It’s 6 weeks today until my first race of the season and today’s training run was a big step in the right direction. Today was my first pace training session of the year and started with a comfortable 10x4mins at Threshold Pace with 60 second recoveries. The actual pace of the drills was well off where I want to be but all I was looking for was to get the basics of the drills right and finish the run feeling like I could do more. I was pleased that I managed to accomplish both tasks.
For those who’ve maybe never tried this, it’s where you set the pace in relation to how you feel rather than hit a specific pace as directed by an app, magazine or pace calculator. I was fortunate to attend a couple of workshops in 2009 delivered by double Olympian Liz Yelling, and her husband Martin, where I was taught the concept of this style of training which I believe is used by elite athletes. Adding these drills into my training has made the biggest difference to my running and is what I teach to my clients and Running Club members.
Threshold Pace is roughly 85% of your top pace and you should be able to manage 3-4 words between breaths. It’s roughly the point just before lactic acid kicks in and slows you down naturally when running at speed. Performing these drills help raise this level a bit higher so you can run faster for longer. During the first season performing these drills, I hit 7 pbs in 9 races and have gone on to beat some of these times again in the last year.
The plan is to increase the number of reps of the drills, increase the duration and so I’ll be back on form, closer to where I want to be. With no marathon to aim for until late September, I’ve not been training as often as I would normally do at this stage so this is what I need to work on and fit some quality runs in during the week.
A pb in the first race isn’t really the aim but it would be nice and I’m certainly going to push to get it. Just now, it’s all about putting the pieces of the jigsaw together to create the picture I have in my head of where I want to be.