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Hi everyone, this is my first post :eek:

Backdrop: I've been running for 18 months now, and did my first race (5k on road) 12 months ago in 24:19. I go to an athletics club twice per week and do 2.4 - 4.8k worth of sprints, lift weights twice per week, and do steady runs 2-3 times per week (on a good week that is!!). And i've also done several 2-3k races since then.

I have just recently completed the same race as i did 12 months ago (5k) in 22:25, so i managed to knock off nearlly 2mins (which i'm really happy about! :d ).

I would love to complete the same race in 12 months in sub 20 mins! (as this would put me in the top 8-9 runners in our club), and my ultimate goal is to run it sub 18 mins (as this would put me in our 'A' catagory in our club).

Question: I've heard of the term 'training cycle' before, but can't find any usefull info on the web. Plz could anyone explain this concept to me/ possible giv me a rough guide based on my profile? It would be very greatly appreciated! Thanx (btw, i currently complete 16-20 miles per week (incl 3-6 miles of 'quality' interval running))
 

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Not heard the term 'training cycle' before... though I'd be very interested to find out!

Could it be the process of having various phases of training? Like base building (endurance work), followed by strength training (hillwork etc), then at the peak of the season speed training, before having a rest period and starting over again?

*twiddles thumbs whilst waiting for someone else to answer*...
 

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Yeah, that's what i mean - different training goals like endurance, strengh, speed ect... Was wondering if anyone knew a 5k plan for 12 months e.g. so many months/weeks doin' endurance, working up to X amount of miles/week and long run up to X?
 

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I think you both mean a periodisation plan. Which is where you break your year down into various stages with the last being a peaking phase where you would (hopefully) run your goal race/pb. Type 'periodisation' and 'running' into google and you will get a full explanation.

Running-man, I would straight away say you are probably hammering out speed intervals and not focusing enough on your endurance and stamina. Increasing your weekly mileage and long runs (both gradually) would definitely help, along with longer slower track intervals (4-5 x 1000m intervals at 10k pace for instance (4:39 for you) with 1-2min jogs between). You can always tag a few 200m on the end of your session to keep the feeling of speed.

Also bear in mind if you always do the same workouts every week you will plateau.

What's the furthest long run you do weekly as it stands?
 

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The training cycle would be the sequence training phases I suppose:

Base phase (Long runs and easy pace runs)
Strength/Stamina Phase (Hills & Tempo element)
Speed Phase (Quicker shorter interval training)
Race Season (Races)
Recovery Phase

Then back to the start again.

Realistically it's not a practical method for us mortals as we have jobs etc so I guess it's more important to try to have a balanced training schedule to have a good level of fitness at any one time and then just try to do more specific training towards a particular goal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LazyJones said:
I think you both mean a periodisation plan. Which is where you break your year down into various stages with the last being a peaking phase where you would (hopefully) run your goal race/pb. Type 'periodisation' and 'running' into google and you will get a full explanation.

Running-man, I would straight away say you are probably hammering out speed intervals and not focusing enough on your endurance and stamina. Increasing your weekly mileage and long runs (both gradually) would definitely help, along with longer slower track intervals (4-5 x 1000m intervals at 10k pace for instance (4:39 for you) with 1-2min jogs between). You can always tag a few 200m on the end of your session to keep the feeling of speed.

Also bear in mind if you always do the same workouts every week you will plateau.

What's the furthest long run you do weekly as it stands?
Longest run i do at the moment is 5 1/2 miles (at 9 - 9 1/2 min/mile). I always try to focus on good running form when i'm doin' steady runs and if i go any slower i seem to loose form!

Yep, we tend to do different intervals when we are at the track anywayz, but we focus mainly on 400-800m at faster than race pace, with 1-2 mins recovery (not jog revoveries). - would it not be better to do intervals, even 1k's at race pace or faster? And would it be better to jog the recoveries slow?

Thanx for your comments, it's appreciated.

Oh, btw, (you might not like me after telling you this! lol) i'm a student, so having the time to train isn't such a big deal - also, we get nearly 4 months off for summer! (sorry :rolleyes: ) so putting in some hard training over summer isn't goin' to be a big deal either. Thanx :)
 

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Hey Running Man,

Bloody students etc etc (makes Mutley style grumbling noise) ;)

No seriously, it looks like you are doing some good things in some endurance work (steady runs at steady pace) and good speed work (hard intervals at 5k pace or faster).

But you are not doing any stamina training. I understand that it sounds like running 1k reps at 5k pace or faster would help but surprisingly enough running 1k reps at 10k pace will probably fill the gap in your training nicely. I'd swap one of your fast track sessions for this per week, and build up from 4 to 6 x 1k @ 10k pace with 200-400m jogs between.

If you don't want to do this then an alternative would be a tempo run. This is a quicker run (for you about 7:45-7:55 per mile). Just run a mile at your normal steady pace, then run 2 to 3 miles at Tempo pace and finish with 1 mile at steady pace. If you find this hard to start with it probably shows that your stamina is what you need to work on.

Good luck and I'm sure this would get you towards your sub 20 goal.
 
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