Distance or time?

Hi. Not posted in ages but have been reading the forum every day. I graduated some months ago and have kept up 3 runs a week, most weeks including an interval run. My best time for 5k was today at 31.27 mins. Doesn't matter how hard I try I just cannot break the 30 minute barrier!!! So this is my question... Shall I progress towards 10k and benefit from the longer distances or try to break the 30 mins for 5k before increasing distance? When I'm in my rhythm, stamina doesn't seem to be a massive issue. I'm quite sure I could run for 40 mins and steadily increase this week by week, but the 5k time is bugging me!! I'm not fast and never will be, but I genuinely feel I can increase distance as long as I keep a steady, comfortable pace. I'd like to do some 10k's in the new year. Anyone else face this issue? I appreciate this is personal to me and I am in NO way suggesting that we should all be running 5k's in under 30 mins, it was just a personal goal.


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10 Replies

  • I'm running continuously now for 30mins+ which still amazes me as I couldn't run between lamp posts in the beginning. I'm 46 and have never been able to run for such a long period of time until now. If I run for 30mins I manage to cover 2.5k I accept that 5ks for me are going to be nearer to 40mins than 30. I'm chuffed if I do a 12-13min mile. I'll stick with it and most of all enjoy it. I got to a point where I got bogged down with interval training and checking minutes and it killed the enjoyment for me so one day I thought stuff it, today I'm just going to run! I've enjoyed it a lot more since then. I appreciate you like the idea of a 30min 5k and I'm sure you'll achieve it

  • 2.5 miles!! in 30mins I mean

  • If you haven't tried one, and have one near to you, try a Parkrun 5K. I've been doing them, and its amazing how other people can just drag you along. I did a 28 a month or so ago, despite only being in week 6 of the program because I was able to hang onto some other runners' coat tails!

    The parkrun system really is superb, its helped me a lot and I have been doing them alongside the C25K regardless of whether I can complete them without stopping or not.

  • I initially was increasing my distance after graduating. Which was good, but I enjoyed the faster shorter runs more so have been focusing on my speed. I think it boils down to what you enjoy most. And I try to add variety with the occasional longer runs in addition to the short quick ones I enjoy. And try fartleks! It's shaved serious time off my 5 k, I'm also working towards that sub 30 minute goal. I'm at 31:06 now - hoping to get there before winter. Keep me posted - it's nice to hear someone is working towards the same goal.

  • Haha !! I am stuck at 32.15 so feeling your pain. Similarly I am finding I can run for a bit longer and can do 50 plus minutes fine now, but speed....no. If you find the answer do let me know !

  • Still no where near your time but I have gone up to 10K. When I entered my first 10K I said as long as I did it in 75 mins I would be happy as this was twice my 5k time and I achieved this. Admittedly 3 different 10ks and each time I have been quicker, now 71mins and my last 5k was 4 mins quicker than my first 5k of 2014. So I think that the increasing distance does help, but I do also try and do the Speed podcast every now and then as they say the intervals is good for you - feels like it wants to kill me!

    We have to stop getting so caught up in times and just go out and enjoy whatever form of run we do, I doubt any of us thought this was going to be the outcome in W1R1 when we first met Laura.

  • I would start running longer distances and shorter ones. Running 3 kms really helped me speed up. 10 ks are great for getting you comfortable with longer runs. Not long enough to get exhausted but long enough to give you a really good workout. You don't have to do them fast of course. A leisurely 10 k is a great thing I reckon

    The 3ks are as you can fit them into your daily schedule so much easier. The thing with the 3 ks is that you can do short bursts of speed, just 30 seconds or between lamp posts or bins etc. I use trees or shrubs if I'm on the trail. Fun as well. You're back home in no time but had a really good run. Hopefully

    Park run is a fab idea. Those other runners will haul you round

    Have fun!

  • Great advice Thanks

  • I'm with curly123 on this. Am am still shy of 5k when I hit 30 minutes. More like 41 minutes for my best

  • I'm nowhere near 30 mins for 5KM, more like 45! My advice would be to mix it all up a bit, do some intervals and a longer run each week, and your times will improve - that's what I'm hoping for anyway! I usually find if I push it a bit, when I go back to the shorter runs they are usually easier/faster..30 is just a round number and doesn't mean anything really. Enjoying your running is the most important thing.

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