‘Project Speedy’ is GO!

Before I started marathon training I was running a lot of 5ks and thoroughly enjoying them. Then marathon training took over and I focused my efforts on getting in the distance.  The last 5k race I ran was way back in March! Now that the marathon is done and over (it’s been 6 weeks already!) I’m back to training for 5ks, only this time I’m training to run them faster. I call it ‘Project Speedy’.

My current PB (which was set last year) is 38.29.  My goal is to carve a whopping 8.29 minutes off my time and run a 30 minute 5k (sub-30 even, if I can manage it!).

I have a new coach, Luke Coleman, helping me with a training plan.  What Luke doesn’t know about running could be written on the head of a pin. This guy knows his stuff and I’m lucky to have his input into my running! He eats, sleeps and breathes running and I couldn’t ask for a better person to oversee this latest phase of my training.

Before I could start training though, I had to recover from the marathon. Physically I felt fine 4 days afterwards but mentally it was very difficult.  I was so glad that a week and a half after the marathon I was allowed out for a short, easy run.  I was climbing the walls out of frustration and the sheer, physical need to run! After a week of easy running I started to ease into my new plan.

‘Project Speedy’ entails running 5 days a week.  3 days easy with 2 days hard and 2 days rest.  The easy sessions are 2 short and 1 long.  The hard sessions are a variety of hill intervals, progression runs, tempo runs and other sorts of technical running.  My coach sets the paces to aim for, and I make sure to run by effort more than my watch.

I am really enjoying the training! So far I’ve done well, and managed to hit all the paces I’ve been aiming for. The hard days ARE hard, and the easy days are mostly easy.  Monday’s are the hardest easy days but only because I have a hard run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday so I’m pretty tired come Monday!

You might notice the lack of S&C…for now that’s not part of the plan but it will be gradually brought back in. I do miss my workouts! I don’t know yet what form S&C will take; if I’ll go back to my trainer or try something at home.

Tomorrow I find out what kind of progress I’ve made, if any, by racing a 5k.  The results of the race will impact my training going forward and am anxious to see how I do! Nearly 9 months since my last 5k race, 7 months of marathon training + 1 marathon and 4 weeks of speedwork under my belt…and yet tomorrow is still an unknown for me.  I am understandably nervous about it!

Now for Q&A time!

It’s very different! The length and intensity of my runs has changed completely. I’m also running more often, 5 days a week as opposed to 4.  Which do I prefer? That’s hard to say. I really enjoyed the long, slow runs of my marathon training but I’m also loving the variety of my 5k training.  Before the marathon, towards the end of training, I was itching to try speedwork.  Now that I’m doing speedwork, I’m missing the LSRs! If I were forced to choose I would say speedwork i.e my current plan. I say that because if I had to pick only one kind of plan to work on for the rest of my life, I would choose the variety of my current plan. I like mixing it up and there’s nothing to say I can’t do a nice LSR now and then.

It’s been awhile since I’ve paced a 5k, but even in training I do find it takes me a mile or two to settle into a pace so I would agree it can be difficult! My coach has given me a plan for the race tomorrow and I will do my utmost to hit the paces he wants me to.  I think training myself to run by effort will be a big help because I won’t have to be constantly watching the watch, which can throw me off pace sometimes.  I will know more tomorrow though….it all remains to be seen!

Nope, not this time.  I’m running this race to find out two things: a) what my current abilities are and b) how my marathon training has affected my fitness overall.  My coach will take the results of the race and use that to tweak my training plan.  The last 5k I raced was in  March so the pace/effort data is too old, especially factoring in the 7 months of marathon training and the 4 weeks of 5k training.  I will be racing tomorrow though, no holding back! Whatever happens, happens!

I should add that despite the pressure I’ve put on myself, I’m also running this race for the fun of it. I ran this last year and the atmosphere was great. I really feel the need for some cheering up lately and I think a festive 5k is just the thing for it!

Good question so I’ve added it to my post! I don’t have a timescale in mind but I’d hope that by March I would be able to pull it off.  I haven’t talked it over with my coach yet as we’ve been focusing on tomorrow’s race. I do know another runner who went from a similar time to mine, to a 29 minute 5k in about 3 months.  I think that seems quite reasonable especially with the new training plan.


If you’re interested in finding out how I do tomorrow, just watch for my tweets! The race is at 11.00am GMT. Wish me luck in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “‘Project Speedy’ is GO!

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