How much is it realistic to improve? (Read 3325 times)

    I'm still having trouble figuring out what my slow pace should be.  I did 7.5k today, with an average pace of 7.46 min/k.  I left my watch behind and muted the audio on my GPS, so that was just going by feel.  A "slow run" I did a few days ago was at 8:30 min/k, and if I was pushing myself, I could probably do that distance in 7 min/k.  So, today's run was actually closer to the fast pace than the slow pace even though it felt just as slow (and I know that all of my paces are slow by anyone else's standards!). 

    First of all, "YOU CANNOT RUN TOO SLOWLY".  You can't run too slowly but you CAN run too fast and get in a trouble.  The best pace for you is the pace that you feel, at the end of the run, you could have run a bit faster or a bit longer if you wanted to.  If you have to take next day or two easy to recover, then you had done it too much.  This is something your fellow countryman had said more than a half a century ago.

     

    That said, I understand it is very hard for most beginners to understand this "feel" deal.  I had been criticized for formulating this but it's probably a good starting point.  First thing you need to do is to get to the local high school track and run around it 4 times and get an approximate mile PR.  You want to run it STRONGLY and evenly--if you run, say, the first 2 laps in 8 minutes and the last 2 laps in 6 minutes, then your PR (at the moment) is not quite 14 minutes.  Chances are; you went out way too conservatively.  Many people jump in a 5k race--probably one of the most popular distances around today.  But for many beginning runners, 5k itself is an endurance test and they don't really "race" it.  You really can't get a good training pace, which most experts would tell you to add such-and-such time to your current 5k race pace.  It just doesn't work well.  It's probably a lot more accurate to get a mile time first.  Even then, most beginners don't know how to push themselves and the ratio for more advanced runners and beginners are quite different.  Here's the chart we use (all the pace is for ONE MILE, not kilometer):

     

    Mile time

    Long run pace

    Regular Run Pace

    Jog Pace

    Tempo Run Pace

    9:30

    12:26

    12:15

    13:22

    11:34

    10:00

    12:59

    12:47

    13:57

    12:04

    10:30

    13:31

    13:19

    14:32

    12:34

    11:00

    14:04

    13:51

    15:07

    13:04

    11:30

    14:36

    14:22

    15:41

    13:34

    12:00

    15:07

    14:54

    16:15

    14:04

    12:30

    15:39

    15:25

    16:49

    14:33

    13:00

    16:10

    15:56

    17:23

    15:03

     

    This is just a guide but you can see how "slow" most runs should be.  For someone who can run up to an hour should be able to handle a mile test and, with this pace guide line, you should be able to run up to an hour without too much struggle.

     

    It is also advisable to throw in one day a week of easy strides.  In the beginning level, I would not recommend using 100m which most advanced people might suggest--that's too far.  I'd say 30-50m should be more then plenty.  Doing strides can be a part of a plyometric exercise.  If all you do is easy running, you may be able to get up to 2 hours or more but may never get faster.  Not that running fast is a solo objective; but it actually helps to stay injury-free.

      Don't sweat the different paces on your easy runs.  Temperature and humidity can affect me by around a minute per mile on cool crisp mornings vs. warm humid mornings.  Even the wind blowing or not can affect things.  Also if you aren't feeling great, didn't get enough sleep the night before, hydration, etc. can all make a difference.

       

      I use a heart rate monitor to help me sort out my easy pace and think it is very helpful as a beginner runner.  I'm still getting faster just running easy everyday for now, but I'm still not very fast.

      Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

        Thanks for the replies, and for the pace suggestions Nobby.  I'll try to get out and time a mile tomorrow.  Having said that, none of the local high schools have tracks, so the only way I have to measure a mile is by mapometer or an app like RunKeeper.  I'm not sure how accurate they'll be when going for something that specific!

         

        I ran 8.5k today, 5.5k yesterday, and 7.5k the day before.  My legs felt pretty tired today, but I have to say, I'm enjoying getting out there everyday!  I actually feel like I could go for another run now, but that's probably a bad idea!  (If for no other reason than I need to get some work done. :-))

         

        Thanks again,

        Samantha

          Thanks for the replies, and for the pace suggestions Nobby.  I'll try to get out and time a mile tomorrow.  Having said that, none of the local high schools have tracks, so the only way I have to measure a mile is by mapometer or an app like RunKeeper.  I'm not sure how accurate they'll be when going for something that specific!

           

           

          Google Earth is quite good for measuring distances on the ground.

           

          These days many people have a 'phone with a GPS receiver - using that to measure a route is pretty accurate. Also a properly calibrated bicycle computer can be very accurate. (Car odometers tend to be rather inaccurate.)

            Thanks!  I timed a mile today, and did it in 10:05.  I was so disappointed not to be below 10 minutes when I looked at my watch, but there's always next time.  The first time I ran a mile (and the only ever time I've timed that distance) it was 12:45, so it's nice to see that improvement.  I'll keep the pace suggestions in mind. :-)

              Hi again,

               

              I've been going relatively well with increasing the slow, easy miles.  However, my kids have been home on school holiday for the past week, and I've felt frustrated with how little I've been able to run.  So, I've been doing some faster workouts when I do get a chance to run, as it feels a little less lazy. :-)  I have a few more question now though!  Today, I tried to do 5K at half marathon race pace, as per a schedule that I made up which combines a few different training plans/suggestions I've read.  (That may be a stupid idea, but that's another topic!)  The problem with that is that I'm not really sure what my "half marathon race pace" would be.  I plugged my mile time into a calculator and got a half marathon race pace of 7:15 min/km.  I can't really check the pace while I'm running, so I just did today's 5K relatively fast and hard without being crazy fast.  When I checked when I got home, I averaged 7:08 min/km.  The problem is that pace is fine for a 5K run, but there's no way I would have been able to hold it for 10K, let alone 21.  So, does that mean that's too ambitious of a race pace, or is that an okay pace to use as "race pace" for training, and maybe over the next few months it will become more realistic for the race itself?

               

              The other thing that's bugging me, is that from what I've read, long runs are meant to be done even slower than "easy" runs.  How do you run a half marathon at race pace, if the longest race pace run you've done in training is half of the distance?  It just doesn't make sense to me that I could go into a race, start it out at a pace that's significantly faster than my long training runs have been, and make it to the finish without collapsing! 

               

              Thanks to you all for your help and patience.  :-)

               

              Samantha

                Today, I tried to do 5K at half marathon race pace, as per a schedule that I made up which combines a few different training plans/suggestions I've read.  (That may be a stupid idea, but that's another topic!)  The problem with that is that I'm not really sure what my "half marathon race pace" would be.  I plugged my mile time into a calculator and got a half marathon race pace of 7:15 min/km.  I can't really check the pace while I'm running, so I just did today's 5K relatively fast and hard without being crazy fast.  When I checked when I got home, I averaged 7:08 min/km.  The problem is that pace is fine for a 5K run, but there's no way I would have been able to hold it for 10K, let alone 21.  

                 

                That sounds vaguely like the idea of a "tempo" run, a.k.a anaerobic threshold running, a.k.a. about a billion other names. The general concept thrown off about these are that they are "comfortably hard", which sounds oxymoronic but basically it's a pace that definitely isn't easy and you would be happy to slow down but at the same time you aren't dying or hurting bad to hold it. 

                 

                The key (imo) though to good tempo runs though is not to have any target pace in mind...so many things can thrown that off whether it be wind, hills, rain, or just how your body is on that day. Run them bases on feel. I know I like to start them off on the easier side of things and try to get into a nice rhythm: one where you feel fast, strong, and flowing; but not one that requires intense laboring. If I don't start feeling this way after a mile or so I usually back off and forget about the tempo for that day because while there are physiological benefits to tempo runs it's also about "making fast easy" and if you aren't running fast and/or easy then it's missing part of the puzzle. Assuming your in the zone though you can slowly start to ratchet up the pace to the fastest possible pace you can do without laboring, and if your really in a mood to go, you can start working even faster in the last couple minutes or so.

                 

                Tempo's are tricky to describe, and in many ways even trickier to do right. It's a matter of learning your body and how these efforts should feel and something as nebulous as a tempo run is arguably more difficult to go out and do right that to run 8x1k in 7:00.

                 

                So, does that mean that's too ambitious of a race pace, or is that an okay pace to use as "race pace" for training, and maybe over the next few months it will become more realistic for the race itself?


                As long as you use it as an appropriate race pace it's okay. In other words it sounds like this pace might be roughly your 8km pace right now, so as long as you use that pace as an 8km race pace your fine. If you try to pretend that 8km race pace is your half race pace that's where you run into trouble. In most situations you want to train with current race pace and not goal race pace. 

                 

                 How do you run a half marathon at race pace, if the longest race pace run you've done in training is half of the distance?  It just doesn't make sense to me that I could go into a race, start it out at a pace that's significantly faster than my long training runs have been, and make it to the finish without collapsing! 

                 

                The other thing that's bugging me, is that from what I've read, long runs are meant to be done even slower than "easy" runs. 

                 

                Not necessarily true at all. Long runs can be done in a variety of ways at a variety of paces. Progression long runs, fast finishes, long runs at MP, long runs alternating 10s faster than MP with 20s slower, etc, etc.
                 

                How do you run a half marathon at race pace, if the longest race pace run you've done in training is half of the distance?  It just doesn't make sense to me that I could go into a race, start it out at a pace that's significantly faster than my long training runs have been, and make it to the finish without collapsing! 

                 

                This almost reads like your saying you have to do a training run at HMP or faster for a half-marathon to be ready to race your HM at goal pace. Obviously if you can go out and run 13.1 miles @ goal HMP in training you can run at least that fast, usually faster, in a race. I'm not at all knowledgeable abut half training, but I would certainly think you have lots of training at around 10km-HMP in general, and probably longer runs that can exceed HM distance containing portions at HMP (i.e. 15 mile run w/ middle 5 at HMP) but some of that probably depends on your current mileage and running history. It doesn't necessarily make sense for someone running 20mpw to do 15 mile long run for a HM, then run 2 miles 2 or 3 other days. They would probably be better off running 3-4 miles 5-6 days a week, and could probably handle more global volume as well without the stress of super long long runs (relatively, based on mileage).

                They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

                  Thanks for the reply LMaster. Honestly, I would feel a lot more confident standing at the starting line if I'd done a 21km practice run at race pace, but I'm getting the idea that I'll just have to take it on faith that it isn't a good idea to do that. :-) In terms of mileage, right now I'm doing about 40km a week, which is quite a big increase from about 25km a month or so ago. (By my calculations that's increased from about 15 to about 25 miles per week.). My long runs are currently 12km, and I was planning to increase gradually to about 20-22km in early October before tapering for the half. I only did 18km as my longest run before my last half, but i have more time to build up distance this time around. I do tend to speed up for the last couple of k of a long run and try to finish strong. I'm really just guessing about what to do, as none of the training plans I can find seem to fit very well. Hopefully if I just keep running I'll get there in the end. :-) How would I go about figuring out what my half marathon race pace should be? On the day is it best to race by pace, or keep going by feel? Going by feel would make sense given that the course is hilly and I don't really know what my pace should be. Then again, I think it would be easy to go out to quickly if I wasn't keeping an eye on the pace.
                    Thanks for the reply LMaster. Honestly, I would feel a lot more confident standing at the starting line if I'd done a 21km practice run at race pace, but I'm getting the idea that I'll just have to take it on faith that it isn't a good idea to do that. :-) In terms of mileage, right now I'm doing about 40km a week, which is quite a big increase from about 25km a month or so ago. (By my calculations that's increased from about 15 to about 25 miles per week.). My long runs are currently 12km, and I was planning to increase gradually to about 20-22km in early October before tapering for the half. I only did 18km as my longest run before my last half, but i have more time to build up distance this time around. I do tend to speed up for the last couple of k of a long run and try to finish strong. I'm really just guessing about what to do, as none of the training plans I can find seem to fit very well. Hopefully if I just keep running I'll get there in the end. :-) How would I go about figuring out what my half marathon race pace should be? On the day is it best to race by pace, or keep going by feel? Going by feel would make sense given that the course is hilly and I don't really know what my pace should be. Then again, I think it would be easy to go out to quickly if I wasn't keeping an eye on the pace.

                    Samantha:

                     

                    All due respect, NO ONE do the race (distance and pace) to prepare for the race.  Race is race; you save everything that you had developed to be put together and "perform" ON THE DAY.  I know that it seems to be a hard concept to a lot of people but race is not a "workout".  If you just want to run through it, you don't even need a training plan--you can just continue to run and run and run and see what happens on the "race" day.  Training is different.  You figure out what elements you need to develop and you develop those elements and only put them together on the race day.  For example, to run a good 5 or 10k, you need good endurance, good speed, and also ability to run at the race pace continuously.  You do NOT want to run the race distance (let's pick 10k) at the race pace in your workout.  You try to develop enough stamina to run 10k; then you work on the race pace--usually done in interval form at slightly faster pace than what is expected in the race--; and then you do tempo-ish workout at NEAR race pace but much shorter distance (usually).  So the workout would look something like:

                     

                    Long run 12-15k or so so you feel 10k is easy

                    Interval at 6:45-6:55/km pace, say, 5 X 800m

                    Tempo run of, say, 3k at 7:10 pace

                     

                    If you run, say, 5 days a week, then you'll have 2 days of easy jog of, say, 30-45 minutes jog.

                     

                    If you want to do the same pattern week in and week out, here's your pattern.  Of course, the trick is that you usually want to get longer and faster as the week go by.  So the long run may increase from, say, 8k to 15k.  The pace might get faster each week, etc.  I personally recommend the other approach.  You work on stamina first because (1) it takes longer to develop, (2) easier on your body to start out (to go slower and longer), (3) your legs (mainly tendons and ligaments) will be strengthened through longer slower running by the time you move on to faster running.  The pace will quicken as you go along, therefore, you wouldn't have to worry too much about what pace you're running at this point--in other words, running 7.5k at near race pace (didn't you say somewhere--maybe other page--that you did a 7.5k tempo?), to me, is a bit too much at this point.  You still have plenty of time (race in October) so let's not try to reach your target (distance and pace) next week.

                     

                    I thought, from what you said earlier, that you run about 10k at 8 minute/km pace???  So I'm assuming you're at about 1:30 range for a long run.  You need to fluctuate your duration each day so as to give yourself a break WHILE STILL RUNNING.  Pace of about 8:30/km should be sufficient for your daily run to shoot for 7min/km race pace for someone who can run 10-minutes for a mile at this point.  So your training should look something like this (note: I'm against doing too much running, meaning too many long runs beyond 2:00.  And, by the way, those large hearts don't have any special meaning personally!! ;o)):

                     

                    17 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 7/1/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    10.5 km

                    (8 - 12 km)

                    1:30:00

                    (1:17:00 - 1:39:00)

                    8:44 / km

                    (9:31 - 8:18 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/2/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/3/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5 km

                    (3.5 - 5.5 km)

                    42:00

                    (35:00 - 45:00)

                    8:39 / km

                    (9:26 - 8:10 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 7/4/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    8 km

                    (6 - 9 km)

                    1:08:00

                    (57:00 - 1:15:00)

                    8:36 / km

                    (9:23 - 8:09 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/5/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/6/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    3 km

                    (2.5 - 3.5 km)

                    30:00

                    (26:00 - 34:00)

                    9:23 / km

                    (10:13 - 8:54 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 7/7/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    6 km

                    (5 - 7 km)

                    49:00

                    (43:00 - 54:00)

                    8:07 / km

                    (8:50 - 7:38 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    16 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 7/8/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    11 km

                    (8.5 - 12.5 km)

                    1:34:00

                    (1:20:00 - 1:44:00)

                    8:42 / km

                    (9:29 - 8:16 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/9/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/10/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    43:00

                    (37:00 - 47:00)

                    8:37 / km

                    (9:24 - 8:09 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 7/11/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    8 km

                    (6.5 - 9.5 km)

                    1:11:00

                    (1:00:00 - 1:18:00)

                    8:35 / km

                    (9:22 - 8:07 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/12/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/13/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    3.5 km

                    (2.5 - 4 km)

                    32:00

                    (27:00 - 35:00)

                    9:22 / km

                    (10:11 - 8:53 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 7/14/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    6.5 km

                    (5 - 7.5 km)

                    52:00

                    (44:00 - 57:00)

                    8:06 / km

                    (8:49 - 7:37 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    15 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 7/15/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    11.5 km

                    (9 - 13 km)

                    1:39:00

                    (1:24:00 - 1:48:00)

                    8:41 / km

                    (9:28 - 8:15 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/16/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/17/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    45:00

                    (39:00 - 50:00)

                    8:36 / km

                    (9:23 - 8:07 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 7/18/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    8.5 km

                    (6.5 - 10 km)

                    1:14:00

                    (1:02:00 - 1:22:00)

                    8:33 / km

                    (9:20 - 8:06 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/19/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/20/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    3.5 km

                    (2.5 - 4 km)

                    33:00

                    (28:00 - 37:00)

                    9:20 / km

                    (10:10 - 8:52 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 7/21/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    6.5 km

                    (5 - 7.5 km)

                    54:00

                    (46:00 - 59:00)

                    8:05 / km

                    (8:47 - 7:36 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    14 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 7/22/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    12 km

                    (9 - 13.5 km)

                    1:42:00

                    (1:27:00 - 1:53:00)

                    8:40 / km

                    (9:27 - 8:14 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/23/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/24/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5.5 km

                    (4 - 6.5 km)

                    47:00

                    (40:00 - 51:00)

                    8:35 / km

                    (9:21 - 8:06 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 7/25/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    9 km

                    (7 - 10.5 km)

                    1:17:00

                    (1:05:00 - 1:25:00)

                    8:32 / km

                    (9:19 - 8:05 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/26/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/27/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    3.5 km

                    (3 - 4.5 km)

                    34:00

                    (29:00 - 38:00)

                    9:19 / km

                    (10:08 - 8:50 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 7/28/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    7 km

                    (5.5 - 8 km)

                    56:00

                    (48:00 - 1:02:00)

                    8:03 / km

                    (8:46 - 7:35 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    13 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 7/29/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    12.5 km

                    (9.5 - 14 km)

                    1:47:00

                    (1:31:00 - 1:57:00)

                    8:39 / km

                    (9:25 - 8:13 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      7/30/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 7/31/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5.5 km

                    (4.5 - 6.5 km)

                    49:00

                    (42:00 - 54:00)

                    8:33 / km

                    (9:20 - 8:05 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 8/1/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    9.5 km

                    (7 - 11 km)

                    1:20:00

                    (1:07:00 - 1:28:00)

                    8:31 / km

                    (9:17 - 8:04 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/2/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 8/3/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    4 km

                    (3 - 4.5 km)

                    35:00

                    (30:00 - 40:00)

                    9:17 / km

                    (10:07 - 8:49 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 8/4/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    7 km

                    (5.5 - 8.5 km)

                    58:00

                    (50:00 - 1:04:00)

                    8:02 / km

                    (8:45 - 7:34 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    12 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 8/5/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    13 km

                    (10 - 15 km)

                    1:50:00

                    (1:34:00 - 2:01:00)

                    8:37 / km

                    (9:24 - 8:11 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/6/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 8/7/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    6 km

                    (4.5 - 7 km)

                    51:00

                    (43:00 - 55:00)

                    8:32 / km

                    (9:19 - 8:04 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 8/8/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    9.5 km

                    (7.5 - 11.5 km)

                    1:23:00

                    (1:10:00 - 1:32:00)

                    8:30 / km

                    (9:16 - 8:03 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/9/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 8/10/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    4 km

                    (3 - 4.5 km)

                    37:00

                    (31:00 - 41:00)

                    9:16 / km

                    (10:05 - 8:48 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 8/11/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    7.5 km

                    (6 - 8.5 km)

                    1:00:00

                    (52:00 - 1:06:00)

                    8:01 / km

                    (8:43 - 7:33 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    11 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 8/12/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    14 km

                    (10.5 - 16 km)

                    1:58:00

                    (1:41:00 - 2:10:00)

                    8:35 / km

                    (9:21 - 8:09 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/13/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 8/14/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    6.5 km

                    (5 - 7.5 km)

                    54:00

                    (47:00 - 59:00)

                    8:30 / km

                    (9:16 - 8:01 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 8/15/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    10.5 km

                    (8 - 12 km)

                    1:29:00

                    (1:15:00 - 1:38:00)

                    8:27 / km

                    (9:13 - 8:00 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/16/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 8/17/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    4 km

                    (3.5 - 5 km)

                    39:00

                    (34:00 - 44:00)

                    9:13 / km

                    (10:02 - 8:45 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 8/18/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    8 km

                    (6.5 - 9.5 km)

                    1:05:00

                    (55:00 - 1:11:00)

                    7:59 / km

                    (8:41 - 7:30 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    10 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Aerobic 8/19/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    15 km

                    (11.5 - 17 km)

                    2:06:00

                    (1:48:00 - 2:19:00)

                    8:32 / km

                    (9:18 - 8:07 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/20/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 8/21/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    7 km

                    (5.5 - 8 km)

                    58:00

                    (50:00 - 1:03:00)

                    8:27 / km

                    (9:13 - 7:59 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Aerobic 8/22/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Aerobic Run

                    11 km

                    (8.5 - 13 km)

                    1:35:00

                    (1:20:00 - 1:45:00)

                    8:24 / km

                    (9:11 - 7:58 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/23/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Aerobic 8/24/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    4.5 km

                    (3.5 - 5.5 km)

                    42:00

                    (36:00 - 47:00)

                    9:11 / km

                    (9:59 - 8:42 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Aerobic 8/25/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Out & Back

                    8.5 km

                    (7 - 10 km)

                    1:09:00

                    (59:00 - 1:16:00)

                    7:56 / km

                    (8:38 - 7:28 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    9 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Hills 8/26/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    13.5 km

                    (10.5 - 16 km)

                    2:03:00

                    (1:44:00 - 2:15:00)

                    8:58 / km

                    (9:46 - 8:31 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/27/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Hills 8/28/2012
                    Tuesday
                    3

                    PCR (Progress Calibration Run)

                    7 km

                    (5.5 - 8 km)

                    55:00

                    (47:00 - 1:01:00)

                    7:51 / km

                    (8:31 - 7:26 / km)

                    5 - 8 149 167
                    Hills 8/29/2012
                    Wednesday
                    4

                    Aerobic Run

                    9 km

                    (7 - 10.5 km)

                    1:20:00

                    (1:08:00 - 1:28:00)

                    8:50 / km

                    (9:35 - 8:23 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      8/30/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Hills 8/31/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5.5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    46:00

                    (40:00 - 51:00)

                    8:28 / km

                    (9:14 - 8:04 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Hills 9/1/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Hills

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    No distance suggested

                    39:00

                    (26:00 - 47:00)

                    No pace suggested 5 - 7 149 162

                    8 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Hills 9/2/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    13.5 km

                    (10.5 - 16 km)

                    2:03:00

                    (1:44:00 - 2:15:00)

                    8:58 / km

                    (9:46 - 8:31 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/3/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Hills 9/4/2012
                    Tuesday
                    3

                    PCR (Progress Calibration Run)

                    7 km

                    (5.5 - 8 km)

                    55:00

                    (47:00 - 1:01:00)

                    7:48 / km

                    (8:25 - 7:21 / km)

                    5 - 8 149 167
                    Hills 9/5/2012
                    Wednesday
                    4

                    Aerobic Run

                    9 km

                    (7 - 10.5 km)

                    1:20:00

                    (1:08:00 - 1:28:00)

                    8:50 / km

                    (9:35 - 8:23 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/6/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Hills 9/7/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5.5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    46:00

                    (40:00 - 51:00)

                    8:28 / km

                    (9:14 - 8:04 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Hills 9/8/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Hills

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    No distance suggested

                    43:00

                    (36:00 - 52:00)

                    No pace suggested 5 - 7 149 162

                    7 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Hills 9/9/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    13.5 km

                    (10.5 - 16 km)

                    2:03:00

                    (1:44:00 - 2:15:00)

                    8:58 / km

                    (9:46 - 8:31 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/10/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Hills 9/11/2012
                    Tuesday
                    3

                    PCR (Progress Calibration Run)

                    7 km

                    (5.5 - 8.5 km)

                    55:00

                    (47:00 - 1:01:00)

                    7:45 / km

                    (8:23 - 7:18 / km)

                    5 - 8 149 167
                    Hills 9/12/2012
                    Wednesday
                    4

                    Aerobic Run

                    9 km

                    (7 - 10.5 km)

                    1:20:00

                    (1:08:00 - 1:28:00)

                    8:50 / km

                    (9:35 - 8:23 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/13/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Hills 9/14/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5.5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    46:00

                    (40:00 - 51:00)

                    8:28 / km

                    (9:14 - 8:04 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Hills 9/15/2012
                    Saturday
                    2

                    Hills

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    No distance suggested

                    52:00

                    (39:00 - 1:00:00)

                    No pace suggested 5 - 7 149 162

                    6 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Anaerobic 9/16/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    12.5 km

                    (10 - 14.5 km)

                    1:55:00

                    (1:37:00 - 2:06:00)

                    8:58 / km

                    (9:46 - 8:31 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/17/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Anaerobic 9/18/2012
                    Tuesday
                    2

                    Intervals (max 6k total)

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    6 km total

                    At 1/4 effort

                    Pace Chart 6 - 9 157 173
                    Anaerobic 9/19/2012
                    Wednesday
                    5

                    Aerobic Run

                    8.5 km

                    (6.5 - 9.5 km)

                    1:15:00

                    (1:03:00 - 1:23:00)

                    8:55 / km

                    (9:41 - 8:31 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/20/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Anaerobic 9/21/2012
                    Friday
                    7

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    43:00

                    (37:00 - 48:00)

                    8:39 / km

                    (9:25 - 8:12 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Anaerobic 9/22/2012
                    Saturday
                    3

                    PCR (Progress Calibration Run)

                    7.5 km

                    (5.5 - 8.5 km)

                    56:00

                    (48:00 - 1:02:00)

                    7:37 / km

                    (8:20 - 7:16 / km)

                    5 - 8 149 167

                    5 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Anaerobic 9/23/2012
                    Sunday
                    1

                    Long Aerobic Run

                    12.5 km

                    (10 - 14.5 km)

                    1:55:00

                    (1:37:00 - 2:06:00)

                    8:58 / km

                    (9:46 - 8:31 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/24/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Anaerobic 9/25/2012
                    Tuesday
                    2

                    Intervals (max 6k total)

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    6 km total

                    At 1/4 effort

                    Pace Chart 6 - 9 157 173
                    Anaerobic 9/26/2012
                    Wednesday
                    4

                    Aerobic Run

                    8.5 km

                    (6.5 - 9.5 km)

                    1:15:00

                    (1:03:00 - 1:23:00)

                    8:55 / km

                    (9:41 - 8:31 / km)

                    3 - 5 130 149
                      9/27/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Anaerobic 9/28/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    43:00

                    (37:00 - 48:00)

                    8:39 / km

                    (9:25 - 8:12 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Anaerobic 9/29/2012
                    Saturday
                    3

                    PCR (Progress Calibration Run)

                    7.5 km

                    (5.5 - 8.5 km)

                    56:00

                    (48:00 - 1:02:00)

                    7:32 / km

                    (8:15 - 7:10 / km)

                    5 - 8 149 167

                    4 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Coordination 9/30/2012
                    Sunday
                    2

                    Long Jog

                    10 km

                    (8 - 11.5 km)

                    1:32:00

                    (1:19:00 - 1:42:00)

                    9:11 / km

                    (10:01 - 8:44 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                      10/1/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Coordination 10/2/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    6 km

                    (5 - 7 km)

                    53:00

                    (45:00 - 58:00)

                    8:38 / km

                    (9:22 - 8:11 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Coordination 10/3/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Out & Back

                    5 km

                    (4 - 5.5 km)

                    36:00

                    (32:00 - 40:00)

                    7:21 / km

                    (8:00 - 6:59 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162
                      10/4/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Coordination 10/5/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Cut-Downs

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    2 sets of 3 X 100m at

                    0:40 / 0:38 / 0:36

                    Gradually faster; repeat 2 - 6 121 157
                    Coordination 10/6/2012
                    Saturday
                    1

                    Out & Back or Long Race

                    10.5 km

                    (8 - 12 km)

                    1:19:00

                    (1:07:00 - 1:27:00)

                    7:32 / km

                    (8:13 - 7:10 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    3 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Coordination 10/7/2012
                    Sunday
                    2

                    Long Jog

                    9 km

                    (7 - 10 km)

                    1:21:00

                    (1:09:00 - 1:30:00)

                    9:11 / km

                    (10:01 - 8:44 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                      10/8/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Coordination 10/9/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    5 km

                    (4 - 6 km)

                    43:00

                    (37:00 - 47:00)

                    8:30 / km

                    (9:17 - 8:05 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Coordination 10/10/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Out & Back

                    4 km

                    (3 - 4.5 km)

                    27:00

                    (23:00 - 30:00)

                    7:04 / km

                    (7:43 - 6:42 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162
                      10/11/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Coordination 10/12/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Cut-Downs

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    2 sets of 3 X 100m at

                    0:40 / 0:38 / 0:36

                    Gradually faster; repeat 2 - 6 121 157
                    Coordination 10/13/2012
                    Saturday
                    1

                    Out & Back

                    9 km

                    (7 - 10.5 km)

                    1:07:00

                    (56:00 - 1:13:00)

                    7:21 / km

                    (8:05 - 6:59 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162

                    2 weeks before race

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Taper 10/14/2012
                    Sunday
                    2

                    Jog

                    7.5 km

                    (6 - 9 km)

                    1:12:00

                    (1:01:00 - 1:19:00)

                    9:11 / km

                    (10:01 - 8:44 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                      10/15/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Taper 10/16/2012
                    Tuesday
                    4

                    Easy Fartlek

                    4.5 km

                    (3.5 - 5.5 km)

                    40:00

                    (34:00 - 43:00)

                    8:30 / km

                    (9:17 - 8:05 / km)

                    2 - 6 121 157
                    Taper 10/17/2012
                    Wednesday
                    3

                    Out & Back

                    3.5 km

                    (2.5 - 4 km)

                    25:00

                    (22:00 - 27:00)

                    7:29 / km

                    (8:11 - 7:07 / km)

                    4 - 7 139 162
                      10/18/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Taper 10/19/2012
                    Friday
                    5

                    Jog

                    3 km

                    (2.5 - 3.5 km)

                    27:00

                    (23:00 - 30:00)

                    9:06 / km

                    (9:55 - 8:38 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Taper 10/20/2012
                    Saturday
                    1

                    5k or 10k Race or Time Trial

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    5k or 10k

                    32:59 or 1:08:47

                    6 - 9 157 173

                    Race week

                    PhaseDateRankWorkoutDistanceDurationPaceRPEMin
                    Max
                    Taper 10/21/2012
                    Sunday
                    3

                    Jog

                    7 km

                    (5.5 - 8 km)

                    1:06:00

                    (56:00 - 1:12:00)

                    9:11 / km

                    (10:01 - 8:44 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                      10/22/2012
                    Monday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Taper 10/23/2012
                    Tuesday
                    5

                    Jog

                    6 km

                    (4.5 - 6.5 km)

                    53:00

                    (45:00 - 57:00)

                    9:03 / km

                    (9:52 - 8:35 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Taper 10/24/2012
                    Wednesday
                    2

                    Up-Tempo

                    (15 minutes warm up, 15 minutes cool down)

                    1 mile

                     

                    11:03

                    Run Strongly Evenly

                    5 - 7 149 162
                      10/25/2012
                    Thursday
                     

                    Rest Day

                         
                    Taper 10/26/2012
                    Friday
                    4

                    Jog

                    2.5 km

                    (2 - 3.5 km)

                    26:00

                    (22:00 - 31:00)

                    9:17 / km

                    (10:06 - 8:46 / km)

                    1 - 3 111 130
                    Race 10/27/2012
                    Saturday
                    1

                    THE RACE

                    Half Marathon

                     

                    2:30:15

                    7:07 / km

                      PS: Actually, I take it back--some races CAN be a part of training program.  So I guess it's misleading to say "No one does races to prepare for a (target) race".  The point is; if you PR in training and can't run as fast/well in the target race, there's something wrong with your training program.

                       

                      Happy 4th of July, everybody!!


                      Bushrat Runner

                        Sounds like you are doing well based on your description. As Nobby says, races can be used in training, usually shorter races can be part of a training regimen for a longer race. But your best performance at any race distance will usually be when you target your running schedule specifically for that one race, and it will be faster than if you train through it. 

                         

                        Also, many things can impact your pace, including weather. Hot weather usually leads to slower runs, as does cold weather such as -10C or colder. The most consistent way to measure effort is with a heart rate monitor, the pace will usually take care of itself. But if you consistently keep yourself into the anaerobic phase of your HR, you will have trouble developing better endurance. And if you only ever train at low HR for aerobic development, you will not develop improved leg speed. If you don't have or want to get a HRM, I would run easy most of the time, harder pace for shorter distance one day per week, and incorporate sprints into your run one day per week. Nobby's schedule is a lot more structured...which may be better for you.

                          Thanks for the help!  This forum is great. :-)  I've managed to upload data from RunKeeper into the RA training log, so that should be visible now, which shows most of my runs.  (Although, some of the workouts are listed twice, and the one that says I ran for 36 hours should be 36 minutes!)

                           

                          That training plan is great, thanks!  Some of the paces still look very slow though.  I find there's a huge variety in my paces, and it doesn't necessarily relate to how easy or hard the running feels on the day.  What does RPE stand for?  Also, it looks like the longest run is 15km 9 weeks before the race.  Would it be okay to keep building up the long runs a bit more? 

                           

                          In terms of racing, the half marathon is on the 28th of October.  There's another marathon on the 26th of August with 5 and 10K options, and also a race I'm interested in doing on the 23rd of September, with 5, 10, and 15K options.  I was originally going to do the 10K in September, but now I'm wondering about doing the 10K in August and the 15K in September.  Does anyone have any suggestions on what the best preparation for the half would be?

                           

                          Samantha :-)

                            RPE = Rated Perceived Exertion, so how hard you feel you are working. 

                            They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

                              I am sure Nobby will come along and answer you, but there is a reason that the longest long run is 9 weeks before your goal race. That is the end of the aerobic phase and begins the hill phase where you will be working on other components (i.e strength over aerobic after completion of the aerobic development phase).  The body can absorb only so much stimulus at a time, and increasing the long run while also trying to get the hill work done may not let you complete the strength component to the optimal extent by not recovering enough for the hill workouts and speed workouts later or leaving you more tired than necessary.  

                               

                              This plan or any other plan if well constructed gets you to peak on a certain day and interfering with it may get sub optimal results.  Staying sharp and lowering fatigue close to the race is what lets us hit our target. Trust a plan, stick to it the best you can keeping in mind how your body feels, weather conditions, life stresses etc and you'll have your best race.

                                RPE = Rated Perceived Exertion, so how hard you feel you are working. 

                                Ditto.  And, if you get to the actual plan, you'll see what signs to look for for each RPE level.  By the way, HR is based on my age and my resting HR so it's not for a 29-year-old woman at whatever the resting HR might be.