I posted earlier about a “no brainer” way to add a little speed work into your running…. here is another easy way to work on speed without all the thinking. It’s like having an audio coach with you to TELL you when to go fast and when to slow down.
It’s called the Fastest 5k Program from Running Mate and IT – IS – AWESOME!!!! I started it 3 weeks before my first marathon when the tapering was driving me to insanity. I needed SOMETHING to do so I started the program.
So what is it? It’s a 4 week program, 3 days a week in mp3 format. You listen to Todd coach you through a warmup, various speed drills, and a cool down. He explains a lot of the technical stuff without making it too technical. Basically it’s like having a running coach running with you telling you to GO.
When I started the program in November my 3.1 mile fastest time on a certain course was 29:10 (9:21 pace) – I started the Fastest 5k Program and at the end of week 2 in the program I ran the same 3.1 mile strip in 25:21 (8:10 pace)!!!! Then the marathon came and it got cold so I quit.
It’s time to get back into it so I’m going to chart my time progress on this post to keep myself accountable. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of speed since I’ve been doing more longer distances and I’m ready to get my faster legs back!! If you want to run a faster 5k, 10k, whatever – this is the program for you!!! You couldn’t get 1 hour of live coaching time for this price – it’s a STEAL!
And now for my (hopeful) progress
PLEASE NOTE: I had to change the schedule around based on when my hubby was home to watch the kid, weather, etc, so my “days” may be off, but I still got in each workout – just on different days.
W1D1 :: Time Trial :: 3.1 mile time trial in 26:44 (8:37 avg pace) :: Link to garmin report
Notes: Ouch. Not going to lie that was hard. Ran by myself and it’s SO hard to “push” yourself when you have no one to tell you to keep going. I started out too fast for me and ended up struggling a bit for the rest of the time, but managed to push through knowing I was going to have to post this on here hahaha. See?? Getting it in writing works for motivation!
W1D2 :: Hard Run :: Covered 3.01 miles in 26:15 (8:44 avg pace) :: Link to garmin report
Notes: I did this workout on a track today mainly because I had friends who were going to be there and I needed motivation to get started. My time included my 5 min (.5 mile) warmup jog, 4 1min walk breaks and a recovery 5min cooldown run so I’m very pleased with the time/pace!! If I took out the 5min warmup my avg pace was 8:30 including the 4 1min walk breaks. Woo hoo!
W1D3 :: Non-running activity :: 1 hour Centergy class, 10 min on the elliptical machine
Notes: Centergy is a yoga/pilates combo and TOTALLY works your core, arms, legs, balance, and flexibility. Love this as a non-running exercise!!
W1D4 :: Hard Run :: Covered 2.62 miles in 22:30 (8:35 avg pace) :: Link to garmin report
Notes: Today I did the warmup (and added a little because I just wasn’t feeling “warm” yet and then reset my watch so I could see the average pace for my speed work without the warmup/cooldown pace averaging in. It was pretty hot outside and I did this on the 3mile strip with hills (not the track like the first workout) I wasn’t feeling it but worked it out and made it through.
W1D5 :: Rest Day!!
W1D6 :: Long Run Day :: 10.09 miles :: Link to garmin report
Notes: The long run was supposed to be 40 minutes – but I’m trying to maintain half/marathon training so I went longer.
W1D7 :: Rest Day!!
W2D1 :: Hard Run :: Covered 2 miles in 16:01 (8:00 avg pace) :: Link to garmin report
Notes: Was supposed to wake up early since today it’s supposed to get into the 90’s temp wise, but started late. Mexican sat heavy on my stomach and Todd chimes in with a spiel about how if you just aren’t feeling a workout he’d rather you take an extra day off…. I thought about it, but decided to suck it up and ended up cranking out a nice pace!!! Even added one more sprint at the end to make it an even 2 miles! Started a little too fast on the warmup but slowed it back and walked the cooldown
W2D2 :: Short Run (2omin) Day :: Covered 2 miles in 20:08 (10:00ish avg pace)
Notes: I had to push my daughter in the jogging stroller which I haven’t done in MONTHS in 82degree weather…. It was not pretty. My overall pace isn’t bad for pushing her but I felt MISERABLE.
W2D3 :: Non-running Activity :: 50 min Tae Bo (Billy Blanks – love him!)
Notes: I did my old favorite DVD Fat Blasting workout from Billy Blanks. My knees weren’t used to some of the moves and my non-running muscles were screaming at me but I did it!
W2D4 :: Long Run :: 4.5 miles in 52:01
Notes: Seriously – I think I’m dying. Granted I was pushing the jogging stroller but this was a HARD run and ended up walking a bit. It was hot and muggy outside, but despite that I was just struggling.
W2D5 :: Hard Run :: GARMIN DIED!!!!
Notes: Well, before I even started my garmin died on me :( I think it’s pretty much toast now! I used my motoactv the best I could – but I had to stop it so it messed up pacing. I tried to keep with the speed portion and ran almost all the sets which was about 2 miles. Rough workout – did as much as I could, but I definitely had to walk some. Even had to pause for a good minute just to catch my breath. No clue what my average pace was or even time for that matter :(
W2D6 :: Rest Day!!
W2D7 :: Hard Run :: 5K Race (I couldn’t resist this one!!) :: 3.1 in 25:32 (8:14 pace)
Notes: Supposed to be a rest day but I had to change up my schedule because my hubby was out of town and I can’t do speed work pushing the jogging stroller…. and I had a RACE I just couldn’t turn down with friends!! AND although it wasn’t a PR it is my 2nd fastest 5k in my life!! AND (again) it’s faster than my 3.1 time trial!! I’ll take that :)
W3D1 :: Rest
Notes: Since I did the 5k yesterday I figured I’d use it as my hard run and take today off.
W3D2 :: Non-Running Activity :: Insanity and Misc Workouts
Notes: It was raining today so I searched youtube for videos from the Insanity series and did 6+ min of one of those, then the “worlds fastest workout (4 min)” twice, then did some other crunches, weights, squats and other stuff
W3D3 :: Short Run :: 2 miles in 18:54 (9:27 avg pace)
Notes: Had to push the kiddo today so it was a bit slower than if I was running solo – but one of my fastest stroller runs lately so that was good ;)
W3D4 :: Rest Day :: 1.75 miles anyway since it was National Running Day
Notes: It was National Running Day and I KNOW it was a rest day – but I did 4 slow laps with my friends to celebrate. Flat course and nothing hard… just had to get out there :)
W3D5 :: Hard Run :: 3.03 miles in 24:13 (8:00 avg pace) :: Link to garmin report
Notes: YAY my garmin is fixed! I totally forgot what week I was on, and I was headed to the track anyway – so I did the W2D4 workout again. I thought it sounded familiar haha – but I struggled through it last time so no big deal that I did it again. I ran my FASTEST MILE TODAY!!! 7:23!!!! I was thrilled! And obviously happy with my pace. I did have to walk one of the 2 min recovery jog sessions. But being the nerd I am I subtracted the distance and time from that session and if I had kept going it would have been a 7:41 avg pace overall!!! 2.89 in 22:15! Next time I’m DETERMINED not to walk.
W3D6 :: Rest Day!!
W3D7 :: Long Run :: 18 miles!!!
Notes: Ok, so 18miles isn’t really in the plans for the Fastest 5k – but my friend needed a buddy and I was itching for a LOONG run so I did it… I’m a little sore in my hips so taking tomorrow off…. but the 18 miles felt OH SO GOOD!!!!
W4D1 :: Rest Day!
W4D2 :: Short Run :: 3.17 miles in 27:32 (8:41 avg pace)
Notes: This is faster than my previous 3ish mile runs so I’m feeling like I’m getting faster for sure! I usually do 3 mile runs at a 9:30ish pace. It was even hot and humid out- but the run felt good!!! Still nervous for Saturday’s 5k – my hips are still a little sore and I’m supposed to do speed tomorrow!! We will see.
W4D3 :: Hard Run :: 2.86 miles in 24:27 (8:33 avg pace)
Notes: I struggled with this. First shadow run set averaged at an 8:07min mile, 2nd shadow run set averaged at a 9min mile – but both times I was pretty close if not better on getting back to the starting spot. I bailed on the 3rd set because it was HOT.
W4D4 :: Supposed to be a Long run day – but I did Jillian Michaels Shred instead
Notes: Wasn’t feeling a long run today.
W4D5 :: Rest Day!
W4D6 :: Rest Day!
W4D6 :: RACE DAY!!! New 5k PR!!! Official gun time: 23:59 (7:44 avg pace!!!)
Notes: I actually had NEGATIVE SPLITS!! Last mile was 7:35 pace! The slight downhill helped – but my time was good enough for 1st Place Overall Female!!! WOOT!!!!
I’m done with the program, but today I hit the track and logged my fastest mile to date!! 7:06!!!!! I ran a 1 mile warmup and then did .25 mile laps. I messed up my watch and the laps so I’ll give the breakdown below:
- 1st lap (.25 miles): 5:45 pace!!! OMG
- 2nd lap (.25 miles): 7:15 pace
- 3rd lap (.25 miles): Recovery lap 8:24 pace
- 4th lap (.25 miles): 7:13 pace (I still was “recovering” for half of this lap haha)
Final Thoughts: Do I think this program helped? Without a doubt!!!! And the good news is I can keep doing it and hopefully get faster!! I plan to use various workouts from the plan at least once a week to incorporate speed.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the MRTT discount by going to www.fastest5k.com/mrtt!