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running 5k and need help with technique

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Sports and Fitness MoneySaving
42 replies 10.7K views


  • TuppenceWorthTuppenceWorth Forumite
    103 posts
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    That's a recipe for exhaustion in 200 metres.

    Agree with second paragraph. It's all about fitness. Start slow and train to get faster. There are no magic answers.
    Keep at it.
  • Another good tip if you do want to pace yourself as a beginner at parkrun, is start right at the back not the front, its practically impossible to go fast for the first 1K :-)
    "It is not the critic who counts..." - Theodore Roosevelt
  • breathe is important - try so-called “2-2” rhythm, taking two steps while inhaling and two steps at the exhale
  • Sounds like you're running too fast for too long a distance. Try slowing your pace for your long run and you can improve your fitness by adding an interval run into your training as well. For example try running as fast as possible for 30secs then resting for 30secs, keep repeating for 5-10mins.
  • A running watch to help you with your pacing could help. and one with a heart rate monitor could give you good feedback. Go slow and find a range that fits you better.

    As you are already a runner you know how quickly you loose the fitness. Trying to go the same speed you used to will take a little paitence to get back to.

    Good luck and keep at it.
  • beefturnmailbeefturnmail Forumite
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    my body could go more but my breathing needs sorting.

    It can't because your cardiovascular fitness is not sufficient to deliver oxygen to your muscles fast enough, which you experience as being 'out of breath'. You need to slow the pace until your fitness improves. If you find this too tricky - try a run\walk strategy. e.g. Run for 1km, walk for 200m. Or whatever works for you.
  • Yeah, I had the same question because I ran just 1 km and I had worst pain in my legs. So I thought maybe it is due to a wrong technique.

    Thank you for all the answers!
  • MallyGirlMallyGirl Forumite, Board Guide
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    I have just started running again after about 18 months of various injuries. I say running but I really mean plodding. I had read this thread before I went out so I determined to do the 5k without stopping even if it was slower - boy was it slow!
    TBH my PB for ParkRun is 32 mins after doing a couch to 5k and then joining a bootcamp programme aimed at improving 5k PB so I was never going to be quick!
    I get reasonable short of breath pretty quickly but after that it doesn't get much worse - my legs just turn to lead and I get even slower.

    1st run was 42:28 for 4.8km
    2nd run (a week later) was marginally better at 42:26 for 5.2km
    Max heart rate of 183 which is not great for a 51 yr old (Garmin watch so not massively accurate)

    I guess I just need to keep getting out there - it has to get better, doesn't it?
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  • edited 30 November 2018 at 3:45PM
    bxboardsbxboards Forumite
    1.7K posts
    edited 30 November 2018 at 3:45PM
    Stoke wrote: »

    Can anyone explain cadence to me? I'm trying to understand how it will impact any progress I make.

    It's how many times your foot strikes the ground per minute.

    I had a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, and now have an Amazfit Stratos and both claim I'm around 183 spm ('strikes per minute'), although I take that with a pinch of salt like most running watch measurements.

    In theory if you want to use this info, to speed up you can either do more strikes per minute, or increase your stride length, or for maximum effect both.

    Last week I ran just over 8 miles in just over an hour with a cadence of 183 spm. When I go faster, say over 5k, I can knock over 1:00 / mi of my mile time but my cadence only goes up to 186spm, so the speed gain in mainly in stride length, so it's worth looking at that metric as well.
  • edited 1 December 2018 at 9:11AM
    chucknorrischucknorris Forumite
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    edited 1 December 2018 at 9:11AM
    I'll go against all advice Iv'e read and tell you I get my PB's at 5K when I go as fast as I can, for as long as I can, completely exhaust myself by 3-4K and struggle to the finish. If I pace myself I always finish with energy left!

    Sounds like your fitness is the issue, try some longer slower runs in the week, to the point where your legs are stopping you not your breathing.

    I'm the same, I don't have good speed, so I have to set a strong pace. At the moment my PB is 23.57 (which I am satisfied with as I'm 61 in January). I don't think (know) that I will improve on that time until either next Spring or on a frosty day, as mud is slowing me down right now.

    But I have just started (last week) a more varied/methodical training schedule, I do an easy run plus about 6 'strides' (over 100 m accelerate from a jog to 95% then drop down to a jog again) on Sundays, a longer run on Mondays (currently 6 miles, but I will increase to about 9 miles). On Tuesdays I just do a fast walk (almost a rest day) for about 4 miles, Wednesday I run 1.65 km (it is around the street that I live on) as fast as I can, then rest for about 10 mins and then do a 5 mile easy run with more 'strides', on Thursdays I cross train on a bike, and Friday is another fast walk day. Of course on Saturdays I do the Parkrun (although it is raining quite hard now, so today I'm going to skip the race for the first time since I started about 4 months ago), also my hamstring injury is aching because my physio exercises were increased with more intensity this week.

    So I have introduced some speed work and I'm also introducing some endurance work too, as well as increasing my overall weekly mileage. I'm hoping to see some results in 3 - 4 months. My ultimate goal is to do a sub 23 min run. Which I might be able to achieve, especially as I have been running with a slight hamstring injury ever since I started (I'm getting physio for it). When that injury clears up, I'm hoping for a reasonable improvement.
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    I've started running again, after several injuries had forced me to stop
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