I'm a runner without a plan. For the past two months I've been heading outside (or eh-ehm to the treadmill when it was REALLY cold) to run 3 days a week with 3 to 6 miles in mind and running as long as I felt like it. On my non running days, I've cross trained on the elliptical or with workout DVD’s. I've been doing some leg and strength moves to try to gain some muscle. Occasionally, I've been doing a yoga DVD. I've even taken plenty of days off. This little schedule has been going well for me… but it’s not the “plan” I need to get into shape for the Frostbite 10K. I know I can run a 10K right now without a problem, but running it FAST is a whole other ballgame. With 5 weeks left until the race, it’s time focus.
Treadmill, I know…
I promise I’ve done some “cold” weather runs outside.
It’s just raining right now—boo!
So other than just running more, how do you get faster? Good question….
I’ve been able to build strength and endurance and a little speed (emphasize little) over time by simply running more, but I know I can do more. Everything I’ve read for years in running books, magazines and online says to run faster you have to incorporate speed work & tempo runs. In fact one of the best running books I have “Run Less Run Faster,” says these two key runs plus a weekend long run are all you need to train for a race. This book is based on the Furman First Plan that many runners I know love.
Awesome book- I highly recommend!
Since I have never successfully done speed work or tempo runs, I decided I needed some help!
I first called my friend Dan, who is running the Frostbite 10K with me, and has been running fast for years. I asked him to take the mystery out of speed work and tempo runs and explain it very simply. He told me that speed work is where you run a burst of speed for a quarter (400 m) or half mile (800 m), allow yourself a brief recovery, then run another quick burst. A tempo run involves a slow warm up run, then running several miles at a faster pace, then a cool down mile. You run the speed work faster than tempo runs.
But how fast is fast?
I reached out to some of my facebook and twitter running friends to try to figure out paces for these runs. I got some great advice from many people. Olivia from facebook gave me a link to a great online calculator to help you figure out your paces for speedwork and tempo runs.
My twitter friends from AVL Running Tours helped me understand that for tempo runs, you want your pace to be too fast to talk, but something you can sustain for 20-40 minutes. The “Run Less, Run Faster” (Furman) book also has some charts with paces.
Thank you social media! But this seems to make running sound very complicated. I want to get faster though, so I’m going to give it a try.
The Furman book also has a pretty intense 10K program (available online here,) but it is a 12 week program and it’s only 5 weeks until Frostbite. I fear jumping into this hard program so close to race would bump up my mileage and intensity of my training too quickly. So I tried to come up with own little beginner version training program using the base miles I already have and adding to more intense (speed and tempo) runs during the week.
So here we go… Starting next Monday I will TRY my hardest to follow these runs and paces. My goal is the 10K in under an hour (9:40 Pace.) Wish me luck!
Mon Wed Sat
Wk 1 3 miles w/ 400 m speed (9:04) 5 mile – 3 @ 10:07 Tempo 6 miles
Wk 2 4 miles w/ 400 m speed (9:04) 5 mile – 1 @ 10:07 Tempo 7 miles
2 @ 9:52 Tempo
Wk 3 4 miles w/ 800 & 400 m speed 5 mile – 3 @ 9:52 Tempo 7-8 miles
Wk 4 4 miles w/ 800 m speed (9:04) 5 mile - 1 @ 9:52 Tempo 6 miles
2 @ 9:37 Tempo
Wk 5 3.1 miles Easy 3.1 miles Easy SUNDAY- FROSTBITE10K
Tuesday and Thursday –cross train 30-45 minutes.
Yoga and strength several times a week.
Runners—Any advice for doing speed work and tempo runs?
How do you keep the pace without constantly staring at your Garmin?
NonRunners- Have you ever tried something in your “hobby” but out of your comfort zone?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]