One of my favorite things about where we live is the abundance of preservation land and trails. You almost have to try not to run on trails in our neighborhood.It’s given me a keen appreciation of the benefits (and ankle twisting dangers!) of adding trails into my running routine.
So while I have been slowly exploring the local trails and adding more off-road miles to my training plan, I had yet to run an actual trail race. This past weekend, I changed all that. With a new 5k trail race just a few minutes from the house, how could I not sign up?
Before I transition to triathlons for the summer months, I have one month and one more 5k (you can read my recaps of the previous three here, here and here) to tackle in the spring season. My times have been inching downward and my goal is to get back under that 20 minute barrier. I’ve written in the past about the mental and physical demands of running a fast 5k. Now, I want to talk tactically about the 4 key workouts for a faster 5k that I’ll be using this final month of training.
These 4 workouts target speed and pacing, the two critical factors in executing a successful 5k race strategy.
I ran my third 5k of the year this past Sunday. Hunter’s Run is a local 5k in Medfield to raise awareness for organ donation and is run in honor of a boy in my daughter’s class who’s had two double lung transplants. This is the third year for the race and it remains a mostly small, local affair, which is fine. Not every race needs to be a big production. You can use smaller races to work on specific things in your training.
One the great things about the running culture in New England is that no matter what time of year it is you can find a race any weekend if you are determined. Many people are training for Boston and weekend winter races are a great way to stay motivated and get some speed work done.
Despite this, it’s right around St. Patrick’s day that really feels like the beginning of the spring (it might still be in the 20s or 30s but as long as it’s not actively snowing we call it spring up here) season really gets going with the all the various shamrock-inspired 5k’s getting people to slough off their winter hibernation and get back in their running shoes.
I am no different. This past Saturday I ran in my second 5k of the year.
This week’s parenting challenge has been to try to figure out the borders between shyness, embarrassment and proper manners.
Michelle is not an introvert and has a hard time understanding Cecilia’s reactions and reticence to certain situations. For me, on the other hand, it provokes a sense of deja vu.
I was almost aggressively shy as a kid, especially with new people or unfamiliar situations. I still am. Cocktail parties are my worst nightmare. I still probably get many of the same feelings she has, I’ve just become much more adept at faking it than the average 8 year old.
So, while I feel her pain and anxiety, this also doesn’t excuse rude behavior. Putting your head down and not greeting someone or not making eye contact isn’t shy, it’s rude. I also don’t want to force her to be more socially outgoing than is comfortable for her. How do I help her?
Why do so many parenting decisions want to make you drink? I do know that a tumbler or whiskey isn’t the answer for her.
It doesn’t matter if it’s mid-January or mid-June, one thing I love about New England and it’s running culture is that you can find a road race every weekend of the year and New Year’s Day, with sun, but negative wind chills, is no exception.
It was really cold, but the anticipation and waiting was worse than the actual running. Yes, your feet felt like rocks, the sweat froze to your face and your nose hairs rattled with each breath, but you were moving and it was only 3 miles so the cold was more motivation to go faster and get back inside than actual hinderance. Mostly….
What’s the best way to train for a 5k? Do you still need long runs? Only sprint workouts?
It’s been at least 10 years since I really focused on the 5k as a goal race. Recently, it’s been longer road races and triathlons as the goal and the 5k’s were only there to spice up the training or get in the speed work, but with my knee arthritis and the goal of building back up very slowly, 2018 is looking like the year of the 5k and the sprint triathlons.
For the last six weeks I have slowly been ramping up the running with the goal of starting the new year with a solid race. Here is what I’ve learned and put into practice as my training.