Thinking of re-doing the podcasts with faster running to help improve my pace

I've just done the 3rd of 3 5k runs this week, each taking me progressively longer, and feeling more difficult but in different ways. The 2nd run on Wednesday was difficult all the way through - I just never got a comfortable rhythm going. The 3rd run today was really hard for the first 3k, really heavy legs and slow pace. But then I got comfortable and found a good pace towards the end - although it took me 46 mins overall - not going to break any records! I want to change what I'm doing, so that I hit a comfortable rhythm more easily, whether for 5k runs or shorter. I'm thinking of doing a rehash of the c25k podcasts, basically inserting faster running where I did jogs before and making sure I still do 1 long-ish run/week - would I just be better off finding another plan, or does this sound okay?

Week 1: Mon & Wed week 1 podcast, Fri 3.5k run (medium pace)*

Week 2: Mon & Wed week 2 podcast, Fri 3.5k run (medium pace)

Week 3: Mon & Wed, week 3 podcast, Fri 4k run (medium pace)

Week 4: Mon & Wed, week 4 podcast, Fri 4k run (medium pace)

Week 5: All 3 podcasts, making sure to do the 3rd one (20min) at a medium-fast pace*

Week 6: All 3 podcasts at medium-fast pace

Week 7: Mon & Wed, week 7 podcast, Fri 4.5k run (medium pace)

Week 8: Mon & Wed, week 8 podcast, Fri 4.5k run (medium-fast pace)

Week 9: Mon & Wed, week 9 podcast, Fri 5k run (medium-fast pace)

* medium pace approx 7.5 min/k (this is the pace I averaged for my w9r3 run)

** medium-fast pace approx 6.5-7 min/k (ambitious but possibly manageable?)

[My current pace for running 5k is about 8-8.5 min/k]


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20 Replies

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  • Hi Ruth reckon you could do whatever's good for you I am about the same pace as you but remember it's about fitness not quickness πŸ˜€ I am more focussing on building distance rather than pace however that being said don't want to take 12 hours to run the Great North Run lol x good luck hope it works well and I'm sure there's experienced people on here might have sound advice x

  • My motive is to feel comfortable while I'm running. When I get into my stride it feels really good, and does tend to be faster (8min/k or below). But running further has made it more difficult for me. I think I might be better suited to running slightly shorter distances, but faster. Good luck preparing for the Great North Run!

  • Yeah I need to avoid big hills too a bit hard to do round here though lol x

  • I don't have hills but I run over a lot of bridges. Are your paths wide enough for you to zigzag a bit? I find that really helps in getting up a steep hill.

  • Yeah parts are wide enough will try that next time see how I get on πŸ˜€

  • Hi Ruth,

    Now you have graduated, suggest you build on your success. There are lots of tried and tested training plans, the problem is finding the right one! :-)

    Typicallly a training plan (post C25K) includes a long slow run (10% extra each week till you reach desired distance), some intervals (fast followed by recovery) and something like a parkrun.

    I would suggest you try this to build up your stamina and strength and modify to suit. Hopefully you should see your times improve, my PB for parkrun has come down 3 minutes :-)

    Good luck!

  • I guess increasing from 4.14k last week to 5.11k this week was more than 10% - explains why I've felt whacked out then?!

  • 20% !!!! :-)

  • Oops...

  • Its easy to get carried away :-)

    I ran much too quick last night and I'm aching this morning.

  • I'm more running too slow... want to go faster but not necessarily as far, although to be comfortable enough to do a parkrun would be good :) Hope your aches disappear soon - keep stretching everything out!

  • Ruth,

    I did this exact thing - some weeks after graduating I decided to try and improve my pace by redoing C25K but running at a faster, more natural feeling pace.

    I was doing the same as you propose - 2 runs a week repeating C25K (Tues and Thurs for me) and then a longer 5K at the weekend (Sat if doing parkrun, Sun otherwise).

    I got through the first 3 weeks and then got waylaid by illness and haven't gotten back to it yet.

    I did find that it did seem to be working though, and it did feel good to be running at the faster pace which just felt more natural and comfortable for me.

    Good luck with it!

  • Yay - glad to hear from someone who's tried it and thinks it might work . I think I might follow OG's advice and increase the longer runs more gradually (e.g. 3.5k, 3.8k, 4k, 4.2k, 4.5k, 4.8k, 5k). I just feel like I need to go back a few steps and develop a more comfortable pace, then build back up to 5k again. Are you better now? Perhaps you'll be able to get back to it soon?

  • Yes I'm better now thanks, was just a few weeks of various colds and bugs.

    As you've seen in my other thread, I'm planning to get back to it using the early C25K runs as an interval run, starting to do B210K for 1 run a week and keeping up the parkrun.

    My ultimate goal is to stop being the last male finisher at my local parkrun :D

    I've done 5 now and have finished 10th or 11th from last, and been the last male finisher each time. There was 1 week when I thought I had finished ahead of another chap, but then I realised he was the tail runner :(

  • I would do Bridge to 10 k. You've done C25k so I'd move your running on from there

    10 k is a great distance and would give your legs the stretch they're after. Longer periods of steady running with time at the beginning to hit your stride. With 5 k fast runs, it;s over so quickly. 10 k gives you the luxury of time. Time to get into the run. Time to get into a steady run rhythm and then hopefully time at the end to put a spurt on

    It's your run and you decide what's best. You want to progress though as it keeps you motivated.

    good luck with it!

  • Thanks misswobble. I've just looked at the b210k programme - it says it's for people who can manage 5k - which I guess I could claim, but I don't feel I manage it comfortably. That being said, the programme over the 6 weeks, starting with 4x10min runs in week one, looks do-able. I'll have a think, although I think 30-40mins is the most time I can really justify for a regular running routine in the short term... (How reluctant does that sound?!)

  • I absolutely love running 10k's. They're just so brill and cover all the bases. Once you've got togged up it seems a pity to be heading home before you've hit your stride, as with 5k, or even 3k. There is time in a week to slot at least one 10 k in. You could miss out 2 of your five kms to find room for it

    Once you've nailed it, you will love it. Getting there with the Sami M podcasts are fun as the music is really inspirational and it helps you get round. I got stuck on week 4 but kept plugging away. I run with these podcasts now. I never stopped and run them for fun now.

    I wouldn't fear trying for 10 k. I know it sounds a long way from 5 but I find it easier. It just seems less frenetic

  • I find that it is actually easier on the legs to run faster than mor eslowly - I think I have absolutely proved that to myself by now. BUT -- this introduces two limits. The limit for me when running fast is my lungs -- the limit when running slowly are my legs.

    I understand that it takes longer to improve our legs (muscles/tendons) than it does to improve cardio vascular fitness. Hence I would recommend to you that for the next month or so, you concentrate on your slow 8 mins per k running until you can run 5K without feeling effort in your legs . I have myself been doing this for the past few weeks - keeping my breathing and HR right down low with the commensurate low pace ( 8 min per k - like you! :) and I think that it is slowly becoming easier. I believe that I do have strong legs - but they still need this long slow conditioning.

  • Thanks, that's interesting, I had no idea legs would take longer to adapt than lungs. I've always felt my lungs were the limiting factor, all the way through, but I now realise for the longer 5ks, where I'm running slower, my legs are the limiting factor, which I hadn't experienced really until now. Thanks for this perspective.

  • What about trying the programme again, only this time, jog the walking sections, and do the jog sections at a quicker pace?

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