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2013-10-26 7:45 PM


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Subject: sub-20 5K possible?
Greetings all

Having just looked at the demise of BT thread, I feel motivated to ask the kind of substantive question that will help bring this site back on track. I want to help!

The question is, can I run a sub-20 5K?

Some background: In my mid-20s, a year or two after I started running, I was doing 5Ks about 20 minutes (thought I never broke 20, I was within 10 seconds or so several times). I was not training particularly intelligently and never much more than 20miles/week (usually less). With a little more training back then, I am sure I could have done it - I had a 10K under 41 minutes, and a 10 miles under 1:08 (which are by no means spectacular times, except compared to my current ones).

Now, its 22 years on along with some knee problems, and my race times in the past few years have hovered around 8 minutes/mile doing about 17 miles a week. Running has been going well recently with a 23:30 5K, which made me think that perhaps there may still be potential for it.

What do you (collectively) think? What would a training plan for a sub-20 5K look like?



2013-10-26 10:08 PM
in reply to: north_north_west

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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
It's hard to say what type of training plan will be required for you to run sub 20 now. But to cut almost 4 minutes, you will definitely need to train more than you are now. So just start with that. Slowly build up your volume, most likely with more frequency of easy running (to avoid injuries) and just take it one step at a time. There's no reason to get ahead of yourself now as your body can only take so much training load increase at a time.

Given that you're running less than 20 mpw currently, I'd say that you have plenty of room for improvement simply by increasing volume. If you told me you were running 23:XX on 45 mpw, then maybe not so much. You may be able to go sub 20 by running 25-30 mpw for 8-12 weeks, or it might take 30-40 mpw for a year. It's almost impossible to tell right now.

Best of luck.
2013-10-26 11:08 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
If you're running 8 min/miles, then you definitely have room to improve if you're running a 23:50 5K. You hardly sped up at all, which is fine since you probably aren't doing intervals right now. I've only done one 5K and it was a month ago. I did it in ~19:20 and I run 7:30-7:45 minute/miles for my long days (marathon pace). Doing a rough calculation shows that my 5K is about ~17% quicker than my best long run average. I did my 5K nearing the end of my marathon training, which had 40mpw at the peak week and most weeks hovering at around 30 mpw. I used Be Iron Fit's training schedule to start running internals this year and incorporated that into my marathon training after my IM.

So here's my running plan (modified from Be Iron Fit):

Tuesdays: 10 min warm up at marathon pace, 5x1 min internal /w 1 minute jog between. Work this up to 5x6 min interval with a 2 min slow jog in-between. Continue marathon pace afterwards for a total run time of 45 (5x1) to 75 (6x2) minutes.
Wednesday: Recovery day for me. 6-10 miles of marathon pace only with no intervals.
Thursday or Friday: Run 60 to 75 minutes. 15 before before the end run a 4.5 min interval. Marathon pace afterwards (no light jogging like on Tuesdays). Slowly increase this to a 12 minute interval.

Weekend: Run you long run miles w/o intervals.

Use a HR monitor to find your zones to make sure you aren't cheating yourself. I used the 4 HR zone guide instead of the 5/7 zones here (might be mixing it up soon though with the extra zones). For me, this meant I needed to be at 170+ for my running intervals.

Edited by Blastman 2013-10-26 11:13 PM
2013-10-26 11:11 PM
in reply to: north_north_west

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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
Run. Run lots. Mostly slow, sometimes fast.

John
2013-10-27 4:47 AM
in reply to: tkd.teacher

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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?

Originally posted by tkd.teacher Run. Run lots. Mostly slow, sometimes fast. John

This.  Except I like the word easy rather than slow.

2013-10-27 9:59 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
using this calculator
http://www.runbayou.com/Wavacalc.html

Your equivalent race time as a 44 year old compared to a 22 year old if the 44 year old ran a 20:00 5k is 18: 42. Does that make any sense? ie a 22year old running an 18:42 is about equivalent to a 44 year old running a 20:00

If you felt you were in peak shape in your mid 20s, even if your training was sub-optimal, if you were never close to the 18:42, then you'll have to do a disproportionate amount of training to reach a 20:00 now.

21:23 is the 44 year old equivalent of a 20:00 for someone in their mid 20s. Shoot for that first.


Not saying you can't get there...but you'll have to elevate your durability by making sure your form is great, so that you can put in the amount of training you'll need to get to sub 20.

Edited by AdventureBear 2013-10-27 10:03 AM


2013-10-27 10:13 AM
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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
Run with people who are slightly faster than you.

I'm lucky to work with Marines. Trying to keep up with those young LCPLs took my 5K down to 21:09 (so far) from a 25ish one year ago. I only go with them once a week. I can see myself getting close to 20 this time next year.

I'm 47 and only run 12 MPW.

Edited by BikesOfALesserGod 2013-10-27 10:13 AM
2013-10-27 10:48 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by tkd.teacher Run. Run lots. Mostly slow, sometimes fast. John

This.  Except I like the word easy rather than slow.




This. I would start running 6X week. Break up the 17mi into 6 runs with long run being no more than 5-6 miles. Slowly start adding to total mileage. My guess you will really start seeing times come down when you start getting north of 30mpw.
2013-10-27 11:28 AM
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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?


Edited by dfroelich 2013-10-27 11:28 AM
2013-10-27 1:00 PM
in reply to: dfroelich


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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
Thanks for all your input.

30 mpw - I'll try to work up to it and see how it goes. Probably best to target 1 minute at a time, and try to get below 23:00 on a 5K. 7:20 miles feel close to do-able.

Just a question though: has anyone here, who has been running a while, broken PRs at 47? Anyone? Anyone?
2013-10-27 1:02 PM
in reply to: BikesOfALesserGod


93
252525
Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
Originally posted by BikesOfALesserGod

Run with people who are slightly faster than you.

I'm lucky to work with Marines. Trying to keep up with those young LCPLs took my 5K down to 21:09 (so far) from a 25ish one year ago. I only go with them once a week. I can see myself getting close to 20 this time next year.

I'm 47 and only run 12 MPW.

Didn't see this before. That improvement, at 47, is really very impressive.


2013-10-27 1:09 PM
in reply to: AdventureBear


93
252525
Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
Originally posted by AdventureBear

using this calculator
http://www.runbayou.com/Wavacalc.html

Your equivalent race time as a 44 year old compared to a 22 year old if the 44 year old ran a 20:00 5k is 18: 42. Does that make any sense? ie a 22year old running an 18:42 is about equivalent to a 44 year old running a 20:00

If you felt you were in peak shape in your mid 20s, even if your training was sub-optimal, if you were never close to the 18:42, then you'll have to do a disproportionate amount of training to reach a 20:00 now.

21:23 is the 44 year old equivalent of a 20:00 for someone in their mid 20s. Shoot for that first.


Not saying you can't get there...but you'll have to elevate your durability by making sure your form is great, so that you can put in the amount of training you'll need to get to sub 20.


I understand. I feel I was not in peak shape in my 20s - I never followed a real training program and ran maybe 3-4 times a week (which is about 1 more time/week than I run now) And, I was certainly never close to sub-19's. I'll try to work it down gradually, 1 minute at a time..

The only quantitative number I have is back then, I used to do speedwork (1/4s and 1/2 miles) about about 6 min/mile pace. I just tried some this morning, and 6:50 miles felt like about the same effort now as 6 used to. There is a ways to go.

Thank you.
2013-10-27 1:16 PM
in reply to: Blastman


93
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Subject: RE: sub-20 5K possible?
Originally posted by Blastman

If you're running 8 min/miles, then you definitely have room to improve if you're running a 23:50 5K. You hardly sped up at all, which is fine since you probably aren't doing intervals right now. I've only done one 5K and it was a month ago. I did it in ~19:20 and I run 7:30-7:45 minute/miles for my long days (marathon pace). Doing a rough calculation shows that my 5K is about ~17% quicker than my best long run average. I did my 5K nearing the end of my marathon training, which had 40mpw at the peak week and most weeks hovering at around 30 mpw. I used Be Iron Fit's training schedule to start running internals this year and incorporated that into my marathon training after my IM.

So here's my running plan (modified from Be Iron Fit):

Tuesdays: 10 min warm up at marathon pace, 5x1 min internal /w 1 minute jog between. Work this up to 5x6 min interval with a 2 min slow jog in-between. Continue marathon pace afterwards for a total run time of 45 (5x1) to 75 (6x2) minutes.
Wednesday: Recovery day for me. 6-10 miles of marathon pace only with no intervals.
Thursday or Friday: Run 60 to 75 minutes. 15 before before the end run a 4.5 min interval. Marathon pace afterwards (no light jogging like on Tuesdays). Slowly increase this to a 12 minute interval.

Weekend: Run you long run miles w/o intervals.

Use a HR monitor to find your zones to make sure you aren't cheating yourself. I used the 4 HR zone guide instead of the 5/7 zones here (might be mixing it up soon though with the extra zones). For me, this meant I needed to be at 170+ for my running intervals.


Thanks for your input. Sadly, I am not 'runniing' 8 minutes miles - I am racing 8 minute miles. My typical run is 9-10min miles.

Thats a fair bit of miles - I'm adding up, uh, something between 25-30.
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