I've been training every other day for 5K's since July. On my in-between days, I cross train, which is usually biking or taking a 1-hour walk. My last race was my best, at 22:57. I'm trying to get it down to the late 19's or early 20's. How can I fit hill training and sprinting (100 yard dashes or 220's) into my present training?
Are you truly running every other day, or three days a week? Do you take a rest day periodically? You need to decide what your "training cycle" is: 7 days, 10 days, 14 days, for instance. Then pick one day out of the cycle and go to the track. Do a mile warmup, run your intervals (200s and 400s) with equivalent easy intervals between the fast repeats, then cooldown for a mile. Pick another day to do hill repeats. The workouts are very similar, except for doing hills instead of track repeats. Go easy on the downhills. If you are running three days a week, you may want to alternate - do intervals one week and hills the next.
What do you mean by a training cycle? Some of my in-between days can be considered rest days because all I might do is take a walk and do some yoga. I was planning on starting hills today and doing them every sunday instead of my 5 mile run, but I have a rib cage pull a few inches under my armpit and I had to hold it steady while I ran on friday, so I can't run right now. I have no idea how I pulled it.
I'd be able to start hills next sunday, but I would be running on saturday and monday, too, and I have a race on the 16th so that doesn't seem like a good idea to change my training that drastically that close to a race; by starting hills as well as running three days in a row. I'll probably begin hills on the 23rd, which is the sunday after the race. Some people say I should wait to do hills and speedwork till I've been running 6 months anyway, and early Jan will be 6 months, so I am still on schedule.
Thanks for the advice on the track and hill training. I think those warm ups and in-between easy intervals you suggested will be especially important since I will be running in winter in MA. (I want to avoid any more muscle pulls).
By training cycle I mean the number of days over which your training runs repeat. I mentioned that because your said you run every other day. If you literally run every other day, you would have to have an even number of days over which you repeat. So you might do hills, rest/x-train, easy run, x-train, long run, rest, then repeat that sequence. That would be a 6 day cycle. Most runners use a 7 day (weekly) cycle. But with a weekly cycle you either have to run on consecutive days or take two non-running days in a row. I hope that makes sense.
Oh. Ok. That makes sense. Your way, I'd always get those rest/cross-train days. That's probably the best avenue, especially since I am 51. I don't want to inundate you with questions, but what is the difference beteween a long run and an "easy" run? Is an easy run just a shorter run at long run pace? I tend to do my runs at about 75-80% of my maximum. I have not done a long run yet. I am gradually increasing the training runs distance from 3 miles and now I am up to about 4. By late December I should be training at 10K distance. I think it would be very interesting taking a long run once every 6 days, as you suggest. What kind of distance do you think I should try? I would like to add that I do not intend to become a distance runner as such. I am striving for speed in the 5K's and 10K's. Maybe 19 minutes in the 5K and 40 minutes in the 10K. Oh, and thanks for the help. B-)