5K: Medium Term Improvement

Running Mate
Running Mate (Photo credit: Hindrik S)

You’ve been giving this 5k thing a really good shot for 2 to 3 years. Of course you’ve improved. Probably quite a lot. Maybe you’ve gone from 32 to 22 or from 24 to 19 minutes. But over the last 6 months you haven’t improved much. Yet you running mate, who is the same age but does less training, is noticeably faster on a regular basis. You have a sneaky suspicion that they might still be improving.


Why? Because it is really annoying and you really want to know his/her secret.

They may have trained more when they were younger or have some genetic component that makes them better. But after 3 years you would have thought that would have evened out. Maybe.

If they are broadly the same shape as you then it can’t be that either.


You could mix up your training for sure. That would help.

But it’s probably your running technique. It could be one of many aspects of your technique that reduce your running efficiency. Over striding, heel striking, landing ahead your body, bouncing a bit. Any of those and more besides.

You need to incorporate drills into your workouts. Every workout if you are so inclined. Personally I prefer some form of plyometrics which also have a warm up effect. Plyometrics will correct some of your technical flaws over time. But not all. Watch a video on evolution running or chi running or POSE…they all say the same thing pretty much. You could do the ‘running school’ which is good but expensive but you can pretty much get the drills from the internet quite easily.

Maybe now is the time to believe those strangely named methods? Your call. Must be annoying seeing that label on the back of your mate’s shorts all the time though.

  • Improve Your Running with Fartlek Training (running.answers.com)

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2 thoughts on “5K: Medium Term Improvement

  1. This is so true for me. Over this past year I’ve made major improvements for me but am still slow by many comparisons including my age group results in most all races I’ve done. God definitely skipped the fast twitch muscles when he put me together!

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