Journey to a sub 17 minute 5k

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16/04/2013 at 22:26

I have just completed a sub 20 minute 5k challenge and I have a personal challenge to break 40 minutes for 10k, which I think will happen naturally this year.

So I've started a thread, which I believe, is a really really hard challenge. No time limit attached as it is really difficult to know if I will ever be able to run this fast.

My current PB for 5k is 19:31 which I achieved last Saturday.

In the other threads the advice I've received has been invaluable and any further advice in this thread is welcome.

Almost impossible to imagine I will ever be able to run at sub 5:27m/m for 3.1 miles.

24/04/2013 at 21:16

10 miles done this week at a steady 8/8:30m/m.

Quality run planned tomorrow - 4m with 2m at 10k pace.

Target is to run 25 miles this week and 31 miles next week. The long runs at the weekend will have to fit in without affecting the family. So probably looking at some early starts or late finish on the Sunday.

Watching Champions League tonight and Lewandowski is quality!

24/04/2013 at 21:49
Edited: 25/04/2013 at 19:29
27/04/2013 at 10:21

Hi all,

I was reading Tony's sub 20 5k thread that has already been achieved, sorry to hi-jack the thread, but I was just wondering - Would doing the parkrun everyweek be a decent equivalent to speed work training?

I enjoy the parkrun as a new runner, but I'd really like to break 20 mins within the next month. Currently sat at around the 20:40 mark, running around 15-20 miles per week, which includes the parkrun, a long slow run (7/8 miles) and a couple of recovery runs a week.

Once again sorry for the hi-jack, but I couldn't find any info on whether the parkrun is a good "training" method.

Edited: 27/04/2013 at 10:21
28/04/2013 at 10:27

23 mile week.

LSR 9 miles at 7:53m/m done today

28/04/2013 at 10:31

Can't see the problem with running a parkrun every couple of weeks.



05/05/2013 at 22:31

1 mile time trial on the road - 5:41

OK time for breaking 19 mins for a 10k.

Long way to go.


05/05/2013 at 23:37

Great, a blogger ram raiding a forum!

That's about as popular as a poo in a swimming pool.


....reminds me, I must have Benson clean my trunks.

13/05/2013 at 22:27


22/06/2013 at 22:29

19:11 in the Poole parkrun this morning

25/08/2013 at 00:43

Where did you get to, timewise, Tony?

20/09/2013 at 17:54

Hi I was browsing the web for a training programme for a sub 20 minute 5k and came across your blog, found it interesting. I'm a runner who goes out an runs, no structure. I have a Park run pb of 20 min 22 sec. I now want to break the sub 20 min 5k as a colleague has started Park run and we are now becoming competitive, and both want to break 20 mins. What's your thoughts ? I've started to do Park run every week and I currently slow jog the 1.8 miles as a warm up.

21/09/2013 at 00:29

I mean slow jogging the 1.8 miles to the Park run, and then running the 5k eyeballs out, before jogging the 1.8 miles home as a cool down.

21/09/2013 at 23:27

Forget the sub 20 minute 5k, my colleague from work just posted a 19:52 at Parkrun today, will go back to plodding. Can't be arsed.

29/09/2013 at 00:10

I can't imagine not wanting to improve times. It takes discipline, increased fitness and mental strength to break PB's. It can be easier to give up because you feel you might not be able to do it.

Daeve my PB at 5k is currently 19:05. I'm running the Bournemouth Half Marathon Oct 6th so I'm tapering at the mo. Once I've run the half I'll concentrate the 5k.

29/09/2013 at 09:04

A 5k race is a time trial. Speed work is something else entirely And serves a different purpose.

No they are not substitutes. 

30/09/2013 at 20:40

I agree Nayan. Race pace is not training pace.

01/10/2013 at 13:09

Thanks for the reply Tony / Nayan. I decided to kick myself up the arse and get back on it. I'm planning to run 6 days a week with 1 day complete rest doing nothing. Sunday's I'm looking at a LSR of 8 - 10 miles, 1 day designated to interval work, with a couple of tempo runs and a couple of easy runs. What do you think ? would love some feedback.

01/10/2013 at 14:31

from what I have seen, you want your training to feature training stress driven by- and body adaptations in response to-

-speedwork (so you get used to running at a faster pace than before)

-a 'comfortably hard' tempo run (so that you get used to holding pace and clearing lactate)

-a long slow run where you focus more on time spent on your feet than on speed.


You'll have to investigate training plans and coaching philisophies for yourself and experiment a bit to see what works for you. EG some like to use short gentle running to help recovery. I tended towards walking and also swimming.  

Also, the magic happens as your body recovers from these sessions - you grow more muscle fibres, capilliaries and so on. Meaning you have to pay attention to rest, recovery and refueling, or you will just run yourselff into the ground and get injured.


01/10/2013 at 19:08

I would build up base miles first then worry about intervals. 

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