Q: Thanks in advance. I am 43, my best time for an annual 5 miler is 38.45, and my goal each year is to break 40. For years I did martial arts 5 days a week, helped overall, but now married, older, fatter 6' 200 pounds. Ten pounds overweight, love food. Been running, but slower then ever, about 30 miles a month, 9 minute miles, usually run 3- 5, can run farther slower. Tried a heart rate monitor, which keeps me at a grandfatherly pace and wont help to get the short term goal done now. I can use it for the planned longer runs below.

Don't think I will break 40 minutes at the race on May 28, as things are going so visited the NJ State police website program they give to recruits for prior to entering the academy. They want 8 minute miles. Shorter distances at race pace. I did two 8 minute miles on a treadmill today.

Below is my April plan, treadmill, to get from 45 minutes now to sub 40 in two months. Should I switch something to hill training, or wait till May, and what distance is good for me for hill repeats. Have to be careful downhill, (have "jumpers knee" a bump inside my pateller ligament...) so do I run uphill for 90 second repeats, walk back down?

Also, if I run on a meter track which lane should I run in to get the approximate 1/4 mile distance for one lap?

Thanks. - J.W., 4/2/05

Spring Lake 5 in under 40

April 2 April 8 Plan: Three 2 mile 8 minute per mile runs/bench 135 10 x 3. One long run 6 miles 12 miles Action: April 2 2 miles 15:52 (7.56)

April 9 April 15 Plan: Three 2 mile 8 minute per mile runs/bench 145 10 x 3. Two long runs - 6 18 miles

April 16 April 22

Plan: Three 2.5 mile 7:45 minute per mile runs/bench 155 10 x 3. One 6 reps x .5 mile 3.30 minute laps One long run 9 19.5 miles

April 23 April 30

Plan: Three 3 mile 7:45 minute per mile runs/bench 165 10 x 3. One 6 reps x .5 mile 3 minute laps One long run 9 21 miles/ 70 miles Action: May Plan to be determined Spring Lake 5 in under 40

April 2 April 8

Plan: Three 2 mile 8 minute per mile runs/bench 135 10 x 3. One long run 6 miles 12 miles Action: April 2 2 miles 15:52 (7.56)

April 9 April 15

Plan: Three 2 mile 8 minute per mile runs/bench 145 10 x 3. Two long runs - 6 18 miles

April 16 April 22

Plan: Three 2.5 mile 7:45 minute per mile runs/bench 155 10 x 3. One 6 reps x .5 mile 3.30 minute laps One long run 9 19.5 miles

April 23 April 30

Plan: Three 3 mile 7:45 minute per mile runs/bench 165 10 x 3. One 6 reps x .5 mile 3 minute laps One long run 9 21 miles/ 70 miles

May Plan to be determined

A: The thing I like about your plan is that it seems like a low impact approach (e.g. you are ramping up slowly), which you need to factor into your plan given your knee. You seem to have enough workouts faster than your race pace in the form of half mile repeats.

What works for me is that I do my mile workouts faster than race pace as a general rule. You want your goal pace to feel manageable and training faster than this by 15 - 20 seconds helps me. I see you do that about every third week or so. Good move.

In May, I suggest a hard run at your race distance. Allow yourself plenty of time to recover before the race, so doing it in the first half of May might be better. In any case, you need to put your body on notice what a full five miler is going to feel like. You don't want to find out in the race itself...and it will give you time to adjust your training...or perhaps, your goal if it doesn't go as well as you had hoped.

Whatever it is, don't force the issue. Remember your knee. A revised goal is better than no goal at all...that is, if you are on the couch with an ice bag...which is also why you should take it easy on the downhill segments of your hill workouts.

Also, a metric track is 400 meters per lap (duh) and 1600 for four laps (double duh). A mile is 1,609.344 meters...making four laps on a metric track 9.344 meters short of a mile...or each lap 2.336 meters short of a quarter mile...as measured on the inner most edge of lane 1. The farther out you go, the longer you run. In lane 2, it's a few more meters...in lane 8, it's quite a few per lap...which is why in the sprint events you see how they stagger the starting blocks. If you want to politely yield to others (as you should) at your local track, for your half milers, here's a link for you to sift through at your heart's content on track distances from the various lanes. www.computomarx.com/Sampledr.htm and www.computomarx.com/Sampletx.htm.

Obviously, you won't be finishing where you start or you'll have run too far. I think your answer is in there somewhere depending on which lane you choose to run it....but I think I will let these charts speak for themselves...and you can do the conversions. Hope this helps.

Good luck to you. Let us know how it goes.

- The Rage, 4/6/05

Follow up Q:
Rage,

Thanks a bunch. great to have a resource. On the meter track, since I am an old fat fart, seems lane two will give me close enough to a quarter mile, rounding up my time on the high side.

Two quick questions.

First your saying just go do a 5 miler at race pace early may, no wimping around? Hmm, if I do it it is a great confidence builder but if I crash and burn.....I'll run with a faster partner so while the fun is gone for me they can get some laughs.

On hill training, I guess you have your killer hill, but also do repeats? For repeats, how long time wise is enough, say 6 repeats, run up a hill for 90 seconds? Or less time? Overall, is hill training better then track, I guess track is more speed focused while hills build power?

By the way, we own a 1825 home in Jim Thorpe Pa., going on a year. Nearby is the Flagstaff, a restaurant overlooking the Lehigh River Gorge. The road, recently paved, is a steady climb, with no side roads, minimal traffic. The Flagstaff Flogger I call it so far, and that's on a Trek mountain bike! I am going to measure the distance and see if it is within my range of idiocy to run up it!

Thanks a bunch, nice web site. - J. (4/6/05)

Follow up A:

1. Stay to the outside of lane 2 and you'll probably be just about right on by the second lap for your half milers.

2. The five miler dry run about two weeks out or so is more than just a confidence builder. You'll get a chance to execute a pacing plan (e.g. running the second half faster than the first half, hold back your first mile, hold pace on miles 2-4 and see what you have left for mile 5...you know, that kind of thing). You can consider this a time trial run ahead of game day. Full pads, but maybe you wear the red jersey to remind the linebackers that this ain't game day yet. I've crashed and burned on my dry runs before and it's no big deal. I still took enough information from it to adjust my race day plan and ran well at show time. You gotta be flexible. All I am saying is don't show up without not having run at least one hard five miler 14-20 days from the race...that's all.

3. Do hills and track BOTH...once per week. Six times 90 seconds is perfect for hills. Give yourself at least one day rest between your track workout and hill workouts.

Good luck.

The Rage

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