Thursday, March 1, 2012

Upping my game to reach an elusive PR

Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

Tabata training and intervals have got me thinking about my current racing performance. The good news is that, since last June, I've been on a streak where I've set new PR's for 4 miles, 8K and 10K. In addition, I've achieved best ever times on five races that I do every year. The bad news is that I'm about to come around again to those races and the challenge of meeting or beating my best times will be much harder.

I believe that my improved performance is attributable to three things: more racing experience, smarter preparation methods and better weather conditions. I can't count on the weather and there's not much more I can do in terms of race day prep. The key for continued achievement in 2012 will be better training. I have a few ideas about that.

My next race is six weeks away. It's a 5K and I generally run those races as a controlled sprint. 5K is the only distance where I didn't PR in 2011, even though I ran three of them. My 5K PR is 25:50 (8:19 pace) from a race I ran in 2009. I came within 16 seconds of that time last December, but almost doesn't count.

The key to my training for the Marcie Mazzola 5K will be a much greater focus on intensity. This, coupled with increased core and strength workouts, may help me move the time needle from 25:50 towards 24:52 (8:00 pace). I have no expectation that I'll get there in April, but I may yet beat my 8:19 PR.


  1. The best way to improve 5k times is speed work on the track.

    If you want to break say 8 minute miles try to run laps at 1:52 with a walking recovery lap in between your runs. Eventually shorten your walking recovery to just half a lap.

    At first repeat this by running 4 laps. Over time work your way up to 14 laps. It might take a few months but if you can hold a 1:52 pace per lap with a short break for 14 laps you should be able to sustain a 2:00 pace over the 12+ laps of a 5k.

    The idea is to teach your body to go faster than it wants to.

  2. Thanks Paul. I want to try that workout, perhaps tomorrow if it's not raining in the morning. The higher intensity combined with a counter-balancing recovery lap makes perfect sense. I may yet improve on that PR!


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