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. 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.
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.