Advice on how to improve my Parkrun time please

I've been running my local Parkrun for 10 months, like most people in this lovely forum I love it. Today was crazy with all that rain and massive drown yourself puddles!!!

I seem to be stuck at 35:30, I am pleased with myself that I don't stop and manage to get there every Saturday. I attend interval training on Tuesday's with a local running group and run home one night a week which is about 3.7 miles then Parkrun. I have only been doing the interval training for 3 weeks so maybe I'm expecting too much.

I know it doesn't matter really about the time but I would like to see an improvement.

Many Thanks for any advice anyone might have.


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16 Replies

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  • I don't know - but as I was logging onto the page my thoughts were the same. I got exactly the same time this week as last and never seem to speed up. As it gets muddier I know I will get slower.

  • Thanks AR, glad it's not just me. It's so frustrating.....grrrr. Though I'm hoping the clever peeps on here will know how to help us.

  • More miles on your legs will give you more speed because your body will get stronger and your stamina will increase. Just mix it up and use your body. Speed, intervals, long and slow runs, hills. Don't forget to cross train and stretch to keep your joints supple. All of this helps you become a faster runner.

    My fastest Parkrun was gained after many months of longer slower running and because I felt stronger I just went for it and ran faster. I read somewhere that "The more I run, the faster I become". This is so true.

  • Thanks IP, I'm going to follow your advice.

  • I found myself stuck at the same time for a couple of months a while back, and I found it frustrating, too. Then suddenly I started to get a bit faster. I think you just have to be patient, and keep up with the training runs. Have you tried including some longer slow runs in your routine? I think that may help.

  • Thanks Steve, no not really but I could add one in. I do think it's also mind over matter, I need to believe that I will improve if I follow IP's advice

  • My times started to drop when I added a short 3k route into my routine that I run fast. Sometimes with fartleks, sometimes just running. Often with walk breaks because I run too fast. I think it's because a shorter route lets you practice running faster without worrying about your endurance.

  • Thanks RWD. It's interesting how everyone mixes up their training. There lots of things I could incorporate in and then improve.

  • If you want more speed, do more speed work. And yes, 3 weeks is a bit soon to be expecting demonstrabel results.

  • Thanks Rignold, yes I know but I'm impatient! I was never really bothered about speed to be honest until the last 3 weeks. Then I decided I wanted to improve and beat my pal at Parkrun!!!

  • What most of us lack over the 5K distance is not speed - but stamina!!! Speed shows up as how fast you can run for a short time - say 100 metres . I can run quite fast over 100 metres - but I do not have the stamina to run at that pace over 5 kilometres!! :) I have the endurance to run 5K and the speed to run the final 100 metres fast - but it is the stamina to maintain a certain pace over the 5K that is my downfall. Of course , probably nobody in the world has the stamina to maintain their 100 metre sprint pace over 5K - but as they back track from that sprint pace, there is a pace that they can maintain for 5K . Unfortunately for me , that pace is not so fast!! :)

    I believe to develop this stamina, we need to run kilometre (or so) repeats at a pace slightly faster than 5kPB pace - with rests inbetween each repeat. Slowly we can eliminate those rests until we can run the full 5K at that pace.

  • Thanks Bazza, yes I've been doing a bit of interval training and I've surprisingly enjoyed it!!!

  • I got faster after a few weeks of intervals. But I prefer distance over speed at the moment. I managed 29:05 a few months ago and haven't had any inclination to try and better it since. Maybe when I've done my HM i'll try to get under 29:00.

  • Thanks R, I'm hoping with the perseverance i'll improve

  • My 5k times were pretty constant but improved after I'd decided to train for a 10k run at Dorney lake last June. I was gradually increasing distance for my weekend long(er) run then falling back to 1 or 2 shorter runs midweek. On the weeks where I skipped the long run I found I could maintain a half decent pace over 5k - though I always find it very hard work and shatters me far more than a long slow run. I'm still not quick by any stretch but I did show to myself that I had the ability to improve.

  • Thanks G, sounds good. I haven't been doing a longer run but it's something I'll start.

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