begun making longer runs one time a week, usually on the weekend.



They range from 5 to 7 miles. During the longer runs, I take them slow and easy, and average around 11:20 a mile.

My shorter runs average around 10:45 a mile. 5 years ago, I was running a 10 minute mile, but have slowed over the years, because I enjoy running at a slower pace.

I've picked up some running partners now, none of which run that slow. I ran a 5k 3 weeks ago, and with one of them pushing me, I did it in 32 minutes.

But I hated every minute of it - felt like I was dying! Haha.

I am running another 5k with this same woman (who ran one by herself last week with a 28 minute time!!) and I want to aim for a 28 or better time too!

I have exactly one month.

Can you please give me the best advice of how to accomplish this?

I'm very motivated and will follow a program strictly...just need to know how to go about it!?
Thanks for your help!!!

running tips
Answer by Anissa:

Thanks for your question about wanting to improve your speed for an upcoming 5K.

I admire your motivation to improve on your 5K time.

You’ve got a good mileage base going for you so your body is ready for the distance but you will need to focus on your speed work right now.

Combine two faster workouts as described below with one to three easier runs per week (depending on how much you run normally).

While running at a pace that is out of your comfort level is certainly uncomfortable, improving your speed is going to require that you push yourself.

You are going to feel out of breath and you will feel your leg muscles burning, it’s to be expected.

Interval workouts are a great way to improve your speed. Begin with an easy 5-10 minute warm-up.

Run 400m (one lap around a track) hard, then run one slow, easy recovery lap. Start with two or three 400m repeats, with a recovery lap in between each. Work your way up to five or six repeats. If you’re running outside, you can use signs, trees, etc. to mark your intervals. Run 2 trees; recover for 2 trees and so on.

Tempo runs help develop your anaerobic threshold which is critical for running faster. A tempo run is basically an easy beginning, a build up to near 10K pace and then a cool down to finish. Begin with 5 to 10 minutes of easy running, then continue on for 15-20 minutes of running near a 10K pace then finish with 5 to 10 minutes of cooling down.

If you are unsure of what your 10K pace is, run at a pace that feels comfortably hard. A pace you are able to keep up for the duration of the workout.

Tempo runs are designed to be run at a constant speed, so it is best to avoid hills.

Rest is critical to recovery and injury prevention so be sure you’re taking 1-2 days off per week to let your muscles build and repair themselves.

Running hard everyday will not only put you at risk for injury, you won’t see any improvement in your speed.

Good luck on your 5K,
Anissa


5k running tips




Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 5k Running Questions.



Like this page:


Share this page:


Like this site:


[?] Subscribe To This Site

XML RSS
follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!

Helpful
Resources

  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!




What's New?

  1. Pyramid Training - What's the Deal?

    Could you please explain pyramid training for different zones? I have seen it in running programs before and I actually didn't understand the method described

    Read more

  2. Best Tips to Start Running - Six Beginner Running Tips That Will Help You Get Started With Running

    Want to start running but wonder how? Check out these six best tips to start running and get off with a running start!

    Read more

  3. Running in the Morning and Bike in the Afternoon

    I am currently trying to work-up to running a 5k but also lose weight. I run 3 times a week and bike 3 times a week. I want to increase that so I do

    Read more

  4. Improve Running When Over 50 Years Old

    Hello, My name is Roger age 56, I have been running for over 25 years and before this I played local footbal Saturday and Sundays in the season. 20

    Read more

  5. How Many Kilometers Can I Run With My Running Shoes?

    Hello, there is one question I'd like to know. I run three to four times a week and my actual shoes are Nike Vomero which I really like. Is there any

    Read more