Hills and intervals/fartleks along with strength training.
Do you do any cross training? That has also seemed to help me. I typically run 3x a week, try to strength train 2x a week and also do some additional cardio on non-running days - bike, rowing machine, walking, elliptical, swimming. Actually, swimming seemed to do the most for me back when I had a pool available - I think it was because it forces you to regulate your breathing.
current weight: 235.0
Fitness Minutes: (0)
1 9/4/13 8:26 A
For running faster 5K with 3 workouts a week, I'd do something like:
1 long run - 5 miles or so at an easy pace 1 run with speed intervals. Depending on your fitness level, you can walk in between intervals, or jog slowly to recover. Start out with 400 meter repeats and work up to 800 meter repeats (fewer repeats as the distance increases). I prefer to do these on the treadmill, but YMMV. 1 tempo run - probably about 2 miles, plus warmup and cooldown. This is two miles "comfortably hard" i.e. tough, but not feeling like you're going to puke.
You have room to throw in a 4th easy run with this schedule if you have the time for it.
Other things that will help: strength and cross training - deadlifts, squats and lunges to strengthen your legs, cross training with rowing, jumping rope, cycling, box jumps, stair climbing, kettlebell swings etc at least 1x per week.
Check your running form. Make sure your cadence is quick, be sure not to "plod" even on your easier runs - i.e. shorten your stride length to go slower, rather than reducing your cadence. Make sure you have good posture, keeping your shoulders back and running from your core. Don't collapse at the waist, this just burdens your legs as they get more tired. Swing your arms forward and back from your shoulder, not side to side or anything else - they should be pumping you forward, and your arm swing can influence your cadence as well. Pay attention to that.
I didn't have a 5K time last year, but my best 10K was 56:30 and I just ran a 23:10 5K last weekend after following the above advice over the winter, so it definitely works.
Voluntary Discomfort is the secret cornerstone of strength. We build our whole lives around increasing comfort and avoiding discomfort, and yet by doing so we are drinking a can of Weakness Tonic with every morning’s breakfast. ~Mr. Money Mustache 5K PR: 23:40 10K PR: 48:57 HM PR: 1:59:37 30K: 2:57:44
Unless you're training for a 10-miler or half marathon, it definitely sounds like some speed workouts might be in order. On a shorter run (~ 3 miles or so) try farleks. The word is Swedish for 'speed play' and literally what you do is once you've warmed up you challenge yourself to a faster pace until you get to the next marker about 100 yards away and then slow back down again until you feel recovered, then repeat as many times as you're able.
Do you use a heart rate monitor? You could be training too hard. When someone trains hard all the time, their body can't recover. When the body can't recover, improvement is very hard to come by. I wouldn't run until you are out of breath. Once you find that running is becoming hard, I would walk or shorten your stride while trying to relax more. This will teach your body that running isn't hard. If you are always pushing, pushing, pushing, your body will think running is hard and will want to resist.
I'm not sure what your training style is but a little more info could help us analyze what is going on.
Edited by: HOUSEOFATLAS at: 4/9/2013 (13:12)
Fitness Minutes: (11,366)
220 4/9/13 1:03 P
Thanks for all of the advice! I try to run (with some walking) on average 3 days a week. I ran a 7 mile race last month (furthest distance yet!). I marked on a calendar to increase my distance 1/2 mile every other workout. It is an amazing feeling when you are able to increase your miles! Now, to get a little bit faster.
If you're not already, try running further than 5k when you train. This will help build your endurance so when you do run a 5k race, you'll have a bit of something to dig into for those last 100m or so. Also, try adding some type of speed workout (farleks, intervals, etc) since those will help you get your average pace up.
Well, you could do something similar in the Couch to 5k, in that instead of walking (since you can already run the 5k) jog, and run faster in the "run" part. Eventually I would think you would see a change. Also, make sure you are balancing the training with strength and such.
Fitness Minutes: (11,366)
220 4/9/13 10:18 A
Hey guys, I was wondering how I can improve my 5k race results. My goal is to run it under 30 minutes. My PR was 30:30 over a year ago, and I have not been able to reach my goal yet! Any helpful advice is greatly appreciated :-)
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