Posted: 16/07/2015 at 16:04
I've had this as a long term secondary goal for a couple of years now. Secondary as in I've been training for longer stuff, but doing the odd park run to gauge how my fitness and speed has improved. I still haven't managed to get under 20, but have seen a steady improvement over time. My first park run was probably about 3 years ago and took me 27 minutes (on a hilly course). My last park run was about a month ago (during ultra training) and I did 20:20. I've done the ultra now and my next aims for the year are a marathon and half marathon PB. I'm planning on doing a fair bit of speed and tempo work for these and am pretty confident these will see me get below the 20 minute mark.
A big thing for me in improving, has been, of course along with just plain old fitness improvements, learning to be confident enough to go out hard from the off and hang on. It starts hurting fairly early but you haven't got too long to hold on. I think the ability to hurt yourself in a run is something you learn over time.