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 5,000 meters on the track
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

5,000 meters on the track Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:19 pm 

Today was an event I've been looking forward to for a long time: 5000 meters on the track with my running club. It seems like ages that I've been kicking around the mid-20's for my 5K times, and I figured this was as good a chance as I would ever great to go sub-20. There would be plenty of other good runners to pace off of, the ability to check my pace every 100 meters, a springy synthetic track surface, and of course a dead-flat "course." A month ago I ran a 20:17 5K on the road, so I only needed to improve by about 6 seconds per mile.

Unfortunately, the weeks leading up to the race did not go well. I slacked off from my planned training, dropping the weekly mileage from the 50s into the 40s and 30s. I didn't do any tempo runs or intervals. And in the last few days before the race, I was up late and didn't get nearly enough sleep. So I arrived at the track feeling tired and flat.

I warmed up with 3 easy miles, but I don't think they were easy enough. It was also a sunny and warm morning. By the end of the warmup, I was sweating hard and feeling tired. Fortunately I had about 20 minutes to rest before the race started.

The first couple of laps went OK, but it went downhill pretty quickly after that. I'll spare you the lap-by-lap details, but by the last mile I was fading pretty badly. I finished in 20:51, which was pretty disappointing. When I ran a 10K on Memorial Day, my 5K split was better than that! I finished about midway though the pack of runners, which seems decent until you realize that I'm younger than most everyone else there. It's kind of humbling when you're in a sprint to the finish with two guys who are 30 years your senior.

One interesting thing I noticed is that most of the people in my club work much harder than me in a race. Or at least their breathing suggests they do. I usually keep a hard 2-2 breathing pattern until the very end, but most of the people running around me were gasping and sounded close to cardiac arrest at the halfway point. Maybe I just don't push myself hard enough?


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 5,000 meters on the track Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:45 am 

Considering the conditions and how you were feeling, that's still a great finishing time! You're edging so close to a sub 20, I wouldn't be surprised to hear you hitting it before summer's end.

I had a similar fading experience this weekend on my long run: As you know, I'm tri-training, so my running has been nearly halfed, even though my training hours/week is relatively the same (6 + hours). So the running is suffering a bit, and about 1 1/2 hours into a 2:15 mountain run, I completely hit the wall, even though I'd been hydrating and fueling the entire time. My legs just weren't feeling the love. So, starting in about 30 mns, I'm adding another short, weekly run to my schedule, so I total somewhere around 25 miles/week running, 2 miles of swimming, and 40 of cycling.

What have you been doing to improve your times? Speedwork? Hills? Adding rockets to your shoes?


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 5,000 meters on the track Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:06 am 

Rustyboy wrote:
about 1 1/2 hours into a 2:15 mountain run, I completely hit the wall, even though I'd been hydrating and fueling the entire time.

Ouch! That seems surprising. Even if you haven't been running as much, you've been doing plenty of other endurance exercise. Maybe you're over tired? I had a similar experience a few times in the past month-- hitting the wall around mile 11 of a longer run. I've gone back to eating Gu on any run over 10 miles, and that seems to have helped.

Rustyboy wrote:
What have you been doing to improve your times? Speedwork? Hills? Adding rockets to your shoes?

More speedwork (through the weekly workouts of my running club), and just more consistent running in general. I've now been running "a lot" (more than 30 mpw) consistently for about 10 months, which is approaching the longest I've ever made it without taking an extended break from running.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 5,000 meters on the track Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:02 pm 

I'm thinkin' it was the heat, even though I was out early. I always hydrate thoroughly and feed myself every 30 mns, but I think the intense sun nailed me hard. To prove to myself I'm still in good running for, after a 1500 yard swim this am, I ran a 22 mn 5k.

It sounds like your running club has unearthed inspiration! I need to poke around local running groups for my long runs.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 5,000 meters on the track Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:04 am 

Rustyboy wrote:
It sounds like your running club has unearthed inspiration! I need to poke around local running groups for my long runs.

Yeah, it's definitely been helpful. I had to look for a while to find the right club, though. There were a few fairly casual running clubs, where people met to do easy-medium effort runs of 3-6 miles a few times a week. Then there were some highly competitive clubs filled with sub-16 minute 5K runners, focused on competing in major state and national races. The one I finally found is competition-focused, but not quite so hard core. Weekly workouts are normally a club race or relay of some kind. I'm probably close to the median in terms of speed on an absolute basis, but if you look at age-graded performance I'd be among the worst!


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