18 JULY 2017
I have deliberately let myself get way, way, way out of shape over the past five months so that I can test this new training program which has been rolling around in my brain since the fall of 2016.
My working theory is that the new training regime I have developed will help me reach the goal I have failed to reach over the past two winters, which is to run a 30 minute 5K.
I have come close. Earlier this year, I came within two minutes of that goal. But I have yet to reach it.
In the past, I have followed the Running Room’s training program which emphasizes distance over speed. While this program was fun, I don’t think it was helping me run faster. In fact, I believe it was training me to run slow.
My goal is to run faster. Not a lot faster, just 5 kilometres in under 30 minutes. Just a bit faster.
I believe that I can only get there by training faster. And by this I mean, I need to train at a higher stride rate at shorter distances from the very beginning of my training cycle.
With this in mind, I have adopted a stride tempo of 180 strides per minute. I will be using this stride rate from the very beginning of my training. I have built a playlist of songs at 180 beats per minute in order to help me maintain that pace and I have picked out a track that is relatively flat — which is not easy to do in Oakridge.
So here I am at Day 1. I have just completed my run. I ran 10 sets consisting of one minute of running followed by two minutes of walking.
My walking speed was not a concern to me. My only concern was maintaining a stride rate of 180/minute during the running intervals.
Since today is Day 1, I decided not to push it. No point in hurting myself on the first day. Therefore I chose not to run at full stride or medium stride. I chose to run with a short stride. This will keep my heart rate down and allow my body to adjust to the high 180 stride rate.
Meanwhile, my technical focus today was on my upper body. Since I adopted a short stride rate, I did not worry about anything below my waist. Instead, I focused on maintaining full arm drives and correct posture.
The results are apparent in the Polar Beat screenshots on the right side of the central panel. You can see that my heart rate was right where it should be. Total walking time was 20 minutes. Total running time was 10 minutes, about two minutes of which was in the red zone. Perfect.
My maximum heart rate during this run was 177 compared to my actual maximum heart rate which has been charted at 189. My maximum pace was 5:00 min/km. And at no point during this run was I gasping for breath or tempted to quit.
Within 20 minutes of finishing the run, I was no longer sweating. An hour later, I did not feel as though I had done anything strenuous.
All of this tells me that I am exactly where I should be. I can run fast for 10 minutes. Now I need to work on turning that 10 minutes into 15 minutes.
TIME IN RED: 2:12 (~20%)
AVERAGE PACE: 8:37 min/km
DISTANCE: 3.32 km