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5k PB

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:32 am
by incarnadine
Very fun race! This might turn out to be my favorite distance.

Last night was a 16:51 in Prospect Park TC's 5k series, which I'm very happy with especially considering the heat and humidity.

I felt quite good at the end, and I hope to be able to squeeze another 15 or 20 seconds out at my current fitness level. Mile splits were 5:27, 5:22, 5:33, and then the remainder in 29 seconds.

Re: 5k PB

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:14 am
by Wellpark
Well done Incarnadine,

That's a significant PB!

All the best with reducing it further. What would you say was the biggest factor to help you achieve your latest performance?

All the best


Re: 5k PB

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:26 am
by Tinman
incarnadine -

Way to go! Congratulations!

Please share more of your story. What is the cause of your improvements? What do you think you learned?

Re: 5k PB

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:30 am
by incarnadine
I think just being healthy, as I haven't been running that many miles recently. The past six weeks have been in the 30-35mi range, running five out of seven days, as I haven't been doing weekend long runs for a while until this Sunday when I did 16mi.

Every week has included only one "workout," either 6x1k CV or a 3-4mi tempo, or a race (3.5mi or 10k or 5mi).

My current ideal might just be one workout per week, plus one long run. I'm falling short, but at least I'm "underdoing" it at the moment and staying in one piece.

Re: 5k PB

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:41 am
by incarnadine

I've been taking it pretty easy the past two months or so, trying to be home and be helpful to my wife as she's nearing the end of her pregnancy. This means a lot of weeks where I have two days off, sometimes even three. I had to travel a fair bit for family occasions too, and I didn't worry much about running when I was on the road.

My "rolling total weekly" mileage (past seven days) has declined from high-50s to mid-30s, and there's only been one long run in July (16 miles this past Sunday, with 3 miles around MP) and one in June (June 12, for 15 miles).

I've tried to do one hard day each week, whether it's a race or a CV or tempo or hills. Everything else has been easy miles. The CV pieces have felt very good, as I did 3:30 for 6x1k without strain. Typical tempos have been a Prospect Park loop (same course as this 5k race) for 3.35mi at 6:15/mi pace.

So, I don't feel I've been doing "great" training, but I've been avoiding stupid mistakes.

I'm excited to bump the mileage back up with a reintroduced long run, as I feel I can absolutely get sub-16:00 for a 5k on the track within the next few months. I figure I can get a big chunk of time with kinder weather (heat index at race time was 90).

Re: 5k PB

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:03 pm
by Tinman
incaradine -

Thanks for sharing your story. It's obvious that the number one thing you have learned is, in the words of Lydiard, "Train, don't strain." or Bowerman, "Moderation and Consistency." I call it keeping the ball rolling (i.e. momentum). It's true in every sport. Watch a basketball game, like the NCAA March Madness tournament, and you can see how the teams that consistently win keep momentum in their favor. Big mistakes are very bad for momentum.

A good example of how momentum influences performance happened yesterday in the Tour De France. Thomas Voeckler, who has been in the lead overall (called GC, which means general classification), tried to attack on a downhill that he obviously did not know enough about. Three times he went around a curve too fast and lost momentum. One time he went off the road and into a parking lot. He probably lost 20 seconds on that mishap. He may have had a chance to win the TDF, but in my view he will probably just be 3rd or 4th. I am not saying for sure he would have won the TDF, but he lost his chance by losing momentum and attacking on something he didn't know about. 

In a similar vein, runners attack their workouts like races. That is a big mistake! One must treat workouts as 1% gains, in my view. You do it right - you don't race the workout, and you walk away feeling okay, not beat - and you gain your 1%. You race the workout and you walk away beat; the result is you gained nothing - you actually lost about 1%. That doesn't seem like much, but you do 4-5 workouts in a month too hard and you lost and you lost 4-5%. What's that in a 5km race?

Okay, let's say you run 5:40 per mile at the beginning of the month in a 5km race. At the end of the month, after pushing 4 workouts like race, you lost 4%. That's 13.6 seconds x 3.106856 miles, which is 42.25 seconds. So, you went from 17:36 (5:40/mile) to 18:18 (5:53.6/mile) . Sarcasm: Yeah, pushing hard in workouts will really make you tough! Not! It proves nothing and you lose time. "Train, don't strain!" (Thank you Mr. Lydiard) and "Moderation and Consistency" (Thanks Mr. Bowerman!). Now, do the right types or workouts at the right frequencies and give your body time to adjust, you gain a lot over weeks and months.

You look back 6 months from now and say, "I' trained the last 3 years hard and I gained 25 seconds in my 5km time. The last 6 months I have trained moderately, did fewer "hard" workouts, did more CV and tempos, and I didn't even run as much mileage, yet I improved 60 seconds on my 5km time. Wow! Maybe training harder is not more effective than training smarter, and actually enjoying my running and training is the result of training moderately. It sure is fun to go to a race and know that I can count on running strongly, rather than wondering if I am going to struggle or not."


Re: 5k PB

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:02 pm
by ap4305
And let's not forget the foundation that was established through years of high level rowing; a very demanding aerobic sport, that because of its non-impact nature allows for a high dose of relatively intense stamina work.

Think of the rowing base as the soil upon which you are now laying seeds (i.e. running training) to cultivate.  The better the quality of our soil, the better the quality of our crops.