Now for the second part of the entry. Over the years I've noticed a pattern where I seem to race my best 5Ks when I'm not really training for the 5K. When I do 5K specific workouts like 400s and 800s at those V02 max zones, I seem to lose power and general fitness. It doesn't really make sense, but I seem to gain speed when I don't really focus on speed. I think there's something pretty magical about the 10K/tempo pace zones, especially for older runners. We don't recover as fast as the youngsters, so I think that may be the best way to stay consistent over the long haul. Anyway, my big goal for the fall is cross country, so I'll be at Lakewood Park again this Wednesday lacing up the spikes for some mile repeats.At this point, I'm waiting to find out if I'll be able to get into a college XC race at Oberlin on Oct. 16. That would rock!
Here are some strength workouts that work for me:
1) 4-5 mile repeats at 10K effort with 400 jogs (or 2-3 minutes) for recovery.
2) 8 mile progression run, starting at normal conversation pace and trying to drop 10-20 seconds per mile. If you do this workout right, you should be running somewhere between 5K and 10K pace during your last mile. I usually start at 8:00 and do something like 7:40, 7:20, 7:00, 6:45, 6:30, 6:10, 5:40-5:50.
3) 6-5-4-3-2-1-30 fartlek w/ half-time recoveries: This is one that I read about in Running Times magazine that the Zap Fitness team does. After a decent warm up, run 6 minutes at about half-marathon race effort, jog 3 minutes and then run 5 minutes slightly faster, jog 2:30 etc. Basically, after each surge you get half-time recovery, so while the reps become shorter, you have to run them faster, and you get less time to recover. This is a great race simulation, especially as you get down to the one-minute and 30 second segments at the end.