Thanks for the thoughts on strides. I didn't phrase the question too well - was more querying the overall length and how long to spend close to top speed than the pace itself. I don't actually time or measure them individually, was taking my info from the spikes of the Garmin trace. Sounds like I'm being a bit conservative with the acceleration though, and thus taking too long over them. In answer to Simon's question, no they're not done flat out. The spikes top out at about 4:15 to 4:25 pace, and top speed recorded (on the closing straight of a track race) has been 3:36 I think. As per YD above, and Simon's previous tips, I keep them relaxed and concentrate on form. Good idea with the football pitch, YD - will keep that one in mind as there's some just round the corner.
Phil - tentatively good news on the injury - hope all goes to plan from here.
Andrew - sounds a good session, hope the hip is ok.
Duck continues to tear the joint up I see - in cracking form it seems.
Excellent Parkrun, Mr V and good sesh too - all bodes well for the Abbey Dash. Hoping for big things from you and YD after the solid training and progress you both appear to have made under your coaches. Looks like YD's wobble was a mere fuelling blip thankfully.
Great progress in that XC over the last year, DT - well done. Good time trial and long run too. 20 miles!
Sounds like Simon's XC also went well.
Couple of road tempos (2m and 3m) and a long run of around 10.5 almost entirely on grass trails alomg the Trent since my last post here. Tempos came in at just over 6:50 pace, and was particularly pleased with how strong I felt in the 3 miler. Long run had its pace dampened by the surface which was muddy (enjoyably so) in places and by about 30 gates to go through (!), though that's no bad thing - about 8:45 pace. Picked up some Adizero Ace's going cheap as a first step to something a bit less heavily cushioned and took them for an easy paced spin last night - very different feel to my cushioned shoes - will be a slow transition I think!
I'm not sure the uphill actually starts just after the first mile, but after a net downhill for the first km or so, you are then climbing, albeit fairly gently, for the next km or so, and there is certainly a noticeable climb that's a definite momentum killer at just about the mile mark, aye.
In fact, if you track the course by km rather than miles, it's down/up/down/up/down, which usually translates nicely to km splits of faster/slower/faster/slower/faster for me if that's how I've got it set up on the Garmin.
Stevie - Yes, it was obvious. Nevertheless after Lit's comment about hitting theoretical 5k pace in the first mile, but then dying on her arse, I was simply being supportive in recognising that apart from it being the first 'race' back after the health scare, there were also other reasons for that. I even qualified the point by stating that there was no criticism of the training involved, as I was aware priorities had been elsewhere.
Lit - Yep, can understand the frustration of comparing the parkrun pace with 'tempo madness' training run having had similar recent experience. Obviously the XC Relays were over different terrain and profile, but to be so far off pace at Mansfield (7:25) compared to a string of tempos in the 6:42 to 6:58 range over the previous 10 weeks was still a bit galling. The suggestion from everything I've read though is that you'll get pace lost back exponentially quicker than it took you to find it in the first place.
Mace - If we're sharing LT paces, I must be doing mine too quick!
Richard - Thanks. And sorry, missed your post earlier whilst cocking up my split contribution. Whereabouts are you, somewhere in Asia was it? Good that you've got the hunger back for the running even if the opportunity isn't there just yet. The break might be just what you need after a fairly epic year of long distance racing.
Decided to do a proper tempo when I got back. 1.5 mile warm up, 3 miles at tempo round HP lake, and just over half a mile warm down. Came in at 6:54, 6:53 and 6:46 for a 6:51 average which is about right for LT based on McMillan. Was working hard for the last mile, but probably the least uncomfortable continuous tempo I've done, and as per the cliche did genuinely 'feel strong throughout'. Have a habit of a bit of posture slump after some time at pace, but that didn't happen yesterday. I read something that suggested the tempo is one workout in particular you shouldn't look to progress over time unless it's via a breakthrough race time, but the progress should come from the pace being easier to hit and maintain. As my natural inclination is always to try to 'beat' previous sessions, I'm trying to take that one to heart, and on the basis of yesterday - despite it being on the back of a weekend of over-eating, over-drinking and under-sleeping - I think progress is being made.
HRMs - In exactly the same position as Lit. Keep promising myself I'll do a max HR test, but never seem to get round to it!