A sub 20 minute 5 km, an itch I need to scratch…

I do, I really love running.

I have been running 5 km (3.1 miles)as way of getting fit and losing weight for over 6 years now. But, I feel like I need a challenge. I run one of two routes 3 or 4 times a week and unsurprising not a lot is changing. Actually, if I’m brutally honest, my body is becoming comfortable with the pattern I’ve drifted into. I have added half a stone in weight and I don’t have quite the same energy levels I did a year ago.

Goal time

I want a challenge, something to focus on that’s going to lift me out of the ‘doing what you do’ cycle.

Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Enough said really…

I am, in my analytical mind getting excited as I write this. A goal gives me the scope to absolutely focus on the result. It requires me to produce a plan as to how I will achieve this goal, without a plan I will not be successful.

What should my goal be?

So, looking at my times I run 5 km in time ranging from 22:50–24:50 with PB of 21:39. A stretch goal would be breaking 20 minutes, actually that would be a big stretch. A goal to really focus my mind…

Why running?

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“A man running on a dirt path through the grass” by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

It gives me the space to escape the daily pressures of life, to get out and experience nature, the landscape and to just breathe. It creates a time for my mind to calm down and focus.

Running also helped me change my quality of life, as it does for many others. I was overweight, approaching my forties and a health check that declared me as ‘obese’ was enough in mind. So running became my route to a healthier lifestyle, and over the coming years I lost two stone (28 lbs) and reduced my resting heart beat to around 50 beats a minute.

I had run a bit as a kid doing 2 mile fun runs and a bit of long distance running at school. I particularly liked cross country running when we running for longer distances.

Sadly as a young adult I became comfortable with eating and drinking and looked at running as something other people did.

But the health kick, and if I am honest the Olympics in 2012 really inspired me to get fit, get healthy and running was my game.

How will I run 5 km in less than 20 minutes?

God bless Google. It saves a trip to the library, although I don’t know that anyone has written a book on such a subject. It’s not a book writing subject really.

A search reveals lots of sources to help me build my plan. I have a time frame in mind of six weeks which will take us to the end of September/ beginning of October.

What is clear from all the articles I have read is that my training plan needs to include the following;

  • Interval training
  • Longer runs of between 5–10 miles
  • 5 km runs

There are lots of other factors of course, my diet, my sleep, my water consumption and body conditioning.

So over the next six weeks I will write about the plan, how I implement it and what happens as I progress towards trying to achieve my goal. It will challenge me, its not just the 5 km time, but the steps that go into that. I will need to run a mile in 6:26, my best one mile lap is 6:19 and my best average pace is 6:59 over 5 km.

You can follow my progress by reading my posts here on Darren Matthews or by visiting my profile at Endomondo.

If you have any advice or tips to help me, please feel free to comment!

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I’m curious about decisions, strategy, and how to live my best life. Follow me as I write to figure it out and share some wisdom along the way.

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