Hi. I'm looking to get serious about getting my 5K time down. My PR was a year ago— 22:48 with no real 5K training, just more miles than I usually run after a 1 month rest after my first marathon. I continued to run well, for me, and despite pretty inconsistent training, until the middle of the summer. Then I started having to work longer hours and do more physically demanding things as part of my work (unfortunately just being-on-your-feet-for-8-hours-in-inclement-weather kinds of things, as opposed to anything that would actually increase my endurance or build muscle), and then I got hit by a car, so July to February were pretty much crap for running. I started training again in March and did two 5Ks in one week in the middle of the month just to see where I was. My times were 23:17 (Saturday) and 23:03 (the following Thursday).
I trained for my marathon running thrice a week and cross-training thrice a week; that's sort of what I'm supposed to be doing all the time, since I've had achilles problems on and off since 2006. I've accepted that I'll never be one of those people who gets to run 6 days a week, and 5 might not even be realistic. However, I hate cross-training, and I no longer have a bike (as I was riding it when I got hit by the car), so I'm trying to just do more shorter runs. The breakdown of the workouts is shaping up to go something like this:
Mondays - short sprints w/long recoveries, starting at 11x100m and adding more
Wednesdays - longer speed work (reps range from 400m to 1600m, and occasionally within a given workout, i.e. pyramids; I use 7:00 for 5K pace and 7:30 for 10K pace when a pace is specified, though both of those are a stretch for me and I can't reliably hit them)
Thursdays - 4-5 miles with my friend who is a little bit faster than I am (8:30 pace on a flat route that is always really windy, so I think it's a little more than an 8:30 effort)
Saturdays - easy run to form drills at the local HS track from my house, then the gym, and back (5 miles)
Sundays - long run, 8 to 10 miles, usually going for about a 9:00 pace
All I really want is to get my 5K down below 22 minutes... any advice?
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