5k History and Goals

I ran my very first 5k way back in 2006. This was just a one time event. I signed up on a whim and had no idea how to actually train for a race. I did all of my training on a treadmill except for one run. I finished in 32:37 and went right back to my non running lifestyle.

Approaching the finish line of my very first 5k.

Over the next few years I would occasionally dabble in running, but I didn’t sign up for any races. At this point in my life running was something I did to just to stay in shape. My best friend talked me into signing up for this 5k in 2009 and, after walking it 2 years in a row, I decided to run it in 2011. I trained using Couch to 5k, and in spite of having a great training session, I ended up having a terrible race (39:57). Pro tip: If you are allergic to poplar trees, running a race on a street lined with poplar trees is NOT recommended.

After that difficult race, I decided to just keep running so I wouldn’t need to start over next spring. A year of running and some well timed allergy medicine the morning of the race allowed me to hit 28:51 (plus two other sub 30s that year). By this point I had the running bug.

In 2013 I signed up for my first half marathon and the increased distance led me to taking a full 5 minutes off of my time (22:59). After my third half marathon training cycle that time was cut down to my current PR of 22:13. I am definitely happy with the fact that I have taken over 10 minutes off of my 5k time, but it has left me wondering what I could accomplish if I really applied myself to the 5k distance.

Which pretty much brings us to right now. Today is exactly one month out from my goal race. I have a pretty lofty goal of breaking 20 minutes, but I am realistic enough to know that it is not going to happen this year. Sub 20 is a 3-5 year goal. This year I am hoping for at least a 30s improvement. So to finally get to it, this is what I would like to see this year:

21:41 (6:59 pace). I’d really like to see a 6:XX 5k and taking 32 seconds off of my time seems like a reasonable goal (fingers crossed).

Stretch Goal: 21:09 (6:48). 70% age grade. Taking over a minute off of my time would be huge. I don’t know if it is quite possible this year, but it would be a serious step towards sub 20.


12 thoughts on “5k History and Goals

  1. Thank you!

    I used to follow Lauren's blog way back when she was training for the Olympic trials for London, but she had kind of fallen off of my radar. I'll definitely have to check out those workouts!


  2. Your 5K times make me drool. You must be one of those runners with really good short twitch muscle fibers 🙂 I feel like I am good at distance running and have made a lot of improvement in that area, but I just cannot seem to improve my short distance times. I'm bad at 5Ks, I feel like I will never beat my flukish PR of 23:21 from July even though according to my abilities I should be able to. I tried to beat it in November when I was presumably in better shape and missed it by over a minute.

    I also have a goal of running a sub-20 5K, but it is more of a lifetime goal. It won't happen anytime soon, especially since I'm locked into longer distance for a while as I try to BQ.

    I'm sure you will surprise yourself with how well you do at your race, you have been working so hard!!!


  3. The 5k is such a brutal distance, I think. It seems like your goal should be well within your reach and I think your stretch goal is right on as well. It would definitely be a challenge but it seems within reach if everything goes well!


  4. My 5k times is barely faster than yours! No need to drool 😉

    Honestly there are time that I feel like I will never beat my current PR either. Like today when my 5k efforts completely kicked my butt. So here's hoping for a nice surprise come race day!


  5. I agree, it can be a really brutal distance. My goals scare me little bit, but I am really hoping they are achievable. I guess I just have to trust my training and hope that everything comes together on race day.


  6. Congrats on bring your 5K time so far down! Working on PR's is a fun challenge. Having goals is a great way to motivate me to get out there for a run – especially when the weather is less than perfect!


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