30 Minute Runner – The First 5k Race

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The purpose of the 30 Minute Runner project is to determine whether it is possible for busy runners to effectively train for a 5k with only 30 minutes of running per day.  In order to make this determination, I felt it was necessary to run one 5k prior to starting the project and one 5k eight weeks after the plan had started.  I ran the first 5k last Saturday.

The 5k was a laid back event hosted by the King County Bar Association in Seattle.  The race did not have any sophisticated timing equipment, and the race probably only had about 100-200 people.  However, it was on a flat course.  To get an accurate comparison of my fitness levels at the beginning and at the end of this project, both 5k’s during the 30 Minute Runner project will be run on similar, flat courses.

Training Before the Race

This was my first road race in years; however, I had been running about 30 minutes of easy running 5-6 days per week for the nine months prior to the race. I didn’t do any speed workouts, such as fartleks or tempo runs, because I always figured that I just didn’t have the time.

Based on my competitive running experience, I always thought that speed workouts required at least 15-20 minutes of warm up with the same amount of cool down.  When trying to fit a run into a lunch breach, that doesn’t leave much time for the actual workout. The 30 Minute Runner project changes all that.

Bib from the first 5k of the 30 Minute Runner Project

Bib from the first 5k of the 30 Minute Runner Project

How the Race Went

Without any recent speed workouts under my belt, I was cautious at the start of the race. My first mile was 6:46.  I was in third place at the time and just trying to get back into the feel of running faster than 7:00 minute miles.  I was glad that I felt in control and relaxed.

My next mile was 6:39, and although I was starting to get some  tired legs, I still felt pretty strong and began to reel in the first place runner who was about five seconds ahead.

I finally caught him with about 800m left in the race we picked up the pace considerably.  Unfortunately, the finish line of the race was not well marked (just a few orange cones). So we finished neck and neck just as both of us were gearing up for a kick.

So technically we tied. Whatever. I was much more interested in time.

It turns out that I ran 19:37.

However, I was wearing my Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watch, which showed that I had only ran 2.93 miles – the course was short.

In order to get an accurate comparison between the two 5k’s that I will run as part of the 30 Minute Runner Plan, I think I will convert the time to an actual 5k distance.  19:37 pace for 2.93 miles is about 6:41 mile pace. 6:41 mile pace is about a 20:43 5k.

So 20:43 is my comparison time.

We’ll see how much faster I run in a similar, flat course in eight weeks. Until then, there will lots more to come about my 30 Minute Runner experiment. Stay tuned!


30 Minute Runner - Let's See If This Works
30 Minute Runner - The First 10-20-30 Workout




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