Trying to fight back after my recent overeating and drinking frenzy - I completed 10x fast stride intervals yesterday morning (a little undressed in shorts - bit chilly) and was at the pool for the 1.5 hour Club Swim in the evening. In the pool I continued to focus on bi-lateral breathing and improving my catch. The drills that Coach Mike P instructed us to complete, especially in relation to 'spearing' helped me to get my hands in a better position for the catch. One of my buddies from the London2Paris charity cycle ride recommended I pick up a copy of this book - Swim Speed Secrets:
One for the Christmas list!
In the changing room after the swim there was a healthy discussion about improving 5km and 10km times and the benefits of 1 km / 1 mile intervals rather than the faster and shorter stride sets and track circuits. It was recommended you take a goal target for the 5km and then divide by 5 to give a 1km goal. After a warm up and some dynamic stretching the plan is to run 5x 1km at goal pace with a 1min recovery between each km interval. Once the 5 sets can be completed comfortably and within target the idea is to run a 5km and review the results. It is expected you will have a much better chance of completing the full distance on target. If so, you can adjust the goal target. If not, repeat. It is probably best to focus on 1 mile repeats (same process) if you are working on a new 10km goal time.
This morning I thought I would give it a go. Given my 5km PB is 21:27 I set a goal time of 21:00, which equates to a pace of 4:12min per 1km intervals.
After a 10min warm up and some brief dynamic stretching (high knees, kick-backs, walking lunges etc.) I completed 5x 1km intervals, as follows:
This was followed by a 10min cool down and stretches.
The first two and a half intervals were into a slight wind before turning around and having the wind in my favour, which I felt certainly helped me for the last two intervals. The turnaround on the 3rd lap probably accounted for a 2-3 sec time penalty, although I was tiring at that stage. I was pleased that I had a relatively stronger and more consistent finish. The first interval, shows my relative inexperience and going out too strong - typical of many novice runners. Overall my average was a respectable 4:15, which would equate to a 21:15 5km time. I should make every effort to include a greater number of these longer (and harder) interval repeats to see if this more focussed training has the desired effect. It may be slightly more beneficial doing the intervals on the cycling track at Preston Park, as the results are likely to be less effected by the wind. If it works then I should move up to the longer 1 mile repeats. Thereafter I will seek advice on whether this type of training is of any benefit for longer endurance events such as Ironman.
The plan is to cycle into work tomorrow. I make take a slightly longer route and include some hill work.
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