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Good intervals for getting speedy over 5km


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Did my first parkrun the other day and had a bit of a crack and ran 21.22 which my memory and strava tells me is a PB.

So I'm going to try and get it down to 20.00 over the next couple of months.

I'm going to try and do this on 2 or 3 runs a week that are in addition to 2 or 3 rides a week.

 

Question is - what would be the best bang for buck in terms of running intervals to do each week??

 

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Did my first parkrun the other day and had a bit of a crack and ran 21.22 which my memory and strava tells me is a PB.

So I'm going to try and get it down to 20.00 over the next couple of months.

I'm going to try and do this on 2 or 3 runs a week that are in addition to 2 or 3 rides a week.

 

Question is - what would be the best bang for buck in terms of running intervals to do each week??

 

 

I really like 800 and 400s, especially the latter. 15 x 400s with 1 mins rest. I do the 400s on 3.30 pace. My 10km pace is around 4.15. Leading up to a sprint or 5/10km I'd do the 400s 2 - 3 times a week and I find it works well in a race. Put simply, it feels more comfortable running quicker and your "natural" pace is quicker. I want to aim to having a 100m/200m float instead of 1min rest, but not fit enough for that.

Edited by zed
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No hills around here but the 400m/800m is probably what I'm looking for.

I have previously done Mona's fartlek a bit and also 16 x 30secs on with 30secs recovery.

I did 6 x 2 mins at 'required race pace' with 30 secs recovery last week and that hurt. I think maybe needed a bit more recovery initially.

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Was in a similar position re times 6 months ago. Was doing a set of 1km intervals at 3:30 pace, then rest period (sorry can't remember how long rest was). That got me pretty close, think I ran a 20:21 on that. Then got over that sessions and started hitting the hills fairly hard on my run commute which gave me a lot more strength to hold that pace I'd built earlier in the last km. Got sub 20 a few times after that. Good luck and don't forget to clean the spew off your shirt at the end of your session.

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Could be different for different people.

But I cant go past the 1k efforts on the track no where to hide easy to pace yourself farrking hurt towards the end .

Start with a 400 jog in between when you get fitter drop it to 200m do 5 sets .

Try and hold whatever time you can within 1 or 2 sec for the lot.

If your doing just two runs do a long run slow you will get your fitness from swim and ride .

Third run if you can just go for a run at a comfortable pace.for 40min.

In my optimal world that is what I do but I always struggle for the 3rd run (40min) with family work kids sport etc.

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similiar to what runbrettrun has said,
12x400m on 2 mins (~40 secs rest) building to 20 reps over 5-6weeks
​3-6x1km on 1 min rec
5-8x800m on 60 sec rec
​15x200m on 60 seconds

​15x200m hard, 200m jog rec
​5x3minutes on, 1 min rec
​3000m TT
2-4x2km reps 2mins rec

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Thanks all for the responses. Some good stuff for me to program into my watch.

I turned my Monday night Hash run into a warm up and then 10 x 400m with 1 min slow jog recovery.

Couldn't see my watch when I was doing the 400's but it turns out I was about bang on 4min/km pace. So I think that's an ok starting point.

I'll increase the repeats over the next few weeks and try and get them a bit quicker and with slightly shorter recovery so that I'm closer to Ruleys suggested 400m session.

 

Really appreciate everyone's feedback!!

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Dont forget to do a good long slow run everyweek.

What do you call a long slow run for a 5km program??

1hr? 2hrs??

For pacing I call my slow runs somewhere between 5.30-6.00min/km pace

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Â

anything over 80mins for 5km is pointless IMO...

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slow means slow, I do mine at 5.45-6mins (any slower and I have zero technique) and run 20.30-21.00 over 5km (at 97kg mind you, so HR at at running speed is higher than most). I used to run 17mins over 5km (I was 76kgs then) and did my slow runs at ~5.30 pace and I reckon my HR was a good 15 beats lower than currently.Â

Sean Williams had me running 35km long runs in a prep for a goal 10k race.

 

Id be looking for 20km long run for 5k.

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I'm concentrating on trail running and longer distances, do plenty of 12 - 20 km runs at the moment. When I do a 5km now I find I can push it much harder and hold it for longer so I'd have to agree on my experience with RBR

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If your PB for 5km is 21.20 - then you're 400m pace for that is 1min 42sec - so you need to become efficient at running 1min 35sec pace

 

1 - Try one longer low intensity run of around an hour - include some run drills - remember practice of good technique is important

 

2 - Get someone to video you running towards them - if you can see the soles of your feet in the video - you're over striding - you won't get faster until you correct this - drills will help - so will a treadmill pure leg speed session - jack it up to 1-2% grade and do a set of 12 x 30sec fast (in your case 17-18kph ) with 90sec recoveries - just step off and slow it down when you reach 30sec

 

3 - Then a session of run up steps for 5-10min as a warm up and to get you leading with your knees with fast feet as your warm up - then run 2 x 400m at 1min 35sec pace - then right away run 2 x 1km at as close to 4min as possible - walk 30sec recovery and repeat twice - the 400m efforts are not flat out, they're controlled - then the 1kms are controlled but with the focus being fast leg turnover and light touch on the ground :smile1:

 

Your thoughts, and your control of them will determine how quickly you drop the time off your 5km - focus on the process only :smile1:

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Don't have an answer, but wanted to brag a little....I have a few goals to acheive over the next period of time. This year, the goal is a few half (break PB) and then prepare for 64km in Dec. The other goal is to break 20 min for 5km.

 

To help, I have been undertaking a training program for about 6 months with a local coach (ex Olympian). Been going well but did do a minor hammy injury and had low running for 6 weeks with very specific physio recovery.

 

Today I ran my 8 x 500's all between 1:58 and 2:01! :-). Did 8x400's around a track last week all on 1:38min. Not bad for a non speedy person.

 

I undertake 2 sprints sessions per week (session total arond 7-9 km), one maybe a hill session instead, 2 aerobic runs (7-10km) and 1 long run (22km so far). My program varies most week, which I like as well. Loving my progress.

Edited by skel
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Did a 7km interval session last night consisting of warmup, 4 x 1km intervals with 2 min recovery, and warmdown.

 

Managed 3.49, 3.47, 4.08 (slight uphill and a couple of turns), 4.05 (definitely dying on this last one).

Really tried to think about form and 'light touch'.

 

Will get a long slow run done on the weekend and work out a plan for next week's intervals.

Edited by Gundy
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Did a 7km interval session last night consisting of warmup, 4 x 1km intervals with 2 min recovery, and warmdown.

 

Managed 3.49, 3.47, 4.08 (slight uphill and a couple of turns), 4.05 (definitely dying on this last one).

Really tried to think about form and 'light touch'.

 

Will get a long slow run done on the weekend and work out a plan for next week's intervals.

 

 

You probably want to aim to cutting down that recovery time, I would normally rest no longer than a minute and mates that are decent runners tend to only have a recovery float such as 200m. i.e run 1km hard, slow 200m recovery run 1km hard.

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You probably want to aim to cutting down that recovery time, I would normally rest no longer than a minute and mates that are decent runners tend to only have a recovery float such as 200m. i.e run 1km hard, slow 200m recovery run 1km hard.

 

I agree, when I'm not entirely fit, I like to have a longer recovery, but as fitness increases, the recovery times get shorter.

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You probably want to aim to cutting down that recovery time, I would normally rest no longer than a minute and mates that are decent runners tend to only have a recovery float such as 200m. i.e run 1km hard, slow 200m recovery run 1km hard.

 

OK - So better to be a little more conservative in my intervals and less recovery rather than max effort intervals and longer recovery???

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OK - So better to be a little more conservative in my intervals and less recovery rather than max effort intervals and longer recovery???

 

I reckon, yeah. You really want to be doing the 1kms quicker than race pace. So if you want to break 20mins, aim for 3.50s with a 200m recovery jog or 30s rest. If you can manage 6 - 8 x 1km at that pace with a short recovery you'll be able to manage running 5kms at 4min/km pace. But you need to build towards that. Your current 5km race pace is 4.15 mins/km so maybe aim for 4.05 - 4.10? Build gradually towards 3.50s. You'll improve very quickly doing 400s/800s/1km intervals a few times a week. They key is the recovery.

Edited by zed
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What do you call a long slow run for a 5km program??

1hr? 2hrs??

For pacing I call my slow runs somewhere between 5.30-6.00min/km pace

2hr easy run should be bread and butter stuff week in, week out throughout the year. Consistency is key. ðð
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I’ve got a rolling park run challenge with a mate from work - who can go the fastest at stones corner parkrun each year. 

A couple of weekends ago was my first crack at a 5km time for longer than I can remember. Went to Southbank as stones corner was washed out and ran a 25:02, which was probably a bit quicker than I thought I’d be. Course was also harder than I thought it would be with a few hills.

Weekend just gone while I was recovering from a hangover my mate ran a 23:40 at stones corner. So I need to find 1:30 in a week to get the yearly title. 

With better positioning at the start I can save probably 30 seconds. Stones corner is an easier run, maybe another 30 seconds there. My pacing was pretty good considering I didn’t know the course so finished pretty strongly. I didn’t vomit at the end so could go a bit harder....

I’ve been running about 20k per week almost exclusively on trails and all low hr.

What’s my best bang for buck in training this week?

Edited by Kenneth
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11 minutes ago, Kenneth said:

I’ve got a rolling park run challenge with a mate from work - who can go the fastest at stones corner parkrun each year. 

.....................................

Weekend just gone while I was recovering from a hangover my mate ran a 23:40 at stones corner. So I need to find 1:30 in a week to get the yearly title. 

With better positioning at the start I can save probably 30 seconds. Stones corner is an easier run, maybe another 30 seconds there. My pacing was pretty good considering I didn’t know the course so finished pretty strongly. I didn’t vomit at the end so could go a bit harder....

I’ve been running about 20k per week almost exclusively on trails and all low hr.

What’s my best bang for buck in training this week?

Best bang for buck week with the race coming up would be a light week, focus on form. Do a few 400m reps at sub 4min km, but don't wear yourself out. 

Spend the rest of your spare time checking out the course looking for a 30 second shortcut.

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Definitely worried about the weight this week bosco. I’ll be very hydrated over the next couple of days. 

Oldschool, pacing wise plan was to do a decent warmup then head out on goal pace. Course is slightly up hill on way out. Then last 2k empty the tank. First k will be settling into pace but yes too fast too early and I’m toast. 

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If you have 6 months, start doing regular 'easy' runs. Learn to enjoy running. More you enjoy it, more likely you are to find more time to run.

Running is the easiest activity to fit in, you can run almost anywhere and the sessions don't have to be long.  Stay at a relaxed pace and you'll accumulate the mileage with less chance of injury.  Then when you have a good base in the legs you can start adding the intensity and pushing out the duration of your long runs.

All of the above intervals and suggestions are good. But for most people, they will get the biggest improvement from more mileage in the legs.  And time on your legs helps build strength, which in turn improves injury resistence.

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my parkrun strategy is go like the clappers (my clappers pace at least) and try and hang on.  The differences in my overall time seems to be (mostly) the difference in my first 1k time.  At the moment I run between 22:00 to 23:00. if I run a 4:30 first k I will end up somewhere near 22:30, if I run a 4:10 first K will be closer to 22:10.

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Try the Monaghetti fartlek training - not only is it good for 5k but there's a relatively common benchmark, I think it goes like this:

THE SESSION: 2×90 seconds, 4×60 seconds, 4×30 seconds, 4×15 seconds. (some people say 6 x 15) All efforts are done with a recovery that is the equivalent time of the effort completed (90 seconds on, 90 seconds off and so on). The complete time taken for the session is 20 minutes.

At the end of it the distance you cover is a benchmark for subsequent runs.  3.5 to 4 k for crappy runners (myself included) - 5 something for good runners, 6+ for elite and, Monna himself,  he reckons he and "Troopy" used to get around 7+ ks under their belt for this one.

Good luck!

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Less specific to more specific as you build to the race.

I'm going for a sub 19 park run and will start with 4 to 6 30 hard 1 ez

then 2 and 1 minute efforts at V02

3 * 1 K TH on 1 ez

Then longer TH runs combined with tempo  4 * 1.6 K at TH on 2.5 ez

second intensity of the week is hills or treadmills 4 *5 mins at 4 %

First two weeks no intervals

 

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Race day is here. 

Week was easy run Monday. Christmas Day was 3 or 4 short efforts in the rain (not up cootha or in the dark), longer easy run on Thursday and that was it. 

Prizna has flown up to either pace me or go for the win, depends how much Christmas cheer he’s had. 

Thanks for the tips, it’s a cracking day for running. 

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2 hours ago, Bosco said:

Kenneth, what was it? Just mentally ready to hurt? 

That was a big part of it bosco, having a go a couple of weeks ago was perfect to remind me that I could hurt. 

Also I think knowing I had to run a certain pace made it do or die. From my splits, from 3-4km was my fastest, but was dying by the last probably 300m. Cooked. 

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21 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

So are you keen to go under 20?

There's some good advice for bringing people down to that time, if they want to hurt.

Yep.

My lungs are letting me down at the moment it feels. So more easy km in the legs before I do regular hard sessions 

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