Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast...

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DonnaRigs
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Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast...

Postby DonnaRigs » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:28 am

I am not fast, but I am also quite sure I can be faster than I am...my question is, if I started the "Learn to Run 5k" program over again and just ran as fast as I could for the runs, wouldn't I get a faster 5k eventually?

Or is this deceptively too simple and a stupid idea?
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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby mas_runner » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:42 pm

DonnaRigs wrote:I am not fast, but I am also quite sure I can be faster than I am...my question is, if I started the "Learn to Run 5k" program over again and just ran as fast as I could for the runs, wouldn't I get a faster 5k eventually?

Or is this deceptively too simple and a stupid idea?


You'd be more likely to get injured quickly I am afraid.

To get faster you need to add speed gently. Start with incorporating "strides" into your runs once or twice a week. Strides are short periods of faster running (e.g. a 30 second burst of faster running 6 times within your normal paced run). When running at this faster pace you should not try for flat out but at a faster pace than usual but with good posture/technique.

You can gradually add the number of repeats as you get more comfortable.

After that you will be in a position to add short tempo runs. I detailed how I got faster in my blog if you are interested: http://mstocksley.blogspot.ca/2010/11/h ... rance.html
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Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast...

Postby Jwolf » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:30 pm

Donna-
When you say "go as fast as I can on the runs" do you mean in the run portion of the run/walk?

Assuming you can already run 5k, if you repeat "learn to run 5k" with the strategy you say, you will essentially be doing high-intensity intervals every run. As Mark said, this is a good way to get injured. And it's actually not the best way to get faster. The runs will always be fairly short and you're better off doing some runs that build aerobic endurance. When I first started running I used to just go as fast as I could each time, trying to get faster. When I wasn't nursing shin splints I would plateau at about 25 minutes at a not-so-fast speed.

In general you'll get faster with more consistent running. If you mix it up with one moderate/easy run, one run of about an hour (or gradually building to an hour to gradually increase endurance), and one run per week where you do some sort of run/walk speed intervals as you describe, you'll likely see your 5k time go down. If you're running 5 days/week you could add an extra faster day.
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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby DonnaRigs » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:32 pm

Thanks Speedsters! I knew you guys would have great advice.
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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby Joe Dwarf » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:36 pm

Donna, what's your weekly training mileage right now?

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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby MichaelMc » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:44 pm

I agree, not a good plan.

Running fast is different on the joints and muscles than running slowly: the forces exerted go up dramatically especially if you are not used to it. There are two major types of adaptation that take place: LEARNING to run fast, and physically adapting to it (i.e. physical changes in your body).

Strides are a good first step. I like people to accelerate smoothly to the fastest speed they can do while still holding good form, hold it for 10-20 seconds then ease back to a very comfortable pace to recover. The whole thing should take 20-30 seconds or so. Start with one or two, work your way up to six, with a full recovery between each effort. These allow you to learn good running form while running a speed you aren't used to, but don't place uneccessary stress on your body. Your muscles will probably let you know this is new to them. Your joints may or may not let you know, but learning to land softly and absorb the shock well is critical to safely run fast.

After you get used to strides for a month or two, then you could move on to Tempo running and Hills. Most people could get away with those three things for YEARS and still make excellent progress in distance running.

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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby Irongirl » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:46 pm

I've found that this is a common question in my clinics.

The majority of people that ask this are the "one speed" runners.

By simply speeding up one or two runs (and making them "tempo-ish") during the week, and slowing down their long runs on the weekend from their "one pace".....most people will speed up quite soon....
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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby DonnaRigs » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:41 pm

Irongirl wrote:The majority of people that ask this are the "one speed" runners.


Guilty as charged. :) :oops:
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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby jonovision_man » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:54 pm

OK, I have a bit of a newbie speedwork question to add, mostly because I haven't actually done an interval structured this way...

Plan calls for this:

2 x (6 x 400m in 1:36) (90 sec RI)
2:30 RI between sets

The question- after the 6th 400m in the first set, do you rest 90 seconds as you would have after the first 5, then rest another 2:30 (for a total rest time of 3:30)? Or is the first set considered done when the 6th 400m is done?


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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby La » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:12 pm

jonovision_man wrote:OK, I have a bit of a newbie speedwork question to add, mostly because I haven't actually done an interval structured this way...

Plan calls for this:

2 x (6 x 400m in 1:36) (90 sec RI)
2:30 RI between sets

The question- after the 6th 400m in the first set, do you rest 90 seconds as you would have after the first 5, then rest another 2:30 (for a total rest time of 3:30)? Or is the first set considered done when the 6th 400m is done?

I think you'd only do the 90 seconds in between 400m intervals, then do 2:30 in between the two sets (not 1:30+2:30).
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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby La » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:21 pm

DonnaRigs wrote:
Irongirl wrote:The majority of people that ask this are the "one speed" runners.


Guilty as charged. :) :oops:

The things that made a difference for me (in no particular order):

1) Increasing my weekly mileage and frequency of runs per week
2) Losing weight
3) Eliminating walk breaks (first from my mid-week runs, then from my weekend long runs)
4) Deliberately trying to run my shorter runs at a faster pace (though I meased more by perceived exertion* than actual speed/pace)
5) Ensuring my long runs were still done at an easy pace

*I tend to run by PE, not by pace/speed (unless I'm on the TM and I know and can set my pace). That said, sometimes I'll set the TM at a certain pace and find that the PE is higher/lower than what I wanted it to be, so I have to adjust it. Outside, I always measure by PE (i.e., I don't look at my Garmin to tell me to speed up or slow down).
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Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast...

Postby Jwolf » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:22 pm

La wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:OK, I have a bit of a newbie speedwork question to add, mostly because I haven't actually done an interval structured this way...

Plan calls for this:

2 x (6 x 400m in 1:36) (90 sec RI)
2:30 RI between sets

The question- after the 6th 400m in the first set, do you rest 90 seconds as you would have after the first 5, then rest another 2:30 (for a total rest time of 3:30)? Or is the first set considered done when the 6th 400m is done?

I think you'd only do the 90 seconds in between 400m intervals, then do 2:30 in between the two sets (not 1:30+2:30).

I agree that the total would be 2:30, not 4:00, but I don't think this is crucial. The key is to make sure you're recovered to start the next set.
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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby jonovision_man » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:37 pm

La wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:OK, I have a bit of a newbie speedwork question to add, mostly because I haven't actually done an interval structured this way...

Plan calls for this:

2 x (6 x 400m in 1:36) (90 sec RI)
2:30 RI between sets

The question- after the 6th 400m in the first set, do you rest 90 seconds as you would have after the first 5, then rest another 2:30 (for a total rest time of 3:30)? Or is the first set considered done when the 6th 400m is done?

I think you'd only do the 90 seconds in between 400m intervals, then do 2:30 in between the two sets (not 1:30+2:30).


Seems to make the most sense, it's just ambiguous the way they wrote it (and my garmin loop includes the rest after the 6th repeat too)

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Re: Have a speed question, since I've never tried to do fast

Postby Dstew » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:28 am

jonovision_man wrote:
La wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:OK, I have a bit of a newbie speedwork question to add, mostly because I haven't actually done an interval structured this way...

Plan calls for this:

2 x (6 x 400m in 1:36) (90 sec RI)
2:30 RI between sets

The question- after the 6th 400m in the first set, do you rest 90 seconds as you would have after the first 5, then rest another 2:30 (for a total rest time of 3:30)? Or is the first set considered done when the 6th 400m is done?

I think you'd only do the 90 seconds in between 400m intervals, then do 2:30 in between the two sets (not 1:30+2:30).


Seems to make the most sense, it's just ambiguous the way they wrote it (and my garmin loop includes the rest after the 6th repeat too)

jono


Following the same program and reading the FAQ and the book, there is a certain amount of flexibility involved. And there also has been some recent research - if the main goal is "endurance", jog 2:30 but if the main goal is "speed", walk/jog either the 2:30 or the 2:30 and the rest interval following the last repeat in the first set to a point you are fully recovered. My second goal is to use the program as the foundation for 10 K racing so I tend to walk the first half of the rest interval because my main focus is building speed. More rested one is, higher the top end speed. Less, rest, slower the top end speed but you can do it longer.


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