With this plan I'll run 4 times a week and will be using this pattern:
- Sunday: mid-distance interval runs (3.5-5 m)
- Tuesday: speed work (2-3 m)
- Wednesday: mid-distance tempo runs (3.5-5 m)
- Saturday: long easy runs (5-10 m)
I've spent some time figuring out the speed work. I made up the plan based on what I know I can do right now and where I want to see myself at the end of 10 weeks. There's probably better versions of speed work but for now I think this will work well for me. I also plan to do all speed work on the inside track. Outdoor speed work is awful once the heat and humidity builds up. And while suffering through that might make me a better runner it also vastly increases the odds that I'll quit or at least skip speed work days.
I did my first speed work day on Tuesday this week. The plan was to warm up for 3 laps at a 10 m/m pace, recover 1 lap, and then do 2 laps at a 8:30 m/m with a 1 lap recovery walk (repeat 2 fast/1slow for 3 times = total of 2 miles).
The first three laps were pretty close to the 10 m/m pace. I might have gone a few seconds over but it was close enough. Then I jumped into the speed laps and found that my 8:30 m/m pace needed to be adjusted for future weeks. Here were my lap times (the 8:30 pace would have equaled 1:18 per lap):
- 1:09 (7:30 m/m pace)
- 1:14 (8:00 m/m pace)
I was very thankful for recovery laps. Very, very thankful.
Next week I'll aim for the 8:00 m/m pace for each fast lap which should be easy enough (ha). But after that I'm increasing the pace to 7:30 m/m each fast lap. After 4 weeks I bump up to a total of 3 miles so the routine will be adjusted. At that point I'll probably test my mile run time again.
My end goal is to be able to run the 10 mile race with a 12:00 m/m pace. I know that's really slow but this race is hilly, humid, and hot and since I don't run long distances right now the 12:00 pace is most realistic. So while speed work is challenging for me the real test is how I do on my long runs which will be done outside to help prepare me for the elements. I don't care about my time as much as how the race feels overall. I want to feel good about it like I did in 2010 and if that means 12 m/m then so be it.