Couch to 5K
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5 x 1km intervals (between 4:04 and 4:16min/km pace)

5 x 1km intervals (between 4:04 and 4:16min/km pace)

Hi all,

I posted this photo of all my gear laid out just before my run. I found it funny how much stuff I take out for what should be a simple way to keep fit :-).

Anyway I have today off work, I needed to take a few days off work before the end of the year as we can carry forward 5 days holiday but have a use it or lose it policy for the rest. So I thought how is the best way to start of the day? With a run of course! I began C25K in April 2012 and began my health drive in October 2011. Before October 2011 I would have had a lie in and would have been in front of the TV with snacks, I think this morning run is much more enjoyable than channel surfing.

So to the run. I had an energy gel just before I began as I have seen some of the front runners at Parkrun do that. They taste very sweet when you don't have the distraction of being exhausted. I had a good run but I can't really say if the gel helped too much.

It was cold (about 7 degrees) so I wore my gloves but not a base layer. I have a rule that it needs to be less that 5 degrees before I wear a compression top. I don't know if I will wear my running leggings this year because I have been wearing the calf supports, which are great, and I think it might be overkill to wear both.

My aim was to do a 1km warm up and then 5 sets of fast kms between 4:06 and 4:18 min/km, with a 4 min walk between each fast km. This would be finished with a 1 km cool down run.

The fast km's were run in the following times, 4:12, 4:04, 4:16, 4:13 & 4:11. The second fast km was too fast and that was because I didn't listen carefully enough to my Garmin. I programmed it for this interval session and it beeps when I run too fast/slow. It has different tones and I wasn't listening to it properly because I has my headphones in. I thought it was the too slow tone when it was actually the too fast tone. So I kept pushing harder when I heard the tone and when I got to the last 200m of that km I glanced at my watch and could see that I was running at an average pace of 4min/km. I saw my error and eased up.

On my last km I pushed hard in the final 200m to try and mimic the fast Parkrun finishes. You can see if you click through on the Garmin link below. Also you can see the loop I do in my local park. It just so happens that one loop is pretty much 1km and then a 4 min walk, so that works out well! It was a fun and hard run and the next interval I do will be on a treadmill next week with the fast kms being about 4:13min/km. But before that I have a slow long run on Wednesday and Parkrun, which is what all this training is geared towards.

Happy running all!

9 Replies

This sounds interesting.

What is your long term goal here?


After completing C25K in June 2013 I ran a few half marathons but picked up a few injuries along the way. After getting rid of a calf issue a month or so ago I reduced my runs to 3 a week and am now training specifically for Parkrun which is 5km. Ultimately I want a sub 20 min 5km. I was a minute slower than my 5km PB about 6 weeks ago and by sticking to this training plan I have now beaten that previous PB by 25 seconds. My PB is now 21:20.

My plan is to do two training runs a week. One will be like this with the aim of eventually run the 5 fast kms at 4min/KM each. Once I get there will either keep running faster or start to reduce the resting time from 4 min to about 2 mind. I haven't decided on that yet.

I also do one long run a week at an average of about 6 min/km. I am currently at 13 km for that one and will slowly increase it to 16km. I hope that these two runs will give me the pace and endurance to run the sub 20 min 5km.


Excellent. Keep us posted of your achievements!!!

I have been thinking of some changes over the winter and this might just be the thing.

Certianly a little slower :D but its an achieveable target I think.


I love looking at your Garmin stats. It's very, very cool to see someone move so fast - it's quite inspiring.


Thanks. I am currently on good form as I've been able to get 6 weeks or so of training without an injury. I'm running the fastest I've every run and I think I can go faster if I stick to the training plan I explained in the above reply. Than's again for the comment.


Re your running gear photo - are you a barefoot runner LOL?


I think if I put my trainers on the bed my wife wouldn't have been too pleased...


Well done on those times. Internal running is tough going. They are consistent times your fitness levels are excellent and so is your drive. 5 x 1 km intervals sounds so tough.


Thanks and it is difficult. I started with 3 x 1km intervals at a slower pace and built up to 5 x 1km before upping the pace.


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