thanks again Jamie you've helped me big time considering I really didn't have much running knowledge at all (still don't, but im getting there)
Last time I did the LSR, I paced it poorly. I was doing like 7:10 min miles on the flat first 3 miles (didn't feel tired) then when the hills kicked in it slowed down and I averaged 8:34 in the end. For 6 months worth would you recommend getting a heart rate watch or anything? where I can keep check to make sure Im not going too fast.
Also, with Monday's hill sprints lets say I do 7x200m sprints. Should each one be full out 100% effort, to a point where by the end im hanging on for all its worth? and subsequently the latter reps will get harder and a bit slower too?
No pace them fast but with a view that you'll do seven at around the same pace. But don't be slack on the early reps, you should be breathing pretty damn hard as the first one finishes.....but not rubbery legged looking for somewhere to vomit on the way to the start!!
Aim for an average time over all the reps that can be improved on....say a 50 sec rep average that can be chipped away at over the six months. Obviously 50 secs might be too easy or difficult based on the gradient of the hill and your level of fitness.
Long slow runs improve my aerobic + CV system, get my body better and more efficient at oxygen usage.
Intervals get me used to running at speed, and how my body deals with the lactic acid. Also intervals are good for training vo2?
When combined, the effects from LSR will allow me to keep going at my interval paces for longer, essentially helping me be quicker and keep going for longer?
And the hill sprints will build up good leg strength, which will translate to me running better on hills, and also trains vo2?
I wouldn't worry too much about VO2 max etc. I've never had mine measured and I doubt you will either. Professional trainers obsess about it and the best ways to coax improvements.....but for now you'll reap excellent benefits and improvements to your times just by training consistently week after week.
I'm not a sports scientist, but I've found the book 'The Running Formula' by Jack Daniels pretty useful. You seem to quite like the science behind running, so I'd imagine you'd enjoy it.
But basically, in running you do improve competence by working the body anaerobically as well as aerobically. The body is like a finely tuned instrument. You want to keep on top of everything....endurance, speed, speed/endurance (yea I meant to do that), strength/power, injury prevention, stretching/warmups, recovery.
As for a heart rate watch. I used one for a while but don't bother anymore. You get used to knowing when you're working too hard for a set session based on breathing, pace and perceived effort.
oh and also, if I dropped legs and added the recovery run, I'd be running 5x a week, would that be overtraining?
No it wouldn't be overtraining for as long as you've built up into the mileage sensibly. I often run 6/7 days a week and cover up to 70 miles. There are others on the site who'll cover in excess of 100 miles each week.
Your rest days should keep recovery in check.
As for hills on long runs......the purpose of the LSR is to build endurance, condition the body to spending time running and probably most importantly to improve your aerobic/cardiovascular system. The LSR is supposed to be run at a lower heart rate. Therefore, the best bet would be to run any hills on your LSR at a speed where you are not close to being out of breath.....if this means very slowly; so be it!
Your more important hill work will be your Monday session.
Good plan, do you think an 8:30 1.5 in 6 months is more realistic?
Well its 5:40 pace per mile, which is still pretty fast. I'd be more confident of your chances if you were to be successful at running 3/4 mile in 4:15 right now. Why not give it a shot?
As for your new plan; yea see how you go with it. I'd drop the legs work at gym, especially after your hill session on Monday. Weights work on legs never helped my running one bit, maybe consider dropping the session full stop. Your hill sprints should keep your legs strong.
9 min miles might be a touch slow for your current competence, even for a recovery run on Tuesday. Perhaps 8:30 pace would be more ideal. Even when I was starting out with running I rarely would do a run much slower than between 8-8:30 pace.......and now 8-8:30 pace seems to equate to my jog recovery speed in between interval reps.
But other than that, just watch that you don't over eat on your rest days. I still think a few pounds of weight loss will help you reach your running goal.