The 3 hard days involve Speedwork, Tempo Runs and Long Runs.
The plan uses three distances--400, 800, and 1600--which should be done on a track or well-measured flat trail. Warm up with a 10 to 20-minute jog and cool down after your session with a 10-minute jog. This helps prevent muscle strains, and will keep your legs fresh for the next session.
To calculate my training paces, I use the following guidelines:
- 400s--HMP, minus 75 seconds, divided by 4
- 800s--HMP, minus 65 seconds, divided by 2
- 1600s--HMP, minus 45 seconds
Therefore, calculating speedwork paces gives me 400s = 1:46 / 800s = 3:38 / 1600s = 7:37.
Looking farther - if I could maintain this pace for a marathon, I could finish in 3:37. Logically, I won't be able to hold that... so a more realistic marathon goal pace that still enables me to qualify (with a tiny bit of wiggle room) is 8:33. My magic number.
The tempo run does two key things: It enables me (the runner) to keep running at a faster pace and it also trains me to keep running beyond my comfort zone, which is what I must do in a race. The key here is a good relaxed warm-up jog, then a gradual shift into my tempo pace, followed by a relaxed cool-down jog.
Tempo Pace is calculated at HMP minus 15 seconds which equates to 8:07.
Without the strong, steady, endurance-boosting long run, speed workouts and tempo runs would gradually wear me down. When training for a half marathon, start at seven miles and work up to 12, which is short enough not to warrant extended recovery, but long enough to give you that all-important "mileage confidence" for race day.
Long Run Pace is calculated at HMP + 30 seconds per mile ... 8:52.
Let the fun begin.
OTN :: We are traveling today, so I will have to take a rest day.