Sunday, December 03, 2006

How to run faster

In a response to my last post, Hilda asked me to reveal the secret to finding the 89 seconds. The following plan depends on being able to keep the calf grazing happily.

For the last month my training has been generally aerobic in nature, running an average of 64 kilometres per week. I've done a few 'Slow Race Tests' which have shown a trend of improving fitness. My times for these 3 kilometre tests have been 16:57, 16:51, 17:01, 16:35 and 16:17.

I want to increase my weekly kilometres to about 70 while working on improving my speed. It's quite amazing how you forget how to run fast if you don't practise this movement. I can't run at a decent pace in longer intervals yet, so I'm going to run 200 metre repeats. Last Tuesday I ran eight of these at an average speed of 43.2 seconds. This speed is equivalent to 3:36 per kilometre.

I'm hoping to bring my speed for the 200s down to 40 seconds, before increasing the distance to 300 metres. Then I'll add another session of longer intervals - 500 to 1000 metres. The speedy shorter repeats should enable my legs to run the longer intervals at a decent pace – hopefully about 1:50 for the 500s and 4 minutes for the 1000s.

Clairie asked how I ran my recent 13:28 3000 metre race. Did I run consistently or were some laps slow? I only timed the kilometres, and they did get slower – 4:21, 4:32 and 4:35. Even-lap pacing is definitely the best way to run all but the last one or two laps of 5k and 10k track races. With a 3k, it's possible to run less evenly and still run well, although it does help if the last km is speeding up and not slowing down, like my sad 4:35 from last week.

15 Comments:

Blogger Lulu said...

If you find out how to keep the calf grazing happily then let me know. Mine seems to have escaped from the paddock again.

8:16 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Your plan makes so much sense. Is it a tried and true method or something you are going to test out?

9:01 am  
Blogger 2P said...

Hehe thanks for the tips Ewen... hopefully there are greener pastures ahead ;-)

3:38 pm  
Blogger Clairie said...

I'll be watching this space to see where it gets you...then I'll copy you!!!!

I run my 3km with a fast first km, slow middle and fastest last km. Strange but they are all like that - except when on the track.

6:09 pm  
Blogger Tuggeranong Don said...

Thank you Ewen, interesting post, and timely for me. I have just started working intervals back into my program and have been wondering if I should start long or short. Your short first approach seems to be the way to go and I will start that way as well. I will be following your progress with particular interest.

6:44 pm  
Blogger Shane said...

Sounds like a great approach Ewen, I will be, like the others, be very interested in seeing how this goes for you.

8:48 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

For Tesso and Don... It's a method I've adapted from similar techniques we use with middle distance athletes (mainly teenagers).

200 metres is a good distance to start with because it doesn't overly stress the cardiovascular system. It's the 'mechanics' of the movement which is more important.

The idea is to run these with relaxed 'good form' (not desperate sprinting) and get to 200m feeling you could run further if need be. It's an exercise to have the legs and arms using a range and speed of movement similar to that needed when you move to longer repetitions.

8:59 pm  
Blogger Hilda said...

Thanks for the clues,:-) always clears my mind what you say and your works stay on my mind....

Practice... "you forget how to run fast if you don't practise this movement" even worst if you ever haven't!

4:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great ideas Ewen. Interesting to read how one 'forgets to run fast'. I may have to give some speed work a go.

10:12 am  
Blogger PortRunr said...

Sounds like you've got a well constructed plan in progress Ewen. Train well.

11:28 am  
Blogger CJ said...

Well it looks like I might make an appearance for this weeks long run on Saturday! Though whether I'm looking forward to it is another matter!

9:06 pm  
Blogger Don Juan said...

Looks like you've condensed the training program into a winning formula.

9:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't let the title of the quiz put you off Ewen. Maybe it is time for you to get in touch with your feminine side. I would love to know what sort of girl you are :-))))

wt

4:40 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

Hey Ewen

That plan looks sound I will try something like that in order to get my 3K time down too.

By the way, for guys like us, what do you reckon about the advice offered on Speedy Geoff's blog on taking as much time as needed to recover between short fast runs?

Do you limit the time or do the long recoveries in your speed sessions?

7:34 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

Now your in business Ewen!

Someone once said "...i love it when a plan comes together!"

A team perhaps?

R2B

9:55 pm  

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