Re: Re: Improving my per mile average times

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Mark wrote:
Is it possible with enough work? Or does 20 some years make that impossible?

Is it possible? Depending on many factors, I would say it is not impossible. People at your age and even older have run faster. It will require a lot of work and maybe you simply won’t be able to get there but the only way to know whether it’s possible is to commit to finding out.

Mark wrote:
Peter wrote “Incorporate strides into one or two of your workouts”. Please define strides? Are they just running fast in a short measured distance?

To me, strides refer to quick but controlled repeats of 30-40 seconds or shorter, usually run at a pace of around mile race pace.

Mark wrote:
Should I continue to run hills on any of my days? Or just focus mainly on the increased mileage for now and then put the hills back in later?

I’m a big fan of hills. They improve your strength, stamina, speed, form, efficiency, and on and on. I personally would want to keep the hills at least once or twice a week and at least until around a month before the big race.

Mark wrote:
Ryan wrote “Focus on a quick turnover without over striding”. Is over striding having your foot make ground contact in front of you instead of directly under you?


Mark wrote:
r-at-work wrote “while you’re doing al this running & improving.. be sure to stay hydrated… looking at those day time temperatures you listed made me glad I’ve moved my run to early morning…” Your right r-at-work hydration is very important. When it hits 105° at 40%-50% humidity it is difficult to drink enough. But I am doing ok. As far as running in the early morning, when you leave for work at 4:45 am that is very difficult except on days off. I am looking forward to the cooler weather here, on race day it should be about 70° at start time. Are there any formulas for determining how much the higher temperatures slow you down? Example 10 seconds per mile for each 10°?

It sure would be nice if there was because I could know where I am at with my running right now after a less than impressive first trip to the track this week. Unfortunately, the heat treats us all differently and can treat one person differently from one season to the next. Chances are you will run much better at 70 than you will at 105, though.

Mark wrote:
Wednesday – Off

Thursday – 5 miles (Every other Thursday 5-10 bursts of 10-20 seconds in duration at a pace faster than your 10k race pace. Should this be in the beginning, middle or end of the 5 miles?)

Friday – 5 miles easy

Saturday – 7 miles, 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 11 miles, 12 miles (increase by 1 mile each week. Hold at 12 miles)

Sunday – 6.2 miles easy

Monday – 5 miles easy

Tuesday – 5 miles (2-3 middle miles at 10K pace) (currently about a 9 minute mile pace. Should I stick to a timed pace or what feels like a good 10K pace?)

First, to your questions. The bursts (or strides) could be during the middle of a run or at the end. I would prefer near the end but not right at the end. This way, you get a good amount of time at a steady pace and you get the strides in with at least some time left after for a cooldown so you aren’t just finishing with fast running. As for the Tuesday workout, I like doing these workouts by feel. This gives me flexibility with where I do the workouts and also teaches me to set an appropriate pace based on how I feel instead of waiting to hear a split and having to adjust after having already run a mile at the wrong pace.

Next, a few comments. First, I’d be careful about how quickly you build up. I didn’t mind the 1 mile per week increase on the Saturday run when I was thinking about 7, 8, 9, 10. However, to increase like that for a month and a half could be pushing it, especially while doing the other workouts. If you want to try that kind of schedule, just be very cautious. Also, be careful with increasing the distances of your other runs. To increase your volume and add a new stressor in the form of the Tuesday and every other Thursday speed workouts at the same time is asking a lot of your body. Be willing to cut back if needed. Finally, about those Tuesday workouts. At 9:00/mile pace, going 2 miles or a bit longer would probably be sufficient. Remember, this is a workout, not a race. It should feel hard but not leave you wiped out at the end.