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Running 2.4 km in under 8 min - agost
Hi, I am trying to run a 2.4km race as part of a fitness test in 50 days time. (The fitness test involves a 2.4km run then max pushups and max sit-ups after). I would like to hit under 8 minutes for the run. Currently I can run 2.4km in 9:09 minutes. I was wondering what the best most effective and efficient training plan would be to be able to reach the under 8 minute mark by the time the event roles around. To give an indication to where my running level is at....at the moment I am doing 75 hard (7days to go) so am in pretty good shape, and I just did a half marathon a week ago in (1:41:00). I can run about 7-8km at 5:30/km pace at a comfortable rate. However, I have never been a runner really and just did runs for general fitness with no real plan or anything. If anyone has any suggestions on a plan or program I could follow which doesn't take up every day of the week (cause I have exams coming up) that would be great. Or just tips on how to increase my speed for the 2.4km run in 50 days. For training I have a 10kg weighted vest available if that would be helpful in running too?? Many thanks in advance :),
reply - Coach Janet
The short answer is that you've set a really high goal here --
Think about it in terms of how much improvement you can achieve in such a very short time. You're asking for a 12% improvement in your run time and you want it in less than 50 days? Typically in a training cycle we're excited to see 4% improvement in race times.
Running in the weighted vest is certainly an option but not one I would recommend you do more than once a week. Physiological changes in fitness happen at the cellular level and they take TIME. If you push too hard thinking that you need to force fitness, you'll only get injured. There's no way to "hack" training to make fitness happen faster. Be smart - build endurance first, then speed. Speedwork once a week, hills or weighted work once a week, long run once a week --and the other days stick to easy/short runs for active recovery. There's no magic sauce. Do your speed work in short intervals at/near target pace. Recovery intervals can be similar in duration. Gradually work toward longer speed intervals as long as you can hold pace and not fade -- and then cut the recovery intervals down. Good luck! Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS, USATF-level 1, RRCA certified coach
New job problems - Cruz
Hello there! My name is Cruz, I am a 24-year-old male from Austin, TX. I am in the middle of my marathon training, which will be the San Antonio Rock n' Roll Marathon in December. I just recently started working as an Amazon Delivery driver, where I've noticed an effect on my training. My long runs are around 14-15 miles at a 9:00-minute pace. However, after starting this job, I've realized that my training is affected as my legs are fatigued from running at work. I have reached a point where I am sometimes unable to finish the runs. Since I am running most of my day, five days a week, and putting in about 15,000 steps daily, how should I adjust my training program to this new job? According to research, I am "running" the equivalent of 5-6 miles per day. Should I count that into my training and run an extra 2-3 miles on a nine-miler practice day? Or what should I do? I appreciate the help and hope to hear from you soon! Thank you!,
reply - coach janet
Hi Cruz - it's hard to know if the pace you're running on your training runs is appropriate without knowing your current race paces. A 9 min training pace would be appropriate for perhaps a 6 mile run for someone who could race a 5k at a 7:00 pace. If that's you then you're training at the right effort and the issue is the additional miles you're logging at work. In short - EVERY mile counts... whether you walk it or run it.
On the other hand if your 5k race time is something a good bit slower than say a 21:30, then perhaps the adjustment that's needed is to relax the training pace to something more appropriate. Keep in mimd that that pace should slow for runs that are longer -- that same athlete doing a 9 min pace for a 6 mile run might slow to a 10 min pace for a 20 miler.
You might experiment a bit with a conscious easing of your training pace to see if you can complete your scheduled distance -- and if that's still unsustainable you might want to adjust distances a bit. Bottom line - you can't bludgeon your body into fitness -- you have to finesse your way there. Listen to your body - if it's telling you that it's fatigued, you may have to adjust your goals or your target race until you've adapted to your new job demands. am happy to help with some more specific training guidance but I'd need to know a lot more about you -- reach out by email if you like -- coach at running strong dot com.
Best regards, Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS, USATF-level 1, RRCA certified coach.
Weeks before first marathon - kylee
Hi! Just hoping for some advice on how to go about these last 3 weeks before my marathon race with a developed injury. About a week ago I developed Costochondritis, it was manageable until about a day ago. The schedule I was following has me running a 20 mile long run this weekend and then tapering for 2 weeks until my actual race. I skipped one 5 mile run already to try to give myself time to heal. Would it be completely detrimental to skip this last really long run? I have done 16 and 18 miles and prior to this. I don't want to miss any super important runs but I also don't want to injure myself further before my race. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!,
reply - coach Janet
Hi Kylee - is this a first marathon for you? A typical marathon training program has you top out at 20 miles for your longest run but I've had athletes complete one with a peak long run of 18 - though it's defiitely better to get to 20. The thing that concerns me is the costochondritis. That's something that typically takes several weeks to resolve and I wouldn't want you to try to run the marathon injured. It's just not worth it in my opinion... the best you can hope for is a sub-par performance and coming across the finish line no worse off than you were at the start. What's more likely is you have a sub-par performance and finish more injured than you were at the start. Think about it - the area of pain ( the rib-breast bone junction) is going to be getting lots of stress as you run and take deep breaths. Is there a chance you'd consider doing a marathon a few weeks further out? You would be able to recover from this, and build up a little better. It's worth considering in my opinion. If you're committed to THIS marathon, skip the 20 miler and just start your taper phase. You can't force this. Best of luck and hope you get well soon! Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS, USATF level 1, RRCA certified coach.
warm up - sheila
I am 72 years old and just getting back to running consistently after years of injuries. I do a dynamic warm up and then walk briskly before I start running. But no matter what I do it takes a good 10 minutes before my breathing regulates, and another 10 minutes until I am running at a good pace. What can I do to improve this?,
reply - coach Janet
Hi Sheila - first off, congratulations on finding your way back to running after battling injuries. You're wise to start with a nice warm up and walking before you run and that's true no matter what your age is. Your body really benefits from that approach. When you say it takes time before you are "running at a good pace" it suggests to me that you might be pushing pace a little? Remember, almost all of your training is done at easy aerobic (conversational) paces and only when you're tuning up for a race do you wander into faster pace training on some runs (but the majority of them even then are done at conversational easy effort). If you know your breathing pattern (2 in 2 out? 2 in 3 out?) you could try doing that pattern as you're ramping up from the brisk walk to a run pace. Then as you start in on running, focus on holding the correct effort -- keep it conversational and relaxed. If by "good pace" you mean faster pace - evaluate your current fitness and make sure you're targeting a pace that is correct for where you are NOW, not where you were before. One way to do this is take a current 5k pace and multiply it by 1.25 - that should net you a pace that is nice and aerobic. As you regain fitness with continued training you can re-evaluate your training paces each time you do a time trial or race and achieve a faster race time. Good luck! Let me know if I can be of personal assistance! Best regards - Coach Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS, USATF-level 1, RRCA certified coach.
Running Heart Rate - Didi
Hi, I'm 35 and not new to running. I have been swimming and cycling most of my life and took on running in the past 5 years. Unlike the other sports my heart while running seems to drift and after 3k give it take reaches 170+ BPM and it feels pounding in neck. I do vary my training and include both long easy runs of ~10k at 5:30-6:00 min/km along with intervals at~4:00 min/km yet my HR seems to be persistent and not to down over time. I do an ergometric test one a year Any suggestions? Might this be a warning for a heart condition? Thanks,
reply - coach janet
Hi Didi. While running, cycling, and swimming can all be described as being "aerobic" exercise, they're very different in terms of the demands they place on your cardiorespiratory system. Think about the biomechanics of the activities... in swimming you're essentially lying down (face up or face down) and relatively weight less. In cycling you're seated and using your lower body muscles in a concentric only fashion to propel yourself. In running you are upright, full weight bearing, and the muscle action is both eccentric (absorbing the shock of impact) and concentric (propelling youforward). For most people, running ellicits the highest heart rate for any given level of exertion. In other words if you "feel" you're working at the same intensity on the bike and in running, your HR is likely to be higher when running. Now, whether your paces described above are appropriate or not - it's hard to know without having a current race data point to project from. If I do a backwards projection though - if you're running at a truly "easy training pace" of 5:30-6:00 per km - that would be an appropriate training pace for someone who could finish a 5k in 13:30 to 14:45... does that coincide with your recent 5k race time? If so - you're running the correct training pace. If NOT then you're likely running your training runs at too fast a pcea for your current fitness level and that's the reason your HR is higher than you think it should be. Pace errors are extremely common... most runners, left to their own devices, run way too fast on their training runs and miss out on some really important physiological training benefits of running at the right (easy) pace. Good luck - hope this helps. If you'd like more personal guidance feel free to reach out. I have room on the roster to take on a new athlete right now! Coach Janet Hamilton,MA, RCEP,CSCS, USATF-level one, RRCA certified
"We are undefeated coach! We prepared for 5 marathons together and we set a PR every time!"
Paul S (NY)
"Janet's education, experience in patient care & as an educator give her a credible resume for advising runners. More importantly to me, she is able to reach out and see where I need a boost - nutrition, race day preparation, etc. She is intuitive in reading my running log and tweaks my training accordingly. I have worked with Janet for several years and I have been injury-free while snagging half marathon PRs."
Over the years my running goals have evolved, and, thanks to Janet, I’ve achieved them all! Janet’s background in physical therapy and biomechanics was invaluable to get me back on my feet after a bad hamstring injury. Janet uses her knowledge of the latest scientific evidence to optimize performance. With Janet’s help, I’ve reached the podium for races from the 5K to the marathon and qualified for Boston. Most importantly, Janet has a positive, supportive coaching style, and is a pleasure to work with!
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