Staying Focused and Improving

16 messages
23/11/2010 at 11:41

My running's gone a bit astray recently.  I need a good weekly schedule which is easy to fit in around my working week and which will help me see improvement.  I also swim and spin in the winter.  At the moment my weekly running looks like this:

  • 1 short run
  • 1 midweek longish run (7/8 miles)
  • 2 sets of intervals within 2 outdoor circuit training sessions
  • Sunday LSR (15 miles+)

(All off-road)

I feel like I've lost a bit of pace recently and want to get that back and improve in order to be more competitive in races.  I get placed middle of the pack in races generally and really want to improve on that.  I'm not in for any races at the moment but considering my first 5K on 4 Dec if there are spaces.  I usually race longer distances IE 10K, 8 mile, 10 miles, half marathon and have recently completed my first marathon.

Any tips on improving gratefully received.

23/11/2010 at 11:56

How recently did you run your marathon?

(the resulting drop-off in pace usually lasts 4 weeks, but can last longer if you ran very hard and or did not recovery fully)

That aisde your week is unbalanced. To fix it will take a while, but is possible. I would start with:

1. Drop the swim/spin if you want to get better at running, keep them if you are happy being middle pack, you can add them back once you adjust to new mileage (if you want).

2. Remove the speedwork (not sure if this is all on the same day, but its way too much and it doesnt look like you are doing and specific speedwork for a specific event either).

Then you need to rebalance your week. Your LSR is long in comparison to the rest of your running and therefore will be overly tiring. That means you are doing essentially 3 hard sessions a week plus spin and circuits at the moment

5 days a week would look like this:

Tues - 4-6 miles easy
Weds - 6-8 miles easy (replacing your 7/8)
Thurs - 4-6 miles easy (this will become your speedwork later)
Sat - 4-6 miles easy
Sun - LSR 12-14

Then once you have got used to that for 4-6 weeks you can start adding in some speedwork (which will be totally dependant on your next A target race in say 6 months time)/or adding more mileage - dont do both at the same time.

Thats what I'd do anyway

23/11/2010 at 12:28

Hi Curly

I'm getting my fitness up for triathlon training, so don't want to drop the swim and spin sessions - I also get out for a cycle once a week if I can.  Dilemma.

My marathon was Beachy Head on 23 Oct and I didn't run it hard because I'd had a 'flu virus and my training has stopped at 20M long run some weeks before, so it was a get round and I felt fine the next day, in fact I was fine the same night.

The speedwork isn't specfic - it's part of a military fitness class.

Your schedule looks manageable - I can run in the mornings before work.

So introducing speedwork - can you give me some guidance on length and effort of intervals?  There are 3 small hills here which I call the 3 peaks and I often do hill intervals on them.  2 shot, sharp v steep ones and a more gradual one.  I tend to do quite a few hilly races.

Thanks.

23/11/2010 at 12:49

Before you think about speedwork, you need to think about why...

Sessions should always come from the target race - there's no point doing speedwork for its own sake.

For example a speedwork session for the marathon would be maybe some MP sessions (say 4-6 weeks of increasing difficulty), but for 5k training it would be a period of 1500m/3k/5k paced stuff...

I'm going to say this gently as possible - I think you're trying to do too much at the moment.

You cant improve everything at once - so pick a few things to focus on this year (for me they are race form and basic speed, but for you might be staminia and hill running) and then chose races that will help and then build towards these races. There's some ideas on the training for the right distance threads or Kaysdee's thread is another to pop in on for ideas

If you want to educate yourself the information is out there, but it takes time, so another idea might be to get a coach and talk through your aims and get them to draw up a detailed plan just for you and adapt as you go along...

23/11/2010 at 13:29

Thanks Curly

I didn't realise that intervals didn't have to be part of your running week if you've not got any races booked in.

I can't afford a coach at the moment - + I've had previous experience of 2 and they were not good I have to say - bit of a shortage around here and none of my running friends have used any so no recommendations available anyway.

I realise I'm doing quite a lot but I need to stay on top of the swimming and improve, as that area's weak.  I can squidge the spin classes in anywhere during the week and the ones I go to are fairly easy.

I'll have a look on the threads, like you suggest, re: training for specific distances.  I've only ever followed schedules for half and full marathons.

Annoyingly there are some good runners at my club but when I ask them how they improve, they just shrug and don't seem to have any particular schedule.  Some of them just get out when they can, working around family commitments.

Cake - I'm pretty sure I'm over the virus now ta - feeling pretty OK and energised.  Ta for the comments on tri training.

23/11/2010 at 13:33
Parklife wrote (see)

Thanks Curly

I didn't realise that intervals didn't have to be part of your running week if you've not got any races booked in.

I can't afford a coach at the moment - + I've had previous experience of 2 and they were not good I have to say - bit of a shortage around here and none of my running friends have used any so no recommendations available anyway.

I realise I'm doing quite a lot but I need to stay on top of the swimming and improve, as that area's weak.  I can squidge the spin classes in anywhere during the week and the ones I go to are fairly easy.

I'll have a look on the threads, like you suggest, re: training for specific distances.  I've only ever followed schedules for half and full marathons.

Annoyingly there are some good runners at my club but when I ask them how they improve, they just shrug and don't seem to have any particular schedule.  Some of them just get out when they can, working around family commitments.

Cake - I'm pretty sure I'm over the virus now ta - feeling pretty OK and energised.  Ta for the comments on tri training.

I hate these people

On a very basic level mileage and speedwork bring improvements. You dont need to do both (and you shouldnt try to increas both at the same time!).

Once you've got to that then you start thinking about what/where/when and then it gets difficult to advise without 8 people all saying different things. There's never really a 'right' way, but there are many 'wrong' ways. Usually they mean doing too much, too fast and lead to injury. 

Definitely think about your focus, and have a read around and go from there

23/11/2010 at 13:36

Miles make chamnpions. 10mpw more is better than more intervals imo - up to a certain point. Once you've "peaked" mileage wise then intervals can attacked with ernest.

But like Curly says, quality/speedwork needs to be race-specific - you hear of folks doing 400m repeats for marathons (Hal Higdon anyone?)!

17/12/2010 at 17:45
NO disrespect to coaches Ron Hill never had a coach (2hr 9min marathon) Charlie Spedding (2hrs 8min marathon) are best uk marathoners of today are doing slower times with coaches clearly its not how good your coach is. from what i see its about havin the iron will will to train consistently and enough.
17/12/2010 at 19:58

Well I sprained my ankle on a club run last night and have been advised by minor injuries unit not to run for 2 months!

At least it's not the summer racing months.

19/12/2010 at 12:30
well parklife, when you think about it why would you need intervals if say you were going for a 3:30 marathon if you know you an do a mile in 8 mins then its the endurance you need to work on to keep it going. same applies to half marathons i tok my half time down 87 mins from 90 without intervals, how well i just trained very consistently for 6 weeks to get that 3 mins.
19/12/2010 at 13:43

Thanks Andy - that makes sense.

I love doing intervals but I guess there's no point in them at the moment as I'm training for longer races.

Sprained ankle is a lot better 2 days on.  I'm hoping for an early recovery.

05/01/2011 at 22:52
hows the sprained ankle coming on, hope its better now. i love doing intervals but theres no piont if your training for a half or a marathon. a tempo run done properly is enough.
05/01/2011 at 23:21

Ankle felt immediately better but is a bit niggly now.  Maybe due to the strengthening exercises prescribed by physio; I'm also still icing.  I was hoping to be back running in another 2 weeks, but not sure.

I'll bear in mind your comment about the tempo running - I can't wait to get back into it.  I'm no good at this patience thing.

07/01/2011 at 23:44
hang in there. as much as you want to run, youre doing the right thing getting it sorted fully first.
13/01/2011 at 11:07

Cheers Andy 

I found this useful old thread too: 

Sprain

13/01/2011 at 15:47
Some great advice in here that I can use. I find it is all about goals goals goals for me, and the times that i have lost momentum are purely down to not working with specific aims in mind.

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