Author Topic: Training and Results from First 5K  (Read 4545 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline amyles007

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Training and Results from First 5K
« on: March 22, 2010, 11:25:02 AM »
 Hello!

I am a longtime lurker on this message board but this is my first post.  First, I would like to thank those of you who frequently post to this forum as I have learned more about running from this forum than from any other source of information.

My question relates to training.  Should I just continue doing what I am doing or change up the routine.  Here is some background information.

I am a 42M and I got "serious" about running approx one year ago (started tracking my weekly mileage in September of last year).  I have no running history (no high school track etc) but I have always tried to stay in reasonable shape.  I got into running last year because I thought it would be fun to try a triathlon and, since I have a competitive swimming background (high school) and I was never a "runner" I thought I should start working on the running part first, get that up to speed (so to speak) and then working on the cycling and swimming (in that order).  Well, as you might have guessed, I caught the running bug and I am not really interested in the cycling and swimming.  I always viewed running as very difficult and thus if I needed a quick workout and I couldnt get to the pool or the gym, I would go for a 15 to 20 minute run and I would be so incredibly exhausted that I had a great workout.

With respect to my goals, I am interested in the 5K and 10K distances.  My current goal is to run a sub 20 minute 5K.  I am not really sure why I chose this particular goal, it just seems that most of the local races are 5ks and sub 20 is pretty hard to accomplish yet not crazily unrealistic.  Also, if I ever do decide to try a triathlon, the local sprint triathlons have 5K running legs.  If I can accomplish this goal I expect it to take a few years.

One thing I am concerned about is my age.  Considering that I am already in my 40s, I only have so much time to "get fast" and my guess is really fast is already not achievable (that would be sub 19 5Ks in my view).  On the flip side I can look forward to accomplishing PRs as I advance through my 40s (it will be interesting to see at what age the PRs top out!).

I have been trying to put in around 20 miles a week although most weeks I am closer to 15 miles.  A typical week for me is three days of running, one easy 5 mile and one tempo 5 mile (prefereably outside but the last few month most have been treadmill) and then intervals on a treadmill at the gym.  The interval workout is typically 5 miles total but with 3 miles of "speed" and 2 miles of recovery.  I typically do six 1/2 mile repeats at  starting around at 9-9.5 mph and working up to 11-11.5 mph and then back down ( 9.0, 10.0, 11.0, 10.0, 9.5, 9.0...something like this).  During a 20 mile week I will add a fourth easy 5 mile run.

I ran my first 5K last week at a local event and finished in 22:30.  I wasnt sure what to expect having never run a race before...I was thinking anywhere from a high 21 to a mid 23 so I was very happy with the time.  I am expecting it to take a couple of years or so to get that 22:30 to a 19:59.

So, should I just continue what I am doing, drop the interval work and do more mileage, continue the interval work and do more mileage etc?  I really enjoy the interval work even though for me its incredibly exhausting...my legs are wrecked (like jelly) immediately after but it feels like a really accomplished something (sometimes I have trouble sleeping at night as my legs are still humming from the morning interval workout).

The main reason I started the interval work was because I wanted to "feel" the sub 20 5K speed....my theory was (and still is) that if I can hold the necessary speed for 1/2 mile, then my body will adapt  and I can stretch it out to 1 mile, then 1.5 etc and eventually I will hit the 5K mark.  I have also been increasing the speed of the intervals beyond the sub 20 min 5K pace based on the theory that if I can hold my form together at for example 11.0 mph (5:27 mile pace) for a 1/2 mile interval then my 5K goal pace of 9.5 should be easier.

By the way, that first 5K was a blast!  Super fun.  Its the first time I have been in an organized competition since my college years (and those competitions were always water realted...water polo and swimming).

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

Amyles007

Offline Ryan

  • Just another crazy runner
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8247
  • Karma: 11
  • 2011 Walleye Run
    • Hillrunner.com
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 12:23:06 PM »
First, welcome out of lurking. It's always nice to see people take the plunge.

As for advice, seeing as you have been lurking, you probably know what my advice will be. Drop the intervals, especially run at that intensity, for a while and build your aerobic base by running more consistently and building up to longer runs.

A couple of things especially stuck out to me.

First, the intensity of those intervals. If you're going to continue doing them, you would probably benefit by backing off a bit. The idea of a workout is to stimulate positive physiological responses. It sounds like you're going out and trashing yourself. This is not the optimal way to stimulate the response you're hoping for.

Second, your theory. It's a pretty popular theory and it makes sense intuitively. Unfortunately, it's not the most optimal way to train. It's better to train both slower and faster than race pace as well as at race pace, with a lot of running slower. The slower running results in much less stress on your body, which allows you to do much more of it and garner much greater training benefit.

You've probably noticed that I've used the word optimal multiple times. There are many paths you could follow that would likely get you to 19:59. The question I see here isn't what is the one way to get you to 19:59. The question is what's the best way to get to 19:59, then if you choose on to 18:59, 17:59, and so on. You might be able to keep pounding yourself into the ground with intervals and get to 19:59. Hopefully, if you choose to do so, you can even avoid injury along the way. Alternatively, you can back off, build an aerobic base before adding less intensive interval workouts back in, and get to 19:59 possibly more quickly and with less risk of injury.

Offline amyles007

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 02:19:01 PM »
Ryan:

Thanks for the detailed response!  I really appreciate the feedback.  Of course I agree with you that I am most interested in getting to 19:59 as soon as possible but without injury.  I will take your advice and drop the intervals and up the mileage.  You mention getting the mileage up and then doing less intensive intervals.  What would be an example of less intensive intervals?  Also, are there optimal weekly mileage targets for 5Ks?  In other words, after one consistently achieves X miles per week, one should focus on speedwork, intervals etc. (I would expect X to be higher the longer the race one is training for).

Thanks again!

Offline Ed

  • 4 Consistent months and Counting!
  • Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1144
  • Karma: 1
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 06:55:47 AM »
Welcome to the incredibly fun and rewarding part of sharing on the forum.
 
Once you build to your weekly goal mileage (base) - you don't drop the mileage (base) and go to speed only or strength only.
 
It is best to work with periodization but do not sacrifice your core or base mileage too greatly or your core fitness (endurance) will likely suffer.
Next Goal Race - Al's Run

Offline Ryan

  • Just another crazy runner
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8247
  • Karma: 11
  • 2011 Walleye Run
    • Hillrunner.com
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 07:30:44 AM »
Well, this is the tricky part. Less intensive means something where you finish your final repeat feeling like you had one or two left in you. Depending on your training volume, this might be 4-6 repeats at 5K pace, maybe more.

As for how high or how long to build your volume, I'd suggest thinking of it in another way. At this point in your running, you need to establish a good base but you don't want to neglect the other aspects of your training for too long and you also want to get in some racing experience. Pick a goal race, maybe in late summer or fall. Then build your training schedule back from that. About a week or so for taper, about 2 months for speed work. Everything before that is base training. Use that time to build as high as your body allows. Maybe it's 40 miles per week, maybe 50, maybe more, maybe less. Whatever is right for you. Next time around, it will very likely be more. Focusing on this time, though, spend your time between now and two months focusing on base. That doesn't mean you never run fast. If you feel especially good, throw in some strides or some other faster running. Always keep in mind, though, that you want to be back out there tomorrow. Keep the fast running relaxed and under control.

Finally, don't run just the goal race. Even while you're building your base, work some races into the schedule. You'll gain valuable experience and you'll be able to see your progress. I've heard from people who, in their first true base building phase, have cut 1-2 minutes off their 5K times in 6 months or less. I wouldn't tell anyone to expect those results but I would say don't be shocked if just base training, over a few months, produces some results. More important though, it will set you up for bigger gains once you add the speed work back in.

Offline cesar

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 423
  • Karma: 2
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 08:02:36 AM »
i am one of those people who PR in base building, i ran my PR  20:32 in 5k in base building, its ironic because when i am doing hard intervals at fast pace and doing quality training the closest to that time that i have come is 20:37, it's weird.

Offline Andrew A.

  • NDCQ
  • Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1611
  • Karma: 17
  • It is simple, but not easy.
    • Distance Running Observer
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 01:28:04 PM »
What Ryan said. 
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline amyles007

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2010, 03:07:41 PM »
I appreciate the feedback from all who responded.  I think my training plan is clear.  More miles.  My typical run is 5 miles but I also typically take a day off between runs.  To hit the weekly mileage you guys are suggesting results in me running almost every day (at least six days a week).  I see now why "easy" needs to be "really easy" as six/seven days a week at 5 miles (or longer) a run will likely be somewhat of a shock to my legs (although probably no worse than the interval training I was hammering on the treadmill).  I like the feeling of running fast (or I should say running hard since I am not very fast) so I will affirmatively rein in that impulse to hit the weekly mileage goals.

By the way, on an unrelated (although still running) topic, I have a question about shoes.  I don't know much about running shoes or my foot...I have no idea if I pronate, overpronate, have a high/low arch, no idea at all.  When I started running last year I did a little research, read a bit about barefoot training/minimal shoes and how training in minimal footwear can provide better running mechanics (ie midfoot strike vs heel strike etc).  Since I was a nonrunner I took the view that I might as well start off wearing minimal support footwear and I have been training in Nike Frees for the past year.  These are the only running shoes I own and I run on the treadmill, road, trail etc. in these shoes.  I have not had any problems.  Should I consider changing the footwear if I start increasing the mileage?

Offline Andrew A.

  • NDCQ
  • Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1611
  • Karma: 17
  • It is simple, but not easy.
    • Distance Running Observer
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2010, 03:16:29 PM »
Regarding shoes, do not fix it until it breaks.  There are, however, many minimalist options to consider that might be better than the Nike Free.  There are at least a couple of fairly recent threads on the topic, perhaps check those out and post questions that may arise from what you read there.
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline Ryan

  • Just another crazy runner
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8247
  • Karma: 11
  • 2011 Walleye Run
    • Hillrunner.com
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2010, 05:32:48 PM »
Andrew covered the shoe question well, so I'll bring up the mileage topic.

Don't set hard goals. I attempted to be vague for a reason. Nobody can know the right number for you at this point. Just back off the intensity, work on the consistency, and see what happens. Building up to 6-7 days a week is a great idea, as is consciously restraining yourself initially.

Offline amyles007

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2010, 09:28:28 AM »
Hello!  I just wanted to provide an update regarding my second 5K race this weekend.  I changed my training plan since my first race (end of March) based on the recommendations from this thread.  Basically I upped my weekly mileage and slowed down on the weekly interval session.  I still do the weekly interval session but instead of 6 x 1/2 mile ladder from 9-11.5mph I slowed down to 5 x 1 mile at a steady 8.5mph (which was my 5K race pace).  Also, I upped the weekly mileage from 15/20 a week to around 30 (as high as 39 miles).  My monthly mileage went from 61 in Feb and 83 in March to 106 in April and 140 in May.  So far the legs feel fine so I plan on continuing to up the mileage.

This new plan seems to be working really good.  My 5K time dropped from 22:30 to 21:15.  My guess is I would have shown improvement not changing my prior workout plan but probably not this much improvement (and looking back I certainly could have injured myself pushing the interval workouts).

I plan on continuing to increase the mileage..maybe even to 40/50 by mid-summer.  I have read numerous times about the "10% rule" but that seems somewhat arbitrary to me.  I plan on just going by feel.

Thanks much for the input and advice! 

Offline Ryan

  • Just another crazy runner
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8247
  • Karma: 11
  • 2011 Walleye Run
    • Hillrunner.com
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2010, 12:24:32 PM »
Man, we've had a nice string of good race results around here recently! I hope to see this continue. You must be thrilled with a 1:15 improvement in just a couple of months. Hopefully, you are now reconsidering the time frame for your 19:59 goal and maybe even the possibility of that sub-19 you were previously writing off.

It sounds like you are on the right track. If I were coaching you, I'd still be telling you to back off on the workouts but that's not to take away from what you are already accomplishing. In your training and as a result racing, you've come a long way in a short time. Keep it up!

If you want to read something more about the "10% rule" here you go. In short, I agree with you. Completely arbitrary. Go by feel, it's the best method.

Offline aaron28

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 09:16:53 PM »
I'm a first time poster too. I'm really trying to reach high with my goals but I  have to say - I am inspired by Amy's ambition. I'm 27 years young, 5'6" and 160lbs, I can run 6 miles without breaking. I run 6 miles in 63 minutes and it just about kills me. Getting past a 5k isn't much trouble but I don't think I can run it that fast. I've heard of guys in the army getting the best times of their lives at 18 minutes for a 5k. Amy's goal is about that tough. Good luck Amy, I'm really impressed by your goals.

Offline MothAudio

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 210
  • Karma: 1
    • http://audiokarma.org/
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2010, 06:25:35 AM »
Ryan nailed it. This 53 YO would love to trade up to your 40 YO potential! Funny, I've been chasing the sub-20 5k goal myself for the last two years - still searching for that last 57 seconds. And while you're further away your upside is a much greater as you could benefit substanially from increasing mileage / building a base and the consistency that stringing a coupe of years of solid training will bring.
 
I do 800m repeats on the TM too and while I'm faster than you I don't even try to approach the speed you're doing. 10.0 mph is my ceiling. I can get down to 5:20 pace for 16x200m repeats but I know better than to try that speed for 800m.
 
Training should be focused on your current fitness not the fitness you hope to one day achieve. By doing this you will get a greater return on your investment by maximizing the time spent training. This will make you a better athlete which in turn will put you closer to your goal. It's a process.
1st road race: Charleston Distance Run 15 miler [1974]. The Moth Profile

Offline amyles007

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Re: Training and Results from First 5K
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 11:24:28 AM »
Thanks for the great responses.  I have been hitting 35-45 miles a week the last month or so and I plan on keeping it at that level with the plan of consolidating gains at that mileage level.  The vast majority of those miles are easy miles.

There was a recent post entitled "Speed Development" with a video of track workouts for speed development.  I found it very interesting that, even though I am training for longer distances (5K and up), a speed workout helps develop an efficient stride, coordination and strength that doesnt otherwise develop through slow, easy running.  Here is the forum link:

http://www.hillrunner.com/forums/index.php/topic,7682.0.html

Although I have never worked out on a track, I would really like to try this type of workout.  I no longer run for speed on the treadmill.  Having a locked-in pace close to my maximum speed for 1/2 mile repeats seems, in retrospect, pretty stupid on my part.  The mile repeats at 5k pace on the treadmill seem ok to me but I don't plan on going any faster on the treadmill.

Do you think its too early for me to try the track workouts displayed in the link, maybe once every couple of weeks or so?

I would think a speed workout on a track would be much safer than on a treadmill.

Tags: