It’s been a while since I’ve added anything, which is a shame with a shiny new blog platform and no new content. There have been other focuses, on which hopefully more soon, but for now here are my four run types that I’m practising
Not exactly an unknown - but I don’t really bother with long slow distance running. My long runs start off nice and easy, ramp it up to comfortable in the second third, and then build the pace for the last third, finishing strong for the last km or three. It’s a difficult one to get right at first but after a while, I found I could manage the last few kms at a minute faster than the first few.
Very much like the long run, but much shorter and much faster. I find the first few km allow me to get into my rhythm, loosen up, to such an extent that I’ve got close to my 5km personal best on a number of occasions over the second half of the run. It’s impossible to compare the two, with differences in adrenaline and pressure in the race but with the possibility of wind assistance on a 10km out and back, but it does show a strong, fast finish.
One alternative is hill intervals - I find a hill that takes nearly a minute to run down, just over a minute to run up. The downs are supposed to be fast and the ups are just recovery. I can do this 20 times in 40 minutes, and then head for a 30 minute run after that.
However, these days I just tend to head to my local hilly trail run once a week, which pretty much becomes a hilly fartlek style run. Again I try and run fast down the hills, and just try and maintain a steady rhythm going up. The idea is not to walk (although in a race I’m happy to walk to conserve energy, here I’m trying to improve my hill stamina) if I can avoid it.
At the moment I’m aiming to improve my 5km race pace so that I sharpen my race pace. I’m hoping to get down to 20 minutes, which means each kilometre should take 4 minutes. The last couple of times I’ve done a 4 or 5km warmup and then run back the same distance with a minute recovery in between each km. In theory I should be able to get to 4 minutes per km, and then reduce the intervals in between. I’ll see how it works in practice!
The details of the first three of these sessions were first suggested to me by my former coach, Mad Dog Mike. Should you wish to have a more detailed plan1 tailored to your abilities, check out his website and get in touch with him, he’s a nice guy and he’s not expensive.
1 there are two sides to a detailed plan - it’s great to know what you’re supposed to be doing but it does make training weeks less flexible. In the end I chose my own plan for flexibility but would consider being coached again if I wanted to succeed in a concrete goal.