Couch to 5K
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Threshold, talk to me about threshold!

I am not the fastest or furtherst runner, I graduated about 6 weeks ago. I've decided that I need to challenge myself so yesterday I started an improves 5k plan. First run, 20 mins (easy) with 2x5min threshold. I'm having difficulty getting my head around threshold as it not far off my limit anyway! So I stepped up a gear and 1 min later I'm beginning to panic, had to slow, pretty much

to my normal rate. I don't have an inner panther, more of an inner granny shaking her stick and sucking her teeth!

So I down loaded my run and looked at the graphs, I was expecting to see a bit more of a difference, I had a few spikes but no step that I was kind of hoping for.

4.2 miles average pace 11.16

3.1 miles a/p 10.56

Yesterday's 1.9 miles 10.34

Thoughts please :0)

4 Replies

panther like sprints will soon come Cloudchaser. If you've spent 4 months running at a normal pace, you wouldn't be able to switch it up and run at threshold for 5 minutes solid; you need to build these things up.

Either do it one of two ways. Increase your pace slightly so you're able to run faster for the full 5 minutes - or - increase your pace more substantially and only manage a minute at threshold... Then try it again next time and you might get to 2 minutes and build it up like that... pretty much like the C25K plan.

A fair few people have gone back to the start of the C25k plan and done W1 again but instead of run/walk, they do sprint/run... so W1R1 would be sprint for 60seconds, run for 90seconds, sprint for 60, run for 90 etc x 8...

Does that make sense?

1 like

Hi, Cloudchaser, I agree with mrqwest, that you need to build up the fast pace gradually. I am doing one or two 5ks per week where I have 20 second fast intervals every five minutes. It is beginning to pay off, in that at the end of those bursts I can pretty much return to my steady pace, rather than have to slow right down to recover. This means that very soon I shall have to either increase the frequency or duration of these intervals, say to 30 seconds. These may seem like very short intervals, but they are definitely having an effect, alongside my longer runs. I set these up on Runkeeper so don't have to think about it.


That's a great idea. I was wondering how to work on speed... I definitely only have one speed at the moment and am scared of injury. 20 seconds bursts sounds possible. I use Runkeeper so I'll investigate how to set that up. Thanks


Oh thanks guys, I was feeling a bit hopeless, the implication was that I'd be able to do the 20 min with 2x5 min threshold immediately and next week it's up to 2x7 mins! I only have 3 speeds, stop, walk and run at the moment!


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