Biggest Loser Strikes Again and Selecting My Target Pace

As has been the case for the past several Mondays, I am more than comfortable lying on the couch, watching TV, minding my own business when the 8 o’clock lineup hits. Biggest Loser flashes on the TV. No more than twenty minutes later, I am getting dressed and ready for the gym. I have a complete inability to watch other people work out while I am sitting on the couch.

Yesterday I laid out my goals for this coming spring season, and one of them was to improve my speed to reach a PR during the Boston 5K. I spent a bit of time reading about techniques to improve my speed, like hill workouts, interval sprints, long weekend runs, an idea called Tabata (which I guess you do something to the max intensity you possibly can for 20 seconds for 8 reps and then you are done . . .) and  other general diet advice. One thing I am still struggling to do, and would like some feedback from experienced runners (cough, Amy; cough, Mark, etc.), is to figure out my training pace as well as my goal race pace.

My goal is to run under a 25-minute 5K time, so let’s say 24:30 to shoot high. That comes out to a 7 minute, 53 second per-mile pace for the duration of the run. This is broken into the following kilometer splits:


What I am struggling with is finding the best system to train with in order to achieve that pace. Yesterday’s gym session had me running 10 minutes at an 8-minute mile, and then another five or so minutes at a 7:30-minute mile. I was pretty winded but was able to do it. I just worry that the treadmill helped pull me through the workout. I’m sure if I do more sessions like this, and drop my time down and increase the time I do, it would work. But is that the most effective way?

Do any of you guys have a good system for planning out your training paces to hit the marks you are looking for? Do you use Jeff Galloways Magic Mile system? I am looking for some ideas on how to maximize my returns!

About these ads

6 thoughts on “Biggest Loser Strikes Again and Selecting My Target Pace”

  1. Yeah, for reals. I need some ideas, too. But I really don’t like hills. What was it that Suz was doing at the gym on the treadmill? I think the baseball guys at Canisius did it too (or something similar), and they looked pretty fast out there!

  2. I was doing intervals on the treadmill. For example I would run 1 minute at a 6.5mph pace and then step it up for the next minute to 8.5mph and then back down to 6.5mph and so forth. And then for the last half of the run (if i was running for 30minutes) I would sprint around 10mph-11mph for 20-30 seconds and then recover for about 90 seconds-2 minutes…. There are probably better methods or actual programs you can find with a detailed schedule.
    Also- Jono- I do Tabata every Wednesday in my bootcamp class. It will kick your ass. Mike likes to call it “chabata” and thinks I go and eat bread at the gym :)

  3. I have half marathons down to a perfect science, but I am pretty bad at pacing myself for both 5-K’s and 10-K’s. In general, I use my dream 5-K pace as my measure for intervals since basically a 5-K is running as fast as you absolutely can for 3.1 miles (this is why I hate 5-K’s). So, if I was wanting to hit 7:53 pace, I would run quarter miles at a 7.53 pace (with recovery quarter miles in between). Start with 5 sets and then work your way up to 10 over the next 7.5 weeks. If you aren’t absolutely dying by the end, up the speed, but try and keep your speed consistent throughout the workout. I think treadmills are perfect for intervals because they prevent you from cheating. I usually just add 1.5% grade to the incline to make it more realistic. (The same exact thing can be applied to hills…quarter mile repeats, but using your half marathon pace and a 7% incline). I usually do speed work 3 times a week (2 days of interval type things, and one day of just solid miles at half marathon pace). I absolutely think a sub-25 is very realistic for you guys! You are on the right track!

    1. Thanks for the tips! I think I might shoot to train at a 7:30 pace and do the quarter-mile intervals at that pace. 3x a week is a lot! I’ve been doing one day of intervals right now, guess I have to up the ante a bit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s