Improving Your 5K Time
by Scott burden
When this question was brought to me my first response was, "How long have you been running”?
In this case the person I was speaking with had only been running for about 7 months.
All too often when we start running on a regular basis and get to that spot where it really feels good and we start to get a bit stronger, we tend to get caught up in the numbers and speed game. We become somewhat obsessed with trying to make every run faster than the last.
One issue with that is if you’re a new runner you run the risk of injury, it takes time to build up and strengthen all those muscles, ligaments and tissues that are involved in running.
As in all sports and training, it's important to slowly build that base “foundation” before doing more advanced training.
So, back to what I suggested to this person. I emphasised the importance of being consistent in your training week to week, that doing so is a major part of building that foundation. Give yourself enough rest during the week; we love running and it feels great to get out there but don’t run every day.
Also there is no need to make every run a race. I remember back when I started to run and how hard I trained in comparison to how I now train. Because back then I thought that unless I didn’t come back from a run completely trashed I didn’t work hard enough and therefore I wouldn't get better, faster or stronger. That is not the case at all, if you don't allow your body the proper healing time you will most definably do more harm than good. You may even end up injuring yourself causing you to have to take some time off your running for an extended period of time.
“Incremental Progression” is key!
For this reason, for beginners, sometimes it’s a good idea to find local running groups, programs or clinics to get that base of training in. Then start the more advanced work like speed training and hill training.