Thursday, July 11, 2013

Race Specific Training

I'm a big believer in simulating upcoming race conditions as much as possible during training, for races of all shapes and sizes.  Mimicking the conditions that will be present the day of the event not only prepares your body physically, but also gives you an added mental advantage over some other competitors who didn't vary their training from the norm.  Yes, I am a huge geek that gets waaaaaay too into this stuff.  But I enjoy it!

For example, Michael and I are running the Rock The Crossroads 5K in about 3 weeks on July 27th. It's an evening run.  I think it starts at 7:30PM.  And this time of year that could mean 100+ degrees at the starting line.  I want to run it really well, but I'm a notorious morning runner.  So to start prepping a little for the race, I plan on doing a few speed workouts in the evening.  I know a lot of people run after they get home from work, but I just seem to train better before most roll out of the rack.  I figure if I train for a few weeks in similar conditions at faster paces, a 5K in the evening will be no big deal.

Training last year at Campbell Jr. High track (as a taxpayer, I fell like I'm entitled)
So tonight I headed to ol' Campbell Jr. High track for a speed workout.   It was about 88 degrees, but fairly low humidity.  I figured the asphalt track raised it another 5 degrees or more.  I was baking, but that was the intent.

Below is tonight's condensed Speed Workout info and splits.  (By the way, in response to a question I received not too long ago ... yes, I post A LOT of workout info.  Not because I think I'm fast.  I'm obviously a little above average, but I'm never gonna blow anyone away.   Not because I think it's unique.  I know a lot of runners use these same drills.  But because I just really enjoy reading other folk's workout info regardless of pace or ability.  I find it interesting and I learn from it.  So anyway - that's why there's always workout info on blog.)  Here's tonight's workout ...

      2 mile warm up (8:22 & 8:13 with some striders at the end of the second)
800M #1 - 2:48 (5:36/mile pace)
      400M recovery - 2:00
800M #2 - 2:48 (5:36/mile pace)
      400M recovery - 2:34
800M #3 - 2:49 (5:38/mile pace)
      400M recovery - 2:18
800M #4 - 2:48 (5:36/mile pace)
      400M recovery - 2:20
800M #5 - 2:50 (5:40/mile pace)
      400M recovery - 2:20
800M #6 - 2:44 (5:28/mile pace)
      400M recovery - 3:00
1 mile run - 6:20/pace
      1.5 mile cool down, total of 9 miles

It was hot.  And my legs were pretty dead after the faster run I did yesterday morning.  Plus, it wasn't the longest of workouts. As my marathon conditioning builds I'll eventually lengthen it a little.  But overall it felt great to get down closer to a 5:30/mile pace for my speed work.  It's probably where I need to be to accomplish what I want to accomplish this fall.  I think it's doable.  It was a good run.  Hope your week's going well!
... be great today!


  1. That's tough in the kind of heat you were facing. Weirdly, tonight our weather was better than yours!
    I've read about 5k training plans that have 1k, 400 m jog, 1 k, 400 m jog, 1 k - all at 5k pace. I just think that would be so intimidating - but like you said, if you did it you'd be mentally prepared.

  2. Great workout in the heat! That is always hard. I also like to simulate race conditions while training.

  3. Nice workout...

    always appreciate the splits and data you post

  4. Thats a kick ass workout Jim. I especially love the fast mile at the end...awesome practice running fast on completely toasted legs!

  5. You're absolutely right to simulate race conditions whenever you can. You're giving yourself at least a fighting chance for a good performance. But racing at 100F? That's just crazy.

  6. I enjoy reading about your workouts even though I'll never be that fast. For some reason, following fast people motivates me to keep going. Keep it up!


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