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I have been running since January of this year and find myself feeling a bit frustrated at times as I am not gaining speed as much as I would like. My pace varies from 28:47 -32:14 for a 5k run. Also what is the correct foot landing position: heel first or midsection? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank You!
For a 5K, intervals are probably the best way to work on speed. Here's an explanation. I would suggest 400s and 800s and maybe 200s for 5K training.
Intervals: This is the "4x400", etc, said four by four hundred. That means doing four repeats of four hundred meters (1/4 mile) at a fast pace. Warmup for a mile or so. Do the first fast "repeat" of 400 meters, followed by a slow recovery "interval" (where the name comes from) of about the same time as the repeat. So if the repeat takes 2:15 (minutes:seconds), so should the recovery. Do this three more times for a total of four (thus 4x400). All of the repeats are preferably done in the same time or possibly getting slightly faster (a second or two) as you go along. Intervals are best done on a track, or on a precisely measured course, the flatter the better. The McMillan Running Calculator can figure paces for these workouts based on a recent race time. http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm
As for you second question, there isn't really a "correct" way, though there are many who have a serious preference for one way over any others. Different footplants have different advantages and disadvantages. Changing your footplant can be a slow process, so if you decide to do so, take care. Here is a recent discussion of just this topic.
A lot depends on how much you are running. If you been running for a little while (6 months or so) speed work, tempo runs, hill repeats will make you faster. You need to have some quality workouts that are uncomfortable. You have to get the heart beating and keep it beating for a longer period of time.
Thanks Len for answering that question. I had been wondering myself. now to find an available track.
Marie from Tennessee
Training for Disney 2013 Goofy Challenge.....Yes, I'm certifiably CRAZY!
61 year olds must be out of their minds to run a half marathon followed by a full the next day!
Disney Half Marathon 1/7/2012 2:37:59
Bear Hunt 5K 9/24/11 28:28 pb
Trojan Trek Trail 5K 8/6/11 31:45
Expo 10K 5/28/11 1:01:28,
Expo 10K 5/26/12 1:05:39
Eastman 10K 9/8/2012 1:01:11 pb
"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1