How fast should I train? What is my potential 1/2 marathon time? Do you think I can run under 2 hours for the 1/2? Am I running to fast? How fast should I run my intervals?
People interrogate me all the time about running, but questions like this are impossible to answer without a benchmark of your current fitness level. Once I know your current fitness level I can begin to answer (or at least approximate) these inquiries. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the only way to get an accurate measurement of your fitness level is to race, or to run a time trial.
What is a time trial?
A time trial is a hard effort over a certain distance. The distance of a time trial is determined by the length of your goal race, and the effort level is about 95% full effort. Time trials should feel almost as hard as races without the sprint finish.
For many distance runners, a 3 mile (or 5k) time trial is a perfect starting point. It is long enough to accurately measure your aerobic fitness, but short enough not to burn you out for the next week…
A well trained distance runner can run a 1/2 marathon at about 35-40 seconds per mile slower than their 3 mile pace per mile.
Planning Based on a Time Trial
Remember Huck? He was our East Nasty runner who ran 19:52 for a 5k. This equates to 6:24 per mile.
Right now, Huck has the potential to run about 7:00 per mile for a 1/2 marathon.
1) Long Runs – Your long runs should be completed at about 1:30 – 2:30 slower per mile. Read more about pacing for a Long Run here.
2) Tempo Runs – Tempo Running should be about 30 seconds slower per mile than your 3 mile pace.
Huck would do his tempo runs at 6:54 per mile. (More about tempo running next week…)
3) Intervals – Interval Running would be completed at this pace! (Advanced runners could drop about 10-20 seconds per mile, but these are really hard workouts!)
Huck is definitely advanced, so he will do his interval work at 6:14 pace.
4) Speed Work – Fast workouts should be done 30-45 seconds faster per mile than your time trial. (This seems like a big range, but the speed would depend on the length of the interval.)
Huck would run his fast workouts at 5:39 – 5:54.
Why are you telling me this?
Here’s the exciting news! We all get to run a 3 mile time trial together tomorrow!
Here is the plan:
Novice: Warm-up 2-miles. 3 miles hard. Cool down 1 mile
Intermediate: Warm-up 3-miles. 3 miles hard. Cool down 1 mile.
Advanced: Warm-up 3-miles. 3 miles hard. Cool down 2 miles +
Keep track of this time in your training log, and also write down your training times. If you happen to be wearing a Heart Rate monitor, let me know and I can help you analyze that result as well!
Remember to bring your donations for the KIPP Track Team!
See you tomorrow morning! (In the rain…ugh…)