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The sub-20 5k dread-thread

  • 5k
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91 watchers
Nov 2020
1:09pm, 18 Nov 2020
4045 posts
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Njosmith, ill have to check the book but probably 16 weeks. 4x 4 week blocks seem to be the theme.

I followed the "general fitness" red and blue plans which are designed to keep you ticking over and be got for most races but not specific. Those pans are quite clear with what to do each day - for example;

15 min warm up at easy pace
6 strides (20s + 1 min rest)
6 X (400m at repeat pace + 400 jog + 200m at repeat pace + 200m jog)
15 min cool down.

Repeat pace is above threshold. Paces are set from current ability, not target time. Do for me (20:20 5K) my repeat pace was 3:44min/KM or 1:29 for 400m.


In the 3rd edition if the book, the 5K specific plan requires you to do more work on the plan. Instead of guiding you like the Red & Blue plans, there are guidelines to spend a certain percentage on long runs etc, less spoon fed so to speak which was mildly off putting for me but not the deal breaker.

My main reason is wanting to run longer routes, maybe to do a trail race soon around 1/2 marathon distance.
Nov 2020
2:13pm, 18 Nov 2020
16929 posts
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3.44km is quite a tough ask. And I say that as someone who could regularly run 19.30ish (not at the mo). My pb for 1km is 3.31... I would have though it being in the low 3.50s as more reasonable?
Nov 2020
8:01pm, 18 Nov 2020
13830 posts
  • 0
Back in the day when I could knock out sub-20 (10 years ago but I'm coming back), a full interval session for me was 8x400 at 1:25 per rep. Off of that and clocking 40+ miles a week, I could knock it out the park.

My most recent was 4x400 at 1:35 per rep and I'm happy with that...its a long journey
Nov 2020
8:07pm, 18 Nov 2020
13831 posts
  • 0
Meant to say - I was using JD and it worked
Nov 2020
11:37am, 23 Nov 2020
16952 posts
  • 0
So forgot to report to this thread , earlier in the summer - 20.14.

And yesterday.... ok this was cani-cross (but my pooch is a 20kg border collie who stops pulling much after a mile), and this involved crossing roads, avoiding cyclists, other dogs, having to do an impromptu water stop... 19.54 on the extremely muddy Camel trail...

Really pleased with this, dog running is an art, you can argue it removes a little of the effort (but introduces other variables like dealing with distractions, like the above and water stops), but put it this way, my actual pb remains faster than my dog one and I can't see that changing any time soon (must admit the first mile 6.00 I did wonder, but we went down to 6.30 pace from then on, which I had to hold). We had to jog back and I was like, I don't remember any of this much - must have been in the zone!
Nov 2020
6:18pm, 23 Nov 2020
1496 posts
  • 0
Shortcut Cam
Well done Chrisull
Nov 2020
12:05pm, 24 Nov 2020
13836 posts
  • 0
Wow...nice one Chris!
Nov 2020
12:21am, 26 Nov 2020
4054 posts
  • 0
Chrisull - well done on the time!

For the reps I mentioned - it was 400m not a whole 1 KM - does that make it sound a bit better?

The plans had effective 1 KM intervals but those were set to time, so 4 x 5 minutes hard - which would be at Interval pace or 3:59 min/KM

You can put times into the calculator at the link to see training paces:

I've just switched over to Hanson's Marathon Method so none of the speed work is that fast. It seems to be on the lower end of threshold, with my 400m repeats being slower.

I've only done one session so far but ran it faster and only 2/3 of it as I overslept in the morning and had to squeeze it in during the day.

I might continue to adapt / run the Hanson Speed sessions to Jack Daniels pacing as I really want to get under 20 minutes. I might regret that though as lots of reviews say the plan is demanding
Dec 2020
10:02am, 9 Dec 2020
637 posts
  • 0
I have just won a three month gym membership in a Christmas raffle. Right now in Queensland it is too humid to run fast (for me at least) so I want to use this time to help train for a sub 20 5k around end of March/April time. Does anyone have any good tips or links for good gym based training plans to supplement a running only plan?

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