Best way to set my pace - maybe a fancy watch?

Hi everyone!

Currently jogging a just over 31mins 5k but would like to bring it down a bit more. How can I do this consistently? I'm guessing some form of super duper watch to tell me to speed up (or slow down - unlikely!) What are my options? Any budget brands out there or is this area just for the big companies?

Your thoughts are appreciated.




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10 Replies

  • Hello Lee,

    A couple of thoughts from me

    - Could you try the 'speed' podcast downloadable from the NHS, i haven't tried it myself yet but presumably it might help

    - I found my Garmin Forerunner 10 for £60 on Ebay. It's a simple model and at the cheap end of the spectrum but would be suitable for your purposes. It tells you your pace as you go along so you could aim for a certain time per km. It also tells you if you're ahead or behind the pace compared to a previous runs so it could be really helpful.

    - Finally and from personal experience my best advice would be not to get too hung up on it and keep running. I've found that running longer distances has helped improve my speed over 5k, my PB over 5k was actually achieved on a 7.5k run.

    Good luck with it,

    Emily :)

  • Apart from using a GPS while running ( and they are not necessarily absolutely accurate. ) , if you go to a measured parkrun , they have 1 klm markers along the route - an ordinary cheap digital watch with a stopwatch facility will tell you klm by klm how you are travelling pacewise.

  • Seconded.

  • I've only been to two different Parkrun courses, but neither had km markers.

  • Ours doesn't either. Some have pacers (normally a 30 minute one) which would be really useful, but again not every park run does.

  • The watch thing certainly contributed to my efforts, but it did so by playing to my love of all things statistical. Good run or bad, I go straight to my computer after a run and upload the data to the Garmin website so I can take a look at it. For me, it's a very important part of this new (and I still can't believe I'm saying this) hobby of mine.

    The other thing that maintains my interest and pushes me on is route planning. The Garmin site, the same one where you upload your data, also allows you to do that too. On the assumption that the base maps are reasonably accurate, I find that the watch reflects the distances offered by the planner pretty accurately. I have a Forerunner 610.

    Having said all that, you can't beat getting out there and hitting the road!

  • Hi I can't get past 31 either even with the watch. I use the speed podcasts regularly but my speed has not increased. I got a really good tip from another runner recently though - which I will try next week. He said to do a few 7ks before you next 5k or parkrun that way the 5k will be a breeze in comparison. Good luck!

  • A good way to get past that 30 minute "barrier" is to go to a Parkrun that has "pacers" - they usually do it once per month . Stick to the 30 minute pacer and overtake them in the last half klm!!!

  • Apps like endomondo will also tell you your current pace while you're running, so if you have a smartphone you don't necessarily need to double up with a watch (unless you don't trust the gps on it, which I don't always find particularly accurate - I was once told I'd done a 3min 25 sec km, but of course I hadn't, it's just that the gps thought I was zigzagging across the road all the time and almost doubled the distance I actually ran!).

    Anyway, as for improving your pace ... most of your running should be "easy" - as in you can talk when you're running. Build up your distance at this pace and stick an interval (speed) run in during the week, then try to improve your pb after a few weeks. Don't go flat out every time.

    Ianatruffe (apologies if I spelt the name wrong - doing it from memory) posted this link a short while back. Put your current pb in and it will tell you how to train to improve.

  • Wow, thanks for all the responses! I have a windows phone but I've not looked into running apps for it. As good as park runs may be with regards to markers I'm more interested in keeping an eye on pace each time I go out - I need something to motivate me. First it was jogging in intervals, then 2.5k, then 5k. I know I don't have more distance in me at the moment so small speed increases should keep me interested!

    Thanks for the replies.



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