Getting faster?

So how do you get faster? I've completed 5k once in 36 minutes for my final run of c25k. I thought I started out on this with the simple aim of getting fitter and running three times a week would be enough... Now, having done my second post-grad run, I find I want to get faster rather than go longer at this stage, as I have a 5k run in three weeks and would like to do it in a reasonable time.

I did stepping stones yesterday and in 30 minutes covered 4.5 k. Have now worked out a 5k route so next time I will cover that and see how long it takes me and use that as a base. But how to get faster? Run up hills? Does the speed podcast help? What did others do?

10 Replies

  • My understanding is that - to go faster, you have to first go longer.

    Logical really - when we run 5Klms , we get to the 4 K mark and think - only 1 K to go, can I make it ? But - if we have already run for 10 klms before, then we do not have this question in our minds anymore. That is one of the theories anyway :)

  • Your answer just made me remember someone saying to me they only improved their 10k speed by doing a half marathon. Nowhere near either of these distances yet so maybe try to do 6k first...


  • Yes -- why not train as though you are intending to run 10Ks and see how it impacts upon your 5 k times? I am about to embark on a 14 week programme to run a 14K race . But while doing that training (much of which will be at a slow pace) , I also intend to keep the pressure on my 5K Parkrun times and see how they progress.

  • 'Intending' is the correct term for 10ks... My husband says I'll be able to do one eventually but not sure I want to... Will see if I can gradually increase distance and see if that helps pace!

  • If you run 4 times a week make sessions 1 and 3 30 minutes at a slow speed. Session 2 an interval session ie 2 mins fast 1 min x3 with 10 mins at beginning and end slow and session 4 a long run say 6k. Running at full pelt all the time could cause injury. By increasing distance gradually you will increase strength which in turn will help with speed. Runners world have some really good simple plans.

  • Thanks, sounds good, though I run more like 3 times a week... Will have a look at runners world and mix up my runs a bit!

  • All good answers, do you have a parkrun nearby, can't beat a bit of friendly competition:-)

    That said, parkrun's aren't competitive, you're only racing yourself.

  • There is a parkrun which I've been following from afar - looking at times, age profiles of runners etc - to see how I compare. Would quite like to join in but it clashes with something else... Hopefully will manage it sometime!

  • I would suggest doing speed its very good, and also increase the length of one of your runs each week too... good luck!!

  • Thanks. Haven't tried speed yet so will do so - and try a few different tactics as suggested above to see if I can speed up. I know it can be done as have seen others progress to faster times and/or longer distances so hopefully I will too!

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