Posted by: Ingrid | August 17, 2012

Musings on 5K Training

So my computer has been weird.  The screen suddenly turned pink-ish the day after husband’s last day at work and is almost impossible to read.  Turns out that a poorly functioning computer is bad for blogging, responding to emails, and using social media in general.  If I missed telling you happy birthday on Facebook or haven’t responded to an email, I apologize.

But today I have been issued a reprieve and the screen is normal, so I am making myself ignore the messy bedroom and stopping myself from googling (Can you believe “googling” wasn’t a verb not too many years ago?) “what to do with stale cookie crumbs” in favor of blogging.

I know that the 5K was over three weeks ago, but I am still thinking about the training I put in and what worked and what didn’t.  But between then and now we had the epic garage sale, husband’s last day at work, all of husband’s office stuff and books moving back to the house, a weekend away with friends, a baby that keeps putting everything in his mouth and a little boy who turned three.  And a malfunctioning computer!

Life is bad for blogging, I tell you.

This was the first 5K I had officially trained for.  I use the word “official” to indicate that the training plan was specifically for a 5K and I sort of followed it for 6 weeks.  I think my biggest lesson learned was that I train better for a 5K when I train for a half marathon.  I know that sounds weird, but I realized four weeks into my plan that all of my speed work consisted of 400 repeats.  No 800’s, no 1k’s, just 400’s every single Monday.  It took me four weeks to conclude that I might be running a 400 in 1:25 but that wasn’t really going to help me run 3.1 consecutive miles at a 6:20 pace.  Lesson learned.

I feel like I might have better results with a 5K now that I am training for two half marathons: the Baker’s Dozen Beer Run and the Wildlife half marathon both this fall.  Maybe I will throw a 5K  in as my tempo run for the week if I can find one close by and cheap.  After training for the 5K I came away with a few things I wish I’d done differently.

1.  Run longer repeats for speed work.  I should have been doing mostly 1k repeats in order to go fast but also build some endurance.

2.  Actually DO my tempo runs.  In 6 weeks I flat out skipped two of my tempo runs and did another on the treadmill.  I never did a tempo longer than 3 miles.  Lengthening the tempo run would have helped my endurance, I think.

3.  Do a faster long run.  I was still in a running slump, so almost every Saturday I made sure to run with someone so that it would be fun and I would actually make it out the door.  From an exclusively training perspective (since I loved the company and don’t regret running with people in the least) I probably should have done shorter long runs and pushed the pace a bit.

So maybe I should have just run harder and followed my plan.  It never ceases to amaze me how hard it can be to follow a plan when I love plans and planning so much!

Here’s to learning from training errors and running faster next time!

And the boys are still napping so I got to blog AND figure out what to do with stale chocolate chip cookies.  Life is good.

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