Saturday, 9 February 2013

5km challenge: Week 4 update

So, before this week, I was somewhat lacking in motivation. I knew this would happen. This week has really just been about getting on with it. But thats one of the great thing about goals - they're great at increasing persistence.

Taking 2 seconds off the splits I used for the first 3 weeks was guided by my final splits from sessions I have done so far. I feel that if I can complete the 1st week of sessions on that split, I can get through the next 2 weeks of each phase (they are only a little longer, and its more of a psychological barrier than physical one).

10 x 500m on 1.52 - 1 min rest

4 x 1250m on 1.52 - 4 mins rest
Initially the 10 x 500m on 1.52 felt too easy and I thought I'd undersold myself. That feeling soon dissipated towards the end of the session though ;-) Again the 4 x 1250m were suitably challenging, but its important to feel that. Its hard to describe, but in subjective terms, working around your threshold (which these sessions are designed to do) should feel something between 'comfortably uncomfortable' and 'quite uncomfortable'. Generally painful is probably a little bit too far above threshold, not in the sense that it won't force a desired adaptation, but spend too long there and you pay for it in increased recovery time.

4500m 'hard' on 1.54

I was considering only doing the 4500m straight session on 1.55 but decided to extend the 2 second decrease in split and go for 1.54.  I'd managed a 1.55.1 split for 5km in my baseline test and know I've been improving so thought it should be ok. Conversely I didn't want it to be too hard, as being in a state to complete the next session of the programme is vital. It was just about right.

Peak Training Effect of all sessions so far - I'm aiming for between 3-4.

It was good to confirm this with my suunto training effect score which I think is a really valuable tool. Every session from the Pete Plan lite 2007 has given me a peak training effect score of between 3 and 4 for every session. Which is 'just about right'. Enough work to create continued physiological change, but not too much to leave extended recovery. If I had kept the splits the same as the first three weeks, it is likely that I wouldn't be doing quite enough work to continue improving. You can see below a bit more precisely what the scores mean.

Suunto Training Effect guide
So onwards I row. Not missed a session yet, and I'm a third of the way there. Consistency is key for me - and as an update - if I extended the 4.5km split I completed today, I'd have taken 15seconds off my 5km time already. Its hugely unlikely I can keep the gains constant, but I'm just going to try to focus on each session and see where it takes me.

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