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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

Just got back from my last time trial did 5k in 20:20. Getting closer to my target of 5k in 20 mins but still got 20 seconds to go. Has anyone got any advice on how to sustain the race pace?

From my splits I did my first lap at the right pace for 20 mins (15kmh), but the second lap I tailed off (about 14.5 kmh). This is quite annoying. In training I can run at 15.4 kmh for 10 mins. But it seems over the 5k I tail off quite a lot.

My training consists of intervals, fartlek (35-40mins), one long run (70mins) and a tempo run (25mins) each week (4 runs a week).

I was thinking one week should I do 4 session where I run 5k as quick as poss. Basically simulating a race. Is this a good idea?

Cheers,

Tom
 

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Hi Tom

That much speedwork will risk injury, and you will likely slow down dramatically after about the 2nd session anyway.

I suggest you just keep at it; 20 seconds is not much more to shave off, a few more weeks of work and you will be there. If you tweak your schedule at all, I suggest you increase your mileage a little, eg add a few more fairly slow miles. This will increase stamina and mean that you tail off less.

Congrats on the 20:20, anyway, that's pretty darned fast :cool:
 

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Perhaps you need a longer break between your training and the timetrial.
 

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I will let you know once I've done 5k inside 25 mins :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice, I did have a couple of days off before the time trial. I'll keep plugging along and increase the mileage a bit.
 

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Hi Tom... are these Time Trials that you do alone? or organised time trails in a group?

To be honest you'd be able to knock the extra 20secs off just by being able to cope with the discomfort a little better! If you're running alone then I'd suggest trying to run a 5k race, or a time trial in a group which should help to distract the mind a bit from focusing on how far you've got to go.

Alternatively, one thing that I've found rewarding (although pretty tiring!) is that whenever I feel myself flagging and the pace dropping, I make a conscious effort to push hard, probably a little harder than I would need to to achieve my goal pace, (usually resulting in slightly quicker than goal pace) - I've found that the more I do this, the more the body seems to accept it can't just slow down because it feels a bit tired. Not necessarily the best way to run races, but can be useful for hard training runs :)

If anyone knows of a good book on psychology in running and the mental battle against discomfort ("I can't do this, I'll have to stop..." type thing) then I'd be really interested to hear about it and have a read. I think Trin mentioned a title in a thread some time ago but I've completely forgotten what the thread was about :(
 

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I also do weekly time trials when I can make it - having to work some weekends gets in the way once or twice a month though which is really annoying as it's the only fast session I enjoy and it's great for improvement - you can see the group improving every week. I find that running in a group is definitely the thing that motivates me to run faster. Although it's you against the clock, there is an element of friendly competition and you know who is currently at the same speed as you and it's like having a race every week. The guy I finished ahead of last week just got a pb yesterday and is now ahead of me by 12 seconds. I'll have to see what I can do next time:worried:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi,

I'm doing time trials with about 95 other people in wimbledon common in London. It's a suberb event and free to. I'd recommend anyone to have a go. Although it's 94 other people I mostly find on the second lap I'm running on my own. Either I've been dropped from a group or have dropped someone else. Maybe next time I'll try and stay with the faster group, although my heart rate shows 181 during the 5k, my theoretical max for my age is 186ish. I just think I might blow up if I go any faster!

Also I just brought the 'lore of running' book. It's pretty heavy weight but it has some interesting ideas on training the mind.
 

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Haha... how funny is that... my copy turned up last week but i've been so busy working on projects (outside FT work - which is when I seem to be on teh forum, lol) that I've not had a chance to read past the introduction! I'm really looking forward to it though, it looks like a fantastic read (all nine-hundred-and-something A4 pages of it!).

Tom, my guess would be that you MAX HR is higher than the theoretical 186... unless you have a pretty high pain/discomfort threshold, I reckon maintaining 97% of your Max HR for 20mins is unlikely!

Perhaps you could try a different race tactic? What sort of time are you running through the half-way point?
 

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Sounds like a good book to pick up - I'll have to order a copy.

I did a 5k last night (my first actually - I seem to have done most other distances) and can appreciate what Tom is saying about dropping off in the second half of the 5k. It was a small race in Battersea Park (60 or 70 people) and I quickly found myself on my own after about 2 or 3 minutes. It's definitely hard to keep mentally focused if you are not vying with other runners. I managed to perk up in the last 3/4 km as I saw a runner tiring about 60 yards ahead, but I couldn't quite catch him before the line.

I think you really need to hang tough in the 4th km of the 5k. I think I'll try and kick a gear at this point next time as if the race is a 4k, as the last k you always find something extra knowing you won't have long to hold on.

Oh and hopefully they'll remember the km markers next time to make pacing easier!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm only on chapter 2, it's not really the best book to read before bedtime as it takes a lot of concentration. Don't think I can read it on on the tube either, as it's a big book!

Well Richard, I'm doing the first lap in 2.3km in 9:11 which is dead on 20mins for 5k pace. I think as others have said I need to hang on in there and kick on on the 4k!

This eve did 4 x 800m with 1 min rest between on a 400m track. That was really hard work!
 

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were you aiming at 5k pace? or mayeb 3k pace? I've started putting a lot more structure into my speedwork lately and boy the last reps are hard work!

You'll get to 20mins soon enough Tom :d
 

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I'm only on chapter 2, it's not really the best book to read before bedtime as it takes a lot of concentration. Don't think I can read it on on the tube either, as it's a big book!
"Training With Expert Runners" is a good section to read. The beauty of the book as a whole is that you can dip into it wherever you like without necessarily having to start at the beginning and work through to the end.:)
Some sections are a little on the "heavy" side though!:huh:
 

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speedwork sessions as 75% of you runs is excessive... at the very least i'd replace a fartlek/interval session with a run at the regular pace as you currently have no runs at a normal pace...
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Hi Revenged,

I've heard many people say that you should only do 1-2 speedwork session a week. But I haven't heard any good reasons why. I would have thought that if you want to train for a certain type of run, 5K for example, the training should be as close to what you will experience in the race.

I've heard the argument that you're likely to pick up injuries, (although I haven't yet - touch wood!), but are there any other reasons to limit speedwork? Also, what do regular runs actually achieve? I understand that Long runs will increase certain structures in the muscles and help improve running economy. But Regular runs just seem to be about higher mileage. Do they actually do anything useful? Maybe the answers in the 'lore of running' somewhere.....
 

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The problem with speedwork is that it's so tiring; I find that the day after a speedwork session I physically cannot match the pace of the speedwork, and even if I do a regular run it's hard to be particularly fast. 4 sessions of 5k speedwork would, for me, mean getting slower and slower as the week progresses, even if I did no other running and had 3 rest days.

I guess it's possible to have all your runs with some kind of specialty and no "regular" ones; I don't see why not, although I enjoy standard runs myself.
 

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Hi Revenged,

I've heard many people say that you should only do 1-2 speedwork session a week. But I haven't heard any good reasons why. I would have thought that if you want to train for a certain type of run, 5K for example, the training should be as close to what you will experience in the race.

I've heard the argument that you're likely to pick up injuries, (although I haven't yet - touch wood!), but are there any other reasons to limit speedwork? Also, what do regular runs actually achieve? I understand that Long runs will increase certain structures in the muscles and help improve running economy. But Regular runs just seem to be about higher mileage. Do they actually do anything useful? Maybe the answers in the 'lore of running' somewhere.....
variety is the spice of life... !

i think that running at different paces is more fun and is better in the long run...

e.g.
fartlek/intervals - faster than race pace
tempo - slightly slower than race pace
regular run - normal pace
long run - suistained slow pace

if you really want to concentrate on speedwork then this is fine...

i think fartlek and intervals (structured fartleks) are essentially the same thing so i don't see the point in doing both every week, which is why i suggested doing a regular run instead... i've just started doing intervals and i think these are the best and hardest runs by far so i'd ditch fartleks instead of intervals if i had a choice...

if you really want to concentrate on your pace worth going to an athletics tract and doing sprinting and intervals with other people... i have never been on an athletics tract before but it might be a good idea if you want to run faster... a bit of competition makes you run faster and i can never seem to get anywhere near my race pace on the short tempo runs running solo...

p.s. i don't read books or follow training scedules - this is just my views...
 
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