The Garmin 5k Training Plan Running Journals – Week 1

The Garmin 5k Training Plan Running Journals – Week 1

Welcome back to the blog and FINALLY I’m able to write a training journal again after being injured for 8 LONG MONTHS!

I’m writing a post detailing the Garmin 5k training plan and putting it through its paces (pun intended), so you can read more about the plan and how it stacks up.

Otherwise, join me on my completely injury-free 5k training (putting the good vibes out there) where I build back up to running and hopefully I’ll smash some PBs along the way!

PS. The furthest distance I have run prior to this plan is a half marathon so the 5k distance isn’t a total stranger to me, I’m just a LOT out of practice when it comes to running, following injury.

Oh PPS. I made the decision to reset the PBs on my Garmin so these are only PBs for this plan and not my all-time records.

Week 1 | Monday – Benchmark Run

2 minute warm up — 5 minute hard run — 2 minute cool down
0.78 miles | 9 minutes | 9:00/ mile pace (running)
Difficulty for me —> hard

I didn’t want to go flat out on this benchmark run as I wanted a plan that was going to suit me. The Goldilocks of plans if you like – not too hard – not too easy.

However, I must have run a considerable amount better than I thought because the next run planned for me was not ‘easy’.

Ringing the PB bell…. oh yeah…..

FASTEST 1K —> 6:02

Week 1 | Monday – Run #1 – Easy Run

2 minute warm up — 2 mile run @ 9:52-10:22 — 2 minute cool down
2.20 miles | 24 minutes | 10:13/mile pace (running)
Difficulty for me —> very hard

Er… I know this pace isn’t something totally out there but I am pretty confident that this pace is way too quick for me at the moment!

Went straight onto the easy run today after the benchmark run.

The run was so tough! It could definitely not be classed as an ‘easy run’ for me. I’d set my 5k plan goal with a target of 26 minutes – a little under a minute off a PB for me, so I can understand why it’s telling me this is the starting point but I think I need to ease into running not go flat out.

I managed to complete an average pace of 10:13 so I just barely scraped by in achieving the pace goal.

I was counting down every single .0 of a km on the second mile and it felt like pure torture.

My best paced 5k is actually part of a 10k race (don’t ask me how, I understand this makes no sense!) at 8:27/mile and I’m a lonnngggggggg way off of this right now.

You lied Garmin, I did not find this easy at all.

After about 20 minutes with some quality time with my foam roller, to work predominantly on my right thigh – 100% of the muscle tightness was here – and a good soak in the bath, I’m hoping I haven’t done myself an injury already (unlikely, I’m just being a wimp).

I peeked a look at the next run which was titled ‘speed repeats’ and they weren’t wrong! Running a pace of 7-something repeatedly is NOT where I’m at right now! Are they mad!

I tentatively go back to the app and amend my speed goal to 30 minutes and it gives me a much ‘nicer’ pace goal of 9-10-something, which I know I can do.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here! I’m not one to shy away from a challenge but I’m just starting out again, I can’t be smashing out that sort of pace right now.

I’m hoping I can in a couple of weeks though and I’ll be there with bells on. But for now, let’s not pretend I’m a much better runner than I am! What convinced me most was their definition of ‘easy’ on today’s run…

FASTEST 1K —> 5:56

Week 1 | Tuesday – Rest Day

2.7 miles | 57 minutes (walking)

Went for a little walk via the corner shop to get out of the house. We’re still on ‘lockdown’ of sorts – we are allowed to leave the house now for a couple of forms of exercise per day, while maintaining social distancing.

We are also allowed to meet up with someone outside of our household for a socially distanced form of exercise.

Week 1 | Wednesday – Run #2 – Speed Repeats

1 mile warm up — 2 minute run @ 8:39-9:09 — 2 minute recovery (x5) — 1 mile cool down
3.77 miles | 55 minutes | 8:38/mile pace (running)
Difficulty for me —> moderate

Now this is a much better pace for me!

This was fairly challenging but not flat out, which you can tell by my ‘moderate’ rating on the difficulty.

The watch vibrates to let you know when you’re too fast/ slow from the goal pace and it seemed like one second I was too slow and the next too quick so I struggled with that.

Although I just managed to sneak over the desired pace goal on average.

In hindsight, I wish I’d run the mile cool down section as I probably had it in me to run an easy pace. A mile seems awfully far to walk at the end of your run, it’s like you’ve ended up too far away from home!

Note to self, look at the plan before you leave – because I actually thought it was a 1 minute warm up and not a 1 mile warm up and it ended up being a long longer than I’d anticipated!

Unfortunately, the low lights were, it was super hot even at 7am, I ran this on 4 hours sleep and I ran past a dead bunny on the side of the road… twice (I had to do a loop).

Highlights were, no injuries (I’m SO paranoid I’m going to get one), a squirrel ran out in front of me and I felt really good post run.

I’m feeling motivated and excited for the next planned runs.

0.6 miles | 11 minutes (walking back home)
2.59 miles | 56 minutes (evening walk)

Went for another walk this evening and it was so HOT! Really really muggy even on the evening but it’s always nice to stretch my legs out after a run.

Week 1 | Thursday – Rest Day

3.43 miles |1hr 20 minutes (walking)

Decided to take a different route today and walked across some fields and saw some cows!

I had a little bit of foot pain come back by the time we got home so I hope I can rest it tonight and it will be ok for my run tomorrow.

I must put on my to do list to look up some foot strengthening exercises as this is where 99% of my troubles are.

Perhaps I need to upgrade my running shoes as they aren’t exactly fit for purpose. I was fitted for a lovely pair around a year ago but they were so uncomfortable that I’ve only run in them a handful of times – hello blisters!

Week 1 | Friday – Run #3 – Easy Run

2 minute warm up — 4 mile run @ 11:09-11:39 — 2 minute cool down
4 miles | 48 minutes | 12:05/mile pace (running)
Difficulty for me —> Hard

I put all my trust in a Garmin route for this 4 mile run and I have some regrets….

Silly me, I just put 4 miles in, generated the route and uploaded it into my watch. Easy peasy.

Except the route was half trail / hills / grass and it made the run VERY difficult. Thankfully this was an ‘easy’ run, but even then I wasn’t able to keep up with the pace (which felt pretty nice on flat tarmac) when I’m running through a cow field and my ankles feel like they are going to give way at any moment.

I tried to make up for it on another part of the run which was partially downhill but overall my average pace didn’t cut it.

Strangely, my watch kept telling me that my pace was too slow but when I checked the other data screen it was telling me I was at a 9-something pace, which is well above the planned pace.

Then the next moment it was telling me I was running at a 12-something pace, when I was definitely going faster than that!

Running across the fields, trail and hills really took it out of me so this didn’t end up being as easy a run as I had planned, which is a shame.

My ‘confidence’ rating on the Garmin app is still in the green, despite this run so I can’t complain about that.

I’m going back to work, having been off on furlough, next week so I thought it might be a good idea to decrease my running days to 3 instead of 4 because I also want to be able to do a fair amount of strength training and yoga inbetween to keep injuries at bay…. but the app wouldn’t let me!

This either means I have to rearrange the runs every week or I’ll have to skip any on the days I’m doing another activity.

The programme will rearrange itself if I miss one and this isn’t the ideal solution in my opinion. I don’t want to feel like I’m falling behind.

According to my watch, my Vo2 max score is going down to 38 which I wasn’t expecting. How weird is that?!

It’s also nice of my watch to tell me that I’m currently unproductive… thanks Garmin.

We’re also at a predicted 5k race time of 27:10 – I’ve never found these predictors particularly accurate and sometimes not that helpful for motivation!

If my watch tells me I should be able to run a 50 minute 10k time and I’m nowhere near that, it doesn’t fill me with much enthusiasm. Is my watch rudely telling me I’m not putting in as much effort as I can or should?

Who knows, I’m ignoring it anyway… I’ve always felt like that works. Ignore it and it will eventually go away…. right??

Each mile and pace:-
Mile 1 – 11:21 pace (nailed it)
Mile 2 – 14:09 (stupid fields)
Mile 3 – 10:25 (trying to make up the deficit of mile 2 here)
Mile 4 – 12:23 (ouch my ankles – hard work)

Week 1 | Saturday – Rest Day + Prosecco

2.48 miles |48 minutes (walking)

Little walk today in the heat!

I met up with my BFF for a little picnic/ prosecco lunch which was lovely. It’s all very weird having to socially distance yourself from someone you’re used to being close to.

We had a pre-picnic freak shake from The Beehive in Bristol and let me tell you that was almost a picnic in itself.

It made such a nice difference to have a catch up and speak to another person.

Calories don’t count on Saturdays… which is a good job huh!

Week 1 | Sunday – Run #4 – Tempo Run

2 minute warm up — 0.63 mile run @ 11:24-11:54 —1.25 mile run @ 9:24-9:54 — 0.63 mile run @ 11:24-11:54 — 2 minute cool down
2.72 miles | 30 minutes | 10:43/mile pace (running)
Difficulty for me —> Very hard

I struggled massively on this run and there I was thinking it was going to be a walk in the park!

What really got me was the teeniest tinyest hill part way through the tempo section and I just could not catch my breath and I was breathing with some difficulty for the remaining duration of the run.

Towards the end of the tempo part, my watch decided that NOW was the time for the DREADED BLUE TRIANGLE. I panicked…. would it still count that part of the run?? Was I going to have to run it again? (a genuine thought).

I stopped for a moment and eventually it resumed my run – phew! If it didn’t record it didn’t happen right??

Made a rookie error and wore socks with a pattern on so they rubbed my foot into a terrible blister by the time I got home.

It’s like I’ll never learn…

2.3 miles |63 minutes (walking)

After I’d managed to compose myself following the morning’s run, we headed off to Purton Ships Graveyard which was so cool!

It’s not a massively long walk (although you could make it longer if you walked further down the canal) but the ships there are pretty spectacular.

I’d stupidly managed to get sunburned while I was out for lunch (I’m usually a 50 SPF going in the garden for 10 minutes, I don’t know what I was thinking) so I had to wear a long sleeved top which was sweltering.

One of the Purton Ships Graveyard ships


Plan has started off well, I’m pretty pleased with my efforts this week. I’m feeling motivated and determined and, so far, have avoided any injuries. Long may THAT continue!

Benchmark run – 5 mins time trial
Easy run – 2 miles @9:52-10:22
Speed repeats – 2 min @8:39-9:09 | 2 min recover x 5
Easy run – 4 miles @11:09-11:39
Tempo run – 0.63 miles @ 11:24 — 1.25 miles @9:24 — 0.63 miles @11:24

Total time –> 2hrs 51mins
Total distance –> 13.7 miles
Total run time –> 1hr 50mins
Total run distance –> 10.22 miles

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