My husband is training for a 5K in a couple of months. He doesn't do speedwork at all, but he would like to start. There happens to be a 5K near our house this wekend. Should he run the race or do some work on the track? He wants to start doing some speedwaork once a week. I could probabaly find him several races between now and his goal race. Should he stick to the track or race on the weekend when a race is available?
2017 Goals: Qualify for Boston 2018 at Boston in 2017 & sub 1:39:00 at the Revel Canyon Half in November 2017.
Over 45 PR's:
5K - 21:21
Half - 1:39:49
Full - 3:33.47
Running is stupid
I believe in the validity of the saying "the best training for racing, is racing". So I vote he should do the race, with a very slow easy warm-up before, and then if he feels up to it do some very easy miles afterwards. Has he run a 5k before? This race would be a good gauge of his current fitness level.
Sultan of slug
+1 to both. Racing is great, and I don't do enough of it. It's fun and it's tough mentally.
The good thing about speed work, though, is that you can spend more time at race pace or faster than you would in a race. A staple of my current training has been 5 x 1200m at 3k-5k race pace, with 3-4 minute recovery jogs between intervals. So I get in 6000m at faster-than-5k pace and feel better the next day than if I had raced.
run the race, so he knows what his current fitness is. First, it's a starting point; second it's a fitness benchmark. He can use the race to determine what his correct training paces should be for all training, be it speed work, tempo, long runs, easy days.
Thanks. The race didn't have race day registration, so the question ended up being irrelevant. I'm going to sign him up for two in April. His goal race is in May.
I would also start some informal speed work. 400 repeats are a good one to start with. Or maybe do fartleks, use the ole telephone pole to telephone pole distance. Run faster from one pole to the next, then recover to the next pole(or mailbox).
If you rely on races for speed work, you're missing out, unless you race every week.
I find it takes about 6 weeks to get any benefit from speed work. I can count on one hand the number of times I have done speed work in 25 years.
Run until the trail runs out.
The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff
Week 1 - 4 to 6 x 400m repeats @ 5 seconds faster than target pace, 200m walked recoveries
Week 2 - 3 to 4 x 800m repeats @ target 5K pace with 90 second rest
Week 3 - 2 x 1 mile tempo @ target pace + 10-15 seconds, 60 seconds active recoveries
Week 4 - 6 - 8 x 400m repeats @ 10 seconds faster than target pace, 200m walked recoveries
Week 5 - fartlek - random 30s to 2 minute pickups
Week 6 - 5 or 6 x 800m repeats @ target 5K pace with 90 second rest
Week 7 - 8 to 10 45s uphill repeats, jog downhill to recover
Week 8- 3 x 1 mile tempo repeats @ target pace + 10 seconds, 60 seconds active recoveries
3 or 4 days before the race do 5 or 6 400m repeats at target pace
Certified Running CoachCrocked since 2013