5 Ways To A Faster 5k

You started on the couch and now you can run 5k – awesome effort. But you’re not happy to just stop there are you?

You are already thinking about how to get faster and faster again in your next races.

You;ve almost certainly now got the running bug and are hell bent on improving your time.

The life of a runner is permanently aiming for the next PB almost immediately after achieving the previous one.

If you followed the traditional couch to 5k program then you’ll have enjoyed the structure of a training program, but where do you go from here?

How exactly do you go about improving your time? It’s not simply a case of repeating the 5k and hoping it just happens by magic.

Here’s are 5 simple strategies you can use to tear strips off that time.


I still remember it all so clearly. You’re poised and ready on that start line, heart racing and adrenaline pumping.  The gun goes off and immediately you’re into 100m pace.

Starting too quickly and having to cling on for dear life for the last 4.5km is no fun and will never give you the time you’re truly capable of.

Consider pre-planning your pace per km and using a running tracker to monitor how you’re doing.  Of course there will be days that you feel better and worse than your planned pace so listen to your body too.


The couch to 5k program uses the run\walk protocol to help you build speed and strength over time. Even though you may now be able to run 5k without stopping it might not be the fastest way for YOU.

Try experimenting with run \ walk timings to see how it feels.  You’ll be able to run at a faster pace if you recover well and your overall pace might actually be quicker for it.


There’s nothing worse than crossing the line and realising you could have kept going for another few km.

Over time you’ll learn to pace your races to perfection (sometimes) so that you hit the finish line with very little left to give.

Take a note of your pace from the last race and make plans to knock anywhere from 5-15 seconds per km off your previous pace.

Adding sprint work into your training is a great way to help you build your speed and not just your endurance.

Start off with short sprints though. 200-400m is more than enough and give yourself 60-90 seconds recovery between each one.

5 rounds will be plenty for your first session and you can build up to 10 over time.

Just remember that these are supposed to be sprints.  That means going all out to the point where the last 10-15 metres are agony.


Not one of those electronic heart thingies. An actual person that runs with you to help you pace yourself.

Pre-plan how fast you want to go based on your last 5k, how it felt and how training has been since then.

You’re far more likely to keep the pace up if you’re trying to save face and chase down a friend or foe than when left to your own devices.

Not only that but a bit of positive encouragement will put an extra spring in your step and help you kick harder as the finish line comes into view.


You might think that the gym is just the place you go when you want to build muscle but it offers so much more.

Normally keeping your weight down will make a massive difference to your performance.  A little extra muscle in the right places will add so much more performance that it’s totally worth it.

Strengthening the legs, glutes and core not only make you faster but also more efficient.

A more efficient runner will be faster as it requires less effort to maintain a certain pace.



Even if you try everything suggested here the one thing you’ll need in abundance is patience.

In training you’ll often feel as though you’re going backwards and that all this effort isn’t making a difference but the truth is it takes time.

You might train for a whole month to get a PB by just a few seconds.  Other months you might knock a few minutes off.

There are just so many variables that it’s important not to get too hung up on the minutae.

Just ensure you are running 3-5 times a week, mixing up your speed & distance work and hitting the gym at least once per week.

Over time you will accumulate more & more speed, strength and stamina.

If you still feel totally lost and require some more personalised support, you can always contact me via facebook by clicking here….

>>> m.me/bjornfit


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