Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Training leading up to Running of the Leopards 5k on Saturday

I basically took the entire week off after Phoenix (a total of 2 miles of jogging).  I did 30 miles last week and still felt horrible on my first run back 8 days after the race (running sick really wrecked me more than normal), but after that shock to the system, I seem to be feeling pretty good again.

Running of the Leopards is coming up on Saturday and it gives me a good chance to have a shot at a 5k PR.  It's downhill (slight bit of roll with an average grade of -2%), but at an altitude of nearly 5000', so it's fast, but only ~10 seconds faster than flat at sea level, according to Jack Daniels' calculations.  With that in mind, I wanted to be really ready to go for Saturday and also wanted to be prepped for the pounding of downhill mileage.

Since the marathon, I've hit 2 key high effort workouts, one this past Saturday (14 days after the marathon), a 2 x 2 mile, and one just yesterday (17 days after the marathon), a 3 x 1 mile.

The 2 x 2 was run on a 4% average decline with a slight bit of roll in City Creek (bottom 2 miles) and my splits were 10:02 (5:02/5:00) and 10:06 (5:02/5:04) with a 2 mile jog warmup, a 2 mile jog back up the canyon in between sets, and a slow 1 mile cooldown.  Lots of rest, yes, but the emphasis was on doing it fast.  I felt that I did them at about 5k effort, only that my calves were still slightly off from 100% after the marathon, so I lost a slight bit of pace on the last mile.

The 3 x 1 was run on a 3.5% average decline with almost no roll in the bottom mile of City Creek and my splits were 4:49, 4:50, 4:50 with a 1 mile jog warmup, a 1 mile jog back up the canyon between sets, and a very slow 2 mile cooldown.  Running this kind of pace was relatively hard on my legs, but it felt amazing to throw down 3 miles that fast (would be 5:06, 5:06, 5:07 on flat at sea level).

Coming up to Saturday, the race will only have a 2% decline, so the pounding will be slightly less and hopefully it will not destroy my body.  I'm having a hard time selecting a goal, but here's the data I have in my mind: The faster of the two splits in the 2 x 2, on that course, would be worth 10:23 on an average 2 miles of the Running of the Leopards course.  If that 10:02 was a maxed out effort (it wasn't quite and I figured I could hold it for 5k if totally fresh), it would equate to a 16:42 5k at Running of the Leopards.  If I could indeed hold the same effort for the full 5k, it would equate to 16:10.

With that in mind, I think I'm going to go out chasing 16:10 or so and just hope that I don't blow up. :)  Sub-16 sounds like a slight possibility on a really spectacular day, so I'm probably going to go out in around 5:10 and just see what I can do from there.  Regardless of what I'm shooting for, it's just a 5k, so I'm going to run whatever I'm going to run and, unless I take it out in 4:50, I probably won't blow up too badly.  I am planning to push it from the gun and really try hard for a fast time, so we'll have to just wait and see what the result is.

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