Advice please: Hi all, I managed a 5K park run... - Bridge to 10K

Bridge to 10K
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Advice please


Hi all, I managed a 5K park run in just under 32 mins, felt exhausted, nauseous and could hardly speak at the end. Today I thought I’d be sensible and did 6K in 45.28 mins, I loved every bit and felt fantastic at the end, tired, hot and sweaty but still great. My quandary is do I keep pushing the 5K time and feel rotten at the end and then stick to slow and steady for the distance? My aim is to start the 10K plan soon and hopefully gradually increase my speed. I know everyone is different with different goals but would appreciate your input.

16 Replies

I’m in this to enjoy it, not to suffer. How fast would you like to run 5K? Unless you do it in just over 12 minutes and set the new world record somebody will always overlap you.

You will get faster within your own limits as you run longer runs and run more often generally but then you will hit your own PB and no matter how hard you push yourself you won’t go any faster. And what’s the point anyway? Unless, of course, you do like to push yourself.


I have zero interest in any absolute time for any distance. My 5k time has come down from 44 mins to 39 mins and it will doubtless keep drifting down.

I also have zero interest in running any “long” distance all of the time. I want to achieve 10k and know I can build up to it. I care not what time I manage nor how often. I just want to know that, with a handful of weeks’ preparation, I could run a 10k event if I wanted.

(That said, I thought 5k would be too hard to do regularly and I’ve settled in to 4k and 5k runs quite well. Maybe 10k will be like that? I’m open minded about it all.)

I think there may be reasons to push yourself for speed sometimes. But it has to be at your choice. Fundamentally this is about keeping fit and enjoying life, not making yourself ill and unhappy x

in reply to Jay66UK

I, like you, am amazed that 4&5k are now my regular running distance! I agree that we should enjoy this, l love it when l get a PB but also the fact that l am now running 3 times a week and no problems with motivation 😀

in reply to Abaggs

I just remain amazed I’m still running almost 4 months after starting. I’ve done 48 runs in my life, excluding forced school sports. All this year!


It this weather it has to be stay in the enjoyable mode. Pushing too hard in the heat will not end well.

You'll find speeds increase in time anyway. Just do what feels good 👍😁


Thanks all, I have never really stuck with anything the way I have with this and think the pb element got in the way of fun.

in reply to Tkaye

Easy done. There is so much data and we instantly compete, with earlier runs if not with others. Have you thought of some “totally naked” runs? No watch running. No map app running. Go as far as you feel you can get back from?


Working on your speed is not just a case of going out and trying to run as fast as you can every time you run. It is, however, a good way to get some quality time with the IC.

It is about varying your runs and introducing different techniques to your running shedule. There is plenty of advice online, like this one:

Building distance is another matter altogether, and there are loads of training plans for that too.

The simple answer, as others have alluded to, is to do what you enjoy. The great thing about running is there are loads of options and the fuin part is finding what works for you. Are you a 5k, 10k, HM, Marathon or ultrarunner? Will you prefer roads or trails?

Either way you will find that in training for longer distances, when you come to pushing yourself faster for a 5k again, you will be a lot stronger, and that will only help your times.

Also, the weather is not great for running hard at present.


Just run.. and enjoy... short, longer, see where you get to runs... the more you do... the better you get , the further and sometimes faster if you wish to be faster... when I am running normally..( ha.. ) and not a HM plan or anything.. I do a short.. 3K, a 5 or 6K and then a, see how far I get run, Sunday run day.. throwing in the odd extra quick 1K on days when i have small runner in training..

Just do what is right for you and have fun... I envy you xx


I made myself similarly ill last week running 12k in the heat. Not fast you understand, but I forgot water, then took a route that was longer than I originally planned. Very stupid and I’ve learned my lesson. Pushing your speed in this heat is probably not a good idea. Running at a comfortable speed and pushing distance slowly isa better way to increase speed. unfortunately we are conditioned by school to think we have to sprint. The first thing anyone asks if they know you run is how fast you are, as if every run is a race (the second question is do you run marathons). Go out and enjoy your runs, don’t push your speed, build it all slowly, smell the roses, take in the scenery, revel in being alive and active when everybody else is sitting on their bums. Yay!


Ummm …. presumably you felt pretty good at the start of this one, leading to the quick time? Exhausted and unable to speak is occasionally good, kind of - nausea not so good. The tiger's aim may be to leave nothing on the course, but it should also be not to leave breakfast in the funnel (which upsets the volunteers :-) ).

For me, I've just started on the bridge (following Ju-Ju's plan) and using Parkrun for the weekly 5k. That's the one I will always hope to push myself on, as there's always someone to chase, or hold off - but only if I'm feeling OK. And my intention is to have at least a couple of slow Ks in the longer runs, until I get to 10, then see if I can cut them down.

But of course I agree with others to be careful while it's this darn hot.


I got hung up on a sub 30 5k. Still am really. But since I’ve stopped pushing as much, and just running, my enjoyment has gone up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing speed intervals in the gym and do longer runs, all to get my 5k time down, but now I’m going to let it happen when it happens. We have pacers’ week once a month at my local ParkRun, and that’s when I’ll push myself. In between, I’ll enjoy it 👌🏽


Last week I managed a sub 30min 5k for the first time, and felt like you did once I had finished, but it had been a target and now its out of the way, I can focus on more enjoyable running, outdoors, different routes, longer distances etc. So as others have said do what you want to do, snd don't forget 5k is a completely arbitrary distance and 30 mins a completely arbitrary time, as far as I know there is no significance to it, just an easy combination of round numbers!

I decided that still running in years to come is what was most important for me and that means I should try to enjoy it. I’m doing a HM in October which is challenging me but I care not a jot what time I do it in. Then I’m looking forward to those ‘see how far I fancy’ runs and not sticking to a plan. I just love this malarkey ☺️


My view is that it is very important to decide on your own goals, and making yourself ill doesn’t sound a good idea... think about what you want to achieve from your running and then construct a plan based on that....


My objective is clear to me. To still be running 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes this time next year, having meanwhile not put myself on the Injured Couch (God might legitimately do it, but not me by my own stupidity). I don't care if that's 6Km or 3Km.

I am in awe of people who can run fast, or run long, or both, but I know that at my age those things are out of reach this year. I'll be younger next year....

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