Answers/

Competitive Running

How many minutes can you expect to shave off your race time your first year of running?

asked about 5 years ago | Report

I'm 28 and I after logging 47 miles between 8/23/09 and 10/8/09, I ran a 5K race in 21:23. I had surgery to remove skin cancer during that time, so I was out for 2 weeks. Other than that, no injuries or problems. I plan on training hard and smart (i.e. not overdoing it) and ask how many minutes I can expect to shave off my time because I want to set realistic goals. Maybe setting 1 year time goals is pointless - I don't know. It looks like most of you ran about 80% faster after a year, so should I expect to be able to run 17:11 (80% of 21:23) and therefore maybe set my goal at breaking 18 within a year? I know I'm being anal, but I'm a numbers guy and it's fun for me to keep track of this stuff.

13 answers

scroll to bottom
  • Depends on the distance. You will probably shave less mins off our 5k time than your 1/2 marathon or marathon time. There are just too many factors to say with any real accuracy. How hard to you want to train? Your age, your weight, your current level of fitness, your injuries, your motivation, lifestyle, how much time do you want to devote to running, all this plays a role in how much time you can shave off in your first year. Enter a 10k once a month and log if you are getting faster, and what you are doing to get those results. Then work out a plan to improve your workouts to get even better results. Train with others. In a short time you should have a better guess how long it might take to reach whatever goal you might set.

    My First Year Running 5K 22:15, 10K 52.26 1 Year Later 5K 20:39, 10K 41:30. 4 Years later 5K 19:08 and 10K 39:33

    I was 25 years old for my first 10K.

    answered about 5 years ago |edited about 5 years ago |Report

    • 1
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • I agree with Ron. Too many factors here to give you an accurate answer, but a lot is possible! As an example, my first ever 5K time was 27:98, within a year, I had reduced that to 22:51. It's all about your plan and dedication...

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • My first ever 5k was 30:54. I do them in around 24 minutes now, which is a year later. I haven't specifically been training 5k either. I have been doing a novice marathon plan so just increasing distance and no real speed training.

    answered about 5 years ago |edited about 5 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • like the others said there are too many variables involved the main one being how hard are you prepared to train. Assuming you are prepared to put in some good training you can expect to reduce your times in the first year but the reductions get less the fitter you get until you are looking for seconds not minutes.

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • I ran my first 5K in 41:11. A year later I ran the same course in 31:48. So I figure at this rate, I'm looking at an 11 minute 5K in two years. :)

    Just kidding. I'm interested in other people's answers though. I've been wondering how long the improvement lasts and when it levels out.

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

    • 3
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • I agree with everyone as well. I know that before I was putting in over 40 miles a week I was stuck at a 22 to 23 min 5K. Since June and with staying within the 40 to 45 miles per week, I ran a 19:55 last weekend. So, I believe that if you start putting a lot of miles on the ground, your times will come down quickly. Of course to change the marathon etc time.....mileage would have to be a lot more than 40 miles a week. Just my 2 cents.

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • Hey Benjamin

    A 17 minute 5K is a lofty goal. Attainable through hard work and conditioning. But possible. i have been coaching runners for 20 years and have seen it done. It's focus a good plan and good conditioning.

    Coach Jeff
    coach@prsfit.com
    www.prsfit.com

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

    • 1
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • Hi Ben,

    I'm a numbers guy too!!! ... thought it was just me! ;0)

    You've got some great advice. I ran 48 minutes for 10km in April and now I'm down to 41mins through nothing but sensible hard work.

    I run over a variety distances from 600m to half marathon and wrote down all my PR's (...thats what Mircosoft Excel is for right!) then calculated what a 10% saving on all those times would be. That keeps me motivated as I want to achieve these by next September. I have shorter weekly goals which are easier to achieve ... sometimes "Do three morning runs before work" etc. The most recent Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast (check out iTunes) has an excellent section on Goosebump Goals. Sounds to me like getting to 17.11 is your Goosebump goal.

    ... Great work on running so well despite the worrying times you've had. I wish you every success and health as you progress towards those goals.

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

    • 1
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • Do you have any prior history of running (i.e. did you run in high school?). 21:23 is a pretty good time on only 47 miles training. Turn that into 47 miles a week, and I imagine you'd get under 18. Is 17:11 realistic? Too soon to tell.

    It's hard to base improvement on other people's percentages, because people start in so many different places. A beginning runner can expect to shave huge amounts of time off, and a more experienced one fights for a few seconds. A slower runner has a more room for improvement than a faster one. I ran my first 5k in high school in 18:27, and got it down to 16:23 by the time I was a senior, an improvement of "only" ~11%.

    BTW, you say 80% faster, but I think you mean 20% faster. But you did the math right.

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • There are too many factors for figuring this out. I mean if you really put time and energy into this then you can improve by a lot. I hate to use myself as an example here because I'm just a freshman in high school and I'm still growing and stuff but at the start of the season my 3-mile time was 19:50 by the time finals rolled around I was at 17:12. So in a matter of months I got a lot faster so I guess if you put in the dedication that my coach made me put in you can get really fast haha

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • Joe
    Joe Sendmail

    Don't think it's that simple. 21:23 is a decent 5K time. You'll probably need to alter your tng plan to include tempo runs, hills runs etc.. etc... Don't think just running miles will get you the 10%.

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • Calculations... calculations...

    Focus on the movement. Let the BS like times happen on their own. Don't confuse the watch for the point, for your worth as a runner.

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down
  • Im 15 years old and i started only running no longer than a year ago. I did track and cross country and i also play soccer, soccer got me into running. My first 5k ive ever ran was a 19:56, 3200 was a 11:32, and 1600 was a 5:23. Then within a year dropped my 5k time down to a 17:11, 3200 to a 10:26, and 1600 to a 4:55. and this is with about 2 months off inbetween sports. I notice just keeping a consistant amount of training in like fo instance, Mon- hard, Tues- easy, Wed- long, Thurs- easy, Fri- hard, Sat- long, Sun-rest. I usually do this every week unless i have a meet and its been working fo me so i recomend it to you, it could help drop a few min/secods off of your time.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

    • 0
      thumbs up
    • 0
      thumbs down

Similar Questions in Running - Competitive Running