Yesterday I jogged to the Camp Humphreys track intending to run something very hard but not knowing just what that would be. When I got there, I decided to get it over with by running a hard 2 mile time trial.
Unless you are already racing frequently at the 5K distance, I highly recommend something like this at least once a month. I was a bit surprised how tired my legs felt several hours later, a sure sign that the workout did it's job.
I ended up running 11:26- basically two back to back 5:43s. Now what? This was a 5 lap track and I sense a little slowdown on the curves, so I figure I am in 11:20 shape right now. If I set a goal to run 11:00, that means I have to develop the speed to be able to run a sub 5:30 mile, sub 2:45 for 800 meters, and 82 sec for 400 meters. Then I must have the endurance to hold that pace for 11 minutes.
Looking at the Runners World Age Graded Calculator, a 11:26 predicts me to run a 9:21 if I were 25 yrs old competing in the open division. It also gives me an 84.5 age graded score (the ratio of the approximate world-record time for your age and gender divided by your actual time).
I think the table is wrong! I've reached the 84 age graded score before, but that was running my very best times in great shape, not a last minute solo 2-mile run on a short track by myself. And I am left to wonder why the chart says I need to run 9:39 to reach 100%? Something isn't adding up.
This calculator at runbayou.com based on World Masters Association data predicts a 9:30 and 85.3% as a percentage of the top standard for my age. That makes more sense.
I also took a peek at the McMillan Running Calculator that predicts times at other distances- and based on my 2-mile I am in 3 hour 57 second marathon shape. Maybe with a few more long runs I could do that since my last 2 marathons have been 2:59 and 3:01.
Getting back to training, I'll make it a point to begin working on 400s and try to get those down to 82, along with some 800 meter workouts 2:45 or faster. I'll have to cut the volume (remember last week I did 16 x 400) to focus on speed, and I certainly need to be well rested before these intense workouts. To avoid injury, I'll run these on the artificial turf. And with no races on the calendar, I'll plan some sort of short race simulation time trial frequently on the weekends.
In a way, this is a refreshing change from my long-distance racing focus, and I look forward to seeing how fast I can run at 5K and under.