The slog of the 3rd and 4th km in a 5k

Does anyone else find these points of a 5k hard work? I can set off for the first 2k like a gazelle (erm well in my own world perhaps 😉) then I get to km 3 and 4 and it's a real slog. I can keep running but slow down by between 30 and 60 seconds per km. then I get a second wind in the last km and get back up to my first km pace. I have tried starting slower but the middle bit of the run is such a struggle. I can breathe ok, my legs feel fine but I feel the energy dissipating! 😐. I am getting faster and have knocked off 2 mins off my 5k runs so I'm doing it in about 31-32 mins on average. My aim is to get a 5k under 30 mins as I am really enjoying the shorter runs and it fits in well with life in general. I graduated about 5 months ago and run 5k x 2-3 times a week including park runs which I love. Any advice as to how to get over the 'middle bit slump'? 


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6 Replies

  • This! Absolutely the case with me. Especially when I'm running at pace, the start of km #3 is probably my low point. I'm starting to wonder whether it's to do with my warm up.

  • Yep, I still find this sometimes when I'm on a 5k, usually around 2-3k for me! I also think it may be my body needed to warm up, although time of day seems to be a factor for me too! Sorry I have no words of wisdom but I will read other answers with interest!🙂

  • I still find 5k a decent distance, in fact it was hard for many weeks after graduating!  Nowadays I do 2 X 5k and a longer run but I find the first 10 minutes of my 5k hard going, then I get into my stride.  The same as you though, my speed has increased so that is probably why it is still so challenging!  Maybe if I was lovely and slow, it would be easier!!  The other great thing about 5k is it fits well into a busy week which helps me to run three times a week!  Maybe we should slow down, how fast do we really need to go?  LOL

  • Oh good so I am not alone with this but sorry I didn't mean 'good that it's hard for you too!' All I can think is maybe as a beginner runner it will take time for my stamina to increase and catch up with my brain,legs and lungs! what kind of warm up do you do? I warm up n the house by walking up and down the stairs and a few dynamic  stretches for about 5mins then walk outside for about 3-4 mins, then off I go! 

  • Interesting..with me, it is the first 2K that make me think... too old for this!!!

    After that things kick in.. Oxygen levels, anaerobic running etc....(my husband explained all this to me..., and have had really good advice on here too) I settle into it.. and it becomes easier, usually :)

    Maybe, slow down the first 2K...? See how that goes :) Less Gazelle.. more Brown Hare :)

  • Perhaps slow would be good. If only I was a gazelle or even a brown hare.. I'm more like a haulage truck some days! 😜

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