I’m happy to say I’ve gotten my proverbial second wind and my spring training is going really well! I’m back to consistently running 3x a week (well, not this week because I’m at Walt Disney World today, but carrying Eli on my back for 7-12 miles a day definitely counts!) and lifting heavy weights 2x a week. I’ve been doing well sticking to Paleo (except on my allowed off days) and I’m trying to stay OFF the scale! Getting my weight down is key to getting much much faster!
I’m following a plan in the book Run Less, Run Faster to get my 10k time down. It prescribes three runs a week (repeats, tempo and long run) at set paces and cross training (which I’m doing on the exercise bike on my weight training days). Repeats are really interesting, here’s what mine look like:
- Warm up with an easy run for one mile. During that mile, do some high knee lifts and butt kicks to wake up your quads and hamstrings. Also do some pickups, which are when you briefly accelerate and then decelerate.
- Run 1/4 mile (400 meters, one lap around a standard track) at a pace of 8:45. Your personal pace for a quarter mile repeat can be found using your most recent 5k results on the chart in the book or you can just run like an insane killer clown is chasing you with a bloody butcher’s knife. Basically this is running faster than you ever thought you could run, but just for a quarter mile.
- Slow down to a very easy pace, jogging or walking. Try not to stop. Try not to puke. You can drink something but keep moving for another quarter of a mile. Super slow is absolutely fine. This is a recovery period.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 seven more times. Try not to puke, pass out or die. Your level of effort on the repeat portion should be steady throughout but as intense as you can handle. You will be miserable but afterwards you will feel like a rockstar.
- Cool down with a mile jog or walk. To be honest, I don’t actually cool down for a full mile because repeats take so long and I’m always DONE when I’m finished. I tend to cool down for maybe a quarter mile.
- Walk around the rest of the day knowing that you are awesome!
Different distance repeats require different levels of effort. A 8:45 pace for 400 meter repeats is equivalent to a 9:20 pace for a mile repeat. The longer the distance of the repeat, the slower the goal pace should be. But repeats should always challenge you.
I have a 10k scheduled for May 2 that I really want to get an age group award in and maybe even finish in under an hour. After that, in July, is the Melon Run Three Miler. I NEED to win an age group award in that race! It’s local and very fast, so it’s going to take a lot of work and some good luck to avoid injuries and illness along the way! Last year I finished in 28:27 and to get an age group award I’d have to have finished under 25:27. So I need to take a full minute off each mile.