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Breaking 17:00 in a 5k Forum Index -> Mid-Packers

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PostPosted: 09/10/06 - 12:09    Post subject: Breaking 17:00 in a 5k
I'm a sophomore in highschool, currently running as the number one runner on varsity cross country. We've had two meets so far this year, and my times were 17:25 and 17:22. I'm really looking to break 17:00, and I just know it's in there somewhere, I'm positive I can do it. So I have a few questions. Do you know of anything that REALLY helps you improve? Does putting in lots of extra miles really help? Whenever I go on long runs, say 8 or 9 miles, when I get done I never feel like I have benefitted from it, because I wasn't running fast enough to work my legs or breath very hard. Another question, what do you eat before a race? I've always loaded up on tons of carbs, and lately I've been trying to get things with potassium and sodium, for electrolytes. Are there any other things I need?

My workout now includes hard/easy alternating days most of the time, fartlek, tempo runs, 400m repeats, 1000m repeats, hill repeats, and occasional distance runs. I do crunches and push ups everyday and I also try to bike whenever I have the time, which is only once a week now that school has started.
Gone Fishin
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Joined: 15 May 2002
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Location: Lake Wobegon, MN
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PostPosted: 09/12/06 - 12:42    Post subject:
For you to race well NOW, the only thing that'll REALLY help would be to go back in time.
I kid you not. Autumn racing is determined by what you did in the spring and summer.
That being said, let me explain something called "training effect". Your fitness and endurance are improved over time by the series of break-down and build-up events that we call training. On a microscopic level, you are actually stressing and damaging the muscles, ligaments and tendons. But your recovery days and easy runs are where that damage is built up stronger. It's a long-term process. And studies have shown on average it's a 3-week process. That's right. The training you do now is going to have the most benefit when it's built upon and get to a point 3-weeks down the road. So that 9-miler you just ran isn't going to 'benefit' you for 3-weeks until the "training effect" has taken it's course in terms of recovery and appropriate training on top of it.
So think of it as a series of 3-week cycles where your training needs those building blocks to build upon itself and incrementally ramp up your fitness, endurance and ultimately your speed.
Yep, that means for racing in September, it's dependent on the workouts you did in August, July, June, May, etc. As you look back at the summer, how solid was your mileage? Did you build upon each week so as to use the training 3-weeks prior as a stepping stone?

Bottomline is in the complex world of distance running, there's no quick fix. Your racing today is based on the last few months. Right now, you're certainly getting good quality training in from what you've posted. Again, if you can keep up that intensity and commitment, really, you're already building toward your winter or spring racing. And that training then will build toward your summer and so on to next fall when without a doubt, a dedication and continuation of what you're doing will get you to sub-17.
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Joined: 11 May 2003
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Location: Coquitlam, British Columbia
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PostPosted: 09/13/06 - 09:57    Post subject:
what jrjo said...I assume you are heading or in your competitive season right now. Whatever base mileage you built up over the summer will affect the degree of improvement in your hard workouts and ultimately your race performances. Doing extra mileage right now won't help much and even be detrimental to your performances...since the emphasis right now is race specific/sharpening type workouts.
You have to be consistent and progressive in distance running. Save the extra mileage for next spring or summer. By gradually building up your training load through the years, you will soon become a better, stronger runner.
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PostPosted: 09/16/06 - 20:44    Post subject:
hill repeats and speed work.
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: 09/20/06 - 21:23    Post subject:
I think there is a definite possibility that you will go sub 17:00 in the 5k. Every runner is different and you need to find what is best for you. For me doing long run 10+ miles seems to benefit me a lot. Good luck on your quest to 17:00 I'm on my way to 17:30 by the end of the season.

P.S. I usually eat pasta two days before and eat like eggs the night before the race. I also drink 3+ liters of water per day
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