RE: what is reasonable
Coach Tief, I just have one more question for you, I tried to comment on my original post but it would not go through for some reason...
My long term goal is 19:30. I want to make short term goals that lead up to my long term goal. I am about to start a 12 week training plan that incorporates hill sprints, hill reps, progression runs, and fartlek runs, and towards the end some specific endurance intervals... but kept at a lower weekly mileage because I tend to be more injury-prone that most runners.
How should i go about making these short term goals, i.e.: 10 seconds off for every 5k? and hoe many 5k's can I/ should I incorporate into my 12 week plan?
Thanks, I really appreciate all the advice, it helps a lot when you are self-coaching. I missed this email, so I hope this advice isn't coming too late for you. When you are a high schooler, you can pretty much rip off a 5k every week, but when you get a bit older, like me for example (35), I suggest one 5k every three weeks. Any more than that is pushing it.
You have to look at each 5k differently, regardless of what you have done in the past, or plan on doing in the future. Sometimes the course will have a large impact on your time, and sometimes bad or good weather plays a large role.
I would have a set goal time for each race based upon how your training has been going. Improving by 10 seconds each 5k is a great way to look at it though. Sometimes you get stuck and run similar times for 3-4 races in a row, and then have a huge PR. You just never know until you race.
I hope this helps. The main thing is to establish a pace early. Set a reasonable split time for when you reach the mile. If you hit that time, or are under it and feel good. GO AFTER IT. If you don't hit your split time, and feel miserable, then give a good effort, but don't injure yourself chasing something that probably isn't meant to be on that day.
Happy Trails - Coach Tief