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Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:36 pm

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I want to race the 400, 800 and 1,500 this summer, but I also want to run an open mile race in the end of April.

How soon is too soon to start some speed work.

I was thinking of doing 4 x 1000 meter intervals once a week to get my legs use the the faster pace.

I have been slowly and methodologically working on building my base since last October, coming off of a hamstring strain at the end of last summer.

I run three days on, one off, two days on, one off.

I am currently trying to get my daily average up to 6 miles with a longer Saturday run, and as of right now, I have two days up to six, with the other three days at four miles.

Should I hold off on intervals until later in the spring when I have all my days at 6 miles, and race that mile run with no speed work, or would it be wise to start up with some interval workouts now?



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Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:50 pm

 
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I'm not much of a distance runner, but I would do at least a little bit of speed before your April race - even if it is striders at the end of your 6 mile runs or shorter intervals like 200s or 400s at mile race pace (or even 5k pace if you are worried about your hammy). Otherwise, I have a feeling you will be disappointed with your mile race in April.



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Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:46 pm

 
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For what my opinion is worth (little, I suspect), I think the first thing to determine is which is more important, the April race or the summer season. I suspect the latter so I think it would be best for you to be at peak around then.
Additionally, I think that burnout is always an issue germane to training (at least for me it is). With that said, I would think it best to begin speed work mid to late March. I think your plan of 4 x 1000 is good until the April race then you might consider diversifying more after that in preparation for the summer season and increasing the speed workouts to 2 x per week.
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M45 PRs: 100: 12.04, 400: 54.83, 800: 2:23.5, 5K: 19:27



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Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:07 pm

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I concur with BMo. It's not impossible for you to run great in late April and then throughout the summer but it's unlikely. I say that from personal experience.

Last year, I got back into competitive track racing for the first time in almost 10 years. I was pretty motivated so got on the track and was putting in solid, hard training throughout March and April. May 2nd I ran in a D-3 college meet and surprised myself by running 10:28 and felt like I had a lot left.

Problem was my next steeple wasn't until July. I ran 10:42, 10:41, 10:42, then 10:50 at the biggest meet, nationals in Spokane in August. The heat was part of it in Spokane but overall, I obviously flat-lined and ran 4 races all similar and slower than I had run 2 months prior. It was hard to maintain focus and fitness at the level I had been at. I made a mistake and I started hitting the track too early and peaked too soon.

This year, nationals is a month earlier and I won't step on a track for intervals until mid-April, essentially 2 1/2 months later than I did last season relative to the meet that matters most.

My suggestion would be if summer is where it counts, 4 x 1000 repeats aren't what you want to do right now. Unless you can hold back and run them at tempo pace, etc., then I'd shy away. And, if you are just running tempo, why run 1K repeats on a track?

Right now, I've been running consistently since November and am now at 20-25 miles a week. I've done two "races" including one this morning but haven't raced them at all- no training for them other than mileage runs with one a week being a bit faster paced than the others. Instead, I've used these "races" as training and run them as tempo runs.

I would say use that mile race as training and if you do some tempo work or minutes (5 x 3 minutes @ 80% effort/2 minutes @ 60% effort or other versions) in preparation for it, you can still run decent in April.

Just my 2 cents.



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Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:40 pm

 
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Well, I just realized that my nephew is getting married in California on that weekend, so I guess I won't have to worry about it now.
I am still going to step up my training with doing 2 x 1000 meters once a week which will be included in my 4 - 6 mile run. The track in along my running route. I will wait on more intense speed work until later this spring.
I did my first hill workout yesterday in forest park just west of Portland.
8 miles one serious 1 mile climb and another steady 3 mile climb.
My form really fell off about the last mile, but I was able to complete the run.
I hope to do this hill run once every few weeks, The total should be 10 miles, but I'm not there yet.
If anyone lives in the Portland Oregon area, the run starts on NW 53rd Ave. at the Birch trail head, drops down to the Wildwood trail and heads south to the Pittock mansion. I turned around there, but the 10 miler would continue down to Burnside road before it turned around. This is the hilliest part of the Wildwood trail in Forest park.

For a really good detailed map of Forest Park here is a link:
The Art of Geography Forest Park map



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Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:30 pm

 
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You speak about getting used to a faster pace, but I think your legs should be used to that pace always...

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Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:59 pm

 
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True, but coming off an injury with an extended time off, and then plodding along at a slog jog, I need to retrain my muscles to respond to the quicker pace.
It used to be easier for me when I was younger, and also trained with other runners.
I have developed a habit of doing a "rope - a dope" in the middle of longer races, slacking off in the middle, and then regaining my pace and composure near the later stages of the race.
I want to use the music as a tool to "teach" my muscles the turnover they need to do to compete again.



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