Improving Your 5K

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How long should tempo runs be to improve 5k speed endurance? (Read 2736 times)

    How long should tempo runs be to improve 5k speed endurance?

     

    I am currently putting in at least one 10k tempo run per week. I may be approaching it wrong, but I am basically trying to maintain about 95% of my 10k race pace.

     

    I welcome suggestions about how to improve my threshold endurance, and correctly perform tempo runs.

    5k PB: 19:02. 5k Goals: 6m = 18:30; 1 yr = 17:59; 2yr = 17:30 10k PB 42:20 (uncertified). 10k Goals: 6 m = 41:00; 1 yr = 39:59; 2 yr = 37:59
    RunAsics


    Person of Interest

      I used to run regular 4 to 6 mile tempo runs a bit under 10k pace.  I'd alternate between the tempo and a 45 to 60 min progression run, which I'd finish at or faster than 5k pace.

      "Only a few more laps to go and then the action will begin, unless this is the action, which it is."
        Here is the dumb newbe question of the week.  Just what is a Tempo run?   Does it mean you try to do the same running speed for the entire run?   Does it mean you set a tempo, as is music, and see how far you can go?   does it mean you run your most comfortable speed, and don't press for more speed?  Does it mean to go as fast  a tempo that you can muster?   For me, it seems to be my slow and steady trot, but not what I call my sprints, when I push on as fast as I can for a very short period of time?   Just run and keep going.   Any help here?
          Here is the dumb newbe question of the week.  Just what is a Tempo run?    

           

          not so dumb.  I know of a guy who runs 5k's in under 15 minutes that wrote a blog about that very question. 

           

          (younger legs for older runners)

           

          the usual answer is a hard but not race effort.  Something like running a half marathon race pace for 5-7 miles.  Or running a 10k pace for a 5k distance. 

          In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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            I am hoping that the longer tempo runs will help me between 3000 and 4000 metres where I start to feel the burn, and am not close enough to finish to ignore it. I hope that regularly suffering through a 95% effort 10k will give me the strength to hold my 5k pace a little longer.

             

            Back to the discussion on Tempo. I find the normal explanation of "speed that you can comfortably sustain" to be very subjective. For 1, I am trying to increase the speed I can comfortably maintain. And 2, what is comfortable?

             

            What is comfortable????

            I know that successfully executing my race pace leaves me doubled over about 5 meters past the finish line. So being able to walk after finishing a run makes it relatively comfortable.

            5k PB: 19:02. 5k Goals: 6m = 18:30; 1 yr = 17:59; 2yr = 17:30 10k PB 42:20 (uncertified). 10k Goals: 6 m = 41:00; 1 yr = 39:59; 2 yr = 37:59


            I've got a fever...

              I actually don't think tempo runs are all that great for 5k's.  


              Not to get too scientific, but a tempo run is done at a speed slower than 5k pace.  Technically speaking, a traditional tempo run is 20 minutes at Lactate threshold pace, which is about 10sec slower than 10k pace.  If you go longer than 20 minutes, you adjust the pace accordingly -- a 1 hour tempo run is done at close to marathon pace.  (based on a running calculator like McMillan's).


              So for most races distances, tempo pace is race pace or faster  (if you doing a 20 minute tempo run).  Great if your training for 10k~Marathon.  But if you're training for a 5k, your tempo run pace is slower than race pace.  And the longer your tempo run, the slower the pace.  Point being, if you really want to crank a 5k, you need to also do some race-pace or faster work.  


              I'm not saying don't do tempo runs, I'm just saying that they shouldn't be your only quality work when training for a 5k.  And the longer ones, while helping general endurance, aren't doing as much to help your 5k as you might think. I lean on 20 minute tempo runs, sometimes 30, but I don't go much longer than that if my focus is purely 5k. Unfortunately, I'm kinda injured now, so I'm not doing anything fast.


              MTA: my link wizard isn't working today, but here's a link to a good running calculator.

              http://www.attackpoint.org/trainingpaces.jsp?dist=5000&units=meters&time=19%3A42


              Pace calculators are good guide, but don't take 'em as religion. For me, tempo run pace is 20 minute at a pace that I could hold for an hour if I had to race it. When I'm done with the tempo section (which should always be followed by a good cooldown), I feel like I could run more, but I'm glad that I don't have to.

              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.

                yeah... I'm going to miss speed workouts.  I honestly enjoy those more than tempo runs or hill workouts.  I just finished 2 months with once a week speed workouts and it was fun.  400's, 800's, mile repeats... it's a few seconds of discomfort here and there but a fun feeling of actually running. 

                 

                now it's on to months of base building, losing weight, core work, and some lifting.  sigh. 

                In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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                Prince of Fatness

                  I dunno Globule.  I sort of disagree with you, especially when it comes to people that are new to running.  I see many people putting the cart before the horse.  They're running a 5K so they think they need to do a bunch of speed work.  So instead of working on their base they start right in with the intervals.  Then they wonder why they can't hold pace for 20 - 30 minutes.

                   

                  I think tempos are a great way to get introduced to speed work.  Hell, I've been running for a while and still brought my 5K PR down 45 seconds this year and never came close to 5K pace on any training run.  I know there will be a time that I will plateau and need those faster pace workouts to bring my time down, but I'm not there yet.

                   

                  I geuss that my point is that I mostly agree with you but also think that many people get impatient and introduce the intervals, etc., too soon.

                  Semi-retired.


                  I've got a fever...

                    I dunno Globule.  I sort of disagree with you, especially when it comes to people that are new to running.  I see many people putting the cart before the horse.  They're running a 5K so they think they need to do a bunch of speed work.  So instead of working on their base they start right in with the intervals.  Then they wonder why they can't hold pace for 20 - 30 minutes.

                     

                    I think tempos are a great way to get introduced to speed work.  Hell, I've been running for a while and still brought my 5K PR down 45 seconds this year and never came close to 5K pace on any training run.  I know there will be a time that I will plateau and need those faster pace workouts to bring my time down, but I'm not there yet.

                     

                    I geuss that my point is that I mostly agree with you but also think that many people get impatient and introduce the intervals, etc., too soon.

                     

                    Tater, I do think your spot-on.  For someone new to running, tempo is definitely the way to go.  I probably should've qualified my remarks.  But I do think that if you're training for a 5k, doing at least 35~40 mpw, and are in the last 8 weeks before a big race, then 2 quality workouts per week (one tempo, one hill or interval) are the way to go.

                     

                    But yes, if you're relatively new to running, running more miles with some tempo work sprinkled in, is the way to go.

                    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.

                      then there's this article...

                       

                      even the coaches of elites think it's mostly about who has the biggest base.  (I should add, base run at a fast pace... quality AND quantity).  It's at the end of the interview basically.  And the whole thing is interesting.  He talks about getting hit with Big Gulps for example. 

                       

                      http://www.roadsmillslaps.com/RML/You.html

                       

                      "That is the only way we are going to catch up to the Africans, because they are so far ahead of us. So it’s got to be large volume, but not just that; it has to be long, hard stuff that raises threshold. Look, it’s no secret that in the fall Teg runs 140-mile weeks. So you can say that I am a huge proponent of developing that aerobic system. We are behind everyone in the world. Most American runners, a lot of the naturally fast  guys don’t realize how aerobically fit they have to be. Look at Kenenisa Bekele, he runs 11.6 seconds for his last 100m in the final, but you have to understand he runs 150 miles a week as well. You have to have everything. For 18 months, Dathan did no speed work--zero--other than some drills and strides. He couldn’t do it because of a calf problem. I thought he was in 27:25 shape before the marathon--maybe even better. And that’s with zero speed. I think speed is so overrated. Yeah you need it at the end, yeah you got to sharpen up. I watch all these people periodize and they are so far behind on their aerobics that it never works., because they don’t have a base to bring it in. You don’t periodize as much, because we are behind aerobically. A younger athlete is so much better off working on higher threshold in order to get that good base underneath them."

                      In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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                        Thanks for the discussion.  I think what I am doing is tempo running (I'm slow, but getting faster all the time.)   I have a pace that I can settle into for a5K.  I use that, and am now adding sprints every so often when I push myself.  I have an 8K race on this Sunday, and can adapt that routine, or can just start out, and do what I can when I can,  and run as fast as I can any time I can from first of the run to the end.


                        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                          Hudson was entertaining in several parts, including this

                           

                          "I wasn’t very talented. I ran 2:13, but that was after training very, very hard."

                           

                          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.