Cardio fitness vs. running-specific strength... (Read 1045 times)


    Hi, new member here. I have a training regime that's working for me at the moment, but I wanted to get some feedback on how best to maximize my performance. Currently, I run three days a week and swim three days a week. I'm relatively time-contrained (two kids, demanding job and I'd like avoid forcing my wife to want to kill me), and it's a challenge to squeeze even that amount in. Currently I run on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and swim Tuesday, Friday, Sunday. Wife has night tennis league on Wednesdays, so it's off limits. Swimming has done wonders for my cardio fitness (It's tough to get me tired when running) but my leg strength seems a little lacking. When I swim, I do interval training over 2500-3000 yards in about 45 minutes depending on how much energy I have. I'm an experienced swimmer and I generally hold a 1:10-1:12 pace per 100. I don't swim competitively anymore. When I run I do two 5 mile pace runs during the week (7:10- 7:15 / mi) and a longer 9-10 mile run (maybe 7:45 / mi) on the weekend. I'm a running neophyte (started 3 years ago) and honestly have no idea what the hell I'm doing... My goals relate entirely to running. I broke 20 in a 5K last year (barely) and I'd like to continue getting faster at that distance. My goal this year is to break 42 in a 10K. I'd also like to do a half-marathon towards the end this year at around 7:30 pace. I did a half marathon two years ago and felt OK but woefully undertrained. My questions (...finally): 1. What's the best way to start incorporating speed/track work into my regimen given my time contraints and goals? 2. Is two pace runs a week too much given how little I run? Should I be doing something different? Am I risking injury? 3. How much do I need to ramp up my running mileage to get ready for the half-marathon? I'm willing to do a little less swimming, but not much. I guess overall, how would you rate the relative importance of general cardio endurance and fitness vs. running-specific strength in terms of achieving my running goals? Thanks for any help you can offer.

    I've got a fever...

      Hiro, if you keep your log here, you should make it public. You said you broke 20 minutes in the 5k. So I assumed 19:30 and plugged it into the McMillan Running Calculator. It suggests easy running paces as follows: Long Runs 7:46 to 8:46 Easy Runs 7:46 to 8:16 So you said you want to maximize performance. If you mean overall fitness, keep doing what you doing. If you mean running, slow down to the paces above and run more often. Since you like swimming a lot, I suppose you don't drop swimming completely. But although swimming benefits your cardiovascular system, it really doesn't do much for running (pool running is a much better water exercise for runners). I wouldn't worry about intervals or speed training. Just slow down and run more, and you'll do great. So to answer your specific questions: 1. No need for speedwork until you're doing at least 30~35 miles per week consistently. 2. I would slow down those runs and do more of them. 3. I'd say you need to at least get it into the 30mpw consistently to run a decent HM.

      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

        Running helps you run better and faster. No other way to say it. I guess if you are not will to drop swimming much I would suggest 4 days running 2 days swimming. Also, don't be so focused on speed work. Try to get your miles up. Here are my suggestions observations for a 20K 5ker you are. You are running your runs fairly hard. Your daily runs are 5 mile fast tempos. You long run is strong pace. It is obvious you are cardiovascularily fit but need some work on running fitness. If you work up to the below gradually you will have no problem breaking 42 min and 7:30 pace in a half marathon. Day 1 5-6 miles easy or around 8:15 - 8:30 pace Day 2 7-9 after 2 mile warm up include some 10K paced reps at pace you can run 10K now ~ 6:50 or so pace working down from there as fitness increases. After doing 5 X 4 min. w/ 1-2 min recoveries then do 6-8 X 100M fast striders (not all out sprint but quick) Day 3 5-6 easy pace Day 4 9-12 w/ some 7:30 paced miles within. Start with 2 and build to 5. Don't need to be back to back but as half marathon approaches, you can do them back to back. Finish w/ some striders.

        Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!