4 weeks until race day, how do I finish strong? (Read 103 times)


    First off, I'm foolish. Long story short, I challenged my younger sister who is in much better shape to a 5k. She runs a 5k in about 22 mins, very hilly course. Race date: Oct 29th. (4 weeks)


    When I started in July, I was 207 lbs (6'2", 31 yo male).", fastest mile 8:00, 5k ~27-29 mins.


    My current stats:
    197 lbs, fastest mile 6:50, can run 2 miles in 15 minutes but I'm pretty smoked, so 5k time probably around 23:30ish.


    My running schedule is:
    Monday: 4 mile at 9:00 pace
    Tuesday: 4-6x 4-5 min interval @ 7:00 pace
    Wednesday: 4 mile 9:00 pace
    Thursday: tempo run, 730-800 pace for 15-20 mins.
    Friday: 4 mile 9:00 pace
    Saturday: long run 5-7 miles at 9-10 min pace
    Sunday: off
    *Weekly mileage: 20-25

    **I've also thrown in hill sprints and 400 m repeats.


    My question: in the next 4 weeks, what would be the biggest change I could make to improve my time? I plan on going easy on the week of the race. I am willing to drop more weight, run twice per day, run hills only... I've worked very hard over the last few months and I'm willing to do whatever it takes.


    Or maybe there's not much I can do, that's why I'm asking for advice. Smile




      4 weeks isn't a lot, but you can still maybe get a couple weeks of work in.


      What you are doing is good, you might actually slow down a little bit on your easy runs and maybe add a mile or two onto them.


      Same with your long run on Saturday, run it easy and add a few miles.


      Maybe add some strides in toward the end of some of your easy runs although you already have plenty of quality work in there on Tuesday and Thursday.


      Losing weight may be one of the best ways to gain some speed if you are serious about it.  It's pretty much impossible to actually quantify it, but I've ready before that every 2 pounds you lose you can gain 10 seconds per mile.  So lose 10 pounds and you could gain a minute per mile.  I don't think that would actually correlate out to that much time, but there is no doubt that losing some more weight would help your speed.  Don't go into some starvation diet, but every pound you lose will help.


      If it is a very hilly course make sure you get some hill work in on your weekly schedule.


      My 2 cents.  Probably not worth much.

      Age: 50 Weight: 224 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)


      Pace Prophet

        If you can run 2 miles all out in 15 minutes, you should slow down your easy runs to 9:30 pace or slower, and I agree with npaden, make them longer.  Hill sprints are excellent - you should also consider throwing strides into an easy run once a week. Losing weight will also help.


        Good luck - though I admit I'm cheering for your sister. 

        PRs: 10 1:12:59 (4/2014) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

        bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org


          You are right, not much you can do with only 4 weeks until the race.

          Run your long run in the hills (if possible use the race course to get more familiar with it) and try to add tempo-effort sections.
          I.e.LR=6M (2M easy - 1M tempo effort-1M easy- 1M tempo effort-1M easy). don't focus on your pace, pay more attention to the effort (comfortably hard). 2 weeks before the race try LR=6M (2M easy-2 tempo-2 easy) and make the 2M section go thru the hilliest part of the course.
          Losing weight should help as well of course.

          Finally, start buying donuts and pizzas for your sister, twice a week at least!

          And let us know the outcome of this family battle!

          PRs: 400m- 1:04.94 (2015) / 1M - 5:21.33 (2017) / 5K -18:23 (2017) / 5M - 31:30 (2018)/ 10K - 39:29 (2018) / 10M -1:05:39 (2017) / HM- 1:28:09 (2017)

          Coming up 10/19 - Crooked Billet 5K, 10/20 - Hotfoot 8.8K or 8.8M,10/26 - Skeleton Skurry 5k, 11/3 - Delaware Heritage Half, 11/28 - BCRR 5M

            Not sure I can add much to what others have said, but If your fastest 2 miles is 15 min, how are you able to run 7:30/8:00 pace for 15-20 min on a weekly basis?  If you actually are able to do that, then I think race day magic would easily put you closer to 21:30 22:00 min 5K.  Remember you are only smoked after that 2 mile run, at the end of the 5K you should be throwing up or close to it.

            an amazing likeness

              How do I finish strong?


              Do the training everyone has noted -- run longer distances and slower, otherwise you'll just burn out and beat the crap out of your body.


              But in the end, this is a foot race, not a time trial, You want to outrun her -- that's your goal. What's on the clock doesn't matter.


              Go out two steps behind her and stay there. Period.  She's either got to know she can outrun you in the last 1/4 mile, and leave you there behind, stalking....or, she'll get impatient and not trust her speed/fitness advantage down the chute and try to bury you between 2.5-3mi, right when your 5K fade will start.


              You stay with her. If she runs you into the ground and you have to drop off...fair enough, she wins. If she lets you stay with her and then out kicks you, fair enough, she wins. Your only hope is she wants to run the race with you and gives you enough mercy that you can outrun her from 3mi in.


              My money's on her. Go get her tiger! 

              I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day.


                There’s no magic workout that will help at this late stage. Lose weight at a healthy rate is the best way to speed up.


                Smart pacing will help on race day, so easy to to go out too fast. Joining a pace group might be a good idea.

                Marathon 3:18 4/7/13. HM 1:30:16 2/4/17 10K 40:31 5/14/17. 


                  I agree with caferey. Weight loss and smart pacing are your best bets. That 4-6 X 4-5 min work out is killer and too hard for you. I am in sub 21 min 5K shape and that would be one of my critical velocity paced work outs and would be a solid work out for me. If you can actually complete that work out at those paces without dying, you should easily crack 23 min with smart racing.

                  H-WAVE - Helping Athletes Reduce Pain and Recover Faster


                    How did it go TGD?

                    PRs: 400m- 1:04.94 (2015) / 1M - 5:21.33 (2017) / 5K -18:23 (2017) / 5M - 31:30 (2018)/ 10K - 39:29 (2018) / 10M -1:05:39 (2017) / HM- 1:28:09 (2017)

                    Coming up 10/19 - Crooked Billet 5K, 10/20 - Hotfoot 8.8K or 8.8M,10/26 - Skeleton Skurry 5k, 11/3 - Delaware Heritage Half, 11/28 - BCRR 5M