"I can’t run more than 1.6km on my tempo runs before needing to walk. Help!"
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
I'm currently training for a 5K. I do strength training, bike or elliptical, and then a distance workout, tempo workout and speed workout on a treadmill for five days per week. I'm hung up on the tempo workout. My current routine is to run 2.4km fast, recover 3 minutes, and run 2.4km fast again. For me, fast is speed number five on the treadmill. However, all I can do is 1.6km at that pace, then I walk for 400 metres and then run at that pace again. I can't seem to get past that hump. I've been doing it for several weeks, and just can't make it the whole 2.4km. I'm 53 years old, never was very athletic, but it's frustrating. Any ideas on how to get past this hurdle?
– Judy, via email
COACH MEL SAYS:
Image by Shutterstock
I would pull your speed back to four, to allow your body to work at what we call “threshold”.
Basically what’s happening is your heart-rate is shooting up, and therefore you have to walk and only complete 1.6km. Keep your speedwork fairly strong, but not at maximum effort. That way, you can go hard, then jog the recoveries.
Building up your long, easy run is important too. It will make your body more efficient and the repetitive loading will increase the strength of your muscles, ligaments and tendons. Just remember the 10 per cent rule: increase your weekly mileage by 10–15 per cent only to avoid injury.
The variety in your training is excellent. Also, consistency alone helps to improve your average speed as you get fitter. Don’t be concerned by age – that just means you need longer to recover. Try to avoid two hard days in a row. Go hard day, easy day, hard day, off, for example.
Like this article? Subscribe to Runner’s World and save up to A$35 on the retail price (delivered directly to your door) and receive a FREE pair of Brooks socks PLUS if you subscribe for two years you will also receive a FREE Runner’s World watch.
If you missed picking this issue up at newsstands you can purchase your Runner's World back issue here today!