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Broken my 5 kilometers record

Yes, I have broken my 5 kilometers record. It was a little test if my training schedule is working, and the answer is yes.

I like to do a couple of tests each year to see if I am making any progression. Which tests, I will tell you another time, but the 5 kilometers test is one of them. And this morning was test morning.

80/20 training

My idea is to run a fast 5 kilometers 4 times a year. I do a type of training that goes by many names: 80/20 training, pyramid training, black and white training. Yes, I know, all those names stand for a slightly different approach. Yet, the big idea is the same. Do the biggest part of your training at an easy (slow) pace and a small part of your training at a high(er) pace.

If you like all this training stuff – I do – stay tuned, because I am going to talk a lot about it on this blog.

Running slow to run fast

A mistake I made in my first running life is that I was always running fast. Maybe not at my top speed, but at least at 80 percent of it. However, scientific research shows that you should run slow to run fast. Or at least, run slow a lot. Just in my defense; this is new science. When I started running, coaches and scientists had other ideas.

Science is one thing, my body is another thing. So I am testing this way of training on myself and on Matteo, a friend and Italian runner I am helping to run his first marathon; the Marathon of Florence.

Measuring is knowing

But how do you know if something is working? I mean, I can’t wait until the day of a big race to see if my schedule was indeed the right one, can I? So I test. Measuring is knowing.

The simplest test, and the most fun one, is of course running some other races. In my case a longer race each time. If I can go the distance, my training is working out. But I like to test a little more than that. So 4 times a year I run a fast 5 kilometers to see if I can beat my personal record.

I do the same loop around my house, to make it easier to compare the results. And all I want is to be a bit faster than last time. Which means, I don’t go all out.

Faster than 23 minutes

Today’s goal was a time faster than 23 minutes, my old 5 kilometers record. I succeeded. I ran 22 minutes and 47 seconds. The first 2 kilometers went pretty easy. Kilometer 3 was alright. Kilometer 4 I struggled. Yet, kilometer 5 I finished strong again. Mission accomplished.

I feel pretty happy with the result. Not so much with the struggling 4th kilometer, but so far I have mostly focused on distance. Not so much on speed. I do some interval work, but for now my focus is on endurance. On distance, so I do understand why it was hard to keep up the pace.

With that in mind, I think I can say that my training schedule is working. 18 September I will know for sure, but I will tell you about that tomorrow.

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