Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Not my own "personal" progression, but I'm talking about progression runs. I read about these in the recent issue of Runner's World, so I thought I'd give this a try. The basic idea here is finishing strong, or running negative splits. There are a lot of ways you can do this, but what I've done, so far, is started out at an "easy run" pace and increased pace every mile, until I'm finishing up at a tempo-run or interval pace.

Let me explain. I'm slow, as you know. (But I'm faster than I used to be! Quite a bit, actually!) My tempo runs are right around a 10 minute mile pace, maybe just a tad slower (10:05?). My intervals, as I've posted before, are in the low 9 minute pace. So for these runs, I've started out at easy pace (10:30) and increased speed every mile. Last Thursday I started at 10:30 and did one mile at that pace. Then I bumped it to 10:20 for a mile. And so on. I did this for 5 miles on the treadmill (so much easier to control pace on the treadmill!). My splits, so to speak, would look something like this:

10:30 (5.7 mph)
10:20 (5.8 mph)
10:10 (5.9 mph)
10:00 (6.0 mph)
9:50 (6.1 mph)

The total time for the 5 miles was 50:37, or a 10:07 average pace. About the same as a tempo run, but what I'm doing is training my legs to run fast when they're tired. Yesterday I did the same thing starting at 5.8 mph and going for four miles. The last mile I bumped up the speed again at the half mile point and again at the 3/4 mile point. Each time I also bumped up the incline on the TM, just for fun, so by the end of it all I was doing 6.4 mph (about 9:30 pace) at a 3% incline. :) Now THAT was fun! Hard, but fun!

I plan on doing something like this on my long runs, where I try and push it for the last, say, 3 miles of a 15 mile run. Since I haven't had a long run since the Ogden Marathon, I haven't been able to put this into practice yet. This Saturday, though, I will. It's my first Saturday without any plans since May 17th.

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