First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

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Josh1
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First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Josh1 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:23 am

I had much success using Tinman's methods between 5 and 7 years ago.  I learned not to push the pace too often, and when pushing it, to be very aware of why you're doing what you're doing.  Real life kicked in during that time, as did graduate school and heavy workloads as I entered the working world with long hours, some weight gain, and tons of stress.  My high 16 minute 5ks turned into 18:30 5k's, which turned into trying to run in the low 19's, which then turned to hobby jogging and getting mad when I signed up for a random local race at the last minute a few times a year and didn't break 20 minutes.  Fast foward and now I am 30 years old and trying to get back into running.

About six weeks ago, I committed to a 5k race that I have run several times as a faster man, with the goal of running a a weekly Tinman Tempo of 4 miles on Tuesdays, a weekly CV workout 1/2 mile repeats on Saturdays, and a long run of 90 minutes on Sundays, taking Monday totally off.  I feel that have played very conservatively with the paces.

When I started, my 4 mile tempo runs were at 7:35 pace (which felt like the effort I used to run on my Tinman tempos back in the day, only slower and much shorter).  Now I am at 7:10 - 7:15 pace for the same course.  My CV 1/2 miles started six weeks ago at 3:26 on a track, using 1 minute jog recoveries.  I did 6 repeats at first on the track because I wanted to hone in on the paces that running on the roads couldn't do for me.  Six weeks later I am running the same workout faster:  3:20, 3:19, 3:18, 3:17, 3:16, 3:14 - 2 minute jog, then 2:48.  I tack on 4x200m at between 34 and 37 at the end - usually getting faster on each one.  The first few weeks I was consistently at 3:25 per half mile repeat at the same effort as today using the same 1 minute jog recoveries.  The next morning I have been running for about 90 minutes, and I've noticed that instead of the same old pace on my long run, I have been unconsciously picking up the pace after the midway point (sometimes as late as the 2/3 point of the run).  I would like to continue progressing with my running, but we'll see how the race goes next weekend.

Now to my question - what pace should I start off at on Saturday?  I don't want to go out too fast.  I used to be very keen on pacing during races, but I feel that my lack of racing has decreased my lack of pace awareness.  None of my running is all out, and it has totally been based on what the paces used to feel like, all while using the watch as a measuring tool.

Thanks for the help!!
Last edited by Josh1 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Captainblood » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:56 pm

This is a little like guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar.  But I will weigh in until someone more experienced and noteworthy chimes in.

My opinion is I would aim for a 6:30 first mile.  If you feel great then that will give you plenty of distance to speed up and throw down some serious negative splits if your fitness is there.  If 6:30 is about the pace you can handle for the race then it will give you a shot at sub 20.  If 6:30 is too fast then you should be able to manage the rest of the race without blowing up.

Now this is all great but the bottom line is you have to run this pace.  Not an easy task without having that capability, a GPS watch, or knowing another runner you can key off of.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by TexNav » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:06 pm

Josh1 (mathwiz1???), I'm in a similar boat after lots of recurring injuries and ran my first race this morning in almost 2 years. I'm not sure I'll ever wear even a watch again for these short races, certainly not a GPS. Maybe try a race without worrying about pace and continue to hone in on effort. I think most of us can feel in the first mile if we can honestly keep up that effort the rest of the way. I just know that I felt very strong at the end as I wasn't wasted from chasing pace. Either way you're a better runner than I, presuming you are who I'm guessing you are, and if so you'd once mentioned you liked racing yourself into shape, and you'll be getting in some solid times soon.
Believe it or not, I've remembered your race into shape mantra, and it's what I've tried focusing on now that I'm basically injury free.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by dkggpeters » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:05 pm

Don't worry about pace and go strictly by feel.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Josh1 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:56 pm

Yes, my old handle was mathwiz1 but I couldn’t log into the account.

My time for the race was 19:30 – so not too terrible for a first race back.  I started very conservatively and increased the effort along the way.  I knew one person who would be near 20 minutes, so I went out with him.  The course had a net downhill until the 1.5 mile mark, then climbed for a mile or more to a point higher than the elevation of the finish line, then was flat to descending through the finish line.  My splits were 6:18, 6:22, 6:17 – again, the 6:17 was a big net uphill climb.  I actually went from 10th to 5th in the last mile and couldn’t catch anyone else around me since the next guy was more than 30 seconds ahead.

I was very happy about the smart racing and thrilled that I went through the finish without really doubling over or any of that nonsense.  I felt very strong as the effort was relaxed considering it was a race.  Overall, the race felt like a rust buster and I am hopeful to get faster as the weeks pass!  Considering the hilly nature of the race, I wouldn’t think it unreasonable to expect some high 18’s in the near future.

My plan is to keep doing what I have been doing as far as training is concerned (CV and Tinman Tempos with short faster stuff at the end).  My next race is an 8k in two weeks, then two weeks after the 8k I will run a flat and fast 5k on a course I’ve run many, many times.
Last edited by Josh1 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Josh1 » Sat May 24, 2014 10:23 pm

As an update, I ran my 8K two weeks ago and then a 5K again today.

The long and the short of it is that my time in the 8K two weeks ago was 31:59 (6:15 [downhill], 6:53 [uphill], 6:12, 6:33, 6:06).  I finished well in this race and it was very up and down.  Overall, I thought that this race was progress from my first 5k IN 19:32 two weeks ago.

Today I ran a flat and fast 5k in 19:27 - still faster, but not by nearly as much as I thought I would.  My splits were 6:21, 6:14, and 6:14.  Again I finished well, but I thought for sure I could get under 19 minutes.  The weather was perfect but the only thing I could pinpoint was that I was a bit rushed on my warm-up.

If the warm-up wasn't the issue, perhaps I'm doing something wrong in my training.  A non-racing week would include a 4 mile continuous Tinman Tempo at 7:10 pace on Wednesday followed by strides, then on Saturday I would do 7x800m with 60 second jogs at CV (3:17 down to as fast as 3:12), but I usually try to run about 2:50 on the 7th repeat.  I usually follow that workout with 3x200m at 33 seconds and a 3 mile jog.  My Wednesday workout is usually 7 miles, my Saturday workout is usually 9 miles, and I usually run a 10 mile long run on Sundays.  Mondays are a day off.  I run 5 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a short 3 mile run on Fridays.

If I have a race at the end of the week,  I run a long run on Sunday morning, I'm off on Monday, easy runnning the rest of the week except on Wednesday nights I usually warmup with a few miles then run 2 miles in 14 minutes, followed by a brief jog and 4 x 800m at CV (3:15 or so) with a 60 second jog, then 5x100m and a 2 mile cool down for 7-8 miles total. 

Questions:
1)  Is this Wednesday evening workout too hard for a Saturday morning race? Maybe it was the 90 degree heat that day, but  I felt a little tired this morning going into the race.
2)  I'm running very smart in my races, but I'm dirt slow.  Between the CV reps, the striders, and the 200m on my Saturday non-race weeks, am I running enough (or the correct) "quick" stuff to improve my times if the 5K is my focus for the next several months?  Unfortunately I feel like 6:10 / mile is red-lining for me right now.  I would like to get this pace a bit faster.  Should I be adding more quick running to my regimen?

Thanks!
Last edited by Josh1 on Sat May 24, 2014 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Schebo » Sun May 25, 2014 5:32 am

You need to do a 3-5k pace workout on non racing weeks.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Captainblood » Sun May 25, 2014 9:46 am

Interested in what the masters of the universe have to say.  Very similar to training I was doing when I was running the same times.  I was doing a little more mileage (50-55 mpw) and fewer and faster 800s with more rest.

Veteran of Florida running so I can tell you running in the heat can destroy you.  That Wednesday workout might seem modest, but you might have left your race on the track.  I learned my lesson after doing a great tempo run on Wednesday before a Saturday race.  I thought 2 days was enough time to recover because I was doing hard workouts every other day.  Ran the same time as my tempo run on Saturday.  What I noticed is that when the words "tired" or "sore" appear in my log the two days prior to a race I don't run up to my expectations.

Your training looks great to me.  I think I know what the greater and more experienced minds will say about question two.  That you are doing plenty of quick stuff.  Just remain patient and slowly build your volume and the improvement will come.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by monica » Sun May 25, 2014 5:51 pm

[quote="Josh1"]
As an update, I ran my 8K two weeks ago and then a 5K again today.

The long and the short of it is that my time in the 8K two weeks ago was 31:59 (6:15 [downhill], 6:53 [uphill], 6:12, 6:33, 6:06).  I finished well in this race and it was very up and down.  Overall, I thought that this race was progress from my first 5k IN 19:32 two weeks ago.

Today I ran a flat and fast 5k in 19:27 - still faster, but not by nearly as much as I thought I would.  My splits were 6:21, 6:14, and 6:14.  Again I finished well, but I thought for sure I could get under 19 minutes.  The weather was perfect but the only thing I could pinpoint was that I was a bit rushed on my warm-up.

If the warm-up wasn't the issue, perhaps I'm doing something wrong in my training.  A non-racing week would include a 4 mile continuous Tinman Tempo at 7:10 pace on Wednesday followed by strides, then on Saturday I would do 7x800m with 60 second jogs at CV (3:17 down to as fast as 3:12), but I usually try to run about 2:50 on the 7th repeat.  I usually follow that workout with 3x200m at 33 seconds and a 3 mile jog.  My Wednesday workout is usually 7 miles, my Saturday workout is usually 9 miles, and I usually run a 10 mile long run on Sundays.  Mondays are a day off.  I run 5 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a short 3 mile run on Fridays.

If I have a race at the end of the week,  I run a long run on Sunday morning, I'm off on Monday, easy runnning the rest of the week except on Wednesday nights I usually warmup with a few miles then run 2 miles in 14 minutes, followed by a brief jog and 4 x 800m at CV (3:15 or so) with a 60 second jog, then 5x100m and a 2 mile cool down for 7-8 miles total. 

Questions:
1)  Is this Wednesday evening workout too hard for a Saturday morning race? Maybe it was the 90 degree heat that day, but  I felt a little tired this morning going into the race.
2)  I'm running very smart in my races, but I'm dirt slow.  Between the CV reps, the striders, and the 200m on my Saturday non-race weeks, am I running enough (or the correct) "quick" stuff to improve my times if the 5K is my focus for the next several months?  Unfortunately I feel like 6:10 / mile is red-lining for me right now.  I would like to get this pace a bit faster.  Should I be adding more quick running to my regimen?

Thanks!
[/quote]


You are just a little bit faster than me so it's interesting to compare your workouts/paces to mine :) it's actually pretty similar to my stuff. Based on that I would say yes you do have enough quick stuff in the schedule.

A thought on that though, you could try doing 1000m's sometimes instead of the 800's.

I find it interesting you run tempo runs a bit longer and slower than I do. Maybe I should try running tempos like that.

Are you used to this mileage? Are your legs always fresh for the workout days (Wednesday, Saturday)? I misread first and thought you had higher mileage..but only about 35mpw right? Maybe time to increase it? The 3 miles could be longer. And your long run could be a little longer too.

In long runs do you ever do fast finishes?

At what pace do you tend to run your easy runs?

And the last question for now, I'm not an expert, but are you sure that the 33sec 200m's aren't too fast? I have no idea so anyone can answer this, I'm curious. I just know that I personally find even 36-37sec 200m's too anaerobic, at least at the level I am (a little bit slower than you, a few sec/mile slower in 5K). For the goal of improving leg turnover I find 19-20sec 100m's and/or 39-40sec 200m's work fine without going too hard on the legs. It's possible though that this is just me and it doesn't affect you adversely if you're running 200m's so fast. ??
Last edited by monica on Sun May 25, 2014 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Schebo » Mon May 26, 2014 4:18 pm

I´ll have to repeat myself here. Doing just mileage, high-end aerobic intervals and quick repeats is not enough for most people if they want to run their best 5k. You need to do race-specific training. Try doing 400s at 3k pace or 6-800s at 5k pace once per week on non-racing weeks.
Your 200s are too fast. Should be around 1500m race pace.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Captainblood » Mon May 26, 2014 5:26 pm

Interesting, Schebo.  I know you were a terrific runner in your prime (and perhaps still) so I respect your opinion.

You stress work every week at 3k to 5k pace.  So CV work would not qualify?

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Josh1 » Mon May 26, 2014 7:43 pm

Thanks for the replies, guys and gal.

A few answers / comments:

1)  I only wear a watch for races, the tempo, and the CV workout.  I do not know my easy paces.  I do know that even when I was at my best several years ago, I always ran slower on easy / recovery days than almost anyone that I know.  The same very likely holds true today.

2)  Unless I am going to increase my mileage on Saturdays and/or Sundays, I'm likely not going to be able to get in more mileage.  I have a very demanding job with a commute that is not insignficant - I work a lot and post on this website infrequently.  I ran higher mileage when I was straight out of college 8 years ago.  I had more time back then and ran about 70 miles per week.  The reason I'm this slow is because I had to focus on my work and put running down for a while, hence the comeback attempt. 

3)  It see that I'm doing the 200's at the end of workouts incorrectly, so I will adjust the pace and the recovery on those to reflect mile race pace and equal distance jog recoveries.

4)  Schebo - it seems that you're quite the accomplished runner.  It also appears that there are some differing thoguhts regarding the incorporation of 3k / 5k paces to a regimen.  As it currently stands I am planning to run a race on 6/6, 6/21, (still looking for a possible race on the 4th of July), and then on 7/19.  I don't see too many races in late July and August where I live, and as a bigger runner (I'm currently working to drop some weight) and heavy sweater, I don't typically peform too well in the heat.  The reason I bring this up is that perhaps a peak in late July and a new build-up through August and September, with races from late September through early November (when the weather is much cooler) would be appropriate for me.  I feel that this ties into the discussion of incorporation of 3k / 5k paces because if I understand Tinman's themes well enough, he is saying that 3k/5k pace work cannot be sustained consistently in a schedule into perpetuity in such a way that provides improvements in running performances.  If I bifricate my running into two cycles starting now through the end of the year, faster work over the next several weeks makes sense.  If I understand Schebo correctly, he is saying that I cannot expect an optimal performance without race pace (and slightly faster) workouts. 

Is that a fair assessment?

Thanks!!
Last edited by Josh1 on Mon May 26, 2014 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Schebo » Tue May 27, 2014 4:17 pm

[quote="Josh1"]
Thanks for the replies, guys and gal.

A few answers / comments:

1)  I only wear a watch for races, the tempo, and the CV workout.  I do not know my easy paces.  I do know that even when I was at my best several years ago, I always ran slower on easy / recovery days than almost anyone that I know.  The same very likely holds true today.

2)  Unless I am going to increase my mileage on Saturdays and/or Sundays, I'm likely not going to be able to get in more mileage.  I have a very demanding job with a commute that is not insignficant - I work a lot and post on this website infrequently.  I ran higher mileage when I was straight out of college 8 years ago.  I had more time back then and ran about 70 miles per week.  The reason I'm this slow is because I had to focus on my work and put running down for a while, hence the comeback attempt. 

3)  It see that I'm doing the 200's at the end of workouts incorrectly, so I will adjust the pace and the recovery on those to reflect mile race pace and equal distance jog recoveries.

4)  Schebo - it seems that you're quite the accomplished runner.  It also appears that there are some differing thoguhts regarding the incorporation of 3k / 5k paces to a regimen.  As it currently stands I am planning to run a race on 6/6, 6/21, (still looking for a possible race on the 4th of July), and then on 7/19.  I don't see too many races in late July and August where I live, and as a bigger runner (I'm currently working to drop some weight) and heavy sweater, I don't typically peform too well in the heat.  The reason I bring this up is that perhaps a peak in late July and a new build-up through August and September, with races from late September through early November (when the weather is much cooler) would be appropriate for me.  I feel that this ties into the discussion of incorporation of 3k / 5k paces because if I understand Tinman's themes well enough, he is saying that 3k/5k pace work cannot be sustained consistently in a schedule into perpetuity in such a way that provides improvements in running performances.  If I bifricate my running into two cycles starting now through the end of the year, faster work over the next several weeks makes sense.  If I understand Schebo correctly, he is saying that I cannot expect an optimal performance without race pace (and slightly faster) workouts. 

Is that a fair assessment?

Thanks!!
[/quote]
I don´t know exactly what works for you, but most people need an injection of race specific training when you´re getting close to peak race(s). A period of about 6 weeks should be enough. Make sure you have a sensible progression in your workouts.
During peak racing periods it´s very important to know what type of runner you are: "endurance runner" or "speed runner". The first need to maintain his mileage as long as possible. He should run a weekly 3-5k session instead of CV repeats, but keep the longer, slower tempo runs and keep up the length of the long run. I was a typical speed runner (3,44 1500 but absolutely lousy at anything longer than 12k). When I was peaking I needed a long period of gradually reduced mileage when I gradually increased the intensity on all of my workouts and cut down the long run to 80 minutes. However, your mileage is fairly low, so I recommend that you keep it up for as long as possible.
Make sure that your legs are fresh for the 3-5k pace sessions. Running key workouts on tired legs is for marathoners, not 5k runners.

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Tinman » Wed May 28, 2014 1:15 am

Josh -

Schebo has provided sound advice, in my opinion!  How much race-pace or faster work, and how many sessions a runner needs to round into top form (fitness) is a personal matter. I know very fast 1500m runners who only need easy speed training for most of the year, and then a month of "push" the envelope training. I know other fast 1500m runners who need hard workouts (race, pace, 3-5k pace, and 800m pace) for twice a long before they are in top form (fitness) for racing their event. Genetics plays a large role in the rate of development, and the old saying is true that you need to know thyself! Look at your history of running for clues. Ignore what other people have done or are doing and establish your own developmental pattern. A good coach can help you with that, and a good self-coach looks at the data objectively as possible to sort out the details.

You are partly correct about my assertion regarding 3-5k race-pace work. Hard 3-5k paced workouts cannot be held indefinitely, I believe, in one's training schedule. However, moderate 3-5k pace workouts can be. For example, when Seb Coe's dad, Peter, or George Gandy, Seb's University coach, prescribed a weekly 5km pace workout for  Seb, the workout wasn't that hard. Think of it this way, 6 x 800m at 2:09 (Coes' predicted 5k pace) is not that hard for a world record holder in the 800 and mile, is it? If he had done 10-12 x 800m @ 2:09 with a short rest, given that an all-out 800m for Seb in the winter was about 1:44-46, and in-season he was 1:43-1:41.73, that would have been a hard session that I do not think he could have run every week of the year without having some setbacks due to chronic fatigue. I think his father and Coach Gandy were smart guys; they understood that there are sessions (workouts) that are maintenance, and there are "push" sessions where the runner's limits are tested.

The question is, what is your limit? How often can you reach your limit? Is it necessary for you, personally, to reach your limit? Will you be better off running moderate 3-5k paced sessions, rather than "hard" ones?

Take care!

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Re: First 5k in a Long Time - Need Goal Advice

Post by Josh1 » Wed May 28, 2014 8:01 am

It does make sense - thank you for the help!!

When I was a better runner, my bread and butter racing distances were 8k through the half-marathon.  The 3k and 5k were always too fast for me; however, I really never spent a ton of time working out at those paces.  FYI - I did manage to run a 2:09 800m and :56 400m way back in high school, so I wasn't just a plodder!

For a hard, non-racing week, I believe that after running a solid warmup I could start with 3-4 x 800m Stamina to CV reps with standard recoveries and then move into 3 x 800m reps at 5k pace (or substitute the 5k paced 800m reps for 3-4 3k paced reps of 400m maybe even working to 600m).  I think that I'll use 90 seconds of jogging for the CV reps and equal-time jog recoveries for the faster reps.  As I stated above, I'll also slow down my 200m reps to mile race pace.

I need to lose some weight, run some more races, and somewhat re-discover running, but then I might consider possible help in coaching several months from now.  The road back is not that easy!

Thanks for the help!

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