the 5k pb thread

How to get a PB this weekend...maybe at a parkrun

21 to 40 of 45 messages
25/10/2012 at 20:47

I'm ineterested in going 22% quicker with a taper....sounds great

25/10/2012 at 21:18

I've tapered after Cabbage Patch prf, so 22% faster would give me a chance of winning the Great South Run.

and erm...getting a 99%+ wava

25/10/2012 at 21:25


I've always said that tapers are overrated.....but not at 22% they're not.

25/10/2012 at 21:44
22%, with a taper next week I should be going sub 15 at next weeks parkrun.
25/10/2012 at 22:13
Been tapering for the last 5 and a half months but it didn't seem to work, I was 6 and a half minutes off my PB last Saturday.
25/10/2012 at 23:10

here's the link:

it's not my science...

is he wrong?  the devil is in the detail of course.


26/10/2012 at 08:19

Personally, I wouldn't call cutting 50miles a week down to 6 miles a week a taper!

I'd call that just resting for a week.

26/10/2012 at 09:45

You made me smile .. but does that you accept that what he is saying could be true?

26/10/2012 at 09:56

Hi all - I have my first parkrun in the morn (only found out about them this week) and can't wait - but I am a newbie and a bit of a snail. If the whole point of parkrun to be smashing it for a PB or do people go and do an easy 5k? After my first 1/2 on Sunday I don't think I will be smashing any records but don't want to be left last whilst the marshalls look at their watches and yawn! Good luck to you all for your PB's

26/10/2012 at 10:53
the5k runner wrote (see)

You made me smile .. but does that you accept that what he is saying could be true?

In short, the results are complete bollocks!

If you even entertain the idea that a 22% difference can be achieved by different tapering strategies then you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

Do you seriously think that a 60 minute 10 mile runner will go up or down by 13 minutes depending on how they taper?


Cassie - Relax, you'll be fine. Have a look at the previous week's results for the parkrun that you're choosing to do, you'll find a wide range of times. Enjoy yourself.

26/10/2012 at 13:19


well this thread is about 5k but anyway i take the point you are making.

but c'mon you must know from experience that how you taper makes a big difference. i get people ask if it's ok to run 10k the day before they are going for a 5k pb. some people who run parkruns and closing in on 20 mins have not heard of tapers as many don't belong to clubs. they don't understand physiology as well as you probably do.

I'm just trying to put a bit back into the sport i love and help others. some people use forums to seek advice, others to give advice, others to have a bit of a laugh...that's all ok by me.

if you've read my blog post you will see it is clearly aimed at non-elite/club runners and the points I make will make a difference...some more so that others.

Please accept my apologies for ruffling the feathers of those who already know about racing and training strategies.

Edited: 26/10/2012 at 13:19
26/10/2012 at 14:02


Erm, well no.

I'm not sure what you're asking really but if you're going to post links to results which dont make any sense, either intuitively or in actuality, then surely it should be at least questioned?

Do a poll of experienced runners and ask:

1) Would you expect to have a better chance of a 5K pb by reducing your training load by 100%, 88% or 64% in the final week.
2) Do you think that running 10K the day before a 5K pb attempt would be detrimental?

If you get the results you have suggested then fair enough but I'll start it off with the answers:

1) 64%
2) No.

PS: I dont know whether you have actually clicked on the specific '5K taper' link in that article but apparently the taper week should involve 5K paced sessions on 5 successive days, followed by a rest day and then the PB attempt.

Edited: 26/10/2012 at 14:17
26/10/2012 at 14:16


But as you bring up the detail devil

  • The study you basing this benefit of tapering on was on highly trained middle distance runners not recreational 5k runners.
  • This single study is over 20 years old, and only looked at 9 athletes (3 per group)
  • The performance improvement wasn't running a faster race, it was being able to run at their average 1500m race pace for longer.

Their conclusions were that agressive (no running) tapers are crap, low intensity running tapers are a bit better and you're better off with a high intensity running taper. I think I would roughly agree with that for a long distance race too, at least for a short term gain (an 'A' race) not so sure long term though.

I don't really agree with your "*** 3 stars. It will work" telling people to not run for 3 days before a 5k race, I think "It might work or it might make things worse" would be more accurate. I seem to remember seeing data that aggressive tapers were even worse in recreational runners than those who are highly trained.

My friends who don't belong to clubs and don't understand physiology are those that tend to think you need to have an aggresive no running taper before a race. They don't need to be told to have a rest, they need to be told it won't do you any harm to have a short run with a few strides the day before a race.


26/10/2012 at 14:57

I know someone who thought racing a 5K the day before a marathon was a good idea.

26/10/2012 at 15:55

Dr Dan - I think the notorious case to which you refer was a 'gentle 5K' which morphed into a race after 1K.

26/10/2012 at 16:17

I managed to knock a big chunk off my parkrun PB just by starting nearer the front. There's no chip timing so you can lose a good 30s if you start right at the back.

Obviously you need to be sensible so you're not holding other people up. If you check the previous week's results you can get a good idea where you'll finish, so you can start in roughly the position you'll finish in. You also don't lose time overtaking people.

26/10/2012 at 17:27

thanks for the feedback guys, some great comments. So we've done tapers and probably all agree in our own ways that you need one (surely that;s not a controversial choice of words)

so now what about things you can take on the day ... nitrates (beetroot juice) and caffeine. Personally I think both work (only a bit tho I'll not suggest brianmac's 22% here). It's OK I have my flameproof suit on now so you can really go for it.

For you seasoned athletes out there, as has been rightly pointed out, training gets you into the right position. But what about those little things that can eek out a few extra maybe caffeine and maybe dietary nitrates. Or maybe any benefit is just psychological.


26/10/2012 at 17:56
Stevie G . wrote (see)

5k, out of interest, what's your pedigree/experience, as I see you giving a lot of tips out.

6 weeks seems to be the time a lot of people give for training to come into effect for faster times, so I'm genuinely all ears what you think can make you "quite a lot faster" in a week's time.

Stevie, I think you missed the point somewhat. He's not saying you can improve without training, he's just suggesting little things that might make a few seconds difference to your time and some of them are quite valid, although the stats might be wrong. Tapers, for instance - although what works for one person may be different than another, a lot of runners seem happy to taper for three weeks for a marathon but won't bother tapering at all for a 5k and then they wonder why they haven't got much speed in their legs.

I think in future if everyone checks their 'pedigree' meets with your approval before posting any tips on here then we should all be ok though

26/10/2012 at 18:23

Setting off faster than race pace works. There was some research that found that with 5k if you set out a little above your race pace you can run the race faster. This is you have the endurance an extra pace in your legs.

Caffeine works by increasing your ability to cope with pain. It won't make you a faster runner you'll just be able to push harder for longer but you'll pay for it after.

Another thing that was discussed here and found to work was to race a 5k each week for 3 weeks to see an improvement.

I guess it all depends at what level you are running.

26/10/2012 at 18:30

Berocca, Banana, Large coffee and run faster than I should, followed by a mid afternoon snooze.

I also ran 3 PB's in a row after I bought my Garmin Forerunner having not had a PB for 6 months prior to that.

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