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KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (81,445)
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1/9/13 8:50 A

I've never ran a 5k race (planning to run a few this year finally!), but I have run the distance just to see how fast I can do it, and my best time is 28ish minutes (on a track, though). Best time around my neighborhood, probably 30 minutes. I've been running for a year and a half now, and my average pace is 10 min/mile.

KNELKINS SparkPoints: (0)
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1/9/13 5:56 A


You don't need to change anything at all. In the short amount of time I have been running, I've put tons of pressure on myself to get as fast as I possibly can, and it's led to a lot of frustration at times when my body simply didn't want to cooperate. But that isn't a very healthy way to go about it, and I've paid for it over the last couple of months after a period of six months where I went from completely sedentary to running a whole lot at long distances. After that exhausting period, my body kind of fell apart for a while. I made huge strides, but I certainly reaped the consequences afterward. I say all that to caution people like me, who get into running and fall in love with it and then subsequently burn out from overtraining. It took me by surprise, and it was actually a difficult struggle to get through.There's a reason experts advise new runners to start slowly and build up gradually.

With that being said, when I got that 5K time, I was actually in the middle of training for a marathon, running four to five times per week, between 25-45 miles per week. I don't know that the high mileage necessarily helped me with my 5K, but my plan involved one speed workout per week, and I'm certain that that helped me get faster. I would do one speed run, one long run, and two or three easy runs every week.

Everyone has a different pace and everyone improves at different rates. I improved significantly over the first few months of running; however, I've pretty much stalled out since then. I also think your body composition plays an integral role. I think I was able to get so fast so soon because I achieved a body fat percentage around 14-15% and maintained it, which means that I have very little mass to move. I think that helps in distance running more so, but even the top sprinters and middle-distance runners are quite lean, even if they tend to have more muscle mass than long distance runners.

I try very hard not to compare myself with others, but I am quite competitive and find it very difficult. I like to run both because I like to challenge myself and because it makes me feel good. When I get caught up in all the numbers, that's when it stops being as much of a good thing. I think it's admirable and important to be on a journey of perpetual self-improvement, but I find that I get the most fulfillment when I go for a long run and don't even check my watch or when I do a really hard run and push myself past my limits. The latter can often give you a new PR, which is awesome in itself, but the best thing about it is surprising and empowering yourself. And that doesn't happen when you compare yourself to other people's performance. Once you take yourself off the timetable, your perspective changes and you're better able to appreciate the real benefits. At least that's what happened to me.

RUNNING4LISA SparkPoints: (3)
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1/9/13 4:07 A

That's a pretty impressive time for someone only running 5 months. Were you running a lot of miles every day, track work, hills? I'm just curious because it took me about 3 years to get to that time.:( I obviously need to change what I'm doing.

RESTORED_ME SparkPoints: (0)
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12/10/12 11:57 P

0:37:08, training since April

MILTONS1 Posts: 3,708
12/10/12 8:02 P

My best time so far is 31 minutes for the 5 km

ORODEO73 Posts: 527
11/2/12 6:52 A

I walked my first 5k at 43:43. Been training since September.

CANADA-DISCO19 Posts: 168
11/1/12 9:08 P

I started a C25K program in August, and my best 5k/3.1 mile time so far is 44 minutes.

SHERIN65 Posts: 29
11/1/12 6:44 P

My first 5k will be this Sunday in Chicago. It's the Hot Chocolate Race and after a life of having no desire to run, I am signed up to run for chocolate. :)

I began a walk/run program in July and it's the only exercise program I have ever stuck with for this long. I strive for four times per week. I have lost weight but still have about 50 lbs. to go. I am slow and walk/run to finish the total distance. But, I am off the couch.

My best time has been 42 min./ 3.2 miles.

LBSPOERL Posts: 1,095
11/1/12 6:07 P

My first 5k I took part in was this past August. It wasn't a timed or competitive event (The Color Run), but I still timed myself using my HRM. I ran it in 33:25, which includes the slow start of my wave as well as being forced to walk for a minute half-way through when it bottlenecked in a tunnel along the route.

For a mid-20's woman who only starting running last year November (1 yr. anniversary - woohoo!), I am very happy and content with this! Until this past year, I literally have never run ever before in my life. When we had to for gym classes in middle and high school, I remember dreading the days we would have to do the sprints or mile - I was the one crying because my shin splints and asthma attacks would kick in right away (I later learned my feet over-pronate and I do have exercise-induced asthma), so I never took part. For whatever reason last year, I decide to start. It was a rough beginning and took quite a few months to actually make progress where I wasn't fighting my mind every work-out, but it was well worth it!

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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11/1/12 3:21 P

Well said, Knelkins. This whole thread really went down that slope of "deriv[ation of] your own personal satisfaction from where you fall among the rest of the crowd" immediately based on the thread title.

As I said, I believe the elite 5kers are also very likely elite 10kers and excellent longer-distance runners in half-marathons and marathons. To suggest they are not is silly.

And 5k's are a legitimate distance for any runner. I'll never be an elite-level 5ker, but I don't begrudge those who can run 20-minute or better 5k's. I admire their ability, while I get the same health benefits they get by running my best at my 10-minute mile pace!

KNELKINS SparkPoints: (0)
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11/1/12 1:50 P

5K's aren't just for new or slow runners, and to possess the attitude that certain races should be limited to certain classes of people is pretty arrogant. The only rightful restrictions on races are those specifically detailed in each particular race's regulations. And to imply that faster runners aren't challenging themselves or aren't being accommodating or thoughtful to slower runners when they run in a shorter race distance is offensive. There are various reasons why people run in races, and running to showcase your speed or running to prepare for a longer distance race or running because you simply enjoy that particular distance are all more than acceptable reasons. Everyone has legitimacy; don't try to sideline those who are different from you, and don't derive your own personal satisfaction from where you fall among the rest of the crowd.

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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11/1/12 12:42 P

Why? 5k is a legit distance for racing. To you and me, it is a decent test of endurance and a distance race. To them, it is a test of speed and a fitness test to se how they are doing.

My bet is that most who run in that 16-20 minute range for 5k's DO also run longer distance races. From what I can see, those who are in the "elite" class where I live also are great half-marathoners and run full marathons on occasion. That may be one of the reasons why they are so fast in a 5k, which is a sprint to them.

I ran a 15k in addition to 7 5k's this year. My goal next year is 1 or maybe 2 half-marathons, with 5k's sprinkled in.

IMELECTRIC SparkPoints: (14,798)
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11/1/12 12:04 P

Just competed in my first 5k. It was a smaller one, maybe 200 people. I ran a 36:02 and was 3/4 of a way from the front. I thought smaller was better, but I might do a larger one next time so I am not in the last of the packs. I really feel that the runners doing a 5k in 18-22 minutes should move on to a new challenge and start doing 10k.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
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10/15/12 12:14 P

I am slooooow. Started running in May and did my third 5k yesterday with a time of 36:59. Like others have said, though, I'm just competing with myself, so as long as I keep improving, I'm winning. :)

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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10/15/12 10:01 A

28:16 for me this weekend- new PR! emoticon

I was pretty excited to land that- solid for me, more than 30 seconds better than my previous PR, and I felt like I could have even done better had I pushed a little harder. i think I had something left in the tank, after it was over, which is both good and bad- good that I felt so good, bad that I did not leave it all on the course.

On to the next one- I might squeeze one more in this yera, we'll see!

N16351D Posts: 2,349
10/15/12 4:40 A

Been running for 40 years, (since 1972) started in high school cross-country and never stopped. Best time for a 5 K was 7.8 minute miles. My first fun run was in 1976, when they were just beginning and before Nike and New Balance existed. I ran in Keds shoes. Now, at age 55, I jog a slow 10 minute mile! How things change as we age!

N16351D Posts: 2,349
10/11/12 5:32 P

My first run longer than one mile was in Cross-Country track as a sophomore in high school in 1972. Then our first race that year was 2 1/2 miles. I though that if I could do that, I could do anything. My first social "fun run" in the community started in 1975. In college, I kept running, but not on a team. When married, pregnant, then working, and having our own home I just kept jogging and joining community races. Now, at age 55, I still compete in fun runs. Did a half-marathon several times along the way, but never a marathon because the time to train conflicted with time for home, family, and work outside the home.

Start, and don't quit until you have to. I hope to still be jogging in fun runs when I am 80 years old!

KNELKINS SparkPoints: (0)
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10/9/12 7:14 P

That's one of the things I like most about running, that I am racing myself and only use myself as my own measuring stick. You can get a group of thousands of runners to start at the same place and race to the same place, and only one will get there the fastest, but every single person can cross the finish line feeling like a winner. It's all about yourself, your own goals, your own strength, and your own fulfillment. No one can give it to you, and no one can take it away. Be proud of your accomplishment, and use that to propel you forward. It's nice to get a general idea of what paces other runners are capable of, but there will always be lots of people faster and lots of people slower than you are. But when it comes down to it, whenever I finish a race and see my time, I am far more excited about beating my own personal goal time than seeing if I placed.

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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10/9/12 2:25 P

Cheryl- Don't compare yourself with others. not worth it. just do your best.

I have beaten some friends who are very good athletes (who may not have been quite as ready to run a 5k as I was, but I still beat them). i have lost to a couple of guys i know who have beer guts MUCH bigger than mine, and I have seen some other people cut so much time off their PR that they are far faster than i am. I know some other runners who have 5+ half-marathons in their stats, but who can NOT break 30 in a 5k.

Runner's World has an "age-graded time" that some races use as well, that I kind of like. it places everyone in the same level and calculates what a corresponding time for you would be for a 25 y/o (I believe). That kind of even things out a bit.

KATIENIU SparkPoints: (5,014)
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10/9/12 2:14 P

My first 5K time which was in 2009 was like 36 minutes. I never officially trained for it. My cousin asked if I wanted to do a race and I said "sure, why not."

My fastest 5K came last August which was 27.02 (placed 3rd in my age group!!). Since then I now average just under 30 minutes for 5Ks, although I don't run them very often (I only do about 2 a year). I prefer longer distances such as half and full marathons.

By the way, that is a great time for your first 5K. I guarantee you will do much better on your second one. I was able to shave 3 minutes off my second 5K time.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (245,614)
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10/9/12 2:00 P

Cheryl - pull up the race results for races you run (you can usually access the previous year's times). Look at your age group. That can give you something to work towards.

Most people do compete against themselves.

I'm a slow runner, and I always will be. I'm still trying to break 30 minutes for a 5k!

IMELECTRIC SparkPoints: (14,798)
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10/9/12 1:52 P

Okie Dokie. I was just curious. I know I am slow at it still and I am not comparing because I am a beginner but I wanted to have an average to work towards. I guess in a sport like running you compete with yourself more than anything. I was wanting to find a top and average range to shoot for.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (194,214)
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10/9/12 1:20 P

I've been running for 5 years and my 5K PR is 24:44. My first 5K was 31:xx and my slowest was 32:xx, but I was 39 weeks pregnant.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 10/9/2012 (13:20)
KNELKINS SparkPoints: (0)
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10/9/12 1:13 P

My personal best for the 5k is 25:23, set in September. I've been running for five months.

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
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10/9/12 12:57 P

I started running in April, 2011. My first 5k was 32:20 in July, 2011.

My PR for a timed race is 28:41, set in late August of this year. I have 1, maybe 2 more 5k's this year I have planned, and hope to take some more time off that PR. Most of my "training runs" since then have been in the same range, so i hope that the cooler temps and adrenaline of a race help me to take a shot at the lower 5k time.

Happy running!

IMELECTRIC SparkPoints: (14,798)
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10/9/12 12:11 P

34 minutes, Just started running 9 weeks ago

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