This week is quite a tough week, but power through & you’ll get the benefits.
Session 1: Fartlek run
Try to do 16 x 1 min hard with 1 min recovery in between. Include a warm up and warm down. Try to get the same pace on the last effort as the first. To help with this it might be easier to decide on the pace you’d like to aim for in the hard part of the effort. This needs to be a smallish window of pace, say 10 seconds either side of your target. It’s also easier if you programme the session into your watch before you start, including the pace. If you have a Garmin you might find this easier to do via the website rather than the app or watch and then you can also save the workout for use later. The picture I’ve included shows when I last did this session. I’m quite pleased that the pace remained fairly consistent during the efforts (green line), there was a little drop in the middle (as I was weaving around people) and generally my pace was at the lower end of my window (blue blocks, still recovering). My heart rate followed the pattern I wanted (red line), higher during the efforts and recovering slightly during the recovery. The recovery sections slowed down to a walk in the last few and that’s ok because my focus was on maintaining the effort sections. I did this over the same section of path so I could keep a fairly even pace over even ground. The wind direction has an impact as does the number of people on the path and tree covering can impact GPS delays to your watch. But over time you’ll get used to what your pace feels like rather than have to rely on your watch. Analysis at the end will show that your what your watch actually recorded was maybe different from what pace it was showing at the time & this is normal – so get used to the feel of your pace.
Session 2: 800s
5-6 x 800m with 3 min recovery in between. This session can be very hard. for your 800m pace your looking to maintain your target 5k pace, so this might be a little quicker than your current 5k pace, but again, decide what your target is before the session and try to maintain this in each of the efforts. This pace shouldn’t be as fast as you were doing on the Fartlek session earlier. Include a warm up and warm down to help prevent injury. We’re focussing more on our speed endurance during this session and your breathing might get more laboured than the Fartlek session even though the pace should be slower. This is because your body will be using more aerobic energy during this session and for that it relies more heavily on oxygen than the short fast sections which use anaerobic energy sources. With a mix of sessions we’re trying to improve all our energy systems (but only one at a time). I’ll post about that later (I’m also aware I still owe a post on fuelling and refuelling – it’s a bit hectic at work but I will get it done).
Session 3: Easy run 45 min – 1 hour
Nice easy pace, your legs might be tired from the 2 speed workouts this week so nice and slow on this one, it’s a recovery session as much as anything else – just to keep your legs moving and get the blood circulating.
Session 4: Progression run
Same as last week, try to increase the pace for the last 10 mins before the cool down. So maybe, 10 min warm up, 60 min jog, 10 min higher pace, 10 min cool down, 1 hour 30 mins total. This is your long run for the week so if you want to go for longer then do so, but still try to increase the pace for those 10 mins. The rest of the run should be at a nice easy pace, getting some miles in ready for the sessions in week 4!
As always, stick to what you can do, remember to refuel, warm up and stretch afterwards. If you need to drop a session from this week I would miss the Fartlek session.