|posted Jun-26-2007 12:20 PM
Iíve been meaning to post for a while now, but I was waiting until I got closer to the 20-minute mark. Here is a little background. I ran track in high school and my freshman year of college (D III), and competed in sprinting events (100 m PR 11.15, 200 M PR 23.00, 400 PR 52.05). After a 12-year layoff I started running again about 1 year ago. This past February I competed in a 5k and posted a 23:32. In April I posted a 22:22. Also in April is when I found Coolrunning, and in particular, this thread. So... what did incorporating the coaching (Tinman, Tchuck, et al) that I read on this thread do for me in a little under 3 months. Well Sunday morning I posted a 19:53! It was a perfect morning to run fast, cloudy and about 60 degrees at race time. Iím still not comfortable with my pacing for this distance, I went out a little fast, the first mile was 6:05. I felt good so I just tried to hang on. I wasnít able to get any other splits because they didnít mark the other miles. The course was 2 loops around a lake with 1 short (150m) steep incline and a corresponding decline, otherwise fairly flat. I tried to keep pace with a runner that I knew could beat 20 minutes. I was right with him until the second time up that incline, where he started to pull away. I picked it up on the downhill and tried to keep my focus on the runners in front of me and not on the burning in my legs. Coming down the home stretch, when I could see the finish, I glanced at my watch and had 20 seconds to get there before 20 min. I kicked as hard as I could and covered the distance in 13. I couldnít believe it when I crossed the line and I heard the timer say 19:53. Sure enough I looked at my watch, which confirmed it. I finished 13th overall, and 2nd in my age group (30-39).
My training the past 3 months has been fairly consistent. Iíve been getting out for about 1 hour 5-6 days per week. Most days I run EZ, 1 day I will run either a four mile tempo or a 40 minute fartlek 60 seconds on 60 seconds off. On Saturdays 1 run 2 miles to the local track and do 5x 1000m CV intervals (Tinman these are awesome, they get you to run fast without killing yourself) with about 1 Ĺ min rest. Then I run home. If I am feeling good I will throw in another fartlek or tempo on one of the easy days (this hasnít happened very much until recently). I live in very hilly area so every run that I do, EZ or otherwise, incorporates several good hills. I mostly run by time and by ďfeelĒ, so I donít know exactly what pace I am running most of the time, just a relative level of exertion on my part. I do have a 4-mile loop marked out and that is where I will do tempo runs. The EZ runs are a combination of off-road trail, and road running. The week leading up to this race I cut down significantly, mostly due to family things (apparently my wife and kid like spending time with me). I didnít run Sunday 6/17 or Monday 6/18, Tuesday 6/19 was a 30 min fartlek, Wednesday 6/20 was 40 min EZ, Thursday 6/21 was 35 min fartlek, Friday 6/22 was 30 min EZ, and a big olí zero on Saturday 6/23 (I really wanted to run, but it was 11 pm before I was able to get out and at that point I thought a good nightís sleep would be more beneficial).