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Friday, May 11, 2007

Looking Forward - Today, Benchmarking & Plateaus

Today is cool (64° going up to 75°), and I am hoping this afternoon to run four miles. Longer if it is in me, but, again, aiming at a steady 9:15 pace. If I have my druthers, I'll run again tomorrow, then again Sunday morning. It might help waylay the effect of being off a few days if I can't get out.

I have been thinking that in addition to my 3-4 miles, I can incorporate minor speed on my own. I have not thought this through, but maybe something like running an 800 or 1600 relatively hard, but consistently paced. One thing I want to avoid is getting into a plodding rut of slogging through a slow jog each time. It would be nice to benchmark a few hard run times in each distance.

I think I could, today, run fresh the times below. My evidence for this is sketchy. I have only a treadmill 1600 @ 7:25, plus last week's 400 times to draw from, and may be far off reality. That's why I'd like to benchmark. I want to know reality, and from there, know how reality is progressing.
  • 400 - 80
  • 800 - 3:00
  • 1600 - 6:45
  • 5000 - 25:00
Running a 20:00 5K requires 3.1 miles @ 6:27. There's obviously no way I will do three miles at a pace I am unable to run for one mile. Seeing the gap between present fitness and intended speed will be healthy.

I do expect the next month, if I run consistently, to be filled with leaps and bounds (can I use those terms about an activity that involves neither?). I will run farther and faster. These improvements can be misleading if I take them as how it will always be.

The real question is: At what point will I plateau and my improvements will follow only in smaller increments?

The fun will be discovering all that.


David Dane said...

If it's any consulation to you the fastest girl down here at the Purdue University track meet ran the 10000 meter last night at an average speed of 6.26 per mile. The slowest girl came in at 8 minutes a mile. She came in last. These are regular track runners. So, you aren't so far behind. "go windy one."

Resilient Hawk said...

No consolation required. What would have (but should not have) bothered me 20 years ago is not an issue today.

I used to strive to be even with whomever the tenth woman was. In bigger races, this was harder but doable. These days, I strive to finish faster than the guy wearing my shoes - my only competition is myself.

As far as 10Ks are concerned, those are not even in my window at the moment. I have to race a 5K first.