Faster or further - your thoughts please

I ve been at this for 6 months now and can run for 30 minutes. I am slow at 4K in the 30 mins and yes it's not easy oh how I dream of being one of those runners who appear to do it with ease instead of one who has to fight with the gremlins all the way round and convince my self that I will still be alive at the end. I am

Now thinking how to progress if I am honest I would love to be able to do 10k ( not worried about the time) but I can't do the 5k in the 30 mins. Shall I stick to the 30 mins but try and increase the speed to get to 5k or just keep running for longer to get to the 5k.

13 Replies

  • My suggestion would be to just keep running for longer. Speed will follow. Do for example two 30 minute runs during the week (or if that is too much, make one of them 25 minutes) and a 35 minute run on weekends. After a couple of weeks, make the long run longer increase with 5 more minutes every week or every other week, whatever feels right. Make some of the short runs interesting and more effective (speedwise) by adding hills and intervals. But most of all - make sure you enjoy it. If you're hating it, it's a good sign that you need to shake things up.

    Good luck :-)

  • Run longer... the speed will come... honestly...:) It will happen... I agree with IbenCopenhagen, shake it up a bit too, vary routes and timings.. i am determined to hit 10K and I am going to do it sneakily, by changing my route! Not bothered about time... just enjoying the journey x

  • Go longer. Many folks don't hit sub-30 ever, and many don't want to. Doesn't matter if it takes you 20 minutes or 40 to get to 5k, you can always build on your distance. And a side effect should be an easier and quicker 5k.

  • I know what you mean. It never seems to get any easier, does it? And I fear it never will. Just sometimes there is a really lovely run and if you track your progress you will see yourself getting faster - even if it's not noticeable at the time!

    I would shake it up a bit. Have you tried the c25k+ podcasts? One of them is 35 minutes, another is intervals. Both of them will help you improve your stamina and speed. Plus they add a bit of variety. I try to get 3 different runs in each week, one longer one at the weekend, a short, fast interval run mid week (try week 1 again running fast in the running bits and slower on the walking bits - it was an eye-opener for me - very tough!) and one or 2 "bog-standard" 30 min runs or 5k. I can now do 4K in 30 minutes relatively easily. My first 5k was about 38 mins. I now run it regularly in 34 and my fastest was 32.5 - no idea whether I will ever do it in 30 mins! Just keep chipping away. The fitness is worth it!

  • I graduated 2 years ago and I've never quite done the 5k in 30 mins although I HAVE run 5k and further many many times. I agree with what the others have said, run for longer, until 30 mins seems like a 'short' run, you will speed up.

  • I graduated a couple of months ago and wasn't at 4K in the 30 mins. I built up slowly to being able to run 5k and try and do that three times a week though sometimes I don't make it that far! That takes me around 40 mins and sometimes longer. Trying to embed the running habit and get to the stage when 5k seems ok !i would go for further not faster and hope that comes in time.

  • Thank you all my gut reaction was to try a bit further as I don't think I can go faster with out keeling over!

  • Like you, I`m wondering what to do next. Hopefully I will graduate on Friday this week and then on holiday for two weeks so am planning to stick with week 9 again over these two weeks. Problem is what to do when I get back but there is loads of advice and info in this post - all food for thought. Good luck with your plans for progression whether speed or distance, but hopefully a bit of both!

  • I'd suggest a bit of both, increase your distance a bit every week, but also do some shorter faster runs like intervals. Like JSS says, the + podcasts have a bit of everything, I use them all the time.

  • A slow 5k is as far as a fast 5k!🏃🏻. I dont ever expect to get to a 30 min 5k, but I know I WILL get to a 10k run! Given i didnt run at all before the programme I will be very happy with that😀

  • Well done you! I'm way behind you but I try to complete 5k by running for 30 and walking the rest, and plan on gradually increasing the amount of running

  • I agree about doing distance and then, maybe, speed will follow (though it never has for me really!). Don't increase too much, and only increase the distance for one run per week, and I would suggest maybe an extra 5 mins each week? The official advice is no more than 10% increase, which is good advice.

  • When I was doing the C25k program, I did some of the runs with friends and I was always the slowest. The first time I ever managed to run a whole 5k it took me 50 minutes! I have often despaired of my speed ever improving but gradually it has.

    I still can't do 5k in half an hour but tend to be around 32 minutes. And yet I'm now less than a fortnight away from taking part in my first 10k. I expect that will take me about an hour and a quarter but I'll just be glad if I can finish it in one piece.

    I don't worry about speed any more but when I did worry aloud about it my husband would say, "But just remember, Anne, you're lapping everyone still on the couch". :)-

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