We have a saying in the computer software development industry of “eating your own dog food”. Doesn’t sound very pleasant but essentially it’s about putting your money where your mouth is or using your own products and experiencing what everyone else has to use.
The same should apply for running training. Unless you can say you’ve actually experienced the training system in some way or form, I would have difficulty in fully understanding the benefits and sometimes the pain that a runner has to go through with that training system.
Fortunately all the training structure you find on this site is a system that I use myself, week after week, year after year. I’ll make little adjustments here and there as I find improvements, but essentially, I’m eating my own dog food!!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had quite a few people asking me about what training I personally do as they’d be quite keen to follow it specifically. These are all runners around my age who are looking to achieve targets like breaking 40 minutes for a 10K or just getting faster over all distances from 4K through to a Half Marathon.
So, I’m going to commence a weekly publish of my own training program. This will allow anyone who’s got a race that is roughly matching what I’m training towards to follow me. The good news is that whatever level you’re personally at, you’ll be able to follow this training program with me.
This weekend, I’m competing in a local duathlon, although I haven’t trained to peak for this, it’s essentially a training run and bike as I’m getting ready for a triathlon in late November and a series of 5K races in January. Having said that, the program is underway.
My calendar is divided 4 distinct phases where the primary focus is either speed, intervals or VO2 max and threshold pace. I’ll explain each session and the benefits as it progresses.
At this stage of the program, I’ve completed 10 weeks of training which included a 6 week period of simply easy runs 3 or 4 times per week. The last 3 weeks have had mainly speed work sessions with some long threshold runs (on the treadmill for some of them) and a small amount of intervals work and I’m currently in what I call Stage 2 Training.
For a normal week for me, my training has quite a bit of cross training. See my post on “When Training for a 5K Should I Run Every Day“.
At this stage of my training I’ve completed some of the following sessions:
- 5 sets of (2 x 200m at Rep pace with 200m jogs + 1 x 400m at Rep pace with 400m jogs)
- 5 sets of (1600m at Threshold pace with 1min rests)
- 5 sets of (2mins at Interval pace with a 1min jog, 1min at Interval pace with a 30sec jog and 30sec at Interval pace with a 30sec jog)
- 7 sets of (400m at Rep pace with 400m jogs)
- 40mins at Threshold pace
Each of the paces I calculated using a recent 5K time (a bit slower than I used to be at 17:30 for a 5K) using the Jack Daniels Training Pace calculator, available from my 5K Training Plans page. This means my paces for various items is meant to be:
- Reps: 200m run at approximately 39 seconds
- Reps: 400m run at approximately 1 min 17 seconds
- Intervals: 1K run at approximately 3 mins 28 seconds (42 seconds per 200 rounded)
- Threshold: No quicker than 3 mins 46 seconds per kilometre (45 seconds per 200 rounded)
- Easy runs: No quicker than 4 mins 30 seconds per kilometre
So my training for this week is a little disjointed as I want to do well in the duathlon I’m in this Sunday. I’ll cut back to just a speed session on Tuesday, easy run on Thursday and easy run on Saturday. I’ve already had an easy run on the hills on Sunday. The guy who passed me when I was running downhill almost caused me to run too fast, I had to remind myself it was meant to be an easy run when he ran past me at under 4 minutes per k pace.
The sessions will be (I’m taking the week off from swimming and cycling just so I’m feeling fresh for this weekend after 5 months of tough swimming and cycling):