Sub 25-minute 5k – possible or wishful thinking?


This morning I braved the wet, windy and cold May weather and headed on over to Hove Park Run to see if I’m still on form with my 5k speed (I haven’t done any speed work for eons, mostly endurance). I didn’t think I’d have a hope in hell of matching my previous PB – 26 mins 50 secs, but I wondered if I was close to that. I’m very happy to report that I managed a time of 27 mins 26 secs!


I am thrilled with that time, but I want more. I want to join the sub 25-minute 5k club, butย is it possible for a mere mortal like me or am I on glue?


I don’t give up on anything – I’m like a dog with a bone so project sub 25-min 5k is now off the ground. So here’s what I’m going to do over the next few weeks:

  • Strengthen those glutes with lots of lunges and squats, and cycling/spinning
  • Practice yoga for stretching and lengthening my leg muscles
  • Increase my protein intake
  • Run up lots of hills!
  • Invest in some minimalist trainers designed for overpronators (super supportive trainers absolutely kill my feet). I’m going to try out these Brook PureCadence trainers and shall report back!
Brooks PureCadence available here.
  • Keep mentally strong and keep reminding myself that it’s only 25 minutes that I have to endure the rapid breathing, red face and sweats versus 5+ hours for the marathon

Is there anything else I can do to help improve my running speed? I’d love to have some other ideas!

13 thoughts on “Sub 25-minute 5k – possible or wishful thinking?

  1. In awe of your time, well done. I’ve not raced a 5K for a long time as I’ve been working up to the marathon but really want to concentrate on speed work over the summer. I’ll be using some of your tips!

    I love the look of the Brooks Pure Cadence – I have their Ghost 4 which are neural and minimilist in style and I love them. Am thinking about trying out Glycerin at some point in the next few months. Can’t go wrong with Brooks in my book.

    • Ah, thank you! x I was a 35-45 5k for ages and it was only through the help of a personal trainer and overcoming my fear of hills that i broke the 30-minute barrier. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You are my inspiration right now!! That’s an amazing time. I’m sure you’ll be a member of the sub-25 club in no time. I am especially interested to hear how you do with the minimalist trainers. I bought some of the supportive Brooks for pronators and they make my legs ache like mad! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wear the supportive ones – my feet were in agony so badly we thought it might be something serious, but it turned out just to be my trainers. I can’t wear the ones with hard plastic lower, only soft foam.

  3. Pingback: Running goals | Dashing Divas

  4. I found this because I’m also thinking of trying (Okay I’m GOING TO DO IT) break 25 minutes. I did 26:35 last fall and 23:40 about 15 years ago in my early 30’s. Currently trying to join Marathon Maniacs by doing 3 marathons in 90 days (2 down 1 to go)…but like you said – that’s endurance and is doing NOTHING to make me faster. I’m planning on adding some fast miles, short hill sprints and 400 M intervals to my training over the summer (post marathon). Not too many though – it still has to be fun. The recent Runner’s World has a plan for breaking 25 minutes, and they are saying that you should be able to do a single 7:35-7:45 mile to be able to break 25 minutes for 3.1 miles. Dropping a 3-5 lbs might help me too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You will do it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually losing weight is the obvious one, but it makes a huge difference! I’ve got park run again tomorrow so we’ll see how I feel and if I can get a PB or not. It’s just as much mental as it is physical with me. I’m always frightened of pushing myself too hard and then having to stop and walk that I kind of hold back on the speed. Hill sprints are great and just hills in general are good for building strength. I don’t have much choice where I live – there are hills everywhere!

  5. Ok well I just felt like I needed to reply to this since I was where u are 2 months ago. I was consistently running a 26:20 to 27:20 5k with no improvements in months. I was bored with no progress and slacking on getting out since it was still cold anyway. So 3 things changed for me. #1 started counting calories using myfitnesspal app (1700/day). #2 I lost 8 or so pounds which goes hand in hand with number one I guess. #3 which I think was the key is to run with someone else. Particularly someone that is faster than yourself. My old friend from college was running around 24min/5k. He offered to slow his pace so I could keep up but that made me work hard as well. Now I’m at 24;30 or so!! And I have fire again! Hope that helps!

    • I think your last point (seeing as if I lose much more weight I’ll get into skinny territory and quite happy with weight) is a really good point and I think it’s something I’m going to have to start doing. Thanks! x

  6. Pingback: Project sub 25-minute 5k: Update | Dashing Divas

  7. Pingback: New PB: Elusive sub-25-min 5k in my sights… | Dashing Divas

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