Here are some questions that I was recently asked. I wanted to share the dialogue with all my you as I think some of it could be useful 🙂
1) How long have you been a runner?
2) How do you train to run a 5k at a sub 6min/mi?
3) Do you think that being a fast runner is a “Gift” or the product of hard work?
1. Started truly running in September of 2009, everything before that was just running for fun or during football/baseball practices. I would sometimes get on a running kick to counteract the weight lifting sedentary life I led during my jr/sr yrs of college but it was usually just 3 miles at a time, I wish I could remember the times! It’d be fun to compare them now. For comparisons sake the first time I ran over 8 miles was when I did the musselman in 2009. I mean who needs training when your a newb? haha. I ran a 1:54 or something that day, 9+ min miles. I ran 1:30 this fall at syracuse, so a decent improvement over 13 months. We won’t even go into the bike splits, it was ugly!
2. Truthfully I don’t train to run 5ks at all. I crave the longer distance stuff, it lets me catch up to the fast people as the race goes on. (I wasn’t blessed with fast twitch). Speed comes with time. Getting solid training miles in at specific exertions really lends itself to developing an endurance engine. Believe it or not a 5k is an endurance sport when you compare it to a mile in a track competition, so it really becomes how long you can sustain a really high level of exertion. My suggestion is to figure out some good HR zones, (ie recovery, endurance, tempo) for example my recovery is 10+min/mi, endurance is slowing dropping over time but at around 7:30 at the moment) Once in a while test yourself with a 5k or mile repeats, they are not necessary on a multiple time per week basis but maybe once a month to blow out the rust and keep yourself honest.
3. Running is both a gift as well as comes from pure and simple hard work, but hard work triumphs every time in my opinion. As long as your willing to stay consistent and stick with it you will progress. Focus on form! When I started really running, like training on a daily basis I watched craig alexanders form on you tube and just tried to mimic it as best I could. Some people are going to have better core rotation, or better cadence, etc..but the fact of the matter is that you can go to any 5k, 10k, 13.1 or 26.2 and see some really FAST people with horrible looking form. That just goes to show you that if you stick with something long enough and put enough effort into it you will get fast and you will have fun! However, here’s where you can take advantage of their “errors” watch good runners and really work on your form, nail that down first and it will pay huge dividends later. And as always take the easy days easy and the hard days hard…if you get caught training in the middle too much you will never allow yourself to recover enough to see substantial gains.
Ironman Run Analysis with Craig Alexander and Chris Lieto
For more on run mechanics, check out Coach Jesse Kropelnicki’s video which uses Caitlin Snow and Marinda Carfrae as examples. Both of these women ran sub 3:00 hour marathons of the bike in Kona this year. That’s fast!
Hope this was helpful! I’ve had my scoop of protein, banana, and a dab of crunchy peanut butter with coffee this mornings, time to get a light recovery workout in before work.
As always, keep it real!