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Sub 5 minute mile

  • 27-01-2019 12:56am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    I'm the wrong side of 35 now and have spent the prime of my sporting life playing GAA.

    The new football manager last year didn't fancy me as much as his predecessor so I got to sit and watch a lot of games last year (2018). The upshot was that by October when the season wrapped up I was relatively unscathed after what would typically be a grueling season.

    What to do, I thought, with this spare energy I had? I went back to doing my usual 4.7 km run a couple of times per week. Times have been consistently around 18 minutes and into the 17's sometimes (over 6 years). I managed to hit 17 minutes once during a few months out of the football when that was all I was doing.

    Anyway, I was working out that if I wanted to break 17 minutes on that particular run I'd be looking to run at a speed of 5.8 minutes per mile or thereabouts. Then the brain wave hit me. "I bet I could run a 5 minute mile at my current fitness level, I just never tried it".
    I couldn't. Pride before the fall and all that.

    My pedigree
    1990s: U17 All Ireland 10 km. Time - 40 minutes. I came 12th or 15th I can't remember exactly.
    2007: Connamarathon 1/2 marathon. Time - 01:29:xx

    Not a lot there really :D but I always kept up the bit of jogging when not playing ball.

    I was never a speedster and found the half marathon above curtailed my speed even further so I swore I'd not train for any long distances again until I was definitely finished playing football. I've definitely got a little regret now that I wasn't smart enough to try and do a bit around sprints and middle distances but in my head I think I'd resigned myself to playing my part as a Brian Dooher type forward.

    Condition of right foot
    1x bunion (has become more prominent in the past year)
    Range of motion limitation in my right ankle


    Obviously around the turn of the year (I only started seriously on November 19th) was never the best time to be starting out so discipline was always going to be a little issue to start with.

    I set about following my own plan which no doubt is flawed but wanted to see where it might take me. I'll detail how it's gone so far in my next post. Hopefully tomorrow, if not Monday.

    Incidentally, my mile run is along a stretch of road that incorporates a humpback bridge and I suspect a slight incline overall but will confirm my actual time on a track if I feel I'm close enough.

    I just want to add finally, this challenge re-ignited an interest I forgot I had in athletics (there's a tangential change in my youtube viewing history in late 2018). Even if I don't make it due to injury or otherwise it has been worth it so far and I look forward to passing on what I've learned to the kids.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,936 ✭✭✭ Itziger


    I'm the wrong side of 35 now and have spent the prime of my sporting life playing GAA.

    The new football manager last year didn't fancy me as much as his predecessor so I got to sit and watch a lot of games last year (2018). The upshot was that by October when the season wrapped up I was relatively unscathed after what would typically be a grueling season.

    What to do, I thought, with this spare energy I had? I went back to doing my usual 4.7 km run a couple of times per week. Times have been consistently around 18 minutes and into the 17's sometimes (over 6 years). I managed to hit 17 minutes once during a few months out of the football when that was all I was doing.

    Anyway, I was working out that if I wanted to break 17 minutes on that particular run I'd be looking to run at a speed of 5.8 minutes per mile or thereabouts. Then the brain wave hit me. "I bet I could run a 5 minute mile at my current fitness level, I just never tried it".
    I couldn't. Pride before the fall and all that.

    My pedigree
    1990s: U17 All Ireland 10 km. Time - 40 minutes. I came 12th or 15th I can't remember exactly.
    2007: Connamarathon 1/2 marathon. Time - 01:29:xx

    Not a lot there really :D but I always kept up the bit of jogging when not playing ball.

    I was never a speedster and found the half marathon above curtailed my speed even further so I swore I'd not train for any long distances again until I was definitely finished playing football. I've definitely got a little regret now that I wasn't smart enough to try and do a bit around sprints and middle distances but in my head I think I'd resigned myself to playing my part as a Brian Dooher type forward.

    Condition of right foot
    1x bunion (has become more prominent in the past year)
    Range of motion limitation in my right ankle


    Obviously around the turn of the year (I only started seriously on November 19th) was never the best time to be starting out so discipline was always going to be a little issue to start with.

    I set about following my own plan which no doubt is flawed but wanted to see where it might take me. I'll detail how it's gone so far in my next post. Hopefully tomorrow, if not Monday.

    Incidentally, my mile run is along a stretch of road that incorporates a humpback bridge and I suspect a slight incline overall but will confirm my actual time on a track if I feel I'm close enough.

    I just want to add finally, this challenge re-ignited an interest I forgot I had in athletics (there's a tangential change in my youtube viewing history in late 2018). Even if I don't make it due to injury or otherwise it has been worth it so far and I look forward to passing on what I've learned to the kids.

    I was wondering about this!! Don't forget the extra 9 metres now. Good luck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭ Sacksian


    Based on your background, I suspect that you could be able to do this quite quickly - as long as your training is sensible, which is probably the biggest caveat.

    There's a mile on the indoor track in Abbottstown next week if you want to get a benchmark - there might be some others there who will pull you along. The competition will probably get you a few extra seconds too. You don't have to be a member of a club to run and it is extremely accessible (you will definitely not be the slowest there).

    Best of luck with the challenge.

    By the way, there are plenty more opportunities to run middle distance if you sign up with a local club (especially for masters runners). As a masters runner, you have even more opportunities for racing than a senior athlete. Even if you're not training with the club, registering will let you enter a lot of county, provincial, and open track competitions that non-club members can't. Very few racing opportunities for non-club runners.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭ IvoryTower


    Would love to go sub 5 myself, also considering it this Tues. Best of luck with it will follow your training


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭ Sacksian


    IvoryTower wrote: »
    Would love to go sub 5 myself, also considering it this Tues. Best of luck with it will follow your training

    What's your 5k time, Ivory Tower? You can run a decent 800m, so your limiter is presumably the endurance end?

    Having speed gives you a decent cushion and you can do a lot off a little mileage if you have speed. 2 back-to-back 2:29s shouldn't sound too crazy if you're running an 800m around 2:10.

    But as you go up the distances the more important strength (or endurance) becomes to hit certain times. And it helps with the shorter distances too. Or at least that's what I hope. There's a 9s per 400m fall-off between my 800m and mile pb, which is pretty bad so I'm trying to convert myself to a higher-mileage middle distance runner at the moment - hopefully, see you both on the track during the summer!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭ IvoryTower


    I was about 20min in the winter but im doing more mileage now so hopefully my endurance is improving, although I guess it takes time to build that engine. Yeah say hello, I haven't a clue who you are but if you're running 2min for 800 I wont be long figuring it out :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    The two weeks before Week 1 I was doing 1-3 runs per week of 3.5 to 4.65 kms. I initially thought of setting a 5 km time and trying to improve that and it was only after November 19th I decided to target the 1 mile. So...

    Any day I've filled in "sprints" usually involves a jog to and from the training location of 2-4 kms.
    Also, I try and do a 15 - 20 minutes weights session 1-2 times per week. I don't do too much. Short and sharp. I have my own free weights sitting out the back of my workplace along with a bench press. The strength stuff here was more to help with the football but obviously doesn't do any harm here.

    Week 1 starts November 19th

    Week 1
    • 19 Nov - 16 x 100 m @ 15-16 secs per 100 m
    • 21 Nov - 4.65 km run - 18:18
    • 23 Nov - 4.65 km run - 17:58
    Not even a week in I decide to see if I need to be bothering with a lot of training at all. So I run my first ever mile -
    25 Nov - 1 mile - 05:31 (This killed me. I needed to walk for almost half the distance back to my starting point before I could muster something resembling a jog


    Week 2
    • 26 Nov - 10 x 100 m and 3 x 500 m. I can't remember times for these. 500 m would have been only at 60 % probably though
    • 29 Nov - 3.5 km run
    • 02 Dec - I played a testimonial soccer match. My first in 10 years. Only 80 minutes were played.

    Week 3
    • 03 Dec - 10 x 1 minute temp runs
    • 05 Dec - 4.65 km - 17:34. I jarred my knee a little right at the end of this run as I was looking to finish strong. It wasn't a noticeable pang of pain, more of a dull twinge.
    • 06 Dec - 10 x 100 m @ 14-15 secs per 100 m
    • 08 Dec - 3.5 km run

    My knee was not really sore but it didn't feel quite right even particularly while driving. I felt I'd developed a little weakness but not with forward motion only turning.

    Week 4
    • 10 Dec - 10 x 30 m hill sprints (2 sets). No times for these but rest between sets of 2 minutes (on grass)
    • 14 Dec - 4.65 km - 18:15
    • 15 Dec - 6 x 1 minute tempos

    I wasn't feeling well in week 4 but with a few Christmas pints planned over the next couple of weeks I was determined to have another go at the mile before the inevitable break in discipline.

    17 Dec - 1 mile - 05:29. I was naturally disappointed with what looked like zero progress. Even allowing for the fact I wasn't feeling well and I might have held back a little because of my knee. I also think I saved myself a little too much for the end. I took solace in the fact that unlike my first murderous attempt, after finishing this time I was straight into a jog back to my place of work. So, my recovery time had seriously improved.


    Because of my knee I made the decision to try and run more on grass if I could. It definitely felt better on the knee anyway.

    Week 5
    • 19 Dec - 3.5 km run
    • 20 Dec - 8 x 230 m sprints (On grass)
    • 23 Dec - 10 x long hills (130 m. On grass)

    As luck would have it I was actually sick on Christmas day. I wasn't chalked down to do any cooking anyway. Just keep the kids entertained which wasn't too difficult given the day that was in it. Then, Christmas trips to my home place, followed by the in-laws, a wedding, annual meet ups. All the usual excuses

    Week 6
    • 30 Dec - 4.9 km run. This was a struggle as my legs wanted to go faster than the rest of me did. More drinks followed that evening as December 30th has kind of turned into our New Years over the last few years.

    Work-wise, November and December 2018 were the busiest I'd been in several years. The challenge and the exercise that went with it helped keep the stress levels down a lot as I putting in late evenings in at work and at home on the laptop plus some weekend work. Incidentally, I didn't go to the work Christmas party this year as I didn't want to be reminded of the place. I went for a run that evening instead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    Sacksian wrote: »
    Based on your background, I suspect that you could be able to do this quite quickly - as long as your training is sensible, which is probably the biggest caveat.

    There's a mile on the indoor track in Abbottstown next week if you want to get a benchmark - there might be some others there who will pull you along. The competition will probably get you a few extra seconds too. You don't have to be a member of a club to run and it is extremely accessible (you will definitely not be the slowest there).

    Best of luck with the challenge.

    By the way, there are plenty more opportunities to run middle distance if you sign up with a local club (especially for masters runners). As a masters runner, you have even more opportunities for racing than a senior athlete. Even if you're not training with the club, registering will let you enter a lot of county, provincial, and open track competitions that non-club members can't. Very few racing opportunities for non-club runners.

    Thanks. It's something I might consider. I wasn't aware there was much buzz around the mile at all these days. Almost everyone that is doing a bit of running is training long distance. I'd be interested to look into that more at some point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    You don't find the weeks clocking up.

    Week 7
    • 02 Jan - 4 x 2 minute tempos (on grass)
    • 03 Jan - 2 sets of 10 x 30 m hill sprints (on grass). 7 seconds roughly per sprint. 13 seconds rest between sprints. 2 minutes between sets

    For some reason I can't remember what went on here exactly but week 7 into week 8 was certainly short on workouts.

    Week 8
    • 10 Jan - 3.5 km run
    • 11 Jan - 4.65 km - 17:21

    Week 9
    • 15 Jan - 5 x 2 minute tempos (on grass)
    • 17 Jan - 1 hard 5 minutes. Then 10 x 10 second sprints and 6 x 10 second sprints. Because it was dark, I was doing these on a path and sure enough felt the knee again so had to stop after 6 sprint on the second set.
    • 19 Jan - 25 minute jog
    • 20 Jan - 3 x 3 minute tempos (on grass). Total workout time 32 minutes

    I got my first pair of new runners for my run on the 20th. Anyway on that run I was finding pins and needles in my right foot. I'd forgotten when I got my last pair of runners this happened initially on longer than normal runs too. Probably a couple of years ago.

    I'm putting it down to the bunion on my foot but it could be something else. I'm hoping it's a case of the sole being moulded better to my foot shape over time. That's what I'm hoping anyway but will talk to a chiropodist... eventually. Maybe after I get that crown on my tooth done but probably not before I follow up and get that MRI scan done on my right ankle which I've had a referral letter for for over 12 months :o

    Week 10
    • 15 Jan - 5 x 2 minute tempos (on grass)
    • 17 Jan - 1 hard 5 minutes. Then 10 x 10 second sprints and 6 x 10 second sprints. Because it was dark, I was doing these on a path and sure enough felt the knee again so had to stop after 6 sprint on the second set.
    • 19 Jan - 25 minute jog (more pins and needles)
    • 20 Jan - 3 x 3 minute tempos (on grass). Total workout time 32 minutes

    Week 11
    • 23 Jan - 2 set of 10 x 30 m hill sprints (on grass). 7 seconds sprint, 13 seconds rest. 2 minutes between sets. Then 1 km hard. Total workout time 30 minutes
    • 24 Jan - 3.5 km run. First 5 minutes hard.
    • 26 Jan - 6 km long run. 27 minutes. Pins and needles again grrrr.
    • 27 Jan - 2 x 4 minute tempos. (on grass) Followed by 10 strides. 32 minutes running in total

    That's it so far. I really don't know how much use it has been yet for my end goal. January is almost done so I I'm thinking (weather permitting) I'll have another go at the mile on either the 29th (tomorrow) or the 30th.

    Ye can place your bets now at what my time might be. I haven't a clue but it better be below 05:20.

    The better educated among you can tell me what I'm doing wrong. the main thing I feel is that I'm not doing enough total mileage week on week but time really has been precious the last couple of months.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    I remembered what happened around week 7 and week 8 now. Both kids were sick and missed the return back to school. There was a lot of juggling between myself and the missus.

    And repeat. Both of them have tonsilitis again so we'll see how the next day or two pans out now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭ IvoryTower


    are you following a plan? if this - 4.65 km - 17:21 is accurate then you're in pretty good nick for someone just starting off

    you have a long run there as 6k, I reckon you should build this up slowly, to about 8-10 miles. I'm sure more experienced guys here will be able to advise you on this.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭ Sacksian


    I don't really like giving advice because one of the things I liked most when I started running was figuring out for myself what suited me and what I enjoyed doing. So, if whatever you're doing is getting you out running, then that's a good place to start.

    However, people specifically training for a mile are a rare breed on boards so here goes....

    I ran 4:37 for the mile aged 38 and this is some of the stuff that worked/works for me. I can't vouch for it other than my own personal experience - probably reflects what I enjoy doing in training more than anything else.

    The most important thing to get your head around is that (based on your 100s) you already have the speed to run a 5-minute mile. You're just lacking the endurance.

    I really like that you're doing 10 x 100m and 30m hills. Those sessions are good for coordination and keeping in touch with speed but they don't really help that much with the mile so, if you're going to keep them up, think about more volume in the 100s (maybe even 3-4 x 10 x 100m with a walk-back between reps and a few minutes between sets, starting around mile pace, and build into it) and longer hills (200m-300m).

    Once you go beyond 800m as a race distance, the aerobic element gets really important. If you can, try and do 10-15mins very easy jogging before and after the sessions. That'll get you a little bump in mileage without taxing you at all.

    For longer intervals at race pace, I would strongly recommend 40 seconds fast (around 5:10-5:20 pace) with 30 seconds slow jog in between. You don't want to be walking the 30 seconds portion so slow down the pace of the 40 seconds if you find yourself wanting to walk the breaks in between. You can start off at 10-12 reps or 2 sets of 8 and ultimately, you want to get to 20 x 200m @mile pace (@37.5 seconds) off 100m jog. A few weeks of building that up and you'll feel yourself getting fitter. You can do this as diagonals on a football pitch too.

    Breaking the steady runs up into manageable tempo sections is a really good idea - and a good example of you figuring out how you're going to get yourself mile fit quickly. My favourite would be 6-8 x 3mins steady with 90s jog in between. Keep it nice and relaxed and you'll see the benefits in a couple of weeks. If you do it at your current tempo pace, you're getting a little bit more time at that pace with less stress while also adding a bit more mileage.

    For the two sessions above, you're looking to gradually increase the pace of the jog in between the work portions as you get fitter. Obviously, the intervals in the race pace session will get closer to your 5-minute mile race pace target but you don't get to rest every 40 seconds in a race so an increase in the pace of the recovery bits actually tells you more about your shape.

    If you have to do time trials, do shorter ones. There's no point trying a mile at 5-minute pace if you can't do 1000m-1200m at that pace. 1200m is a classic time-trial distance for a miler (but very few people would even attempt to do 800m at mile pace in training - save that for the races). I don't think they're a good idea and I don't think I would be able to run within 15s of my race times on my own but if it's one of those things that gets you out running, then fair enough. I think it's a bit of a waste of a session though.

    Do 50-60 minutes easy when you can. Mileage is important. You can train for the 10k and still run a decent mile but there are plenty of very, very good 800m runners who can't (relatively speaking).

    Finally, whatever the training theory/philosophy, consistency is the single most important attribute for any athlete. Middle-distance training can be hard on the body (especially if you're straining to hit paces in training), so be patient and try and not get injured!

    Best of luck!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    IvoryTower wrote: »
    are you following a plan? if this - 4.65 km - 17:21 is accurate then you're in pretty good nick for someone just starting off

    you have a long run there as 6k, I reckon you should build this up slowly, to about 8-10 miles. I'm sure more experienced guys here will be able to advise you on this.

    I've no set plan as such. The core of what I'm doing on a weekly basis is the following:
    • 1 workout with sprints
    • 1-2 workouts with tempos (increase the duration of these over the weeks)
    • 1-2 middle distance runs

    I've been finding excuses to not run further such as time and straining old injuries from running longer. I never had a problem with endurance really, but was never satisfied with my speed.


    That 4.65 km, is from the driveway in work up a country road and back. I've run that regularly enough over the last 6 years, mostly outside of the GAA season. Way back in 2013 I initially had times recorded of 19.5 minutes but I was properly ill that year and didn't do anything for a few months beforehand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    Thanks for the input Sacksian and fair play on that 4:37. There's some good stuff in there that I'll try and take heed of.


    I enjoyed this video of a guy who tried to take on a 5 minute mile in 8 weeks



    I didn't take much input from it into my own plan as he was coming from a lower base to begin, including bad footwear and running style. However, it gave me an appreciation for the difficulty in achieving improvements in time quickly, especially when I'm further along that decaying exponential curve to begin with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    And in a nutshell this is why I started the thread. I hope it'll keep me honest.

    30 Jan - 1 mile - 05:23

    I didn't enjoy this run at all but really wanted to post a time before January was out. 3 Degrees air temp didn't help nor the head-breeze in my face for 90 % of the route. My 10 minute warm-up clearly wasn't enough either as I just wasn't feeling it from the very start.

    The week didn't go to plan with the kids being sick so I've missed training and getting enough sleep.


    Since the time is improved at least, what I can say I guess is the training has worked so far \o/ but obviously not effectively enough. I'm going to have to start putting in some longer runs to improve my endurance (as Sacksian suggested) which I was hoping to avoid. Hopefully the pins and needles subsides over the next couple of weeks though as they are bit of a nuisance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭ RayCun


    My 10 minute warm-up clearly wasn't enough either

    What was your ten minute warmup- a ten minute jog?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    RayCun wrote: »
    What was your ten minute warmup- a ten minute jog?

    5 minutes jog. With 5 minutes dynamic stretching.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    Looks like I miscounted my weeks and added my week 9 runs in twice. So it's nice to gain a week back.

    After my latest mile attempt in the middle of Week 11 I tried to take some of Sacksian's advice on board and (1) increase my weekly distances and (2) increase my hill leangths.

    I also did one set of 40 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds jog, which I hope I'll be doing more freqeuctly


    Week 11 (again)
    • 30 Jan - Mile attempt at 05:23
    • 31 Jan - 6.5 km moderate run
    • 02 Feb - 2 sets of 5 x 225m hills (hard). 7.5 km total running
    • 03 Feb - 12 x 40 seconds hard, 30 seconds recovery jog. Plus 4 km additional running

    Week 12
    Got a head cold all week. Very hard to get motivated to go out but once going I wasn't too bad.
    • 05 Feb - 4.75 km easy - 17:56 mins
    • 06 Feb - 3 x 4 minute tempos. 5 km total run in 19:26 mins
    • 07 Feb - 9.3 km easy run (5.5 km on grass) - 44 minutes
    • 09 Feb - 4 sets of 3 x 225m hills (a set = 1 easy (58 secs), 1 medium (54 secs), 1 hard (48 secs). No additional recovery between sets. 8.4 km total running
    On 09 Feb I got a cramp (I hope it was just a cramp) on my way home so had to walk the last 1/2 km or so.

    Almost through the cold now which threatened to go into my chest but looks to have abated so we'll see how the next week goes and if the cramp has recovered alright.

    The hills are not exactly the 40 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds recovery which I said I'll be trying more frequently from now on. Obviously I don't cover as much distance running up hills either but I'm hoping from an endurance perspective they will still help a bit, since each of them are at least 45 seconds. The jog back for me to re-start is 1:20 so not hitting them as frequently as just a 30 second rest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    So I tried to ramp it up last week and although yesterday was supposed to be a rest day I'm still still feeling it a bit in the legs today. A long long walk with the family involving piggy-backs, carrying bikes (small bikes), pushing bikes etc. probably didn't help. It was such a nice day we were in no rush to head home.


    Week 13
    • 11 Feb - 4.75 km steady finishing hard - 17:06 mins .
      It looks like I might be on course to at least hit an intermediate goal here. That was to hit sub 17 minutes for my good old work lunchtime run, which I mentioned in my first post.
    • 12 Feb - 12 x (40 seconds hard, 30 seconds jog, 3.3 km approx covered). On grass. 3 km additional running. Found these tougher than the last set of these that I did. Although the last time was on a path and not grass which might explain it a little.
    • 13 Feb - 9.3 km (5.5 km on grass) medium run - 41:30 minutes
    • 14 Feb - Rest
    • 15 Feb - 4 x 400 m (74, 76, 76, 75 secs), 6 x 100 m strides, 1 X 800 m (85 secs/lap), 4 x 100 m strides
      I visited a track for this (Claremount stadium in Navan.) Hadn't run on a track since my secondary school days so it was a nice novelty. Plus it was great to get some accurate distances and times for some of the sets that I did.
      The 400s were at my 5 minute mile pace. I feel I was at my current limit with those times in terms of speed but was happy with the consistency in the times.
      The strides were messy enough TBH and I wasn't completing the full 100 m on the latter ones due to fatigue.
      Determined to put another marker down on my track visit though I decided to follow up with an 800 m which wasn't entirely planned. I set my target at 10 seconds more per lap and managed to hit them albeit with a hard last 30 m on the last lap.
    • 16 Feb - 25 minutes easy run (4.5 km approx)
    • 17 Feb - Unplanned 2.5 hour trek with family.


    I'm probably going to go back to playing a bit of football this week so I'm not sure what sort of structure the training will take. We shall see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭ Sacksian


    So I tried to ramp it up last week and although yesterday was supposed to be a rest day I'm still still feeling it a bit in the legs today. A long long walk with the family involving piggy-backs, carrying bikes (small bikes), pushing bikes etc. probably didn't help. It was such a nice day we were in no rush to head home.


    Week 13
    • 11 Feb - 4.75 km steady finishing hard - 17:06 mins .
      It looks like I might be on course to at least hit an intermediate goal here. That was to hit sub 17 minutes for my good old work lunchtime run, which I mentioned in my first post.
    • 12 Feb - 12 x (40 seconds hard, 30 seconds jog, 3.3 km approx covered). On grass. 3 km additional running. Found these tougher than the last set of these that I did. Although the last time was on a path and not grass which might explain it a little.
    • 13 Feb - 9.3 km (5.5 km on grass) medium run - 41:30 minutes
    • 14 Feb - Rest
    • 15 Feb - 4 x 400 m (74, 76, 76, 75 secs), 6 x 100 m strides, 1 X 800 m (85 secs/lap), 4 x 100 m strides
      I visited a track for this (Claremount stadium in Navan.) Hadn't run on a track since my secondary school days so it was a nice novelty. Plus it was great to get some accurate distances and times for some of the sets that I did.
      The 400s were at my 5 minute mile pace. I feel I was at my current limit with those times in terms of speed but was happy with the consistency in the times.
      The strides were messy enough TBH and I wasn't completing the full 100 m on the latter ones due to fatigue.
      Determined to put another marker down on my track visit though I decided to follow up with an 800 m which wasn't entirely planned. I set my target at 10 seconds more per lap and managed to hit them albeit with a hard last 30 m on the last lap.
    • 16 Feb - 25 minutes easy run (4.5 km approx)
    • 17 Feb - Unplanned 2.5 hour trek with family.


    I'm probably going to go back to playing a bit of football this week so I'm not sure what sort of structure the training will take. We shall see.

    That seems like a lot for one week - but running the 400s on a track gives you the most accurate idea of what a sub-5 minute mile entails. I actually don't think you're that far away from it.

    If you can get back to the track, take the opportunity. 10 x 400m off 90s -60s standing rest would be a classic (but challenging) mile prediction workout.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    It might have been a little too much, although I do like to feel like I've given myself a good workout when I head to bed of an evening. I always struggled to take the easy runs easy but that wasn't a problem last week. I think I got a bit excited with the milder weather too.

    Is that 10 x 400m @ 90 seconds with 60 seconds rest? Can you predict an actual mile time off the back of that if it's completed successfully?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭ Sacksian


    It might have been a little too much, although I do like to feel like I've given myself a good workout when I head to bed of an evening. I always struggled to take the easy runs easy but that wasn't a problem last week. I think I got a bit excited with the milder weather too.

    Is that 10 x 400m @ 90 seconds with 60 seconds rest? Can you predict an actual mile time off the back of that if it's completed successfully?

    I'd have been the same with the easy running, but I naturally slowed down on easy runs when I was doing more in the rest of the week.

    The session is 10 x 400m @ your goal time (75s) and I'd start with 90s standing recovery in between. If you're still hitting 75s for 400m halfway through, then you can cut the recovery or go harder but don't bank of being able to do that.

    The classic predictor workout has just 60s rest in between the 400s but I think that's very, very hard (I'd find it as hard as a race to be honest) so you should see how you get on with 90s and, for a first go, I'd recommend going out with the intention of doing 8. Even better if you start with a couple of 76s and finish with a couple of faster 400s (that'll tell you something about where you are in terms of strength to hold that pace over a mile).

    You obviously have the base speed to run a 5-minute mile but having the strength to hold it for 4 laps of the track is what the other stuff during the week will help with. And, if you wanted to set yourself longer term goals in the mile or middle distance, you'd be looking at more of that stuff than lots more 400m or 800m intervals.

    Even if you struggle with the 10 x 400s, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I don't think I ever managed 10 x 400s off 60s at my mile pace - the predictor suggested a slower time than I actually ran. I found 6 x 600s at mile pace off 2mins standing rest easier - less volume and more rest. You'll figure out what works best for you after a few more sessions (and races).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    So I went back to the old football last week and I didn't manage any long runs unfortunately but here's what I did -


    Week 14
    • 18 Feb - 15 x 40 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy on grass. Covered 4 km during this exercise plus 2.5 km additional running.
    • 19 Feb - Football training As luck would have it, I arrived back in time for a team "fitness test". I wouldn't class it as a proper test from a footballing perspective as it was really just a constant running exercise. The goal was to run as far as you could in 12 minutes. I'd no timekeeper until I was told there was 30 seconds left so was holding back. Anyway, fully togged on a heavy pitch I covered exactly 3 kms in 12 minutes. I reckon I'd have been at least another 200 m further on if I had an idea of the time. Anyway as was it worked out at 4 mins/km. After training I did 8x100 m strides.
    • 21 Feb - 3.5 km run moderate - 13:24
      The day before a match but I thought I'd better keep up a little bit of running.
    • 22 Feb - Reserve Match
      Glad I went for the run the night before as the manager rewarded those that had been training for the last couple of months. A couple of us older lads were left on the bench. 3 of us came on with 20 minutes left. We went from 6 points down to winning by 10 in those 20 minutes. We all made an impact. Can't beat the reserve leagues :D
    • 23 Feb - 12 x 225 m hills (41 - 44 secs per hill. 1:30 recovery). 8.5 km total running

    Not counting the match or training aside from the fitness test, I did around 22 total kms (I think) for the week. I'm hoping the longer hills and hard intervals will still stand to me though.

    Into this week (Week 15) and I've visited the track again to try those 10 x 400s, so I'll post how they went next week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭ Sacksian


    Some mile options in the next few months:

    Indoor mile next Tuesday in Abbotstown. You may even be the fastest person in the race! Great venue and open to all:

    https://www.nationalsportscampus.ie/nialive - Mile, March 5th

    If you can, have a go. I don't think there's a better motivation for training than the exhilaration of a track race - mainly because you'll want to go faster next time! You'll know what you need to improve and how much you want to. You can even have a pop at an 800 while you're down there.

    ALSAA out by the airport have an open mile on the 9th April at 7:30pm - €5 - not sure if they get many sub-5 miles though.

    And there's an Open Track & Field meet in Cushinstown in early summer too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    Sacksian wrote: »
    Some mile options in the next few months:

    Don't tempt me Frodo. :pac:

    I've usually got football training on Tuesday nights but... Are those indoor events in Abbotstown running every two weeks or are they ending soon?

    Looking at the results there looks to be an obvious difference in the standard between the 1,500 and the mile races. No one ran under 5 minutes in the last two 1 mile races so there wouldn't be anyone I could try and hang on to (even though I don't think I'm there yet myself either). But the thought of having an actual race again is very tempting at this stage.

    Might as well post this now as I was pretty chuffed afterwards. I was back at the track on Wednesday gone to try those 10 x 400s. Here's how it went (rounding up to the nearest second):
    74, 90 rest
    75, 90 rest
    74, 90 rest
    75, 90 rest
    74, 90 rest
    74, 90 rest
    75, 60 rest (feeling like my heart rate was settling quicker than the 90 seconds I decided to shorten the recovery from here on to just 60)
    74, 60 rest
    75, 60 rest
    72, Finish

    So I hit my times thankfully. I find these type of runs certainly take me out of my comfort zone particularly the last 150 m. For example I don't think I could run 10 x 400s at 73 secs with 90 rest yet because of the extra degree of effort required. I can feel I'm almost at my current limit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭ Sacksian


    That's really great going - very impressive, and you should find an extra few seconds when it comes to a race. But, you'll never know until you do...

    I think next week is the last one in the current series until they start again towards the end of the year. You could always run a 1500m. 4:39 is a sub-5 equivalent and there'll be plenty faster than that!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    Right, I'm going to register for the NIA mile race tomorrow seeing as its the last one for a while and I haven't run my own mile route for February so am overdue a guage of where I'm at.

    I've had the perfect prep too - a family reunion on Saturday night/Sunday morning means I am now into day 2 of a hangover :rolleyes:

    I'll have to drag myself out for a light jog later just to do something. I'm just hoping the immune system didn't take too much of a bashing that I don't pick up a cold before tomorrow night.


    Last week was not as intense as the previous, that's for sure
    Week 15
    • 26 Feb 2019 - Football training A disappointing training it has to be said. More talking done than actual effort. Training day wasted.
    • 27 Feb 2019 - 10 x 400s (75 second target) at the track. Finished with 6x60 m strides Times for the 400s posted already
    • 28 Feb 2019 - 9.5 km easy run (7.5 km on grass) - 47:20 mins
    • 02 Mar 2019 - 3 sets of 10 x 30m hill sprints - 6.5-7 secs per sprint, 20 secs recovery. 3 minute jog between sets Hadn't done any sprint work in a while so wanted to put some in. I'd like to keep a bit of zip for football purposes too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    So I rang to book a slot for the mile race. The nice lady on the phone said "oh very good. There's a world record attempt in that race too". I was having visions of being lapped a couple of times. And that wasn't going to be much benefit for my time with having to get out of the way to let others pass through.

    I felt I made the right decision and went off to training instead last night. When I came home I decided to look up how the record attempt went. Getting a bit of a surprise.

    It was Shane Healy going for the M50 mile record which is 4:23. He didn't make the record but I should have asked a few more questions on the phone instead of running a mile in the opposite direction :pac: The race might not have been as chastising as I first feared.

    I definitely regret not going now but there'll be other chances again I suppose. It would have been an honour to have shared a track with him too. The Irish Examiner had a nice article on him last month-

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/sport/the-big-interview-shane-healy--from-an-orphanage-to-greatest-show-on-earth-904867.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭ IvoryTower


    i think there was a lot of traffic in the race, we will likely have a mile race in Drogheda during the graded series and then the Dublin graded as well may have one. Timetables still to be confirmed for both


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    I'm still here after a couple of set backs. I'm pointing to this as the point where things started to go awry
    I've had the perfect prep too - a family reunion on Saturday night/Sunday morning means I am now into day 2 of a hangover :rolleyes:

    If I go into a little more detail on that entry, on the day

    This was my log entry on the day
    • 02 Mar 2019 - 3 sets of 10 x 30m hill sprints - 6.5-7 secs per sprint, 20 secs recovery. 3 minute jog between sets Hadn't done any sprint work in a while so wanted to put some in. I'd like to keep a bit of zip for football purposes too.

    I was up at 7 am that morning and got my run in early. Spent the day doing chores around the house and town before setting off for the reunion at 7 pm that evening. On the hour drive down I was feeling fit for the bed but fought through. Head didn't touch a pillow until 5:30 am and even then only manged 3 hours sleep.

    The week of March 4th I could feel a cold coming on but tried to run through it. It didn't help and I was wiped out shortly after as it got into my chest. This was followed up with a spell of ill health. I alluded to a previous condition it in my OP. Un-diagnosed to this day despite scans, medicals etc. I wasn't expecting a recurrence but it looks like the trigger was stressing my body too much. I'm blaming not giving myself time to recover as opposed to training too hard. Not to detract from the main point of the thread, I'm okay again and had been logging away regardless of how little I did, even during blank weeks.

    So anyway, will update the log with a bit of back fill at some stage this week. I'm not yet back to where I was I'd say and it was a struggle to get going again but I'm finding the enthusiasm returning. I'd like to fit in the more runs but football still dictates otherwise for now.

    My mile target is taking a backseat for a couple of weeks as I'm going to focus in doing the Braveheart run in Trim first in a couple of weeks. My first race since 2007, health permitting.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ Dubh Geannain


    28 May '19 - 1 mile - 05:15

    All has not been lost in the interim at least. I'd a niggle to at least go out and set a time to see where I'm at so feeling happy with that.

    The trend (if you'd call it that) is in the right direction
    • 25 Nov '18- 1 mile - 05:31
    • 17 Dec '18 - 1 mile - 05:29
    • 30 Jan '19 - 1 mile - 05:23
    • 28 May '19 - 1 mile - 05:15

    I reckon if I'd managed to get out around the end of February before my set back I'd have set a lower PB by now but it is what it is.


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