Proper Objective + Plan = Improvement!

Hi everyone - bit of a long post, so you might want to make a cup of tea first...

I've rambled on about plateau-ing post-C25K and the best way to keep progressing towards the 30 minute goal (not yet achieved), what should be the aim of pace (e.g. even pace, hard out and hold on back, etc.) and there were some interesting responses for which I would like to thank Bazza1234 and IannodaTruffe in particular.

To summarise (1) racing produces a better result than "race simulation" training. I've taken this on board, and have enrolled for the Tri for Life triathlon (just the sprint) in September at Woburn. The reason is that the run at the end of the bike and swim is 5k (it's just the sprint), there are good causes involved (Great Ormond Street and Rays of Sunshine), but also because of having the objective (and a challenge!)

(2) Bazza1234 who seems to do endless useful research, explained the theory in a previous post about running stamina producing speed results, and I've happened upon a plan in Runners World of all places that also emphasises this.

If you are interested in seeing the Runners World plan (which is basically "improve your 5k to 30 mins in 6 weeks"), I'll take a picture and post it, although I'm guessing that is breaking all sorts of copyright so I was a bit wary of doing it first time...

Anyway, the weekly long runs in this plan are 60 minutes, 70 minutes, and 80 minutes, but the emphasis is on an easy (which means conversational) pace. As Bazza1234 has also pointed out previously, this means that your lungs are fine, but your muscles have an extended workout.

Mid-week it tends to be another easy run (approx 6.5k) with very hard intervals above target pace every couple of weeks. So far, I've managed to better my PB by (wait for it...) 4 seconds(!) during the week 3 "out and back" run to 31:28.

Now clearly I am mid-plan, so while I am not getting carried away with this, it does seem to endorse the ideas around longer, slower running yielding increase pace benefits. Just to put this into personal context, I'd been unable to better 31:32 since the end of 2014 despite continuing to run regularly, so i'm really thrilled with how this seems to be going.

I thought you (the reader) may find this useful feedback, as I regularly see posts from both pre- and post-graduates on the theme of "I'm as slow as a slow thing running on slowday in the Slowtown slowathon".

And basically, I've become a disciple of Bazza1234 :)

If you would like to sponsor my triathlon quest, I've set up the obligatory just giving page here: or you can donate by text, sending TRIA97 £x (x being a number of pounds) to 70070

I'll let you know the final time at the end of the plan and if you want me to add a picture of it, let me know



4 Replies

  • Would love to see the plan :)

  • I'll message it to you Runon, I don't think I can do attachments without a new thread

  • I'm another convert to this long slow running lark as a way to improve one's 5k time. It seems counter intuitive to start, but the more you do it, the more you can feel it works.

  • Yes - I think the counter-intuitive nature is the hardest bit to overcome psychologically, as one naturally thinks that to get faster you have to always be trying to run faster.

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