Running, Training, and a Practice 5K [JOIN US!]

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Ever since deciding to rewrite my training plan for my upcoming 15K [less than a month!!!] running has been a bit of a confusing game.  Though, not confusing in a bad way, I guess – just…. not what I expected.

I changed my plan after reading/talking to Alyssa who learned about Jack Daniels’ [not from Tennessee] methods and running theories.  I had felt all year that I needed to refocus my running in someway, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do this. I’ve ALWAYS been incredibly inconsistent with pacing myself during any sort of run – no matter how long or short or easy or hard.  Now that I’ve been participating in road races for a few years, proving to myself that I could conquer new distances and courses, I really felt like 2012 was the year for pushing myself to my limits [while being smart and safe, of course!] I read a bit on Jack Daniels and VDOT myself and decided to give his pacing for personal records [PRs] a try. 

To do this, I wrote down the 3 races I am planning to PR this spring/summer, along with my standing PR at each distance.

15K – May 20th – 1:51:37
4 Miles – July 4th- 43:42
5K – July 21st – 30:29

I want to run sub 40 at that 4 miler, and sub 30 at that 5K SO VERY BADLY.  Of course, I want to beat my 15K time, but I honestly don’t think that will be too difficult to accomplish, as the conditions for this race are so much different than the last 15K I ran [and possibly hated.]  So, to start, I plugged in numbers to the VDOT calculator asking for training paces to run a 29:30 5K.

Then, I plugged in numbers asking for training paces to run a 38:30 4 Miler.

The results of both looked pretty similar, which I declared a sign from the universe that I must be on to something, and decided to match these training goal paces to a 15K, aiming at 1:36:00 finish come May 20th. 

Training Paces:

Easy/Long Runs (80% of training):  11:50
MGP (marathon goal pace):  10:38    
Tempo Runs (warm up. pace. cool down):  9:55
Intervals (3-5 min & recover):  9:08
Intervals (90 seconds & recover):  8:43

 I love having a list, a chart, and pace goals to work towards depending on what type of run I’m working on. [I have post-it notes with the list of pacing at my desk, in my kitchen, in my wallet, and in my calendar book.]  The above mentioned confusion comes in during two weeks of training with these pace numbers. 

You know the ideas we hear [and say] all the time: You are stronger than you think you are… You are more capable than you know… and so on, and so forth?

I have a hard time running 11:50 sometimes.  What usually happens is I run a couple of miles sub 11, then do a whole bunch of really slow intervals to try to bring my average pace down. I’m working on it.  I’m trying to slow myself down from the get go. I’m trying to run SMART, and steady, and learn to actually breathe well while I run.  I didn’t see this coming, honestly. When I wrote out my plan and my numbers, I thought “Golly Gee! This 11:50 mile thing is going to be AWESOME!”  I’m working on it.

Let’s talk about this super speedy 90-second intervals for a minute, shall we?  Last weekend, I did my first speed workout EVER. Before I started, I thought that my “fast” for 90 seconds would be in the 8:50 range.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make and kept my goal of 8:43 for a minute and a half.  I jogged down to the high school track and set my IPod to the “I Pretend to be Speedy” playlist.  Then I ran fast for 90 seconds, walked to recover for 60-90 seconds, and started again.  I did this for 2.25 miles. Each of my 90 second speed splits came in under a 8 minute pace.  I was blown AWAY. 

What all this confusion has brought me is the understanding that I have no idea what I am capable of, mostly because I rarely, if ever, push myself.   I WANT TO PUSH MYSELF.  I have no idea where I am currently in terms of how I could perform if I really pushed myself during any one run in particular.

A few days ago I tweeted that I wanted to test my limits and run a “Practice 5K” for time in the next couple of weeks.  Laura and Kelly volunteered to join me, wanting to step up their training and see where they are in terms of goals and abilities as well.  We started talking more about the Practice 5K and decided that we wanted to encourage you to join us, too!

First things first – this is not a part of Blend Retreat – the awesome blogging gathering in Colorado that happens to be taking place the same weekend as we (unintentionally) planned this run.  We realized it after making the plans and want to be sure you don’t think you have to be in Colorado to participate.

You may be asking, But- umm…what’s a “Blend?”  a Blend is a word that my ole pal Caitlin and her roommate came up with, way back in the day, to simplify the often heard phrase “blog friend.”   Blends don’t NEED to bloggers, in my opinion – Blends are any type of friend I make through blogging – readers, brand/PR reps, community organizers, twitter pals – all of you are blends to me!

Anyone can participate!! [This means YOU!]    [I stole this next, very well written part straight off of Kelly’s post] “You don’t need to have a blog, or be a runner.  If you want to join us, run 3.1 miles some time that weekend.  If you are a blogger, blog about your run! If you aren’t a blogger, feel free to share your experience in the comments!  Not a runner? It doesn’t matter!  Run/Walk it!  Or just plain walk it!  3.1 is 3.1 no matter how you get there!”  AMEN, SISTER!

We’re using the hashtag #Blend5K on twitter to help encourage one another, invite others to join, share our struggles and successes, and generally just support the community element part of the Blend Practice 5K [let’s face it – the community element is my favorite part! I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am in my running/weight loss/wellness/life journey if it wasn’t for all of YOU in this community!]

 Please, please, please let me know if you’ll be running “with” us the weekend of May 5th & 6th!  I’d love to cheer you on from over here 🙂

Oh – and feel free to share the information with anyone you think would like to test their own limits in a practice 5K, too!

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13 thoughts on “Running, Training, and a Practice 5K [JOIN US!]

  1. Kelly

    Pacing is probably my biggest struggle too. Although I do enjoy doing intervals, I think that is just hurting me. When I know I only have to run 5 minutes and then I get to walk, I don’t really think about sustaining a pace for a long time. I’m hoping my new strategy of running for mileage instead of time makes that easier!

    Yay Blend 5K!
    Kelly recently posted..Blend Practice 5K

  2. Kristen

    I am running in a formal 5k that weekend! I was already posting my time on twitter, so I guess I’ll just have to add the hashtag to it too. I am curious to see how this different style of training works for you, I know almost nothing about running and training for races, I’m a total novice to the sport.

  3. Emily @ Relishments

    Sounds like fun! I haven’t found any local races to participate in, which is sort of bumming me out. I’m not sure if I’ll have time for this next weekend or not, but I’m going to try!
    Emily @ Relishments recently posted..Productivity?

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