michiganxcrunner
Why am I so slow after base? And will it get better? 2/10/2013 7:19PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
During November, December, and January, I gradually increased mileage from 42mpw to 60 mpw. This was mostly easy running (~7min pace or below) except for a weekly long run, weekly 4 mile tempo, and strides.

Last weekend however, I ran a HORRIBLE 5k road race in 17:46 and decided I need speedwork again. So today I did some mile repeats, which ended up in the 5:30's. This is extremely slow considering my 5k PR is 16:43, 3200m PR is 10:05, and 4 mile tempo's are always ~5:40 pace.

Basically, I just can't seem to run anything at race pace anymore - despite what I thought was a solid winter of training. Granted, I was feeling crappy for both the 5k and mile repeats (digestive trouble)... but I definitely don't think that's an excuse for how slow they were.

Anyways, what's the deal with this? Should consistent speedwork get me back to racing shape, or am I just slow and hopeless for track season now?

Any input appreciated.
Pre is my favorite
RE: Why am I so slow after base? And will it get better? 2/10/2013 7:29PM - in reply to michiganxcrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Your tempos are way too fast. And you've neglected your speed for a while. Not good. Doing strides/track work will get it back for you, but next time you do "base" keep in touch with your speed. Find what works for you. Strides, 200s w/ full recovery, hills, etc. Use it or lose it.
britxckid
RE: Why am I so slow after base? And will it get better? 2/10/2013 7:34PM - in reply to michiganxcrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Relax, you may have just had a bad day, everyone has crappy races whre your legs just feel sluggish and with the mostly easy running you've been doing it race pace was perhaps abit of a shock to the system after fouding mostly on endurance. You probably should've waited with racing until you'd got some speedwork under your belt, these things don't happen overnight and cannot have helped your confidence.

But anyway, leave the racing for a bit, get 4 weeks or so of speedwork in now to build on the endurance you've already laid down. I would swap the long run for another speed session, either mile/half mile reps or another tempo. So at least 2 quality speed sessions per week, maybe eventually build up to 3 in a month or so with the easy running/strides in between. So 2 tempos and 1 reps or track session. I would also make the tempo bit longer; after all a 5k is basically 3 miles and you're only going marginlly beyond that, tempo is really 10k pace or therebouts so definitely try and work it up to 5-6miles so you have that speed endurance buffer in shorter races.
Hope this helps and good luck! You're probably just a bit rusty, 7min/mile and below for easy running sounds a decent pace.
Mind Of A Toy
RE: Why am I so slow after base? And will it get better? 2/10/2013 7:41PM - in reply to michiganxcrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
3 months of basework is far too long. Base periods should last no longer than 6 weeks. After that, you should do another 6-10 weeks of race specific work before getting yourself into races. You should continue to BUILD mileage along with doing two workouts per week.

My advice is start NOW with your speed workouts, and taper properly for outdoor track. During the racing season, you should be running about 30-40mpw per week, even less the week of your goal race.
Karma Police
RE: Why am I so slow after base? And will it get better? 2/10/2013 7:55PM - in reply to michiganxcrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Why not try say 5 x 1km repeats at 5:20 mile pace, 90" rest, then next session make it 4 x 1200s at the same pace with 2 mins recovery?

I agree with the others though that a base period of 3 months of easy running, long runs and one tempo a week is perhaps old-fashioned. Maybe do this for a month, but you need to work in longer intervals, fartlek and vVo2max work, even in base period.