Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Just how fast is fast enough?

Last week I concluded that my weeks training will now comprise a tempo run, a set of intervals and a long run, what I have been pondering since then is the pace that these runs should be at. The interval run is relatively easy to calculate as I have substituted running one mile track intervals for hill intervals and I have a baseline set of numbers from last week to measure and gauge my improvement against. However this left the tempo and long run.

After some research I have uncovered three sites; Runworks.com, Fasterrunning.com and McMillanRunning.com that provide equivalent distance pace calculations based on the input of your time and distance. Using my 5k time of 20:47 from the Santa Monica Classic in May this year I have been given the following paces for my tempo run and long run as well as predicted times for the half and full marathon.

The tempo pace is at the moment a little beyond me but it gives me a target to aim at, the long run is also quicker but only by 20 seconds per mile, the marathon race pace of 7:36 for a 3:21 finish is a challenge as that would shave 24 minutes off my marathon finish time of 3:45, obviously that’s nearly a mile a minute faster…but that’s the whole point, right! Interestingly my half marathon PR is just under 2 minutes slower the predicted finish time at 1:37:32.

On another note I registered for the Calico Trail 50k in mid January, I posted on the California Ultra Runner message board if anyone had any tips etc and got the reply that it would be windy or cold or both! Not quite what I was expecting but better than hot, I had a look at the projected weather for January and the average temperature is predicted to be 61f, the record is 77f, the average is just fine for me!

Finally wishing everyone everywhere and especially all my RBFs and their families a happy and safe holiday season.


  1. I hope you had a Merry Christmas ;D

  2. Those look like some good tables and and overall nice outline. It seems though that the long run split may be a fudge high (per mile). Meaning, a touch slow given you're other splits.

  3. Stuart you should determine your training pace based on recent performance not a personal best. This way you may be stressing your body too much. I would suggest to re-evaluate the paces based on your recent 5k or 10k race or even longer race. You can review the paces after 4-6 weeks of speed training. I have been using the FIRST method in the past 3 months and my speed increased significantly for shorter distances (up to 5mi). Now I'm working through the half marathon training based on FIRST methodology complemented with some strength training and biking. I do run 3 times a week, bike 2-3 times a week and strength train 2-3 times a week. Through the past few weeks doing the FIRST training I learned that the speed picks-up in about 4-6 weeks and after that I was able to review the training paces and change them as my performance improved.

  4. Rainmaker, yes the McMillan numbers throw it off some being there is only 30 seconds difference between the long run and marathon pace compared to the minutes difference of the others.

    Kxux, maybe my post was not so clear, these paces are based on a 5k, my only 5k of the year. I did run the numbers on my second half marathon and the numbers I got back were just not right: LR:8:41, Tempo:7:33 and Marathon:7:15, so they were a bit slower, a lot slower and way faster. The paces in the table are target paces not what I am running at the moment. My LR pace has slowed and I am picking it up to be a consistent 8:30, my tempo run based on last weeks run is around 7:30 and my marathon pace from the RNR was exactly 8:30 so as you can see there is room for improvement across the board, once I am consistently hitting these numbers I'll review it again but I expect it to be a 2 x 6 week program, with a step back week, I am trying to periodize my schedule to peak mid April.

  5. Hope it was a good Christmas!

  6. Oh I see. Sorry for mixing up your goal paces and training pace. I was not trying to be the professor :-).

    I found that the training pace recommendations from Daniels, FIRST and Fitzgerald are pretty much consistent. Daniels is more conservative in intervals, but for tempo runs and long runs they are pretty much the same. So I train according to FIRST and see quite an improvement in my speed. Now I wonder how I'll do tomorrow morning on my first long run that is supposed to be 20 sec slower per mile than what it predicts as my half pace.


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