Q: 20 minutes 5k...that's my senior's goal, though I'm losing ground fast. My best guess is that yes, I have to go back to the track and hit some 440s -- if not halfs. My best guess is to do the 440s in about 90 and the halves in, I don't know, 3.15 or so? I plan to jog half the interval distance in between. What do you think? btw, my mileage is about 35-45 in alternating weeks depending on races and long runs of 10-15. My pr from ancient history was in low 17 mins. - Dave (age 51)

A: It sure is nice to have someone writing in once in a while that isn't looking for a hug or needing some kind of weird psychotherapy. Sounds like you've done a workout or two before. With that assumption, I think you're goal is achievable with the workouts you have planned...with some minor tweaks. You're running plenty of miles so I am assuming you've got a good base to build on. Endurance-wise, your long runs are more than enough for 5k prep. Speedwork is what you need. As you have done with your base and endurance training, a good cushion never hurts when it comes to designing speedwork to make your race pace feel easier. As you know, you want your target pace to feel manageable...and for a 20 minute 5k, that's a 6:27 mile pace. 90 second quarters would give you a 6 minute pace if you extrapolate that pace to a mile. I guess that's o.k., but I'd think something between 85 and 90 seconds might make 6:27s feel easier come game day. I think 3:15s are not fast enough. I'd feel better if you could hang on to something in the 3:05 range...just to keep your gate faster than your mile target pace. If you can't hold on to something in the low threes for your halfs, just focus on quarters. I'd skip the halfs altogether. No big deal. I think this will get you more prepared to hang on to 6:27s. I like your plan to rest for a quarter between intervals. I'd also throw in some hills for good measure...say once a week...do 30 minutes of continuous up or 6 x 90 seconds up a pretty good incline. Strength training never hurts. Good luck. The Rage

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10kTruth.com is a place for runners who have the attitude to train harder and smarter, who want to race faster and stronger, to better their race times and lower the chance of injury. The Rage and Manciata answer running and training questions with their own unique insight and spew. You'll also find running advice and inspirational quotes by sports legends and others who epitomize the spirit of 10k Truth.