I thought I would share some training info that has helped me structure what I am doing lately... I read an interesting article about fading in pr's and approaches to distance running...
for example if my pr's were
1/2 marathon-never done
marathon- 3 flat
This shows fading as distance increases...There is an acceptable tolerance of fading as distance increases and this example falls outside of the limits.
"Think of it roughly like a clock face: Your one mile PR should be at 12, your 5k PR pace should be at quarter-past (+15 secs), your 10k PR should be at half-past (again, +15 secs), your HM PR should be at quarter-to (again + 15 secs), and your marathon PR should be once again at the top of the hour. (This also fits in with the old rule of thumb that your marathon PR pace should be mile PR pace + 60 secs/mile)"
This is obviously a rough rule of thumb but generally holds true give or take a few seconds and depending on strengths of the athlete.
The question is why... the answer is lack of proper aerobic training for each of the given distances... Now what should be done to rectify this and tighten up the pr's... It isn't as simple as simply slogging long slow miles.
two things can be wrong with poor aerobic training
1) Low mileage background in training
2) Whatever mileage being done is being run "too fast" (for performance level)
After examining what I have been doing, I've found that both were the case...
I was not doing nearly enough run volume to perform properly (not to mention bike and swim) but also, in my vanity, doing it much faster than would benefit me from an aerobic standpoint.
After reading articles on this method, I confirmed this with a friend who runs for Michigan State. I asked how he was training and he told me that his pr had dropped 50 seconds over the 5k using this training method. He was running slower than he ever had in training, while still maintaining his neuromuscular ability to run fast through strides, hills, and drills. The key for him was running slow enough for the training to be repeatable and every now and slightly push the upper limits of his "slow" pace. He wouldn't ever hit his LT or exceed it as this training becomes not repeatable. After doing this training with one workout at roughly race pace, he scored a pr of 30 seconds in his 5k (from 14:50 to 14:20).... I am beginning to think massive time spent at the track isn't the way to go about things.
I am starting this method hoping to tighten up my pr's and improve my aerobic ability. Just thought I would share as this is the time to try to break through plateaus.
The key for me will be logging miles with frequency, running at a pace that is repeatable, and every so often, stretching the limits of my aerobic pace... However, abandoning speed is not something that has worked for me and training all energy systems is crucial for racing. I will be doing hill work for strength and tabata sprints for top end speed. I will leave out extended efforts at LT pace for now and I'll let you know how the training progresses.
I am already handling more mileage than ever before and I have been using this approach for about 6 weeks. I also raced very well and have done almost no speed work or race pace efforts. Just some hills and some sprints (4 minutes worth a week).
For me, this marks the start of a journey and I think I am starting to piece the puzzle together. Hope it helps you too. Please ask if this is unclear as I kind of word vomited it out.