Managing to beat your 5k PB can be an amazing feeling. It can also be very frustrating trying to beat it and not quite managing. That’s why we’ve put together 5 tips for beating your 5k PB so that you can go out there and know that you’re destined for success.
1. Incorporate track sessions into your training
Doing sprint training on a track is a great way to get faster. A 5k PB is unlike any other type of running goal because it’s all about speed and working at nearly 100% of your maximum effort. You don’t need to worry about pacing yourself or focussing on endurance, you just need to go out there and power through. Try to add at least 1 track session per week into your training so that you can work on sprinting and getting your speed up.
2. Do shorter pace runs
A pace run is a shorter run (of around 20 minutes) where you push yourself as hard as you can the entire time. You shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation and you should feel like you want to stop the entire time. It’s tough, but it’s worth it! Pace runs will get you used to working close to your maximum effort so that when it comes to your PB attempt, you’ll be used to the feeling.
3. Run with someone faster than you
Running with a buddy is always motivating for several reasons. When it comes to beating a 5k PB, running with someone who is faster than you can really push you to get out of your comfort zone and do something you didn’t realise you could do. Having a physical marker in a pace-maker gives you a visual goal and will keep you on track.
4. Fuel and hydrate yourself properly
Some people employ fasted runs as a way of losing weight. While this can work for some, it won’t help you to beat a PB. If you run fasted (on an empty stomach) you’ll have less energy and may well find it tougher to run at your best. That said, if you go for your run too soon after eating or after eating a big meal, you’ll be weighed down and will most likely get indigestion. Make sure you are properly hydrated and that you’ve eaten, but have left enough time to let your food digest properly.
5. Wear the right gear
Being inhibited by your sportswear can be the difference between a great run and a terrible one. If you wear a sports bra, make sure it gives adequate support so that you stay comfortable, and make sure you have running leggings that aren’t slipping down the entire time and causing you to be distracted and slow down. Being comfortable in your activewear will mean you can focus on pushing through the run and won’t have any reason not to achieve your best run ever.
6. Choose the right time
Some people run better in the morning while some run better at night. Only you can know which time is best for you, so do your PB attempt at your best time. Do it on a day when you know you are properly rested and not suffering from too much work or family stress. You want the conditions to be perfect if you are looking to shave mere seconds off your run.
If you've been training hard but not sure whether you're getting fitter, you need to do a fitness test. But there are so many out there, which one is best? We take a look at 3 different fitness tests as a way to track your fitness.
The Astrand Treadmill VO2 Max Test
This test is fairly advanced and is good for people who are already fit and active and would like a quantitative assessment of their fitness that they can compare to others. This VO2 Max Test is a universal test, so you could have all your friends or club members do it and compare your results.
For this test, you will be jogging on a treadmill. Start with the treadmill at a gradient of 0% and a speed of 8km/h. After three minutes, increase the incline to 2.5% (keep the speed the same throughout the entire test). After another 2 minutes, increase the incline by another 2.5% and repeat every 2 minutes until you cannot run anymore. Write down the time you finish.
In order to get your results, input your time into the following equation:
(Time x 1.44) + 14.99
For example, say you are a 35 year-old male and you make it to 15 minutes and 15 seconds. That is 15.25 minutes, so you would calculate:
15.25 x 1.44 = 21.96
21.96 + 14.99 = 36.95
Therefore, your VO2 Max would be 36.95
To find out how your score stacks up, use the following charts:
So our example 35 year-old male who got a score of 36.95 is at a 'fair' level of fitness. He could follow a training regime for a number of weeks and then repeat the test to see in clear numbers if his fitness has increased or not.
This test is fairly advanced and is not suitable for pregnant women, those who cannot run, or those with health conditions.
Chair Sit Test
Dr Michael Mosley has been making waves recently with his BBC programme 'The Truth About Getting Fit'. In his programme, Dr Mosley showed one way you can easily test your fitness in the comfort of your own home and it's suitable for people of all ages. The test simply asks how long it takes you to sit down in a chair and get back up again 10 times. Men under 35 should be able to do it in under 10 seconds, with women under 35 aiming for under 12 seconds. Men aged 35-55 should be able to do it in 13 seconds with women aiming for 15, and people over 55 should be able to do it in under 19 seconds.
This is obviously a very broad and unspecific test, but if you live a sedentary lifestyle and are looking for somewhere to start, this is an easy test to give you an idea of where you stand.
Vertical Jump Test
Our final test is different yet again. This time, we are testing the power in the legs, which is another great way to test fitness. If you want to be fit all-round, you need to have strength, power, and stamina. The vertical jump test is very easy and you only need one thing: a measuring tape.
Stand next to a wall, and jump as high as you can while reaching upwards. Have a friend mark the wall where you managed to touch, and then measure the height. This is your score.
Why is it important to do fitness testing?
There are several reasons why you may want to do a fitness test. You may feel like you live a healthy lifestyle, but there is no way for you to know for sure until you do a fitness test. If you live a largely sedentary lifestyle, your health could be at risk, so doing a fitness test could help to determine whether you need to get more active.
For those who are already very active, doing a fitness test is a great way to see if your training and hard work is paying off and you are actually progressing. If you see that you are not, you will know to change up your exercise regime so that you do get fitter.
Of course, it always depends on your goals, so make sure you set some goals first before you embark upon a fitness journey.
Training with gym rings has numerous benefits. It builds upper body strength, improves balance and agility, and works the core effectively. Try Sundried's gym rings workout to see for yourself how well it works!
Gymnastics Rings Circuit Workout
Training with gym machines all the time can be so boring. Mix up your training with our gym straps. With exercises like ring pulls ups and rows, there's a range of movements which will work the whole body.
Let's go for 3 rounds as a starting point. The key thing to remember is that you can make any movements easier or harder depending on the positions of your feet (the more you put them under the anchor point, the harder it will become).
- 10 Rows
- 10 Push ups
- 10 Bicep curls
- 10 Dips
- 10 One arm rows (5 on each side)
- 10 One arm push ups (5 on each side)
- L-Sit Hold (to failure)
Have a 20-30 second break in between each exercise. As always, form is key.
Good luck and have fun, this is what matters!