Want To Do 5 Miles In 38 Minutes
(Nutley NJ USA)
I am about to turn 51 and I have been running seriously for about a year and a half. Last year at this time I was able to run 2 miles in an 8 min 30 second pace. I now can run 5 miles in the same 8 min 30 second pace.
Shortly I will be running in a 5 mile competitive race and would like to finish the 5 miles in 38 minutes.
Where should I be focusing my training?
Right now I run 3 times a week and weight train 3 times a week.
My three runs:
Day 1 speed as fast as I can for as long as I can (usually 3 miles in 24 minutes).
Day 2 5 miles at around an 8 minute 45 second pace.
Day 3 is longer slower paced run about 7 miles in 60 minutes.
Thanks in advance for your help
Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your running training question.
I first checked my Race Conversion Calculator and used your "run as fast as I can"-times of 3 miles in 24 minutes to calculate what your time would be in a 5 mile run. This got me to 41 mins and 14 secs.
You want to get to 38 minutes for 5 miles, which would be a stretch at the moment.
The funny thing about improving your running speed is that you first need to be able to get further, before you can get faster.
I think you are doing the majority of your running too fast.
I like your Day 3 run of 7 miles in 60 minutes. Can I suggest that you do that on Day 1 and Day 2 as well? I think you need to first develop a bit of a stronger base by doing slower, easy runs. I would also increase the length of your long run, e.g. build up to a longest run of 10 miles or so.
You could probably get there in about four weeks or so (add 1 mile each week). Maybe a bit longer, I am not sure about your background and your age may stop you from building mileage up aggressively but it sounds like you are a pretty fit guy.
Once you have got that easy slower running "under control" you can make one day a day for faster running. I would not make that an "as fast as you can"-day, but instead I would work on some tempo running or interval running.
This approach should help improve your running speed over time and get you closer to your goal.
You can get a lot of further info from my running training section, but it may pay off to get a great running training book like Daniel's Running Formula which contains advice about building up mileage, the main types of runs and pre-designed running programs that are sometimes tough to do, but pay dividends!
Best of luck, Don, enjoy your running!