should I increaase my paces?

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Babaloo
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should I increaase my paces?

Postby Babaloo » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:35 am

I ran a 5k race yesterday and beat my best time by about 27 seconds (new pb 29:17 :D ). I run 4-5x a week, a long run (8-15K), a couple easy runs of 5-8k and I alternate tempos and 400s each week (weekly mileage is 25-30km). I've run 8 or 9 1/2 marathons, and several 10 and 5ks and I would like to focus on shorter distances like the 5 and 10ks. My next 5k race is Dec 16, 10k Jan 1 and another 5k on Jan 20. I'm wondering if I should keep running at my current paces, which I am having no problems with (some days they feel too easy), or if I should speed them up a little. I plugged yesterday's time and my goal time of 29:00 into the Macmillan calculator and based on those numbers, the paces are just a few seconds faster than my current paces. I'm supposed to run 7 or 8 400's this week but IF I increase my pace, should I do the 7 or 8 400's or should I start with 4 or 5? Same with the tempos: should I start out with a 20 min tempo and increase my time gradually?

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fingerboy
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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby fingerboy » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:46 am

First is always to increase weekly mileage. Just because the distance is short doesn't mean you can get away without a base. Now something a week away won't really change much, but you could see some change by the late Jan race. How much were you running a week for the 1/2's? If you can do it, I'd recommend to pick it up to about 50-60kms/week (maybe for a few weeks at a time to see how your body adapts).

Your weekly plan sounds alright, ie a few easier days, a tempo/track day, and a long run. The easy days are recovery for your skeletal-muscular systems and will not do as well if they're always strained. You could add a second tempo day, perhaps adding a warmup and cool down to those workouts as well.

I broke 20min when I started picking it up to about 80kms/wk pretty consistently. Now, well I'm more of a marathon runner, have had peaks of over 110kms/wk in addition to some speed days, is in the 18 to sub 18 range. When I used to run 10s-1/2s just starting out I was running maybe up to 40k and the 5k was closer to 25.

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scrumhalfgirl
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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:32 pm

For a calculator such as McMillan, it really is better to use the performance you are currently capable of - not the time you are working towards. That being said, 27 seconds or so over 5 km won't result in huge difference in your paces that would be really "meaningful". (as in, your pace is usually going to vary by 5 seconds one direction or the other anyway).

As an aside, I'd try swapping out those 400m reps for some longer intervals at least some of the time.
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Jwolf
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should I increaase my paces?

Postby Jwolf » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:20 pm

What scrumhalfgirl said.

You are improving so continuing what you've been doing should continue to give results. Consistency is more important than anything else right now. And while that is a nice improvement in 5k time, the pace numbers won't be significantly different.

Remember McMillan paces are just supposed to be a rough guide, and a midpoint in a range of paces- not an absolute goal. You should be able to do the workout at the expected effort level without slowing down.
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La
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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby La » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:54 pm

Jwolf wrote:Remember McMillan paces are just supposed to be a rough guide, and a midpoint in a range of paces- not an absolute goal. You should be able to do the workout at the expected effort level without slowing down.

Exactly.

A gauge I like to use is to use the paces he suggests for the 800m interval workout and see how I feel after doing (say) five of them (with full rest in between). If I *can't* do the last 1-2 at the same pace, then the pace was too fast. If I was able to do them within a few seconds of the target pace and feel OK after, then the pace probably wasn't challenging enough. The last 1-2 repeats of any interval should feel tough, but still doable.
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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby Dstew » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:34 pm

The adage of "if it is not broke, do not fix it" would seem to apply.

Everything in running is risk v reward. You need to stress your body so that it will adapt. As long as you see your times drop, it means you are stressing your body enough (training) to force it to adapt. The problem with calculators is that you may artificially increase your paces to where you cross over the line from the proper amount of stress to where you are now injuring yourself. I think it is helpful to remember or know that when we use the term "stress", we are actually speaking about "injuring" yourself but only to a point where the body can quickly repair the damage. But too much stress and you get an injury. So when starting off, better to put in slower and more miles until you see what your body can do and how it reacts.

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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby Babaloo » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:19 am

Thanks for the helpful replies and they all make perfect sense to me. Scrumhalfgirl: Out of curiosity re: the 400's? Are they too short a distance's? What distance would you suggest for speedwork instead? I've tried 800's at 5:32-5:50 pace with I think 1 minute recovery (it was a few months back), 1600s at race pace and I've also tried tempo intervals. I'll try anything you suggest to keep it "interesting". Thanks!

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scrumhalfgirl
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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:14 am

Babaloo wrote:Thanks for the helpful replies and they all make perfect sense to me. Scrumhalfgirl: Out of curiosity re: the 400's? Are they too short a distance's? What distance would you suggest for speedwork instead? I've tried 800's at 5:32-5:50 pace with I think 1 minute recovery (it was a few months back), 1600s at race pace and I've also tried tempo intervals. I'll try anything you suggest to keep it "interesting". Thanks!


400s have a place, but I find longer intervals are helpful to practice at that 5 km pace. Personally, I like 1 km repeats - long enough that it's a sustained effort, but short enough that I can mentally get through them. I usually do 1-1:30 recovery. I've also done workouts where we alternated 1600s with 800s at a faster pace, which was "interesting" for sure!
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Babaloo
Percy Williams
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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby Babaloo » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:44 am

DEFINITELY going to try 1k repeats! Thanks again.

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MichaelMc
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Re: should I increaase my paces?

Postby MichaelMc » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:39 am

In principle I would increase the paces. Race times are an indication of fitness, and the point of using calculators is to determine the appropriate pace to elicit an increase in fitness. If you get more fit and do not alter your paces you are making the workouts easier (relative to your fitness).

All this needs to be done with attention to how you are feeling and any upcoming races, mind you. You will probably continue to improve in this case even if you don't alter your paces, but on principle you need to make training get progressively faster as you get faster.

Speedwork distances need to be chosen based on effort and the time it takes to complete them. If you are looking at challenging VO2max, for example, you want the effort to be 4 - 6 minutes long so you'd look at a McMillan or Daniels chart and find a distance with that time range for completion. For some people it would be 800 while others would be 1000, 1200, 1500 or Mile: the same distance has different effects depending on how fast you are.


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