Last December I started a new running project; my plan to work on speed and time over shorter distances. As I said in my previous blog post, 2015 was all about the distance; 2016 is all about the speed. My ultimate goals for the year are three-fold:
- To run 5k in under 30 minutes
- To run 5 miles in under an hour
- To PB a 10k race this summer
Today I finished week 19 of Project Speedy and thought it was high time I posted an update here on how things are going.
It’s going really well, I’m happy to say. My coach, Luke Coleman, really knows what he’s doing and I feel really confident with his plan for me. I run each week to a pattern of runs, but each run is different so I’m never bored or tired of the same old routine. I’m running over 20 miles a week over 5 days (I’ve already run 200 miles this year!) and also back working out with Michael from mypersonaltrainer once a week.
Currently my training looks like this:
Monday: Short, easy recovery run of 3-4 miles.
Tuesday: Rest day due to college in the evening. This does entail a 2-3 mile walk to college then home.
Wednesday: Short, hard run of about 4-5 miles, usually some kind of interval run. Sometimes it’s short intervals, sometimes longer, sometimes hills. Last week it was a intervals of 3 minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes at one pace followed by 3 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute at a faster pace with recovery between each interval. Intervals are sandwiched by an easy mile before and after.
Thursday: Short, easy run of 4 miles.
Friday: Rest day, though I usually try get in a fast, short walk during the day.
Saturday: Short, hard run of 4-6 miles, sometimes a steady state run or a tempo run (for example, this week I ran 2 x 15 minute intervals at 12.40-12.50 pace with 4 minute recovery after each) again sandwiched between a mile easy on either end. This is followed by a one-hour workout with Michael which includes weights, pilates and short HIIT intervals on the crosstrainer.
Sunday: Long, easy run, 7-8 miles.
After the Raheny 5 mile race in February, my easy pace has gone from 15.30-17 min/miles to 15.10-16 min/miles. That felt really good, to see that pace band come down like that.
In addition to all the running and working out, I’m back with my sport massage therapist, Eric from The Bodywise Clinic . I go for a massage once a month, to work out the legs and back/neck/shoulders.
This is a really great question because I HAVE surprised myself in the last few months. (How did you know? 😉
When I started training for the marathon last year, I didn’t feel that I would be capable for the more advanced training plans that were available. So I had a coach who wrote a training plan for me based on my needs and abilities. It was the right thing to do at the time, and that base of running last year, along with the marathon itself has been of great benefit to my running.
When I started this new training plan, I’ve been surprised at how capable I am of running the variety of runs and the different paces. Paces which last year I was nowhere near achieving. When I started Project Speedy I was a little nervous, some of the intervals and paces looked frightening. But one thing that doesn’t surprise me is my tenacity to do what I set out to do. The surprise was discovering that I’m well able for it.
That’s not to say it’s easy. It’s not. Some of my runs are really, really tough and I struggle to get the right effort or pace, I struggle to finish hill intervals or speed up from one mile to the next or keep going after a long and tiring week. On the other hand, sometimes I’m surprised at how good I feel during a run; I could run it faster, or run for longer. 😀
The bottom line is, I’m having a lot of fun and enjoying Project Speedy immensely (which is also somewhat surprising. :D) I particularly love the sense of achievement I get from seeing the results of each run. I’m doing it (not surprising); and doing it well (surprising!).
Of course, I have to acknowledge that there are many friends and fellow runners who are NOT surprised with my progress and have expected it all along. What would I do without you all?
My next 5k race is a week from today. As usual, I’m nervous but excited about it. Nervous as I know it will be HARD, but excited to see how much I’ve improved. I hope I will be pleasantly surprised!