Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Tips: Speed or Time?

I have a dilemma and I could use some help sorting it out.

When I finish my walk/run training program one week before my 5K, I will be running 30 minutes straight through with no walk breaks. However, I currently run at 5mph, or a 12-minute-mile pace, so at 30 minutes I will not have completed 3.1 miles.

My goal for my first race is to complete the entire distance without walking, so it's time to figure out what I need to do to make that happen. I see three main options, but I'm also open to other suggestions.

Option A: Change nothing. Complete the remainder of my training program at the same speed. Try to add a few extra minutes to my last two runs before the race, and then just rely on race-day adrenaline to get me through the whole 3.1 miles.

Option B: Keep my speed the same but deviate from the times in my scheduled runs. Start adding on a couple more minutes to each one so that by the end of the program I'm actually running about 38 minutes.

Option C: Keep my times the same but start gradually increasing my speed, so that by the end of the program I can complete 3.1 miles in 30 minutes or close to it.

I'm a tiny bit wary of pushing myself too hard, because it was when the runs got a lot longer and I increased my speed a bit that I ended up with the stress fracture last winter. Maybe neither of those factors was truly to blame for the injury, but I don't know for sure and thus I'm nervous. I also don't know whether speed or time/distance is safer to increase at this point. Please share any wisdom or knowledge you may have on this topic! Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I do speed drills. This morning I ran my base pace at an 11 min mile on treadmill (so 5.5). Then every minute I would do 30 seconds at 6.0. So, a minute at 5.5 and then 30 seconds at 6.0. That may seem small but it may be enough to take you the extra tenth.