5 Mile Training Kick-Off

The next race I have on the docket for the year is the Park Point 5 Miler, which is on July 17th. It still feels a long way off, and I might need to find another race in the meantime to try to destroy that 36:00 benchmark, but I won’t be training for anything sooner.

I kicked off my 8-week training cycle for this race on Monday. I am using Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 10K training program to prepare for the race.

I chose the intermediate program, even though I’m still a fairly novice racer, for a few reasons.

First, here’s how he describes the intermediate runner: “What defines an Intermediate runner? You should be running five to six times a week, averaging 15-25 miles weekly training. You probably also should have run a half dozen or more races at distances between the 5-K and the Half-Marathon. With that as background, you now need a somewhat more sophisticated schedule to improve. If that doesn’t sound like you, you might be more comfortable using one of my programs designed for novice or advanced runners.”

I’m running 5-6 times per week, and I’m coming off of a failed marathon training cycle, so I’m hitting 2 for 2 right away. I haven’t run a half dozen or more races at all kinds of distances, but I have run a couple now. Most importantly, I am looking to improve.

Contrast that with the novice program. “To participate in this 10-K program, you should have no major health problems, should be in reasonably good shape, and should have done at least some jogging or walking. If running 2.5 miles for your first workout on Tuesday of the first week seems too difficult, you might want to begin by walking, rather than running. Or, if you have more than eight to ten weeks before your 10-K, switch to my 5-K schedule to build an endurance base before continuing.”

See, that’s too nice. The novice training is too gentle. It also has more cross training and less running (although I could just use those days as running days, too), and it tops out at 5.5 miles, whereas the intermediate program tops out at 8 miles. The intermediate program has 5 running days a week and one cross training day, which is what I prefer, and it has some specific speed workouts, which I need. So, intermediate it is!

Hal also has an 8k training program, which I just calculated is equivalent to a 5 mile training program, and the plans look very similar. I am going to stick with the 10k program as it has slightly higher mileage.

This week’s training got off to an inauspicious start. On Monday I covered the prescribed distance, but most of that was on a walk with a friend. On Tuesday I had a nice run and actually covered the distance PLUS I did a warm up and cool down (which felt mostly the same since I was running by heart rate). Wednesday I was out in a field all day launching rockets (legally) and then finished driving home to Duluth, and was wiped out by the time I got back. I decided I’d make it a rest day and move the schedule back a day. That means no rest day on Friday, but that’s fine. I was too tired to function. I am writing this Thursday evening, procrastinating on heading out on my scheduled tempo run, so I will report back on that another day. It is a gorgeous evening, I only have to run for 35 minutes (plus warm up and cool down), and I’m feeling pretty good, so I need to hit “schedule” and get off the couch.

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