The Speed Experiment

Now that I have achieved 10K, it’s time to start some speed training. While I am tempted to create a whole new training plan to improve my 5K and 10K pace, I realise that when it comes to training plans I just don’t stick to them – partly because I tend to over estimate how much I will be able to run each week, but mostly because I have a tendency to change my mind about what I feel like doing on each run.Β So today I decided to forget about training plans and just have some fun.

It was nice and sunny again this morning, although a little bit windy, so I headed for the seafront for what was going to be a 5K run with some fartleks. The idea was to try to get some short bursts of speed into the run, sprinting between lamp posts and then jogging to recover before sprinting between some more lamp posts. In the back of mind, I was hoping that I might see some improvement in my 5K time, but really the purpose of the workout was just to get used to going faster again.

The run was going really well, and I was achieving good negative splits, but when I turned round after the first 3K to head back to my starting point, the wind was just too strong and I had to stop.

3K Splits-2014-01-12

However, I wasn’t done. I wanted to keep going so I headed back up to the streets where the wind wasn’t so strong. Here I decided to change the workout and do some 150 metre sprints at about 95% effort followed by some walking to recover. This worked really well as it gave me enough distance to run without having to stop and cross the road. I also found that my pace increased each time, which was a great motivator.

After four 150 metre sprints, I felt pretty good and decided to see how long I could sustain my 5K goal pace for. My aim is to run a sub 30 5K, so to do that, I would have to run at less than 6 minutes per kilometre. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to sustain the pace for very long, less than 0.7K, so I decided to stop and walk the rest of the way home.

All in all though, it was a pretty good workout. I’ll probably do some shorter speed sessions mid-week, as well as a longer run to keep myself on track for next month’s 10K, but for now I’m just enjoying the fact that my legs are capable of going faster than I thought they could.

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5 thoughts on “The Speed Experiment”

  1. Wow! You’re fast, Blog Runner! And, here I thought my latest 5K race at 26:32 was good for a woman aged 45 who’s only been running for <2 years. I have work to do, and you're motivating me, for sure! What race distances do you typically run?

    1. Hey LeAnn. My best 5K is still only 32:25, so still a very long way to go before catching up with you. πŸ™‚
      I turn 40 at the end of January and have been running for just over 6 months so I’m pleased with the progress so far – only done one 5K Fun Run and a few 5K Parkruns, but my first 10K race is at the beginning of February. I don’t really have a typical distance yet, but usually do at least one 5K run each week. I guess it’s still early days.
      Hope your training is going well. πŸ™‚

  2. Nice work. I’m sure all that speed work will pay off. I am excited to see how you go on your 10k, it is nice to follow someone who’s running level is similar to mine.

    1. Thanks Jay. I’m hoping to do the 10K in under 1:10:00 so hopefully the speed work will help, although I will be happy just to get round the course.
      It has been great following your progress too and you’ve got me thinking about maybe doing a Half later in the year… maybe… we’ll see how the 10K goes first though. πŸ˜‰

      1. That would be an awesome time for your 10k! I am excited to see how I would go on an official 10k later on this year, hopefully I can PR.
        A half is definitely a commitment for me, I really need to do the best I can in the time that I have to train.
        I am actually interested in finding out how to maintain a half marathon fitness, might have to do some research and diggin around.
        Anyway, hope that wind pipes down, you are doing really well contending with it so far! πŸ™‚

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