FASTEST SINGLE KILOMETRE!: Hello fellow... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Hello fellow runneroos! How are you all today?

Had a mixed run / hill training session today ie. a mixture of success and failure. I awoke with a trapped nerve in my right shoulder - I suppose I must have slept awkwardly. Anyway, I had planned to run up my big hill a few times so I made a juice and kissed Mrs Dan goodbye. "Are you sure you should go out with that shoulder pain?" she said. "I'll be fine!" I replied. "I've taken 2 neurofen!" - and off I went.

As well as my hill torture today, I had also made a plan to see if I could run a single K in the fastest time possible, so once I'd warmed up and reached my starting Lamp Post I started jogging. I reached Richmond Lock which was about half a K away and walked over the footbridge to the other side of the river. A family were going through the lock on their boat and a little girl was sitting on the roof of the cabin looking totally chilled out! As I descended the steps on the other side, a man was carrying his bike down in front of me. I waited for him to sort himself out and once he'd set off, I got my phone out to start Endomondo which would measure my progress over this single K. I pressed "GO" and I was off!

I started at full speed - at least, as fast as I could run! I was tonking along quite nicely, passing mums with buggies, senior citizens out for a stroll and kids playing. Ahead of me the man on the bike was slowing down to pass a family of walkers. They parted for him to ride by and imagine his surprise when yours truly came hurtling along at full speed OVERTAKING HIM! I think the family were surprised too, cos I wasn't slowing down. The bike started to pick up speed, but I was going so fast he couldn't (or rather, didn't!) overtake me and eventually turned off the path towards Richmond. I'd run about half a kilometre and was tiring quickly. I remembered I was 51, not 31 and the fuel in the tank was running out fast. Sheer stubborness made me carry on for the second half of the distance and I reached Richmond Bridge with only about 50 metres to go past there, to make up the full K. Eventually I stopped running and got out my phone - 1K in 4 minutes 33 seconds : MY FASTEST K ever! I was massively pleased with that, but my shoulder pain was increasing and causing me jip. "Blast!" I thought. "Better get on over to the hill then."

I ran the next Kilometre to where Torture Hill was in a more leisurely fashion and once there, I set my watch off to see howlong it would take me to "run" up this mighty elevation. It took 2 mins and 2 secs and at the top I was knackered. Far more knackered than I thought I would be. Perhaps that fast run had used up all my gumption? It was time to go back down.....

Reached the bottom, had a rest then decided to try and beat my previous time going back up again. The second time took 1 min 58 secs, so a whole 4 sec improvement! WOW! Well by this time my shoulder was singing an opera of pain and I was feeling a bit tight chested with exhaustion, so sat down on one of the many benches that grace Richmond Hill. Once I'd got my breath back, I jogged back down to the bottom and made the decision that TWICE up and down was enough today. Sod it, I wasn't gonna kill myself, so I set off for home.

"You're back earlier than I thought you'd be?" said Mrs Dan. "Is it your shoulder?"

"Yes" I replied sheepishly. She had been right earlier and I'd been my usual wazzuck self.

"Told you!" she laughed. "I'll massage it later for you"

So a mixed session today, but very pleased with the fast kilometre. It just goes to show how great it is to be able to run though. You can do what you like, when you like without anyone saying anything negative or disparaging. At least I burned some calories today, got my lungs working and made my fitness levels a tiny knotch better than they were yesterday!!

Have a wonderful weekend fellow runners. Take it easy out there!


18 Replies

Great write up as always Dan... sounds like a proper "fun" session (minus the shoulder problem of course - ouch!).... I just checked and my fastest 1K is 5:46 so I see some speed sessions in my future! :)

Regardless, I think the fact that you overtook someone on a bike is probably one of the coolest things ever! That would have made me smile a lot! :)

BTW - where is this horrid hill you speak of? I may have to meet it one day as part of my HM plan... intervals and hills will be a part of the pain (sorry, plan)... :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to aussiegtc

Hey Aussie! The hill is right opposite Richmond Hill Hotel. It goes past The Petersham Hotel which is about halfway up/down - Nightingale Lane.

But bites!!

aussiegtcGraduate in reply to danzargo

Oh - THAT hill? Damn... I know it... I fear it already.... Saw some runners the other day (from the safety of the bus) running down it and then running BACKWARDS up it...

That's a killer hill right there mate...


Blimey Dan I feel exhausted just reading your post....may need a little lay down! Sounds like you had an awesome workout, I had visions of people being flung into the Thames in the wake of your speedy flight down the towpath! Hope your shoulder improves under the expert supervision of Mrs know you should listen to the Mrs at all times!

danzargoGraduate in reply to AmberC

Yes, I should've yelled "GET OUTA THE WAY!!" at everyone. That would have been hilarious!!


Interesting read. I had to check my fastest K and it seems its 5.01 which was during one of my 5K runs. I may just have to try concentrating on a single K and see what I can do ;o)

danzargoGraduate in reply to paul2014

I'd managed a 4 minute 56 sec kilometre on a park run a few weeks ago, but it was downhill. Today was on the flat and I knew I could do sub 5 mins.

Imagine though, Alastair Brownlee goes faster than that for TEN KILOMETRES in the triathlon!!! I was pooped around the half K mark, but managed to summon forces from within to get me over the finish line. BUT.... he is HALF my age......nuff said!

Good god , I'd need a ambulance if I did that ! Well done dan where do you get all that stamina ? Great post .

danzargoGraduate in reply to Rockette

I'm not sure where the stamina comes from Rockette? It didn't last that long as I'd burned up all my energy on that damned single K!

But...I am currently between jobs at the mo, so don't have the pressure of a full days work stress to deal with. Maybe thats it. Although, it IS bloody worrying not knowing where the next job is coming from!! Sometimes I loathe being freelance.......


Can just imagine all those people going home to friends and family and saying "You'll never believe this guy who ran past us on the river path! He was flying - bet he's training for some big race." Great effort on the hills too!

Loving the final part of your post, Dan when you say we can do what we like and nobody can say anything negative - that's what I enjoy about my running, I can do as much or as little as I like, as fast or as slow as I like and it doesn't matter one jot.

By the way, my fastest 1k done on Weds.....5.09!! Still struggling to believe it! (But I'll take it!)

Hope the shoulder recovers quickly.

danzargoGraduate in reply to dottiemay

5'09 is bloody good! I reckon if you planned a single K run and got in the right frame of mind, knowing you could stop after it, you could get that well below 5 mins.

Give it a go!!

Wow Superdan you're getting SO fast!! I did a few hills last weekend and a little steep one on tuesday, which pleased me :) thats a great time, sounds like you had fun flying along(mostly!!), what was the outfit today??!! :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to aliboo70

Why today Aliboo was ALL BLACK! shorts and T shirt.

Have become a great believer in hill training. No wonder the British Army make their recruits run up and down these things in full kit. It don't half make you fit!!


Wow that's fantastic we'll done you, that's incredibly fast, keep that up for a 5k next time ;)

danzargoGraduate in reply to ju-ju-

Thank you JuJu and there's NO WAY I could keep that pace up for longer than a K! Makes you wonder how folks do 5K in 20 minutes - which some people at the Richmond Parkrun can do. I think Aftabs is pretty close to that time isn't he?

How are you? On the mend?

5m:13s for my 1K Dan so I'll have to try get that down. Great post, love the fact you passed the biker - have visions of you zigzagging to keep him behind you ;-)

Definitely got some candidate hills of my own to try a bit of hill training. It's so hot again I'm not looking forward to my run later

Hope that shoulder gets better

danzargoGraduate in reply to GettingFitter

It was hilarious! I reckon he turned off because he was humiliated by ME! Hahaha!!

It IS hot isn't it? I'm sweating like a bas***d these days, but thankfully the running clobber is doing it's thing and wicking away the horrible'ness from my body.


The best I can find is 4:37 Dan, so you licked me. That was in the middle of a 10k though, so some kudos and you are eight years younger than me so get that finger out. As for the hills.............I prefer doing a long run that incorporates hills, rather than going up and down the same one. Bloody madness!!

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