I've just started on a Garmin training plan, partly to better my 5k PB (Currently 25:19, target of 22:30), partly to actually have a plan to get me out the door, and partly cos I'm getting tubby.
The overall plan is lots of easy runs, some long, some shorter, mixed in with some strides, and then some "pace runs", i.e. 400m at target pace, then 5 minutes at a chilled pace.
Only in week 1, and ended up getting Norovirus, but Garmin at least seem to subscribe to the "lots of slow pace" as a key to success.
Shall report back on "race day" some time in January.
So, just an update.
Started the program with a 5K PB of 26:03 (not 25:19 as originally posted - that was the Mrs' using my watch...)
14-weeks (over Christmas period, so fairly hectic), mostly lots of 6-10k runs, at slow & easy pace 5:50/km, a few strides and hill sprint sessions.
Went out for 3rd attempt at PB today (1st was terrible, weirdly nervous, 2nd my watch stopped me 800m too early) and managed 23:39
. Not a great time by most runners standards, but considering I only started running at all in 2020 and only did my first 10k in July '23, pretty good?
Was still 01:09 below my target time, but I'm pretty happy with it. I reckon on the flat I'd easily manage it (there's a killer hill half-way round my regular lap which just sucks the energy out of me), and regardless, my cardio is way better than it was.
What was interesting was that during the entire 14-week program, I never beat my previous PB*.
Not once in the training program was there ever a "run quite a quick 5k". The most it had me run at goal pace was 2.5km, the rest was just 45-minutes at an easy pace, with 5-10 warmups/cooldowns each end.
*There was one run where I was doing 1k at target pace (4:30/km) then 200m jogging, I stopped paying attention and didn't stop so ran an extra 1k at target pace when I was meant to be doing a cool-down - this shaved 7 seconds off my PB...
Not that fussed about working on this further, much more enjoying 10-15km runs. Added benefit of the training program is I can now squeeze a 10k run into a lunch hour.