The path to a sub 15:00 5km

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20/01/2013 at 00:00
I am in my first year of uni, but have been running practically my whole life! I love to train and race hard and have been fairly successful over the last few years. Current pb's: 5km 15:33, 5 mile 25:49, 10 mile 52:59. After a forced break due to injury I have started my comeback and have set myself the aim of running a sub 15:00 5000m by the end of the summer 2013. The thinking behind this thread is to share ideas with people of similar goals or who have already achieved this time. I also plan to document my training and so if I am successful it will give people an idea about the type and amount of training needed to run a sub 15:00. I hope people find this interesting and any comments will be gladly welcome!
20/01/2013 at 00:12

So to start this off, currently I run 6 times a week covering around 40 miles but from now I will be increasing this back up to 9 times covering 50+ miles. I do three faster sessions a week, which are all off road at the moment but will move to the track come spring. One of these is always a sand dunes session with short sharp hills (unless there is a race). The others are intervals between 2 and 10 minutes ranging from a strong tempo pace down to a bit below 3km race pace. As well as this I do a 12 mile long run in 75 minutes plus two steady runs of 45 minutes. As I increase the number of sessions I will add in extra morning runs also of 45 minutes. I have one day off so by the time I am running 9 times a week I will do three double days. I am also starting again this week to do two gym sessions which I'm hoping will keep an injury I recently sustained at bay. Cardiff cross challenge tomorrow in the snow! Not as fit as i'd like to be but it will be good training (that what I keep telling myself at least!). 

20/01/2013 at 09:59

So here is what I have done this last week:

Mon- 40 min easy 

Tue- 5x6min @ tempo with 1min recovery on grass

Wed- 45 mins steady

Thu- 4x50m strides + 5x4min @ 5km pace with 75sec recovery. Again on grass

Fri- rest/flexibility

Sat- 45min steady

Sun- Cardiff Cross Challenge 6.9km


Felt a twinge in my knee on the Tuesday but with ice and antinflamatorys it seems to be OK. Feeling unfit after having to take time out but not a bad week.

seren nos    pirate
20/01/2013 at 10:43

I know nothing about being able to run fast...........but personally if i was coming back from an injury i would not be doing any speed work for the first few weeks..........i would be building up my base miles and keeping an eye on the injury to check i'm not going to fast too soon.......

have you got a coach at the uni to give advice.......and do you use park runs at all

20/01/2013 at 13:55

I did complete a couple of weeks of easy running first before adding any speed sessions. I have a coach who gives me a schedule to follow, however he now lives abroard. I get a schedule emailed to me but there is no one there to oversee the session. I have done a couple of parkruns since september.

21/01/2013 at 11:31

Nash01 - you've obviously got lots of talent but are young and need to be under the watchful eye of a decent coach to help you make the right decisions, steer your training and give you proper advice based first hand on working closely with you. It sounds to me like it's time to find a new coach that you can work with directly and give you the expertise you need. Best of luck.

21/01/2013 at 15:10

It is under the coach I have now that has seen me make great improvements. We have had the same setup for two years now and it has worked well. He is very experience and has coached many athletes to international level. Obliviously it would be better if he was there to personally oversee sessions however, I would prefer to have an absent knowledgeable coach then a present poor coach.

21/01/2013 at 15:19

Not quite sure I was implying you should swap a good coach for a bad one. Anyway, I'd obviously read the thread wrong and thought you were asking for advice on how take the next step towards a sub 15 5k. My bad. Remote coaching is obviously working for you which is great.

21/01/2013 at 15:31

Sorry Johnas. I wasn't trying to shut you down. Any advice is appreciated! When I moved to uni I did join a local coach but I didn't feel that the training was specific to my main events. It did help training with people and a coach but the type of training I felt was more suited to 800/1500m runners. I decided to go back to my original coach as I knew his methods worked for me.

21/01/2013 at 16:35

Is this thread a wind up?


21/01/2013 at 17:15

How good is 15 min 5k.Is it better than a 1:55 800m

21/01/2013 at 18:08

No, this thread is not a wind up, and Nash01 is a decent young athlete looking at his profile on Power of 10.

Adam:  if you look at the WAVA tables (link below) the 1:55 is slightly better than a 14:59 for a 20 year old male...

wava tables

It is, of course, hard to make comments after looking at just one week's training, particularly in the post injury phase. Also i would need to know more about height, weight and any forms of other training such as weights or circuits. A few points though:
- Build your long run up over time
- Train with others where possible...OK, you may have to compromise some of the sessions, but it always seems easier when not on your own.
- Incorporate a daily injury prevention routine  (flexibility especially) into your daily life!
- Look at the bigger picture, and don't try to do too much too soon.

How did you find the Cardiff XC?


21/01/2013 at 19:57

Thanks alehouse. Firstly I tend to do a 75mins long run every sunday covering about 12 mile (when fit). With regards to stretching I tend to stretch after every run but not for a great deal of time (~5mins). Will increase this as time permits. Last winter I was going to the gym twice a week working the running specific muscle in as similar an action as possible to when running. Core work too. I havent done any strength work this winter and I think that could partly be why I got injured. Am starting again this week and will slowly build it up. I found the cross challenge tough. I do all my training by myself except one easy run a week. It is definitely easier running with other people however it is hard to find people of similar pace to run with who also want to do similar sessions. Last year I ran it tired but still managed 11th place. This year I didn't do nearly as well. I wasn't expecting to though due to lack of fitness and recent racing experience.

21/01/2013 at 20:03

With regards to weather a 1:55 800m is better than a 14:59 5km, last year 51 U20 men ran quicker than 1:55 whereas only 13 U20 men broke 15:00 for 5000m. You do have to take into account though that the 800m is a more popular event for an U20. 

21/01/2013 at 20:05

Nice thread Nashy, there's probably only a couple of posters on this whole forum who could properly relate to your ability, and share tips.

Those are guys like Marigold and Marders on the sub 3 thread. They're massively from the work exceptionally hard category with mileage,

If you can keep injury free, you sound like you have more potential, and could really go places.

seren nos    pirate
21/01/2013 at 20:14

I was wondering if there is anyone on these threads that would have the experience or knowledge that could help......

seems like you are doing well under your coach...not sure if there might be some better forums for any of the fast running clubs in the country have forums on their websites that you could read and join in even if you live nowhere near them.


good luck and i hope you have a good and injury free year

21/01/2013 at 20:24

Seren - I think Alehouse might just fit that category

21/01/2013 at 20:25

Thanks Stevie G and Seren Nos. To be honest I trust in the training that I am doing now but obviously there is always more you can learn and ideas you can try. And of course its not just the running but everything else that goes with it e.g. nutrition, strength work, mentality, stretching etc. I wanted to start a thread that interested people who don't necessary have outstanding times but still want to reach the best of their abilities. 

21/01/2013 at 20:31

There's a running site called 'eightlane' which is aimed wholely and exclusively at elite runners. It may or thinks it may be better for coaching fast runners.

I used to look at it simply for the forums where the postings were largely anonomous and mostly insulting.

Ironic that the site was cleared up on account of the insults whereas the site inadvetantly insults every runner that can't do sub 5 minute miles on mud.


21/01/2013 at 20:51

One of the other issues is, of course, getting in the right races! For some this can lead to a little soul searching re changing clubs. Either that or be prepared to travel to get to appropriate open meetings/BMC etc.

Thanks for the kind words, PRF!  just for info for others, I don't really coach much these days, but used to be team manager and part of the coaching set up for a Premier League track club, so was involved with a range of internationals.

One of the keys to successful coaching is knowing the runner: what works for one doesn't work for someone else. Hence I think we have to be careful giving or receiving advice on forums!

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