QUESTION: I am finding the tempo runs and intervals HARD!
Feels tough to motivate yourself to get out there when you know you have such a tough session ahead – any tips? Loving the training programme in general though.
ANSWER: Glad you’re enjoying the run plan, and you’re right, if you know the session ahead will hurt its hard to get out on your own!Tempo runs or Sweetspot runs really do bring on 10km and 21km times but the key is NOT to do them harder than around 90% of threshold. This is why you are finding them probably too hard and dreading them.
If your 5km time was 21.40 (4.20 per km) – the threshold to set into Training Peaks under run pace settings is not 4.20 it’s that less 5% = 4:35 per km for threshold efforts. So your tempo pace will be more like 4.40 – 45 per km!
Slow runs – let’s slow these down to 5.30 – 6.00 per km, or whichever Z2 TP creates under using 7 training zones.
QUESTION: Is it bad that I’m doing the yoga and pilates sessions immediately after the tempo runs?
ANSWER: Yoga is a ‘support’ sessions so it’s OK to do this after any Tempo or interval training. However the pilates is more an activation session, these are actually quite good to do before a Tempo run.
Strength sessions should ideally be 4 hours apart from your Tempo run.
QUESTION: 8 x 1km is tough. My form went to pieces on reps 7 and 8 last week. Is it appropriate to split the last few reps in half to focus on quality whilst maintaining pace?
ANSWER: If your form is going, then you’re pushing the earlier ones too hard. Watch your HR, build your effort rather than going all out. It doesn’t help to split the interval in half (500m). Instead, we would do highly quality 6 x 1 km
QUESTION: Completed wk1 then picked up a calf strain. R&R + loads of S&C on calves. Just starting back running now and keen to restart as enjoyed the hard sets. How long would you recommend steady running before starting the harder reps?
ANSWER: Firstly, you need to be careful. Yes, you’ve missed out and yes you can’t jump straight back into the plan as it is. We would recommend doing 7 – 10 day of easy running as much as you can manage, building frequency, no more than 4 runs per week.
If all good and you can hop on one foot without pain, you can then start on the intervals again. Make sure you warm up well and you could consider seeing a physio or sports therapist.
Calf and Achilles problems often start from the lower back. Sitting at home during the pandemic has caused a lot of biomechanical issues, so, pay attention to full body stretching – yoga is good for this. Most of all – listen to your body.
QUESTION: Can I pause my plan? I had my COVID jab and it’s knocked me for 6
ANSWER: We’ve only had 1 or 2 athletes to date with this issue, but that’s likely to increase as the vaccine programme progresses. One participant reported he was knocked a bit for 2 days, a bit like when you get flu, we would advise avoiding intense exercise.
Instead, try easy sessions and watch your HR – this is KEY – Keep in Zone 2. The body is fighting something foreign – listen to it. You may miss a few key runs, but will come back stronger and then bounce back in when things in yourself have settled. Good luck!
Also see our 10K Challenge Resources