For a 5k, however, if there is a similar straight-forward concept for setting a new PR (beyond just: do speedwork), I'm not sure what it is. I'd like to not only set a new PR (currently 33:32 - 10:48 pace), but one of my 30 Before 30 goals is to run a 5k in under 30 minutes. I turn 30 at the end of January.
29:59 = 9:39 pace = set goal pace at 9:30 to allow some cushion.
Well, since my fastest single mile pace recently is 10:02, and my fastest as an adult is 9:55 (about 18 months ago), I don't think I'm quite ready to run 3.1 miles at a 9:30 pace a month from now. I do, however, think I can aim for significantly below my current PR - I'm setting my goal for the New Year's First Run at a 10:00 pace (31:04). Depending on how that race goes, I'll evaluate whether I can find another 5k prior to the end of January to actually aim for the sub-30.
It's always been hard for me to adjust my pace for shorter distances - I tend to just go out at a comfortably brisk pace regardless of distance (not so good with making myself be uncomfortable); increasing that pace slightly for short races, but not by nearly as much as I know I should. Greg McMillan's website has a calculator to estimate what you should be capable of at different distances, relative to one distance that you have done. (Obviously, this is just a guideline - some people's bodies are better made for speed or for distance, which will make one end of the spectrum easier than the other. But they're good guidelines.)
|Source - input current mile time and goal 5k time.|
My plan is to do two speed workouts each week: one interval (0.25 mile repeats) and one tempo. Setting goal times for those workouts beginning with the "current times" that I should be capable of based on my mile time, and decreasing the workout time goals each week to move towards the "goal times" necessary to hit that 5k time.
I only have four weeks until the upcoming race, but already nailed the first week 1 interval workout - actually got all four intervals under a 9:00 pace!
Interval: 1 wu, 4 x 0.25 @ 9:00 (2:15), 1 cd
Tempo: 1 wu, 2 @ 10:40, 1 cd
Interval: 1 wu, 4 x 0.25 @ 8:30 (2:08), 1 cd
Tempo: 1 wu, 2 @ 10:20, 1 cd
Interval: 1 wu, 4 x 0.25 @ 7:55 (1:59), 1 cd
Tempo: 1 wu, 2 @ 9:55, 1 cd
Interval: 1 up, 4 x 0.25 @ 7:20 (1:50), 1 cd
Tempo: 1 wu, 2 @ 9:30, 1 cd
What's your best tool for PRing at shorter distances?