Abhinav's Notes

2022 5k Run Training

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, I used to regularly do 5–10 km runs. The lockdowns completely messed up my routine and I mostly stopped running for about two years. After successfully hiding from the multiple waves of COVID, I finally caught the Omicron wave in January 2022. The actual sickness was not much severe, thanks to the vaccines, but my stamina took a big hit.

After recovering, I decided to start running again, and try to get back to my pre-pandemic era run pace. I started the Garmin 5k run program with the goal of running a 5k at 7:37 min/km pace. It took four months of training, interrupted by injuries and sickness, to increase my pace from an initial 10:42 min/km.

Today I ran the 5k around a beautiful lake at a pace of 7:24 min/km. It was a difficult journey, but very fulfilling at the same time.

I also tracked every training run and made some bubble charts along the way.

Pace over time Pace over time

The pace over time chart above shows how my pace improved slowly over months. Most of the runs were done in the Moderate (Z2) and Tempo (Z3) heart rate zones. After first two months, most of the training runs were in 8–9 min/km pace.

The next chart show the distance of runs over time:

Distance over time Distance over time

This one is easy to understand. Since I followed the Garmin 5k program, most of the runs were between 2–4 km, with occasional 5+ km long runs.

Cadence over time Cadence over time

This chart shows how my cadence improved over time. The ideal running cadence is supposed to be around 180 steps/min. When I started the program, I was running at low cadence of around 140 steps/min. I pushed myself over time to increase my cadence, and towards the end of the program, I was routinely running at 170+ steps/min cadence.

Next two charts may be little confusing. This one shows the Relative Effort per km over time.

Relative Effort per km over time Relative Effort per km over time

The only insight here is that runs in higher heart rate zone generally required more effort/km. The final run stands our in this chart as the run with most effort/km.

The final chart shows pace over Relative Effort per km:

Pace over Relative Effort per km Pace over Relative Effort per km

There is no insight here. The runs are distributed all over the chart. Again, only the final run stands out here.

That’s the end of my 5k run training, and this blog post as well. Happy running and happy tracking!