Run Run

Session in a Bottle

By Swim for Tri

Getting the most from the run sessions

What do we need for faster running?

Training at the target 10km speed is the logical thing to do. If you’re aiming to run 37.30 you must do a lot of training at that speed which is 90 seconds for each 400m. Aiming more modestly for a 50 minutes split, we need 8 minute mile'ing; 2 minutes for each 400m.

This can be tough! But it has to be done. We can start with, say, reps of 800ms at those speeds (either 3 or 4 minutes for the 800m) and add to the number while maintaining the short recovery interval. I believe that many triathletes (and pure runners) take too much recovery time when they are intending to be a good class 10k or 5k runner.

So perhaps one of our sessions is 12 x 800m in 3 or 4 minutes (6 minute, 8 minute mile'ing) 90 seconds recovery (37.30/50 minutes 10k pace).

When we can handle that, the next stage is 8 x 1200m in 4.30/6 minutes with the same recovery as for the 800ms. Like this we should eventually be able to do 3 x 3,000m in 11.15/15 minutes still with only 90 seconds rest. When we reach this point we can honestly say that we are training properly for racing to our potential at 10k.

Ok so far!….. good! However, to be a good 10k runner, you also have to be pretty handy at 5k (and also decent at 10 miles and possible even a half marathon. To be good at 5k, you have to be able to run a decent 3000m and even 1500m! You see where we’re going?

Training at a faster than race pace speed will develop better economy, coordination and comfort while running fast..
Equivalent times for the 5k/10k area is (approximately) to double the 5k time and add on a minute to a minute and a half, maybe a little more if insufficient endurance work has been done or if times are relatively slow to begin with. So, to achieve a good 10k time, the athlete has to bring the 5k time down; to run a good 5k, you’ll need to bring the 3000m time down and equally the 1500m time as well.

Steve Trew
GB Triathlon Coach
Sydney 2000 Olympics

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