Looking Back/Looking Forward

Before moving on to the next thing, I wanted to make note of my recent 5K training cycle – as much for myself as for anyone who might be interested. I didn’t follow a formal plan, and actually, I’m not sure when I actually started training. I guess it was about mid-January? So, let’s say it was a 10-week training plan.

I didn’t have specific workouts or miles on the schedule, but I did focus on a few key elements every week:

  • 1 short interval session: either fartleks (10 x 1 min on/1 min off) or 400 m intervals
  • 1 longer interval session: mile repeats or tempo progression
  • 1 long run between 9-12 miles
  • 1 easy run
  • total mileage: ~20-25 miles/week

I thought that this worked out pretty well for me in terms of variety. I also repeated the same workout every other week so I could gauge my progression (or lack thereof). I don’t know what I would change running-wise; maybe I’d do more sets of short intervals (I maxed out at 6 x 400 m) or do more tempo runs. An overall increase in total weekly mileage probably wouldn’t have hurt either.

In terms of non-running training, I definitely did not do a good job of stretching, strengthening, or core work. (What else is new??) I didn’t clean up my diet until 3 weeks before the race, which was better than nothing, but it probably would’ve made a bigger impact if I did it earlier (though I might have gone crazy). I couldn’t help the levels of work-related stress early on in the cycle, but that’s something that could’ve been better as well.

The other reason I wanted to reflect on 5K training is because I’m about to start training for my next goal race: the Danville 10K on 5/28. Now that I’ve gotten a sweet taste of PR’ing, I want more! For Danville, I’m looking at doing much of the same as above, just longer. I plan on doing more tempo runs and race pace 2-mile repeats. It’s scary but also exciting! I’d like to incorporate some hill work as well — it would be nice to get back to the trails and incorporate strength training into my runs, as opposed to having a separate strength session. As for diet, I will try to focus on moderation. I won’t go cold turkey on the alcohol and desserts, but I’ll try to limit just one or the other and only 4 days a week. I also would like to eat more veggies and less processed things, and drink more water. We’ll see how it pans out, but I’m excited! This will be the first time that I’ve actually trained for a 10K. My PR of 52:51 is 2.5 years old and it’s time to crush it!


At the Brazen Summer Breeze 10K (August 2013), where I PR’d *and* placed 3rd in my age group.


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in Training
12 comments on “Looking Back/Looking Forward
  1. Paulette says:

    So exciting! Congrats on your 5K PR in Oakland. Training for a 10K sounds really hard but fun, good luck!

  2. jess says:

    Awesome little recap. I think this cycle worked really well for you, and paid off with a strong run and a PR! I’m looking forward to seeing you crush new goals with the 10K. (fyi my 10K PR is like 56 minutes. I’ve run HMs at a faster pace).

  3. bt says:

    Super excited for you and looking forward to seeing you PR like crazy.

  4. Angela says:

    Time for crushing!!!! Can’t wait!!!

  5. Hillary says:

    2016: The Year of Annihilating Old Records?

  6. Mike says:

    You’re such a posting machine these days, my comments can’t keep up! So first off, congrats on a great weekend at Oakland – a 5K PR followed 30 minutes later by a half marathon shows how far you’ve come as a runner. And now I’m excited to follow your progress toward a 10K PR shot in Danville, in part because I’ve yet to run that distance in an official race (surprisingly, I have a 11K and a 5-miler in my catalog, but no 10K). So I’m not really sure how I’d train for the distance – tempo runs have been the key to my marathon training, but the difference in % aerobic and anaerobic during a marathon vs 10K is significant, so speed work is probably the way to go. And hills never strike me as a bad idea. Hopefully you’ll figure all this out and let us know!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Mike! I think tempo runs work well for any distance – it seems like you just have to adjust pace and distance accordingly. We’ll see, I guess! And it’s time for you to run a 10K!!

  7. […] my first week of training toward the Danville 10K. My plan is essentially the same structurally as what I did for the Bank of the West Oakland 5K, just more of everything. However, for the first week of training, I didn’t want to jump into […]

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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