A while back I wrote that I was struggling to break the 20min mark in my 5km races. Fast track to exactly a year and I am now quite comfortably running sub 20min 5km races. My initial frustration with not being able to break that mark is now rewarded with a series of sub 20 times in a number of 5km races since October 2013 through to January 2014.
So far in 6 of my 5km races since October 2013 I have being consistent at running under sub 20minutes as follows:
Lower Hutt parkrun
Hamilton Lake parkrun
Lower Hutt parkrun
With the net improvement my goal is to now be comfortable at running this pace at other distances. My next goal is to break 90mins in the half marathon distance. Key to this is being able to sustain 4:15min per KM splits for the net distance and pass the 5km mark in a comfortable time of 19:59 in a half marathon race. This will also mean that my current 10km personal best time will have an improvement. Well that’s the theory anyway.
Overall I am now doing some specific speed work sessions every week and working at my threshold pace. This has resulted in a few things:
I am able to run faster over longer distances with less effort. This is compared to the distances I used to run and my variances in heart rate. I can be in zone 2 with a HR variance of 143-155 and still run @ 5:00min pace. Previously I would be in Zone 3 or Zone 4 at that pace.
I can add distance to my weekly mileage but still be ‘fresh’ for key workouts such as speed sessions of intervals and tempos. Typically I will do an Interval session on a Wednesday and a Tempo on a Saturday so there is enough recovery time between them. I have been able to increase my weekly mileage to 100km per week with a peak of 120km as mentioned in my previous post.
Incidentally January has also been the month where I have gone over 400km for the month!
With these gradual increases I am hoping that I can continue my training and improving my running for this year. Main goal being the Rotorua marathon in May.
Since it’s end of the year I thought I will do a recap of my running adventures for 2013. I started my running blog in January 2013. If you didn’t read my first post have a read of “Just keep running“.
2013 was a good year for me in terms of my running. I managed to overcome some obstacles and achieve some of my running goals. So here is how my running numbers looked like for year 2013.
This year I have run a total of 3723km for the year averaging 310km per month. I have climbed 36105 meters during these runs. This is a steady increase compared to last two years of 2011 and 2012. It was 2011 when I started running so overall I have doubled my mileage over the years. The increase in mileage helped with some good personal best times over distances of 10km and half marathon (21.1k).
Running numbers from 2011, 2012 and 2013. Distances in Kilometers.
With this steady increase I have been cautious about getting injured, to avoid this I have used the hard easy principal of training and incorporated a lot of strength and flexibility work in my schedules. I have also tried to run off road and vary the terrain that I do my running in. Here is a breakdown of each month – apart from a dip in June (First marathon) most months were 300kms plus.
In October I finally managed to break the 20minute mark in my 5km time and achieve a PB time of 19:39. Since then I have run 5km races in: 19:41, 19:53, 19:59 so I am confident that in 2014 I can get this down to 19:20 or so, which will put me in good contention of chasing a faster half marathon time and possibly a fast marathon time.
I will update what my goals are for 2014 in my next post. Thanks for reading my blog. Happy new year and best of luck for achieving your own goals whatever they may be in the new year.
Along the coast…
Enjoying a post race recap with fellow trail runners
Since the (second) start of my running endeavors I have been able to improve my 5km racing (well pedestrian when compared to elites) time from 27mins to a current personal best of 20mins & 18secs on the famous Wellington waterfront 5km course. Some might say that I should be very happy and content with the fact that I have been able to improve my times over a course of about 2 years by 7mins but that’s just not the point! I want to run sub 20 meaning I want to register an official time of 19mins 59secs (well 19:50 or 19:30 secretly). I actually ran sub 20 in a recent relay event but that was mostly due to the fact the first 3km of the run was a net downhill, so in my mind It does not count.
So when I look at my progress from over the years relatively I have been able to improve my 5km time (meaning run faster) over a certain period and now it seems that I have hit a plateau.
5Km Race Times (recent history)
I seem to be floating in the 20+ to 21+ min range and not actually getting any faster. Also another great comparison is another 5km race that I run but not as regularly as the above race. This is Parkrun which is also a flat course but there is a difference in terms of surface that there are two sections that go over grass. In the Parkrun course my PB is 20:42.
Parkrun 5km results
Parkrun 5km Grading
The advice I have got is that in order to improve my times in the 5km I now need to start doing some targeted ‘speed work’ sessions. As such one of my side goals whilst training for my first marathon is to inject some speed sessions and improve my 5km race time. Last week I went down to the Newtown park athletics track and did a ‘mini’ speed session. During this session I was able to run a fast 1km time of 3min 28secs. These sessions however needs to be carefully balanced so that I don’t get injured by doing too many speed sessions. The main goal is the marathon and this is secondary, but running sub 20 is also something that I want to do before May 2013. In order to run under 20mins I need to sustain 3min 50/km splits for my 5km targeted race. The annoying bit is I was oh so close when I ran 20:18, slowing down in the last 2km cost me. 😦
5km PB Splits
Now I need to target another race and get everything into play! Hopefully with a bit of perseverance and specific speed sessions I’ll get that sub 20min 5km soon!
So here are the details of the competition and how you can win them!
Enter and run two 5km races before 31st March 2013, basically after you finish Wellington Round the bays you’ll be extending your training and using that as an advantage. You can choose from the following two events.
Support any of the following events.. (yes I’ve changed the rules of the competition)
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got early when I started running went along like this.
Person X: So what what race are you training for?
Me: I’m hoping to do a half marathon!
Person X: Have you run a half marathon before?
Me: Yes I’ve done one, I’m hoping to better my time in the next one.
Person X: How fast can you run a 5k race?
I’m wondering at this point – hmm why does it matter how fast I can run a 5k if I’m training for a half?
Me: I think in about 25-30mins..
Person X: well, you should train to run a fast 5k & you’ll be able to run a fast half marathon.
And then he went onto explain why this is.
To run a fast half marathon, you have to be able to run a fast 10k, to run a fast 10k you need to run a fast 5k and in order to run a fast 5k you have to run a fast 1k!
The 5k distance is a good measure for testing your cardiovascular strength. I’ve been incorporating at least one 5k race into my training schedule week in week out to help get my legs speed up.
Since starting to run the regular 5k races my speed endurance has increased considerably. So if you are just starting out sign up for a local 5k race. There are lots of 5k runs throughout the year & for some events you only need to show up ( http://www.parkrun.co.nz ) there is no cost involved. 5k events run by some of the local athletics clubs charge about $5-$10 which usually includes a free drink post race & the chance to meet some other runners. I am regularly at the Wellington Scottish water front 5k in Wellington (Tuesday at 5:30) & Lower Hutt Parkrun (Saturday at 8:00am).
Hope to see you at one of 5k races & happy running!