Q: I would like to know how to lower a 5k race time. I'm a high school cross country runner going into my senior year. This year will only be my second year running, and I am quite slow. I live in denver, so the altitude is high. My personal best last year was a 25:43. I would like to make it to the state meet this year, but that would mean I would have to run between 18 something to 21 something. Those have been the times of the past state champs for the last couple of years. My average time was approximately a 28:05. Is there any way I can get my time to drop about 8 minutes if I start training 3 months prior to the first meet? If so, how? Thank You. - M.M., 6/18/03

A: I would feel a lot better if you would let go of this goal. It's too much to bite off in too short of time period. I suggest you buy Jeff Galloway's "Galloway's Book on Running" which has some sample workouts for 5k goals to be completed over several month periods. Take a look at some of the workouts and it will help answer your question. I think you should select something with the workouts you are able to complete with confidence. Your coach will help steer you to an achievable goal. Good luck. The Rage

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10kTruth.com is a place for runners who have the attitude to train harder and smarter, who want to race faster and stronger, to better their race times and lower the chance of injury. The Rage and Manciata answer running and training questions with their own unique insight and spew. You'll also find running advice and inspirational quotes by sports legends and others who epitomize the spirit of 10k Truth.