How to run a 21 minute 5k (or less!) – train for a electricity grid code


• Head: Your head needs to be perfectly still without any of that side to side motion. For those of you who did not know it, head movements tend to slow you down. Not to mention wreak havoc on your neck and spine after the run. If you notice this, try fixing your eyes on one spot and run as if you’ve got a book on your head. It helps a whole lot in the long run (pun intended).

• Face: Don’t keep your face tight and rigid, you’ll just wear out your face muscles. Instead, keep things loose, mouth and eyes a tad open and make sure you see some cheeks flopping up and down. Kind of like that slow motion replay or sprinters crossing the line. And keep your chin down, you might stab someone with that thing.

• Arms: It’s of the utmost importance to position your arms at the 90-degree angle. Your hands should be just under the chin and elbows going straight back. Similarly, keeping your hands loose will ensure you save energy. Throwing your hands wildly with clenched fists will definitely tire you out faster.

• Feet: Again, keep thing loose and natural. Your feet should never land too far from your hips because it slows you down. Getting the best leverage translated to more efficient running. Also, don’t hit the ground flat-footed; it jars your body about. Instead, try to be on toes at all times.

To run your next 5K in under 21 minutes, you actually have to be running much faster than before. Like I said, most people make the mistake of training with the aim of just making it to the finish line. You have to improve your running speed every time you train, and here’s how to do that.

Also known as Fartleks, interval training simply means alternating between fast and slow running. The easiest way to achieve this is by running at 30 to 60 seconds and then slowing down to jogging for a couple of minutes. You can do this on a track or the treadmill for more accurate monitoring.

Whereas distance runners will not typically sprint during a competition or race, including a ton of sprinting during training will make you a much faster 5K runner. Additionally, running on hills will give you all the intensity you need to boost speed. Uphill workouts help develop your aerobic capacity, leg strength, and endurance.

Think about it; isn’t running just another form of jumping? Plyometrics can help you move faster by developing stronger jump elements. Basically, squeeze in some rope jumps, lunges, butt kicks, high knees and skipping to your average workouts.

Now, a lot of people think that a 5K run is just another short race that does not require plenty of hydration. For your information, 5K means 5 kilometers. I don’t know about you, but I’ve driven shorter distances than that and somehow managed to get thirsty along the way.

This is another chief mistake that I see in practically every 5K race I take part in. Starting right does not mean giving the first few Ks your all. The worst thing you could do is start too fast too early. Starting off with a ridiculous and unachievable pace will only lead to faster burnout.

If you notice a slag in the minutes, try to increase your pace and catch up with your training time. However, you don’t have to recover all the lost time in a single mile. You can spread out the missing minutes over each mile to maintain a less strenuous pace.

If you followed all my training advice, then you were running more than the recommended distance every other day. This means that you have a couple extra gallons in your tank. The last couple of hundred meters is where you want to give it your all and empty your tank. Your sprint workouts will come in handy here as you leave your competition in the dust.