A New Running Goal for a 5k

My knee has been getting stronger over the last few months.  I still have little twinges, but I’ve been able to run progressively longer distances (up to a regular 6-7 miles!) without any negative repercussions.  I’m running in the Mermaid San Francisco 5k in a few weeks, and I’m hopeful to take down the 26:37 time I posted at the Walnut Festival Run for Education.

I’ve adopted a dual strategy over the last few weeks, incorporating more speed work (love those 800 repeats!) while also trying to take my recovery runs slower.  I’ve started actually paying attention to my heart rate monitor, and I’ve decided that it just isn’t normal to hold a 180 heart rate for an easy 3 mile run.  I have a very firm idea of what my pace ought to be, and I’ll fight to keep it there even if my legs aren’t feeling a 9:00/mile on that particular day.  So when I’m doing long runs or recovery runs I’ve switched my Garmin settings so I only see time and my heart rate, and I can’t try to keep up with my own expectations of what my pace ought to be.

The boy has been accompanying me on some runs too, and it’s been great fun to have someone to chat with.  Keeps me distracted from wishing I was running faster.  We did an easy 5k yesterday and realized this:dorky_matching_shirts

Why hello there, dorky matching race shirts!  That 10k back in Boston was a great race though, my 10k PR and J’s first 10k.  Plus the tech shirts were obviously super cool

While I’m trying to keep the slow runs slow, I have been nailing down 8:00/mile splits for my speedwork intervals lately, and that’s my super big A+ goal for this 5k.  My current (two year old) 5K PR is 25:07, and I’d love to run under that in this race.  However, I also believe in geographical PRs Smile and right now the fastest 5k I’ve run in a race in California is that 26:37.  I wouldn’t be disappointed to beat that time either, as it would show that my training is working!

Looking forward, I’m going to keep taking good care of my knee, and set my sights on the 2012 Oakland Half Marathon as my next big race.  I ran the Oakland half last year and loved it.  The course is relatively scenic and flat, with great crowd support.  Plus I love being close enough to a race to actually train on the course.  I really benefit from knowing the terrain and having mental cues to tell myself “when you see that building, you should kick for the finish line.”

 

What are you training for?

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6 Responses to A New Running Goal for a 5k

  1. Alyssa says:

    Sounds like you are doing everything right & really listening to your legs (and heart rate)! Can’t wait to see how your race goes. 🙂

    • Beth says:

      Thanks, Alyssa! I’m excited! It looks like a nice flat course. I may head out next weekend for a longer SF run that loops around the course so I can get a good look at it.

  2. jsadora says:

    I have been looking into getting a heart rate monitor, but I have a feeling I wouldn’t end up using it. It’s nice to know how you have learned to really pay attention it. I’ll need some advice in the future 🙂 Jealous you are able to get your boy out and running, still working on that one!

  3. Beth says:

    I ignored my heart rate monitor for at least two years until I decided that an average HR of 180 probably wasn’t normal, or least ideal. I’m also a numbers geek, so it’s fun to have another metric to track. I’m planning to look into the science behind it a little more, and then maybe work up a post.

  4. Alisyn says:

    I think you can do it!! Great job on your training thus far. I am looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks!

  5. Cate says:

    YAY 800 repeats! They definitely help… I’m excited to see how you do!

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