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Couch to 5K
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Right, yesterday I did a PB at the park run (25m30s), a friend of mine was taking part in a race today, so he didn't want to run fast in the park run and so said he would act as my pace maker, hence my PB, he runs this park run, which I am reliably informed to be one of the hardest in the country, in 20m 30s, he's the same age as me 52. His pace as you can imagine was considerable by my standards and on one particular part of the course I said to him "I need to catch my breath" and walked for around 30 seconds on the hill and still did a PB. Now tonight, I thought I will run the park run course, take it easy and try to run the course without walking anywhere, this I did, but did it in 28 minutes 30 seconds. The question is this, am I lacking stamina to complete the course at a faster pace without walking anywhere, yesterday's pace was 8 minutes 13 seconds per mile, or am I lacking leg strengh/muscle to be able to get up the hills comfortable and maintain a decent pace, tonight's pace was 9 minutes 10 seconds per mile. If I drop the pace I can run the whole course, if I up the pace I struggle with the hills. Yet surprisingly, even though I walked for 30 seconds yesterday, I still set a PB. What is my area of weakness?

12 Replies

I'd say ... no weakness there, if there is one it's running alone :) I had a PB at Parkrun too, as there were others around me going faster! and also because towards the end (I was last) the 2 lads that had finished under 20 minutes came to run with me and upped my pace.

Hills are hills, and you can't really expect to keep the same pace that you have on flat - I seriously doubt anybody does, not even the professionals. Also, you have run yesterday at a fast pace, and ran again today... your body needs to recover - with a rest day :)


Thank you pigvi. Yes I was conscious about running 2 consecutive days, but the evening just seemed to good to waste, I know my pace per mile differs on the hills to the flat, the fastest I have managed on the flat is 7m 17 seconds, the hill mile Ive done in 9m 23s, to improve on my PB its this mile I need to get down around 8 minutes I figure. I've started spinning and Yoga in order to improve.


It's probably a combination of things. You certainly have the raw speed but it's core fitness (strength/endurance) that allows one to maintain a certain speed over time. Given that your parkrun includes hills, how about building a hill session in to your training plan?

I share your pain by the way-I still have a pending personal record for 1 mile at Garmin Connect. The time was 5:49, set during a speed session incorporating controlled/flat-out sprints and recovery jogs. The jogs in my case were more like a drunken stagger, which is why I haven't accepted it as a record. Sadly I'm still way off being able to run a mile in that kind of time.

I know there have been numerous debates on this forum and elsewhere about the validity of walk/run (including a post today from Bazza) but for me it's all about the running, especially during a timed event or a race.



Thank you for your reply, is the 5:49 per km or per mile, if its per mile thats some going. I myself think its my core fitness I need to improve.


It was for a mile, somewhere in this lot (I guess towards the end). That was a tough workout-ha!



Looking at that Michael, it looks like it was per km. Unless Im looking at it wrong.


I've got my Garmin set to km but it still pops up imperial records. My km best time was set during the same speed session, 3 mins 24 secs but I haven't accepted that either due to the aforementioned walking!


Call me old fashioned but I cant make head nor tale of that in km, I much prefer miles to work, it just means more to me lol


Core fitness work always helps. Over just two runs it's hard to say what your weakness is. If you had a dozen runs then you'd have more concrete evidence to base an assessment on.

I wouldn't worry, just work on your core strength on your non-run days and that'll pay dividends. Not forgetting the cycling, walking, swimming too


Thank you misswobble, Im now doing Yoga, spinning and Pilotes or something like that.


This is a very long article - about marathon training speed and whatever... it sounds quite nerdy :) , but you may find an answer to your question in there ! (warning, is a 20 odd pages pdf...)


and also here something - a much easier read - about easy runs blog.walkjogrun.net/2014/08...

Happy running!

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Many thanks


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