Phil - I was planning an easy run tonight. Day off tomorrow, parkrun Saturday, day off Sunday, 10k route Monday, Day off Tuesday, 10k Wednesday, easy run Thursday, Day off Friday & Saturday, then race on Sunday. I normally have about one day off in a week. Do you think this is too much? Is there anything you think I should change?
Sorry to interrupt; basically you'll be covering 15.6 quality miles between Saturday and Wednesday (3.1 mile park run, and 2 x 10K time trials) before a race on Sunday! Crackers!!
I'd keep your easy runs, the park run 5K race; but if you insist on running the 10K route again I'd only throw a couple of race pace miles in.....then taper nicely for the three days before the race. Just 30 mins easy running for those three days will be perfect.
I'm in my early 40's and have run on and off throughout my life....the odd half marathon etc. Two years ago I joined a local club (it's a social running club, there is no "coaching" etc.) and my running has improved to the extent that I have a 10k PB of 36.30 and 10m of 61.30 (on a hilly course).
I typically run 30-50 miles a week, a lot of which is probably at what people would refer to as a "junk mile pace". I do the odd bit of speedier running, typically 4 - 6 x 1200m efforts with 3 minutes in between once a fortnight or so but that's it with regards speed work. Those 1200m efforts tend to be at about 5.40/mile pace.
I think I have it in me to run a fair bit faster and be a lot more competitive (my dad was a very good runner in his day and mums family are fairly athletic) but am not sure how to go about it.
I would be interested to hear of others experiences and suggestions with regards this. I think I might have the potential to run sub 35 or possibly even sub 34 if I was training better......
I think you have lots of potential. Quite simply by gradually increasing your weekly mileage to a consistent 60 - 70 miles per week (even if most miles are at a 'junk mile pace') would be a great start.
But I'd aim over time to be doing two quality sessions a week separated by 2 - 3 easy days. Your 1200m session would count as a quality session; perhaps a tempo run or a hill session later on in the week would help too.
I'd vary the quality sessions over the weeks; shorter intervals, race pace time trials etc. You don't want to get stale so mix it up a bit........I suspect that is why you put off the 1200m session to once every fortnight
My current PB on a flat measured route is 38mins 20secs, but the 10k race I am doing is quite hilly and mostly on trails so I am expecting about 42mins in the race. I have completed the route several times in the last week, so I know this is a realistic time.
A week ago (three weeks before race day) I decided that I would trial dropping my race weight down to 10 stone for the race (I am normally just under 11 for races). I was 11 stone 2 pounds and I am 5foot 9inches, so I wasn't over weight. This would see my BMI drop from 23 down to 20.6 which would still be in the normal range. I only plan to lose fat and maintain muscle. I have currently lost 5 pounds with two weeks till race day.
I know there are lots of people out there who will say they lost weight and got quicker. I imagine a lot of these people started training more which contributed to their improved speed as much as the reduced wight, where as I do not plan to up my mileage from my existing 80km a week.
My question is, for those regular runners who drop to weight in the month before a race without drastically altering their training. Does this make a big difference? I appreciate everyone is different and this will affect people differently, but does anyone know how roughly how much quicker I could be by losing this weight?
Any views or advice would be greatly appreciated
The old rule of thumb, although not an exact science by any means is that for every pound lost you gain 2 seconds per mile for as long as fitness is the same.
The problem is, losing weight too quickly down to either overtraining/calorie watching/use of diuretics results in the body metabolising muscle, depletion of glycogen stores and generally reduces performance potential.
By all means aim to lose the weight, but do it much more slowly. I'm the same height as you and when I weighed around 11 stone my 10K was in the 38 min region. I'm now at 10:6 and hope to be under 34 mins in a 10K next week.
But the jump from 11 stone to sub 10:7 for a 5'9 gent isn't easy at all and requires a sensible plan over perhaps three months minimum....if you want to maintain fitness.
I have a question for the more experienced 10k racers on this thread. I've seen some training plans that contain speed work where you run sections at "goal / target race pace". But how would you decide what's realistic goal race pace? Isn't this just a bit like the approach above, pick an arbitrary time and try to sustain it over increasing distances each week? One example I've seen involves running 6x1mile, then 2miles, plus 4x1miles, then 2mi, 2mi, 1mi, 1mi, then 3x2mi, then race. Do this every other week, over a period of 8 weeks, with alternate weeks doing 400m or 200m reps at 5k PB pace.
This seems reasonable at first glance, but how would I know if i'm picking a target that's too soft or too hard?
The counter argument to this is the VDOT - type approach suggested by Jack Daniels (not the spirit maker) of training to particular zones based on recent actual race times. This seems intuitively more sensible, as it's starting from where you are, rather than picking where you want to be and working backwards. Any thoughts on these two approaches?
Yep, VDOT and McMillan running calculator are what I use when working out goal pace work whatever the distance I plan on racing.
I have a 10 mile road race on Sunday morning. My last 'quality session' before the race was a few hours ago. After some easy miles I did four miles at goal pace. It felt like a slightly fast tempo.