Sunday, December 23, 2012

Can I Run 5K Under 6 Minutes Per Mile?

One of the first barriers I recall as a beginning runner was the 5 minute mile.  Since then, average pace for any distance has always been in the back of my head. Once I broke 5 minutes for one mile, the target became 10 minutes for 2 miles (10:10 was the closest I ever got in high school). Now, some 35 years later, my focus is to run under 6 min for just 3.1 miles.  Yesterday, I failed again, averaging 6:11 (19:03). 

I feel like I can run that pace for a 10K (I did run 39 min in October- 6:17 pace), so why what do I need to do if I want to run faster?   My workouts tell me that I am pretty fit, but if I want to run under 6 min pace, clearly I have to include more time actually running under 6- that means shorter, more intense intervals with longer recovery.  In addition, I plan to do what I can to add a little strength with Hindu Squats and maybe hills/stairs (I live on the 10th floor- why take the elevator?) 

When all fails, I take a peek at the Runner's World Age Graded Calculator.  My age graded time for a 19:03 5K is  a decent but not great 15:27.  The calculator says an 18:30 is good for a 15:01, slightly faster than my all time PR.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How Many Intervals Are Enough?

It's been 4 days since the 3 mile workout, and the almost nothing 2 mile jog in ice yesterday has me set up for another hard day. The goal is to run an interval workout at sub 6 min miles, so I picked 800s with just a short 60 sec rest. It went as follows:

3:02, 2:55, 2:55, 2:53, 2:48, 2:49.

This was the 5 lap track, and I definitely felt a drop in pace on the two wide curves. I liked the progressive drop in time,but I had the feeling another sub 2:50 might not happen. I am always torn, do I go for 8 or shut in down BEFORE the pace begins to drop? There is always a reason to stop early, and mine was the long run I have planned for tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Can You be Fit and Slow?

This morning I ran 3 miles on the 5 lap track at 6:02 pace. I've been mixing some indoor mile, 800, and 400 intervals, so felt it was time to see where I'm at. Eight degrees out with no wind, I ran 18:06 for 3 miles. Not great, but not bad for me either. With the exception of the 10 x 440 yds I did last week in 89-90 sec, my indoor intervals on the tight 10 lap track have been slower than 6 min mile pace. Looking back, I should not expect to run any faster.

Here is what I now know. I am getting pretty strong- with help I am confident that I could have hung on for another mile with minimal slow down (I sort of talked myself out of it- easy to do when you run at race pace alone), however dipping much under 6 minutes for just one mile might be a challenge. Call it forced periodization, but winter is a time for building strength and endurance, not speed. Fit, but slow. Runners from the Midwest know all about it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tylenol After a Marathon- Does it Help or Hurt?

泰諾林 Participants treated with acetaminophen extended release (ER) reported a significantly greater decrease in the primary endpoint of average change from baseline in muscle soreness on the day of the marathon (day 1) than did placebo. In addition, the adjusted mean average interference with sleep was significantly lower for acetaminophen ER than for placebo. -A Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial of Acetaminophen Extended Release for Treatment of Post-marathon Muscle Soreness.

BUT WAIT! Read this comprehensive review by Jonathan Savage on the NEGATIVE impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories on post run recovery and healing.

MY COMMENT: Let nature take it's course after a marathon, have a few beers, and forego the tylenol.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dehydration Does Not Necessarily Lead to Heat Stroke

This runner more than likely is suffering from dehydration- not heat stroke. Note it's raining and spectators are wearing jackets- it's cold.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Calisthenics May Make You a Better Runner!

These data demonstrate that although improvements in cardiovascular fitness are induced by both endurance and extremely low volume interval-style training, whole-body aerobic–resistance training imparted addition benefit in the form of improved skeletal muscle endurance. -Extremely low volume, whole-body aerobic–resistance training improves aerobic fitness and muscular endurance in females IMG_1172 They used burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and squat thrusts (aren't burpees and squat thrusts the same exercise?)

Lee Saxby- Barefoot Running Coach

Very enlightening interview with Lee Saxby, who gives some practical advice to improve your running.