The Weakness In Me
Perversely, the speedwork and racing I did over summer actually made me slower. I'm one of those runners who don't respond well to fewer weekly miles. Especially when an ever increasing percentage of those miles are run anaerobically. My fastest 1500m race last year (5:38) came after 4 weeks of around 95 kilometres (59 miles) per week of mostly aerobic running. The day before that race I ran an easy 17.6k at 5:52 per km for an average heart-rate of 123. If I were to run the same course now at the same pace, my average heart-rate would be a solid grey 129.
Can I run faster for 3000 and 5000 metres? I hope so! My aerobic condition is less than it could be, which means my speed at 5k racing heart-rate (92-93% of max) is too slow. That's one obvious weakness. Another weakness is my lack of speed. I'm naturally slow and always have been — my 20-something PB for 200 metres is a modest 28.7 seconds. If I were to race 200 metres now I'd be around 5 seconds slower. But how much basic speed do I need? Which of my weaknesses should I work on? My 11:39 goal for 3000 metres only requires a pace of 46.6 seconds per 200 metres. Will improving my 200 speed by 3 seconds, say from 34 to 31, make me faster at three and five kilometres, or am I better off going back to a more Hadd-based aerobic programme? I think the latter. So, I'm modifying the programme I outlined in 'The 11:39 Plan'. I'll replace the 1000m intervals with another aerobic run, finishing with some short sprints. Sprints of less than 10 seconds use the alactic system so don't produce lactic acid, which makes them ideal for building strength and speed without damaging aerobic condition. I'll also try and run 100 kilometres per week — perhaps more if possible. If I get bored I'll listen to the Tower Of Robert Song album or tunes like this on my miniature portable music player.