Five minutes with Olympian Jo Pavey

On how to run faster


Olympian Jo Pavey won her first gold medal at the European Championships in Zurich this summer with a jaw-dropping time of 32:22.39 in the 10,000m race. What’s astounding is not that she won, but that she gave birth to her second child only 10 months before; she stopped breast feeding little over a week before the trials to make the team that went to Zurich; oh and did we mention she is in her early forties? Proof (if we still needed it) that age is becoming more and more irrelevant.


We took five minutes to talk to Pavey about how to get faster at running a 10k (while not getting injured).

Pavey recommends factoring some of these into your weekly training plan:

Run intervals. 6 x 3 min with 2-3min rest in between each short run. You want to run this faster than your race pace. The idea is that, over time, this will make your race pace feel easier so you’ll be able to run faster.


Factor in tempo runs. Go for 15-20 minutes hard – this should be sustained effort. It gets you used to be out of breath and pushes you slightly out of your comfort zone. 

Improve endurance. Go further than 10k at a slower pace (build up to this over time).

Rest. Rest days or easy days, where you’ll just head out for a light jog are an important part of training.

Don’t overtrain. Worried about overdoing things? Try Aqua Jogging – this involves ‘running’ in the deep end of the pool. Try 10 x 3 minutes with 1 minute of treading water in between. There is no impact so it’s easy on your joints.

European Gold medalist Jo Pavey is an ambassador for the Cancer Research London Winter Run 10k taking place on 1 Feb 2015.

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