A 5K and an End to the Streak of PRs?

Uh-oh. I think I've lost the ability to run fast. (And that's not even fast-fast, that's me-fast, which is about a 9:00 minute mile.) Since the marathon, I ran one mile on Friday to see what it felt like to have my toes in enclosed shoes again (it hurt) and two miles today to see if I can maintain a 9:00-minute pace for two miles (not so much). I know my muscles are still healing and may still be fatigued. But I do remember an awful lot of long-run-paced miles, where I comfortably settled in at a 10:00 to 10:30 pace. I think my fast-twitch muscles went dormant.

Well, they need to WAKE UP!!! I have a 5K on Saturday. In every race I've run in my brief two years of racing, I've always gotten a PR. Every. Single. Time. (I don't count the race I did with my little boy in April--I stayed with him so he didn't get lost! I ran his pace, not mine.)

But I think that PR streak might come to a screeching halt on Saturday. I'm just not sure how it all works---Does marathon training improve overall running and make you run faster in short distances? Or does running slow just make you run slow?

So, I've run a total of three miles since the marathon. The books say take it easy that first week, so I did! I have been doing a little exercise though. Yesterday, I took family yoga at the Y with my six-year-old. (You can imagine how strenuous that was!) It was funny. She kept falling over in tree pose. The other little kids in the room would actually bark during downward dog, meow during cat, and hiss during cobra. If you haven't taken yoga in a room with a bunch of 3-6 year olds, you should try it! Then I took twenty minutes of zumba. It's nice to have exercise that's not centered around running.

Tomorrow, some friends and I are starting Body for Life. We are not trying to lose weight, per se, but to build muscle and eat healthier. Interestingly, the Body for Life program involves only 20 minutes of INTENSE cardio three times a week. That's why I ran my two miles earlier. Of course, six miles per week isn't really going to maintain the base of mileage I want to maintain, so I'll run extra miles at some point in the week. But maybe I will see some speed improvement from hard effort in short runs. I'm also hoping that doing leg weight training might help in the speed arena. We'll be doing that once or twice per week, too, depending on the week.

I'm glad to be starting a new training program. One week without a program, and I was feeling lost already!


I did body for life once. It is a great program.

I don't think running marathons makes you faster at a 5k, but I think the intense 20 min on BFL will help your speed. It seriously takes some time to recover after a marathon. If you don't PR at your 5k, dont worry about it. Most people dont PR at every race. Good luck.
Erica said…
I just started getting into running so i can't really offer any advice but I do wish you luck on your race Saturday :)

Jules said…
hey! Thanks for the comment! The longest I have EVER been is just over 6 miles, and that was last fall...most recently it has been 5 miles. LOL So I took a big chance.

I am sore today but can get up the stairs a little better today than yesterday! LOL sore butt & calves & thighs. The ball of my foot is a little sore but not too bad.
I can't believe it!! ha

good job getting bck out there. There is a 5k here this wknd and i don't think I could do it. LOL
Bill said…
Patience! ;^)

You are still recovering from last weekend's marathon. Plain and simple.

You are right, training for a marathon does not translate to faster 5K's, but the endurance that you gain from marathon training will help you hold a faster pace for longer, so it may work out in the end.

Keep the legs moving a couple of times this week and then push it as fast as you can next week. You may just surprise yourself.
MCM Mama said…
I totally slowed down with marathon training, but once I started doing speed work after the marathon, not only did my 5k get faster, but my ability to stay fast longer sky rocketed.

So, i think there's temporary slowdown while you focus on distance, but the strength you gain from that helps with speed afterwards.

I didn't run for two weeks after my marathon, so go you for getting back out there.
Teresa said…
It's funny that you blog about this because I've been kind of wondering the same thing lately. I have been running less time than you so I keep wondering if I'll keep making big improvements with my speed or if/when my progress will slow down. I bet you'll do better than you think on your 5K though.
Velma said…
I agree with all the other comments - the speed with come back but it takes a while. Have run at the 5k, and you may suprise yourself.

If you want to get faster, look for a speedwork session in the area. They really help, and it is better to do track workouts with friends.
Jennifer :-) said…
I agree, I did a 5K a week after my first marathon...very, very slow. Don't worry about it.

I am behind on my blogging here....CONGRATS on your marathon! Awesome time girl! Doesn't it feel SOOOO good to say, "I am a marathoner!" Woo-Hoo! :-)