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Current fitness

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:43 pm
by mathwiz1
In lieu of the message board needing some live'n up, I'm going to do something unorthadox for me and do a "predict my time" thread. Here's my ordeal:

I ran many workouts this winter of 4 x 1 mile at 6:16 average, 90 second recovery with the goal being to run 30 seconds per mile slower than 5k pace. I always started around 6:20 and would be running 6:10 or so on the last one. Tinman tempos and a long run of 13 miles filled up the remainder of the week, with the easy runs of 50 minutes plugging all other holes in the schedule.

When I ran a race 2 weekends ago, my time in a local 5k was 18:58 in a 35 degree rain with some wind just to make it more challenging. Making it to the starting line was an accomplishment. My warmup was not as thorough as it should have been, and the race was pathetic (as you can see) with mile splits of
6:03, 6:20, 6:00. Obviously I was disappointed on this flat and fast course.

Since then, I've done three major workouts:

1) Day after the race I ran a 10 miler and most of it was around 7 minute pace. Felt like I hadn't run a race the day prioer at the beginning of this run, so I picked it up to 7's (like I said) and finished feeling more like a usual post-race Sunday.

2) After two easy days, I went to the track at 9pm and ran 3 x 1 mile at 6:14, 6:08, 5:26 each with 2 minutes rest. First was like a walk, second was like a jog, and third felt like a pace that I could keep for another mile if fresh. Took a lap jog and ran 800m in 2:43, then 2 x 400m in 76 each. 2 mile cool down and felt better psychologically.

3) 2 more easy days to recover -- an hour each --- then on Saturday, I painted from 8am until 5pm....the house work doesn't rest.....but at 5pm, I went out to run a 12 miler. Ran the first few miles easy (8:15 ish pace) then picked it up around the 1.5 mile mark to about 7 minute pace. Kept pushing the accelerator down to 6:45, then 6:30, then went 6:19 and 6:08 on the last two miles (at this point I was at the 9.5 mile marker). I rested and jogged for a mile, picked it back up to around 7:30 pace, and ran the last 1/2 mile in about 2:45 with the last 1/4 under five minute pace. 5 minute jog cooldown....very tired.

4) After two more easy days, I ran a workout tonight on the track, again. This time, I went 6:14, 6:09, 5:39, 5:29 with a hard wind in the homestrech. The wind made this workout a little harder than last week. Still felt like I wasn't moving on the first 2, and still felt like I could run the last one for at least 2 miles fresh, and with competition. 4 x 200m in 35 each with a jog-back, 2 mile cooldown. Recoveries were 2 minutes b/w the first and second, 2 minutes b/w 2nd and third, five minutes between third and fourth, with 3 minutes before starting the 200's. Felt like a normal workout felt back when I was faster (17 flat 5k shape). The idea behind this workout and the other mile repeat workout is to "not leave the partner that brought you to the dance", while still running fast near the end for physical and psychological purposes (and just to remind myself that I still can after focusing on CV, 10 mile pace, and marathon pace that I focused on during my 45 - 50 mpw winter training).

So, I have an 8k this weekend and I would love to break 30. My workouts over the last 10 days say that I can, however my slower training and lovely 18:58 say that I obviously can't. Any suggestions? I'm to the point that if I can't run fast then it's just another disappointment after so much hard winter work, but the last 10 days suprised me.


Current fitness

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:55 am
by Trackrunner220
I am no expert at all and plugging numbers isnt exactly what I do. However, I ran a 3030 on a flat XC coure this year. I remmeber I had ran 5x1 at 540,535,530,530,528 pace in the beginning of the season...this was with a 5 minute rest however.

Your short rest shows that you have the strength. In my opinion. It may just be mental. The 5k may have gotten into your head a little more then you thought. if you feel good about the training you are doing then believe in it and it wont fail you. Just dont go out to hard, because the 8k hurts a lot when you go out like a 5k.

Like I said I dont plug numbers and cant predict anything so I am not going to throw any numbers. However I am rooting for you to do well. Just take it easy. Dont tense up! Relax. As soon soona s you tense up your using more muscle energy.

So go out and dont worry about what people think you can do, just have fun doing it and you will surprise yourself. I need to listen to this line as well.

Good Luck!

(Satisfaction is the death of desire)

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:11 pm
by Tinman
Mathwiz -

I recommend shooting for 6:10 per mile in the 8k, and if you feel good after 2 miles pick up the pace a little bit. Based on the workouts you've recently completed, I'd say you will probably have a fast last mile.

Good luck!


Current fitness

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:31 pm
by Jman
Based on your speed alone, you should be able to run a sub 16:00 5k easy. Long slow miles don't work for you at all. Your best workout was the 200's in 35 seconds at the track.


Current fitness

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:32 am
by mathwiz1

Very happy with the run! Thanks for the comments so far, they're great! I'm curious for Jman to elaborate a little on his view, and how that parallels (or should I say "contradicts") Tinman's view.

Splits were:

1 - 5:42
2- ?
3- ? (17:48)
4- 6:24 (24:12)
8k- 5:44 last 1,569 meters, or 5:52 ish mile pace (29:56)

Here is how the race broke down. I took it out faster than recommended for the first mile, felt like I over-extended myself during the 2nd mile, thinking "there's no way I'm going to keep this pace!" At the third mile I felt more confident, but still feared the next 2 miles. During the fourth mile I was slowing down and considering jogging it (my 4th mile split makes this apparent). It was at the fifth mile that I was so proud of myself. I hit it at 24:12 and could either say, "Ok, there's no way I can break 30 minutes" or I could say, "I'm only off by 12 seconds to break even at 30 and 13 seconds to go under." Still can't believe that I chose to believe the latter!

(Side note: I was aware that the 8k is about 40m shorter than 5 miler, which plays to my advantage in breaking 30)

If my calculations are correct, since I ran the last 1,569 meters in 5:44, that means that I was at 5:52.77 pace per mile for the last leg of the race!

(344 seconds for last leg / {1,609m - 40m}) *1,609m = 352.77 seconds or 5:52.77 per mile

After running 18:58 for a 5k two weeks ago, this is a huge improvement for me and a giant confidence booster.

Any words of wisdom to help me in the middle of the race? My split from mile 3 to mile 4 was 6:24!! You all will probably say to start slower, and that's ok. By the way, this course was very hilly and quite challenging. Lastly, I ran the entire race by myself after the first mile marker. 3 guys beat me and I beat 600 other runners to finish 4th overall and win my age group by a lot.

Thanks for the help and don't shy away from critisism/suggestions!

Current fitness

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:30 pm
by Tinman
mathwiz1 -

Congratuations! That's a nice improvement. I figured you might average 6 flat per mile, based on the comments about how your speed was progressing. Keep in mind that big leaps in performance happen often as a result of just "busing off the rust." A 5k that seems like a struggle because you haven't raced much would two weeks later feel much easier and smoother. Like I told Andrew just before the 3,000m USA Master's championship, "Your 800m time trial may not be fast, and that's ok. It'll bust the rust off and you'll be flying 3-4 days later."

Regarding the slow 3rd and 4th miles, you are right: a little slower at the start would have prevented the tail-off in pace during the race (excluding the hard-pushed last mile). So, a 6:00 first mile would have been better. I would say take a look at your average pace and make sure your first mile is no more than 6 seconds faster. Let's say you average 6:00 per mile later this spring in a 10k race. Let's also say your splits were all over the place, from 5:40 to 6:20. The following 10k race shoot for 6:00 to 5:54 on my first mile . Normally, if you keep the first mile at 6 seconds under the average of a recent race of similar length it works out "just right."

I recall using the above strategy in spring of 1996. I ran a 10k in 34:42 in late April. I had splits from 5:18 to 5:49 in that race. The average pace was 5:35. Two weeks later I aimed for 5:30 (5 seconds under my average) and came through the mile in 5:29 (six second under). I felt very good, my breathing was steady but not labored, and so I hung with the rhythm, noting that I might slow a little going into a wind around mile 2-3. Anyway, I ended up running 5:29 - 5:38 through 4 miles, picked the pace over the last two miles, as I duked it out with two guys I wanted badly to beat. I dropped one runner at the 5-mile mark and the other I outsprinted in the last 150m. Anyway, my time was 34:11, which was 5:30 per mile. So, in essence, I was 5 seconds per mile faster than two weeks earlier, over the same distance. Having an good idea about what pace to run really gave me confidence in my plan of attack. Coming through the mile 6 seconds under my previous best average meant I wasn't straining. That gave me confidence to push the second half of the race. I knew I wasn't going to die by pushing hard in the 4th, 5th, and 6th miles. And, knowing that my competition probably misjudged their pace gave me confidence to put the hammer down over the last 2 miles. I knew they had gone out too hard (I caught them both around the 4 mile mark) and would not be able to handle surges in pace.


Current fitness

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:26 pm
by mathwiz1
Thanks for the lengthy reply, Tinman. I will take heed and when starting my next 8k 4 weeks from now, I'll start no faster than 5:50 pace, which would bake in assumed improvements and progressions in training.

If I take my fastest mile splits and add them together, I arrive somewhere around 18:08 for 5k, which is 2 seconds faster than my current performance's projected equivalent 5k time reference, per McMillan. (Disclaimer: I know that you're not McMillan, not even on the same tier, actually)

Effectively I'm asking this:

Could I run under 18 minutes in a 5k on a course that is the degree of difficulty as the one that I ran today, given that all other variable constraints were held unchanged?

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:47 pm
by mathwiz1
So since the race, my training has been as follows:

Saturday – 8k race with 2 miles warm up and 3 miles cool down – 10 miles (sore)
Sunday – 60 minutes easy (sore, especially calves) – 6 + miles
Monday – 100 minutes, first 5 miles easy (8:15 pace avg), next 4 miles at 6:50 pace, then next mile at 6:20 pace, 3+ more miles easy – 13+ miles
Tuesday – 55 minutes easy (5.5 + miles) – mowed yard – tired early tonight – still a little sore
Wednesday – planning on another 50 – 60 minute run late tonight with a few pick-ups at the end – 6 miles – currently feel sluggish.

Tomorrow I’m planning a 4 – 5 x 1 mile workout around dinner time, where first 2 – 3 repeats are hopefully going to be 6:20, 6:15, 6:05 for “tempo” paces from ½ marathon pace down to CV pace, then the last two will hopefully be around 5:45 (5k pace) and the last one around 5:30 ( 2 mile pace). I might actually have to make the last repeat a 1200m repeat, depending on how difficult the workout becomes. The workout will follow with 6 x 200 at 34 – 35 seconds.

The rest of the week should be as follows:

Friday – easy 50 minutes
Saturday (AM) – 100 minutes
Sunday – easy 60 minutes
Monday – easy 50 minutes
Tuesday – 4 x 1 mile + 4 x 200 in similar fashion to above
Wednesday – 50 minutes easy
Thursday – 60 minutes with 1.5 miles from 7 minute pace down to 6 minute pace; 2 x 400m at mile pace
Friday (PM) – 20 minutes easy, with a few striders
Saturday (AM) – 5k (hopefully below 17:50)

Any suggestions?

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:49 pm
by Tinman
math -

I recommend that you replace the Thursday workout, two days prior to the 5k race, with the following:

Run 3 miles EZ to warm up, then 3 x 200m cut-downs at 3k, 1 mile, 800m speed (jog 200m slow), and followed by 3 miles EZ cool-down. That's enough.


Current fitness

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:25 pm
by mathwiz1
Workout tonight turned out as follows (my plan going into the repeats is in parenthesis):

15 minute warmup

5 x 1 mile on the track:
1 mile in 6:17 (6:16) - 2 minute jog afterward
1 mile in 6:09 (6:12) - 2 minute jog afterward
1 mile in 6:03 (6:08) - 4 minute jog afterward, before 5k pace repeat
1 mile in 5:42 (5:45) - 5 minute jog afterward, before 2 mile pace repeat
1 mile in 5:26 (5:30) - 5 minute jog afterward, before 3 x 200m repeats

3 x 200m in 32, 33, 32 with only a 200m jog between (was aiming for sub 35 seconds)

15 minute cooldown ---- somwhere around 10 miles total. The goal (in parenthesis) was to run 94 second laps, 93 second laps, then 92 second laps before hitting the faster paces. In other words, 10 mile pace, 15k pace, slightly slower than 10k pace (CV pace), then 5k pace, and 2 mile pace, with the 200's at 800 - 1000m pace.

I felt like this workout was EXCELLENT!! Could have done a little more had I needed, especially regarding the 200's.

Common sense tells me that I should be running around 10:50 - 10:55 for a 2 mile race, and around 17:40 for 5k.


Current fitness

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:17 pm
by Tinman
Math -

Good workout design and well executed! What's most important is that you had some energy left in the tank when you finished. Kudos!


Current fitness

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:58 am
by mathwiz1

Thanks for the support! I'll run a slow 5 - 6 miles tonight. Should I pick up the pace in the latter part of my hour & forty-minute long run tomorrow morning, or just make the whole run easy? As you can see from my schedule on the previous page, I plan to run my next hard workout on Tuesday before my Saturday morning 5k.

Thanks for all of your help!

Current fitness

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:59 am
by TexNav
Mathwiz, just thought I'd drop a line on here from afar, and mention that I really have gotten a lot out of the questions that you pose to Tom. Good work with you training.

Current fitness

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:08 pm
by mathwiz1

Awesome! I'm glad to hear that the thread is helping someone other than just myself! I also hope that I'm not being too inquisitive for Tinman.

The plan for this afternoon's workout was 3 x 1600m + 3 x 1000m + 3 x 200m. The plan was to go 6:16, 6:08, 6:04 for the 1600's (projected 10 mile pace, 12k pace, and CV pace, respectively) and then 3:34's for the first two 1000m repeats (projected 5k pace), with the last 1000m at 3:25 (projected 3k pace). 200's were supposed to be under 35 seconds (maybe 1200m race pace {??}). Recoveries were going to be 2 minutes b/w miles one and two, 2 minutes b/w miles two and three, 3 minutes b/w mile 3 and first 1000m, 3.5 minutes b/w first 1000m and second 1000m, and 4 minutes before the 3k paced 1000m. One lap jog before doing the 200m repeats and 200 jog between each fast burst.


15 minute warmup

1600's: 6:14, 6:07, 5:59.
1000's: 3:34, 3:31
* I made what was supposed to be the 3k paced 1000m into an 800m becuase I wasn't feeling great*
800m: 2:41
one lap jog
200m: 35, 35, 34

1.5 mile cooldown
(all recoveries were spot on)

Notes: The wind was TERRIBLE and the weather turned colder here in NC. The past few weeks have been in the mid 60's to high 70's (nice!), but today it was 50 degrees (47 during workout) with high winds that made track running exhausting. I'm a Chapel Hill grad, so I of course stayed up too late watching the game last night and felt the effects today in the workout. I had little to no spring in my step after the first 1000m repeat. The tempo miles were not easy (maybe b/c of the wind). It was a good thing that I did my 5k and 3k paced running in the form of 1000's because I would have struggled royally with doing them in the form of mile repeats like the last few weeks. Also, when looking at my shadow while doing the 200's, my form was not nearly as fluid and strong as it has been. Additionally, I was given a pair of shoes for Christmas, that I wore today for only the second time, which might be too narrow for my wide foot. They are the new Kayanos, but I prefer the 1000 series by far! The Kayanos are too expensive, but they feel like they have less cushioning than the cheaper Asics shoe...go figure.

Anyway, the workout wasn't as motivating as past workouts have been, but I'll blame it on the weather, wind, shoes, and too little sleep.

The plan is to run easy for an hour tomorrow, a run with pickups in it on Thursday night, and a brief 2 mile jog with strides Friday late afternoon before shooting to break 17:50 in a local 5k on Saturday morning.

Thanks to all that are keeping up and for Tex & Tinman for the responses.

Current fitness

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:45 pm
by Tinman
Math -

Good luck at the race this weekend! Let us know how it went!

Take care,