T Nation

Good 5k Times/Remaining Strong

Without turning into a distance runner where several miles are run every day, is it possible to be respectable for a biger guy in the 5k? Will repeated 400’s be a good replacement? I’m 6-3 and 240 pounds and could use to lose 15 pounds by the way.

Navin,

Yes, you can still remain “big” and increase speed.

5k might be pushing it though, as it’s getting “up there” in distance.

I maintain a 210-215lb (5’9") muscular physique while running 12min 2-mile runs. The key is not overdoing the running. That might have sounded crazy, but I’m serious. Your first instinct was correct: you don’t want to run miles and miles everyday, you want to run HARD for short distances once or twice a week.

My favorite are timed 1-miles. Phenomenal for increasing cardiovascular capacity and middle-distance speed, but possibly too short if you’re training for a 5k.

Repeat 400s? Right on. You might try 7x400 with a 200m walk between “reps.” 400s are great. Do that once a week.

Depending on your current level of training your second workout could be 3x1600s (1-mile) with a 10min rest between or something longer like 1x5000m (5k).

Train HARD and train for SPEED. It’s a myth that you need to run long distances to prepare for races. Who cares that your training was 20 miles a week at sub-maximal speed when your competition is based on near-maximal speed for 5 k’s?

The only “secret” is pushing yourself.

Good luck.

-Jeff

Basically … nope, the only way you will get better at a 5 k is to put some miles in. Also at 240 or even 225 your joints will take a pounding. You sure can do it but you will simply have to put the time in on the road. I had a buddy at college who was ex military and he was a hulk, easily 240 and could bench over 400. He could run very well for a big guy, he was able to keep up with me very well on training runs, but I doubt he could really Compete in a race with me.

I’d say we prolly could knock a 5K out in 20-22 minutes.

Back in my racing days, I would run in the low 16 minutes on a flat run. So again depends on exactly how fast you are looking to be.

I’d try a schedule like this:

Sunday: Work up to running 40 minutes at a relaxed but not ultra-slow pace. Do it on grass, not a track or concrete, and be sure to get well-cushioned running shoes,

Monday: 400 meter intervals. Not all-out sprints but hard runs.

Tuesday: Full-body weight workout.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 400 meter intervals. Not all-out sprints but hard runs.

Friday: Full-body weight workout.

Saturday: Rest

With proper nutrition you should lose fat, not lose muscle, and be able to put in a respectable 5k time.

a really strong squatter should be able to run 5k in about 2 hours…

[quote]Navin Johnson wrote:
Without turning into a distance runner where several miles are run every day, is it possible to be respectable for a biger guy in the 5k? Will repeated 400’s be a good replacement? I’m 6-3 and 240 pounds and could use to lose 15 pounds by the way.[/quote]

I’ve asked this of two running coaches in the past. They told me that to keep about a 21-22 minute 5k time, you could do it in as little as 16-18 miles/week depending on where you are now. The key (to them) was to truly make your hard runs HARD and the easy runs EASY.

That is to say, not to fall into the trap of either letting your mind tell you you are going hard when your body can handle much more or letting it tell you that you need to speed up in order to make an arbitrary time on an recovery day.

They recomended one LSD on the weekend, a tempo run, and one interval (your 400’s would work well for this) for the minimalist approach (this assumes you will get plenty of rest between the 3 types of runs)…but ideally they recomend a short slow jog (warm-up and then warm-down for lifting in my case) the day after the tempo and interval.

To many here, 16-18 miles/week is way too much. But to me it’s an average week. I just make sure I eat clean and plenty. But then, I’m not nearly as big a guy as you are (5’11" @ ~180-185) and I’m not concerned about straight weight so much as my strength-to-weight ratio.

For me, it comes down to goals…
What’s my particular goal time and where am I now? Do I have a race coming up (maybe you have a PT test time you have to make) or am I just keeping my time decent until I decide on one? What are my lifting goals during this timeframe that I plan to keep running for ‘x distance & time’?

I’d say, “just my .02” but I don’t think it was worth even that much. Just rambling today.

Matt

(Let’s hear it guys… “16 to 18/week is way to many…”)

Well it is for a PT test to be a cop and the requiements are . . .

Run 3 miles in under 28.5 minutes ( 9.5 minute mile).
Perform 3 sets of 20 proper military style push-ups (no female adaptations).
Perform 3 sets of 30 bent knee sit-ups (feet not braced).

The situps and pushups are easy but I would like to be able to smoke the run. Hell, in high school I was 180 pounds and running cross country. I was big for a runner then but that was 60 pounds ago. Thanks for the help. Those 400’s are quick but they scare me more than atough squat workout.

[quote]Navin Johnson wrote:
Well it is for a PT test to be a cop and the requiements are . . .

Run 3 miles in under 28.5 minutes ( 9.5 minute mile).
Perform 3 sets of 20 proper military style push-ups (no female adaptations).
Perform 3 sets of 30 bent knee sit-ups (feet not braced).
[/quote]

Ah, cool. Then considering your goal of nailing the run to the wall, you might check out some of Hal Higdon’s stuff. I made some great progress on his Intermediate 5k plan (plenty of miles/week for a lifter, but they’ll cut some time off):

http://www.halhigdon.com/5K%20Training/5-Kinter.htm

Matt

In the middle of last year I trained fairly consistently for a 14km fun run without doing any weights (I had quit my previous gym 6 months earlier and still had to join my current one) and didn’t lose that much weight. My weight ranges between 200-210 and I ran the 14km in 76 min, which I was pretty happy with considering it was the longest run I had ever done. If you are competing and going much faster then weight loss may be an issue. LSD runs may the best for fast weight loss as well as the body needs to lose weight to become more efficient at running.

Ben

Navin,

      Are you familiar with CrossFit?
      I've heard that they have an athlete who can do a 4:30 mile at over 200 pounds.

[quote]Navin Johnson wrote:
Well it is for a PT test to be a cop and the requiements are . . .

Run 3 miles in under 28.5 minutes ( 9.5 minute mile).

If that’s what this is for I’d do things slightly differently. I’d still devote three sessions per week to running and two to stength training but I’d replace one of the 400 days with a day where you alternate running with joggimg but never stop or walk. Try to work up to 30 min. of this. On your strength days be sure to do plenty of situps and pushups as that’s what you’ll be tested on. Three miles in 28.5 minutes should be a very attainable goal even for a big guy, especially for a former cross country runner.

I have heard and am somewhat familiar with Crossfit. I never could fully give up tradition weight training which is why I never did it. I do do some of my own GPP however, but could replace it with their WOD.

A 5k is 3 miles…right? I know that I have to run 2 miles twice a week. I hate it, but I have to do it. Any ways I have found that if I just run as fast as I can my times get better and better.

As a side note I would like to know how to increase my 1.5 mile time for my pt test.
Hope I helped
Will42

What is the PT test for? You may want to look at throwing in an interval training session in there. Christian Thibideau has an article that talks about 400 meters. I feel a big problem with runners is that they train slow. Long, but slow. So they compete slow and Americans get there ass kicked.

[quote]Navin Johnson wrote:
I feel a big problem with runners is that they train slow. Long, but slow. So they compete slow and Americans get there ass kicked. [/quote]

Navin you just hit the nail on the head. You can’t weight train in the “comfort zone” and expect to see results so why would anyone think differently for race training???

Sure, for those who want to get a long “fat burning cardio session” in, 60 min slow jog might work…but NOT if you’re looking to increase speed.

[quote]Navin Johnson wrote:
I feel a big problem with runners is that they train slow. Long, but slow. So they compete slow and Americans get there ass kicked. [/quote]

Kicked at what? US Sprinters are some of the best in the world, so it isn’t that, I’m sure. The silver was won by an American in the Marathon in Athens, so that should leave LONG distance races out as well.

The reason runners do long slow distance runs is to build cardiovascular endurance.
The thought that if you run slow in training you’ll run slow in a race is a myth. You do a long run to build endurance and shorter hard runs to build leg speed/turnover.
If you were in a competition to chin the highest reps, would you only do chins with extreme weight added and never build the muscular ENDURANCE? I think not. You’d probably do both.

I’m really wondering what distance you are talking about the US being so bad at due to their LSD runs?
What would you suggest they do to build endurance for an endurance event? 20 minutes/day 3x/week?

Matt

Not talking about the sprints. Every recent success in distance including your reference to the silver medal in the marathon is an import from Africa or the middle east. Steve Spence was supposed to be the next Frank Shorter. The last great American distance runner was probably competing before many of you guys were even born. What happened to him like so many American runners?

The time you posted for a 5k - you could achieve that with minimal actual running (2 - MAYBE 3 days/wk). GPP on 2 or 3 other days.

A nine min mile is at best a jog. Race-walkers (men, women and KIDS) go significantly faster.

Good luck - but I don’t think you’ll need it. Just put in 15-20 miles per week, try to run most of it hard, and lose a little of the extra weight. No problem.

BTW - I’m 5’9" , a/b 205 and can go 18’s any time - - and I only run with my teams in-season. I KNOW you can do your time!