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Make me faster - building a sub-20:00 5-k (Read 1439 times)

    My PR is 20:30 and I'm like you - would love to run sub-20. However, as you've already read it really depends on what you want and how important it is to you. My only advice is to do lots of 400 X and 800 X as well as at least one good run as a fartlek each week. For what that's worth.
      Scout7: The Lydiard material was fascinating! Thanks. I read through all of it, and I'm tempted to ask about 100 questions (and you know I can do it, too Tongue). But I'll get back to you with a couple specific choices. For now, a lot to think about in there. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jeff: I really want to try out the Hanson programs at some point. By the way, check out this thread - you'll see a lot of people reaching similar conclusions: http://runningahead.com/frm_topic.aspx?id=b8117662a370413f9f0f0b0cbc3e57ae I think the consensus was that time was more important than distance, and that there wasn't much benefit to being on your feet for 5 hours at a time in training (well, unless you're one 'o them ultra-freaks). I think the Hansons are probably right - but I also think I'll cling to my 20+ milers for now, mostly for psychological reasons. I need to do them just to remind myself that I can. But I can definitely see at some point eliminating anything beyond 16-18 (or hopefully getting fast enough so that a 20-miler doesn't take all frickin' day!). By the way: in their program, I couldn't quite figure out the "speed" days versus "strength" days, or which of the four "speed" workouts to use. Any ideas?
      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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        Question for all: So my iPod died after a whopping 3 miles this morning, so I had time to think about designing a 40 mpw plan. And I have a basic question - which is a better option: 1) Running 4-days per week, averaging 10 miles per training day; 2) 5-days per week, averaging 8 per day; 3) 6-days per week (or perhaps 7 occassionally), with 2-3 days focused on cross-training/lifting, but running an easy 3-4 miles on those days (as a sort of pre-cross training warmup)? I plan to get back into more serious regular lifting 3 days-per-week and some other cross-training (martial arts/flexibility stuff). I'm tempted to run longer 4 days per week, just since my personality type usually finds it easier to focus on ONE kind of working out at a time. Meaning, I can always go run 6 miles - and then come back and cross-train - but that doesn't always work best for me. In other words, I get back from the run and grab a beer instead of a barbell. Roll eyes I'd also like to somehow manage to work in one day a week of no working out at all. Obviously, I could use more days in a week. Keeping the above in mind, what do you think? I guess the basic question is: running less, more often versus running farther, less often ... at the same mileage.
        E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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        Scout7


        CPT Curmudgeon

          Yes, I'm a font of knowledge, much of it useless, but I have an occasional gem stashed away in there. I'm like a knowledge squirrel. Personally, I like to run 5-6 days a week. But, that's me. I think right now, you're better off doing more days and getting the miles in. I like 2 shorts, 2 mid, and one long as a standard week. The sixth day is either off or I do a short to mid. Again, though, YMMV. Right now, I'm not following any sort of structured plan. I have been working on a winter training plan for myself, and I'll be using it before too much longer (I had planned on this week, but me getting up this morning didn't happen...). I have 6 days of running, 2 spin classes, and 3 swimming sessions. I plan on building up to doing a mid run of about 9-10, shorter runs of 5-6, and long runs of 15-16. Not that I can't do those distances now, but I'm toning back some distances to start. I don't plan on doing tempo runs for at least 8 weeks, and no speed stuff for at least another 8 weeks after that.
            Personally, I like to run 5-6 days a week. But, that's me. I think right now, you're better off doing more days and getting the miles in. I like 2 shorts, 2 mid, and one long as a standard week. The sixth day is either off or I do a short to mid. Again, though, YMMV. .
            I like that basic structure. When you start doing tempo/speed work, will those be your "short" days? And do you do the long 15+ runs every week, or alternate weeks?
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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            Scout7


            CPT Curmudgeon

              The tempo days are usually one of my mid-length days. I use the short distance days as recovery. Long run, I try to do every week, but I take a step approach, much like you see in most plans. 1- 10 mi 2 - 11 mi 3 - 12 mi 4 - 11 mi 5 - 12 mi 6 - 13 mi 7 - 14 mi 8 - 15 mi I also have some progressions on the other runs. I like to step up the shorter runs by a mile every 2-3 weeks, and then the mid runs by a mile every 2-3 weeks. To illustrate, I have a starting mileage of 4 for the short, 7 for the mid. 2 weeks, they stay the same. Week 3, I go to 5 and 7. Week 4, I drop to 4 and 7. Week 5, 5 and 7, Week 6 - 5 and 8. This is why I use Excel to try to track this stuff out. I could probably make it easier on myself, and jump the shorts up one week, the mids up 2 2 weeks after. I may end up going that route, too, but I haven't completely decided.
                When you are in base mode I don't think it matters too much how you split up the mileage--whatever works. As you start to get into more tempos and workouts, then I think you want to have a long run, a 2nd long-ish run and some easy recovery runs. Personally I have an easier time staying motivated when I'm running pretty much every day than when I'm not, but everyone is different. I don't do any real cross training so I don't have much experience there. But my sister recently had some great results with cross training. She had run 6 or 7 marathons before this years Chicago--all in the 4:20 to 4:50 range. Her PR was 4:20 from Boston in '03. Over the past year plus she has been doing a lot more biking and swimming and even did her first few tri's this summer. When she started to build up for Chicago, she kept doing some swimming and usually one road ride a week. So she actually was running less mileage this time than she did for her last few marathons, but between running, swimming and biking she was working out every day--sometimes twice a day. She never ran more than 40 miles a week--sometimes half of that was her long run. She was doing 1 long run, 1 medium long run and then 2 or 3 short recovery runs, plus swimming 2x and biking once (usually.) The result was a 3:52--a 28 minute PR. A big key for her was the cross training alowed her to do more work and drop a few extra pounds she had always carried around without the mileage beating her up. A few posts back (I've been too busy to keep up) there was a discussion about long runs. I don't generally do my long runs at a steady pace. Virtually all of my long runs are either big progression runs or they include some type of changing of pace--usually including some kind of race pace running for whatever distance I'm training for, but not always. So I don't think the long run should be slow OR steady to be most effective.

                Runners run.


                Think Whirled Peas

                  I was just going through some of the old threads and found this one. It's got some GREAT info on getting faster, which has been on my mind of late. So, pardon moi whilst I... BUMP

                  Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.

                    My question to you is simple: how prone are you to injury? The reason I ask is that your chances of injury increase with greater mileage, so if you're more prone to injury, I would recommend shorter mileage - say about where you are now - focused on quality runs and some serious cross-training thrown in. If you're not, and you're one of those lucky people who can run forever, then mileage will definitely help. Scout has a great plan. The only things I would recommend is hit the speed runs - tempo, etc., a little earlier. I would also recommend at least one day of mostly rest - your body really will thank you for it, even if you can go seven days a week, every single week. An additional website I like that has helped me out with pacing and stuff is the following: http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/ Among other things, they have pacing calculators, in which you can plug in your 5k (or other distance) time, and it will not only tell you an estimated time you can expect at other distances, but also recommend pacing for speed workouts, recovery runs, etc. The cross country coach who passed it on to me used it with his runners and had great results, so it came to me well recommended as well. Good luck to you.
                      Thanks for bringing this thread back to life. There is a lot of helpful advice here for those of us looking to break a 5k goal. Smile

                      Michelle

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