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How to introduce 5k-paced training

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:42 am
by rmcc
In preparation for a goal 5k race, I have been following the ‘Tinman’ approach (i.e. doing a Tinman Tempo run, a 7x1km CV interval workout together with my long run and easy runs, etc, each week) and I have been really benefitting from what is a new type of training for me.
I will soon be entering my ‘racing training’ phase when I want to introduce some race pace work but I am not quite sure how to do this under the Tinman approach. There is a lot of fantastic information on this forum but unfortunately I am struggling to see the wood from the trees!
My previous training included a lot (too much) interval work but I was wondering whether it would be sensible/realistic to combine one of the following ‘standard’ 5k race preparation sessions as part of a combo-type session each week leading up to my race (i.e. before tapering)?
o 10 x 400m (jog 200m)
o 12 x 400m (jog 200m)
o 8 x 600m (jog 300m)
o 6 x 800m (jog 400m)
o 4 x 1200m (jog 600m)
o 3 x 1600m (jog 800m)
I am thinking that I would include a 1km CV interval to keep the volume of the session up and as a ‘warm up’ for the 5k-pace part (but I would drop the volume of the session slightly to account for the faster pace work). So, a combo session may be, for example:
1 x 1km CV (200m recov) + 12 x 400m at 5k pace (jog 200) + some hill charges/strides
I would keep my other quality session the same each week (i.e. 7 x 1km CV intervals with 4x200m at 1500m pace) and progress the 5k paced sessions toward my goal race.
I can see there are many very experienced contributors on this forum and I would be very grateful for any advice you may be able to offer.

Re: How to introduce 5k-paced training

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:04 am
The first question is have you really earned the right to run the 7 x 1k plus the 200s workout?
Tom's "chart" says:
5km Time Minutes of CV
35.75 - 26.81 = 12 - 16
26.80 - 21.46 = 16 - 20
21.45 - 17.88 = 20 - 24
17.87 - 15.33 = 24 - 28
15.32 - 13.41 = 28 - 32
12.6 34
So if you can't switch your workout to a 5k time trial (not suggesting you do this) and know you can run under 18, you are already doing too much. I'm guessing you can race under 18 after an easy week but that isn't enough.

OK, now onto the Tinman quotes:

"That is a good question. I recommend that you do combo workouts to solve the problem. Do a thorough warm-up and then run three or four CV reps with short recoveries and three or four race-pace reps with longer recoveries. If your kids are mature and strong you can finish off for 3 to 5×200 m at 1 mile pace or slightly faster with 200 m recoveries.

17:00 (high school 5k runner:
Warm up 15-20 minutes, including some tempo running and striders. Then 3 x 1000m @ CV pace (jog 200m) + 3 x 800m @ 5k pace (jog 400m) + 3 x 200m at 1600m to 800m pace/effort (jog 200m) + a long cool down."

As you can see, even a runner who can run 17:00 on a XC course (not on a track or the roads) only does 6 x interval. There is also more of a balance between the CV and 5k pace work than you suggested. Now you might be a post-collegiate who recovers better than a masters runner and runs 14:XX and has lots of training background, but even then you may benefit from going into your race a little undertrained if through HS and college you were always trained hard.

Re: How to introduce 5k-paced training

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:10 am
by rmcc
Thank you very much for your advice FTIR, and for the Tinman quotes – I was hoping to find something like this myself on the forum, but failed!
For background, I currently run 16.30 for 5k on the track so my understanding is that it is OK for me to run the 7x1km reps (approximately 24.5minutes) but please correct me if I am wrong. I am hoping to be closer to 16.10 towards the end of the winter.
The workout looks good although I can understand the need for just 6km for the session. I have a few follow up questions, if I may?
1. When undertaking race training would it be better to run just one combo session like this per week (with the other being 7x1km) or would it be better to run two (i.e. drop the 7x1km session)?
2. I guess I could progress the 5k pace work (e.g. 6x400, then 4x600, then 3x800) if needed? Maybe even to 2x1km?
3. Finally, looking ahead, would this workout still be appropriate for a 16.10 5k runner?
Thank you again for your input. I would be very interested in your further thoughts on this.

Re: How to introduce 5k-paced training

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:37 pm
More on combo workouts. I think I remember a post that addresses your question about one or two a week but I haven't found them yet. Since we don't know, right now, err on the side of one combo and one tempo.

From 2012 Tom wrote, "It's my belief that combo workouts should focus on (either) fitness or performance.

Fitness Combos should focus on high-end endurance (or low-end stamina) first, stamina second, and speed or power third.

Example Fitness Combo Workout: Tempo running first and in good volume, threshold or CV second in moderate volume, and then short speed third (short reps on the flats or uphill) in low volume.

Performance Combo: This relates the event's time demands (10 minutes is more V.O2 max power and 60 minutes is more about threshold / stamina capacity); this relates to terrain demands of the event (is is a flat course? rolling hills course? very hilly course? long hills - up or down?); this relates to the climatic demands of the event (hot weather? cold weather? very humid weather)?

Example Performance Combo Workout: Let's say the event is an 8km XC (cross-country) race that will take place in February. Right now, you should do Fitness Combo workouts. February is a long time from now. But, starting 10-12 weeks before the big event you can include Performance Combo workouts into your training schedule. Then, you might warm up with some tempo running, but it wouldn't be a lot (say 1-2 miles worth). Then, run a bunch of stamina work (threshold or CV repeats on grass - a course that simulates the event's demands). AT the end of the workout, you'd do some hill reps and short striders for fluency. You don't need a lot of V.O2 max work, especially far out from the event. However, about 5 or 6 weeks before the event you can throw in a few V.O2 max reps at the end of Performance Combo workouts.

In summary, my philosophy boils down to the following: Fitness Combo workouts should not specifically target races/events; in contrast, Performance Combo Workouts should target a single event in the future. Think of Fitness Combos as general and Performance Combos as specific in nature."

Re: How to introduce 5k-paced training

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:35 am
by rmcc
Thank you very much for the additional information, FTIR, very useful. I'll will have another look on the forum to see if I can find further information on the 'one or two rep workouts a week' question. Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my requests.

Re: How to introduce 5k-paced training

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:54 am
This still isn't it but it supports not doing two combo workouts in a week because, extrapolating from what Tom wrote, that would set up a peak at an unknown time but in less than 4 weeks. I also think the answer is different for a miler (someone with a pretty good 400 PR) trying to race 5k and a marathoner (who will never break 60 for 400m) trying to race 5k. It might be good for a miler to run two combo workouts every other week but only one on the off weeks whereas anything more than one a week would doom a marathoner. Of course, this is where it is better to hire Tom because he would know if it would be better for a miler to put in a second combo workout every 2nd or every 3rd week. Tom wrote it for a sub 34 min 10k runner trying to bounce back quickly from injury.

"10k runner -

Hmm, interesting question!

Your base is sub-par but you have an important 10k race in 4 weeks. So, that means you have to work on aerobic capacity (endurance) and elevate race-pace strength and efficiency in a short time frame.

I suggest this:

Throw away 7-day training weeks and go to a 5-day rotation. Every 5th day is a key workout. Since you are limited on time, do COMBO workouts, only. That is, combine various training elements into one workout. I've used this in my coaching since 1989 and found it to be quite effective!

Runn 2-3 miles to warm up, then do some striders. Next, do the core part of your workout. Here is a sample:

2 x 1600m at CV pace, jog 400 between, then
2 x 1200 at 10k pace, jog 400m between, then
2 x 800m at 3k pace, jog 400m between, then
2 x 400m at 1-mile pace, jog 400m between.

2 mile jog cool down.

Typically I do not recommend a long run when doing the 5-day rotation. If you want more volume, I suggest you add a run in the morning before doing the workout I suggest. So, for example, if you did 5 miles EZ in the morning before the workout I suggested, that would put you at about 15-16 miles for the day, about 4.5 or so of which is quick. It's aerobically equivalent to running 22-23 miles EZ, but there is less pounding.

Your first workout or two may be a bit less volume than the above, but by the third workout you should be able to handle the above quite well. The key is doing a COMBO every 5 days and then running slow distance work between the two. Let your body absorb the harder work loads with the slower paced running between. IF you push the pace on the runs between the key workouts you'll feel tired and weak during your key workouts. The last key workout before your 10k race should be a bit easier than the preceding workouts!

Take care,