5K - Beginner

8 messages
17/09/2012 at 14:41

Hi all,

Sorry if there's already a thread dicussing this sort of thing.

Ive very recently started running 5k (12.5 laps of an athletics track), probably doing it about 3-5 times a week.

My first time was 33.04, (bear in mind im 28yrs old, probably bout 2 stone overweight). Ive now manged to get my times down to around 29.00 consistantly..

Is that any good?

I dont know if im doing things correctly, im just basically pushing myself every time, to get better, giving myself reasonable goals. And it seems to be working as im very rarely out of breathe. The only thing that i HATE is my legs ache! and they feel extremely heavy. This is the only thing stopping me from probably knocking a few minutes off that time.

How could i prevent this, is it footwear? over-running?


17/09/2012 at 15:55

Hi Martin, Sounds like you're seeing some impovements which is good. There will be people along in a minute with lots of useful comments, but usually it's worth varying the training. For example, maybe in a week you could do 1 session as you are now - one session of running a single lap at speed, resting and running again - repeat for maybe 8 or 10 laps - and maybe one session of running further but slower. 

17/09/2012 at 16:06

Hi Martin, I too have recently made it to 5k and been running the distance for a week now, feels great when you can actually tell someone a recognisable distance that you run, instead of "around the block a couple times"

To answer your question, I am a 19 yr old male who started running 2 months ago and my first timed 5k I completed in 31:04 which means for you a 28 yr old who is admittedly overweight, 33:04 is brilliant and to have made such progress in a short time to be at 29~ mins is fab! you should be really proud of yourself!

As far as what you are doing, if you are making progress it might seem straightforward to continue what you are doing. However myself I like to have a slow run on the weekend (Or whatever day suits you) where I try to increase my distance each week. this could be another 3-400 metres a week, and it adds up rather quickly. I do this so I don't risk a massive injury, which to be frank you are likely to recieve if you are going all out 4-5 times a week running fast 5k's.

Take a look at the training section on the site and decide what your goals are. 

There are plenty of 5k to 10k programs out there which is what I'll be moving on to, and they give you a nicely structured plan that will minimize the risk of injury. On the flip side if it is just speed at 5k runs you want then increasing your slow run distance has been proven to improve with shorter distance running too.

I am sure others will chip in but that is my 2 cents. 

As I have said before well done with your progress so far! Regarding your legs Martyn you could give weight training like squats and lunges a go instead of one of your daily runs, this would help strengthen them up a bit.

Hope I have got some sort of decent advice somewhere in that wall of text

Good Luck!


17/09/2012 at 16:27

Good advice from Jake Long, you are starting to stagnate as you are repeating the same routine.  If you add some slower, longer road runs into the mix you should see your 5k effort times reduce.

Also, if you try to run flat out 3 to 5 times a week, your not giving your body a chance to recover.   So try to limit your high paced runs to once or twice a week, and use the other runs to let your body get used to the movements associated with running.  This will probably help with the "heavy leg" feeling as well.

18/09/2012 at 15:41

Thanks for the advice everyone

21/09/2012 at 14:25

Hi Martyn,

All the above is greeat advice. What I have learnt  is to listen to my body, not just your legs and overall bosy, but also your mind, listen to whether it can cope with a punishing 5k run, or just a gentle 5k jog, then see how you feel for the next day training.

Edited: 21/09/2012 at 14:26
27/09/2012 at 09:04
Hi Martin, check out your local parkrun - http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ this is a free weekly timed event that takes place all over the UK at 9am on a Saturday morning. It's 5K, it's not marketed as a race, simply a run against yourself, though there are others there. I think your times are pretty good, but if you have someone to chase, you'll see your times improve further, your confidence will improve and you'll start going for longer runs too.
27/09/2012 at 20:26

Hi Martyn,

I did my first parkrun last week (37 minues, but I'm a 47 year old, rather overweight newish runner )

I have to say that the atmosphere is brilliant, and although I came second to last it didn't matter. I really enjoyed it and will now incorporate it into my weekly schedule. There are runs all over the country and once you sign up online, you can attend any one of them. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed!

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