Can't get Parkrun 5K under 30 minsπŸ˜• - Bridge to 10K

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Can't get Parkrun 5K under 30 minsπŸ˜•

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I've been trying for weeks to try to get my Parkrun time under 30mins.

Last week was 30.06. The week before was 30.11...

I'm running as fast as I can the whole way and just can't seem to go any faster..I'm absolutely exhausted at the end!!

Has anyone got any Parkrun tips, or training hints to improve my time?

I run two other days a week and I'm trying to include some sprints in these runs.

Thanks very much. πŸ˜πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜

24 Replies
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You're doing better than I've done in 4 years.


Wow! 6 seconds.

Start nearer to the front of the pack.

Corners/puddles/obstacles - take the 'racing line' through the corners, don't run around puddles, just straight through them.

In the last 500 meters, concentrate strongly on increasing your running cadence (steps per minute). Don't speed up by increasing your stride length, otherwise you'll tire quickly.

So close. You can do this!

in reply to MarkyD

Great advice, thanks.

You really are SO close, so don't worry, it'll happen.

I'd actually advise taking it a bit easier for a couple of weeks. Personal bests aren't going to happen every week and if you deliberately set out NOT to get one, then you won't be disappointed when you don't.

Don't run flat out on your other runs. I'd suggest that you do the stamina podcast and the speed podcast once each.

Well done, and enjoy the journey as well as celebrating when you reach your 2nd target. (The first was running for 30 minutes. Who knows what the 3rd will be???)

Thanks for the great advice. It's really hard not to be swept along with gage other runners!

in reply to janief

It is... I did a Virtual 10K Charity Run on Sunday, and started out to fast and I was running alone!!!! :) Over excitement :)


Slow down :)

Silly I know... but, (not sure when you graduated????) maybe spending some time just consolidating and building up your running strength and stamina...:)

Have you done the C25K podcasts, ( I did each of those for a week's runs) and I still use them, as do many of us, incorporated within other runs or when, as in the case of Speed, we fancy a faster run or we are short of time... what exercises do your do on rest days.. the core strength and stamina building is so important...:)

There are some great exercise plans out there for building up running strength and speed too. After Graduation I had so much fun with experimenting and building up to where I am now..:)

Vary your runs... take runs for pleasure, try strides and intervals, change your route... go out and see how far you get.. so many interesting things to try all helping with a steady progression:)

So, maybe give different things a go... the Park Runs will still be there and you may then enjoy them a lot more and be less exhausted too :)

in reply to Oldfloss

I agree long slow runs are great for building the stamina needed to do short fast runs. We shouldn't neglect our slow running skills!

in reply to Oldfloss

Thanks for your reply, I started with the couch to 5K in Feb and I've been doing the park runs for about 2 months. So frustrating!! 😁

in reply to janief

So much else to do though to get you there :)


Nearly all my PBs have come after not running for a week or more.

Give yourself a rest of at least two days before parkrun.

Don't attempt a PB every week.......just go for it once a month.

You are so has to happen soon. Mind you, I have been trying to beat my parkrun PB for three years.

in reply to IannodaTruffe

This is exactly what I was going to say. Taking my eye off the ball for a week or so has often resulted in a pb at parkrun :)

in reply to Ruth_canal_runner

It is true.. the best results often sneak up on us :)

Ha IannodaTruffe bet me to it, I was also going to suggest a week off from running too.

Funny my two best Parkrun times are 3 years apart and recently I haven't gotten near those times (which weren't particularly fast), having just got back to Parkrun recently after not going since last August - just volunteered a few times.

in reply to Theziggy

Same here - see above - we shouldn't get so worried when we don't fit our mid week runs in - it's probably a sign we're ready to beat our parkrun pbs :)


As well as the 'give yourself a wee break' advice, the other would be- run further! Get running 4 miles comfortably fast, 3 will seem 'easier'.

You are so close, you WILL break that 30 barrier :)

Happy running πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒ

in reply to jt24

Thanks for the advice. 😁

in reply to jt24

Thanks for replying. I don't think I could run 4 miles!! I've only run 3 ever!! I'm done for then!! 😁

in reply to janief

Build up slowly. You'll be surprised!! If you're done after 3 miles, you're running as fast as you can. Slow down and you'll get further, then when you run a shorter distance you'll be faster.

And remember not to run every run flat out. Slow and steady really does help in building up strength and stamina.

Thanks. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

in reply to janief

I think you have answered your own query if you can only run further and slower to build strength for a faster 5 k run. But you are so close try what MarkyD has suggested. If that works for that 6s your next move has to be building strength and distance to quicken your 5k further.

The only other thing I would suggest is that you may need to extend your warm up so that you are full steam ahead from the beginning. I know my son always does a longer more thorough warmer up if working for a pb.


Generally the more you run the better you get and the PB's will come to you. Like some poster eluded to is to have a couple of days complete rest before your attempt. Just wondering if you are doing any specific speed work during your training though don't over do it your body needs to recover and interval / speed work should be done at most once a week.


Some things I've done:

Try to start of a bit slower, keep your speed for the second half and especially the last 250 m sprint. (Look up Negative Splits - very hard to do!) E.G. Aim for your first k to be 6:20m or there abouts with each k getting slightly faster & finishing with the last k at 5m or under.

On one of your runs during the week try this: (I love it!) But I would always try to do it earlier in the week, as the body takes longer to recover from it. So def at least 2 days rest before Parkrun - i.e. at the latest a Wednesday

Make sure you do longer runs, that builds your stamina

Using all of these I went from just over 30 mins to 26:03 in 3 months. (Now just need to get back there again post injury!)

But as others have said, relax! PBs don't happen every week & sometimes the more you try for it, the harder it is to get it!

(Does your Parkrun ever have pacesetters? Ours does a couple of times a year, now there's a good way to reach a new goal!)

Thanks very much for all the great advice! πŸ˜πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜

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