Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Almost a Serious Runner

According to the June 2012 issue of Runner’s World, my new 5k PR puts me a mere 12 seconds away from marking me as a “serious” runner.


Maybe in another month or two I’ll attempt to shave off 3 seconds per mile and make the leap from hobby jogger to serious runner.

With my new 5k time comes new training paces…

My November HM time of 2:06:48 gave me an equivalent 5k time of 27:20 in RLRF, so I was using that for my training paces the past few months.  I had noted recently that my long run pace seems to have shifted to around a 9:40 pace, and 10:00 has become my easy full-sentence conversational pace, and I guess my new 5k time confirms it.

  Old New
400m 2:02 1:51
800m 4:08 3:47
1200m 6:18 5:46
1600m 8:32 7:50
Short Tempo 9:05 8:23
Mid Tempo 9:20 8:38
Long Tempo 9:35 8:53
HMP 9:49 9:01
HMP + 20 10:09 9:21
HMP + 30 10:19 9:31
Easy 10:40 9:58

Some of these new paces sound kinda tough.  By the way, a 25:11 (25:10) 5k predicts a 1:56:39 half marathon. Gulp.

I know Run Less Run Faster suggests you do a 5k along the way to gauge progress and adjust training paces if necessary.  I need to go back and re-read parts of the book, but I think my 5k time predicts a 1:56:39 half based on my current fitness…not if I were to just begin the training now.

I was going to share something funny I came across about having curly hair, but I changed my mind because it turns out my hair wasn’t curly at all today.  It was above 90 with minimal humidity.  When allowed to air dry, as usual, this is what my hair looked like.  The natural curl appears to have fallen out– wtf?  And yes, this is pretty straight for my hair as there are no ringlets.


Maybe I need to take advantage of the low humidity and dust off my hair straightener again to finish the job. I kind of gave up on straightening my hair when it took me an hour and a half and in high northeast humidity, it would start to curl up again mid-day.


  1. Way to go, you're doing awesome!! You seem to have gotten a lot faster lately - that's fantastic, youre going to rock that half!

    You're making me want to order that book - it's funny, at the track last night our group was doing 400m and 800m repeats, trying to make each repeat the same time. I had a hard time trying to figure out how long a 400m lap should take and how to pace it, especially since the goal was to do 6 repeats at the exact same pace. It's harder than it seems! I wish I had read this before I went :)

    1. I kept borrowing the library copy then I decided I should just buy it. I think I found it on half.com for less than $10. There's a 2nd edition out now with updated Boston qualifying times, so maybe the first edition is even cheaper.

      I just started doing my speedwork on an actual track about 2 months ago. The book has been helpful for goal times, then for 400s I just divide by 2 to check if I'm on pace halfway. It is also helpful that there are also other people in the group who run around my pace or a little faster, so I just try to keep up with them.

  2. WTF, Runner's World, you've been a serious runner this whole time! You train harder than most people I know! That's a stupid thing to say. I didn't care for the rest of this post either because that means I need to do the same thing and start running faster. Scary.

    1. I try! It is possible I'm training harder now than I did a year ago though. Or maybe it's still the same effort level but the paces magically got faster. Yeah...my new tempo paces scare me a little. As does the idea of holding a 9:01 pace for a full 13 miles.

  3. I hate it when RW, or anyone else for that matter, attaches the label "serious runner" onto any kind of a time target. I ran my 5K PR of 25.11 nearly 4 years ago.......so long ago now that I can't even really claim it's a PR anymore. In all likelihood, I'll never come close to 25:00 again, so that makes my running now "casual"?

    It's like the same people that post about having a problem with back-of-the-packers such as myself that can't go sub-3 in a marathon......YEESH! I'm a more serious runner now than I was back in 2008 but I'll never be fast enough for some people to consider me a "serious" runner.......and that's THEIR problem. I'm just going to keep doing what I do, as will you.......and no matter how fast you are or aren't, you're a serious runner! :>)

  4. I'm not a fan of the RW "serious runner" label. I think everyone's body can handle only so much (I am proof!) but if you put in the training and the work then you are a serious runner! Don't let them tell you otherwise :)

  5. Ha, I am still trying to break a minus 30 minute time. Maybe someday I will be a "serious runner" :)

    I also have curly hair. My straightener is my best friend. I have super curly hair that frizzes out like crazy the first day I wash it, the next 2-3 unwashed days it is perfect little ringlets.

  6. So anytime I run a 5K slower than 25 minutes, I'm just a "fucking around" runner? I love it.

  7. grrr...I think you are a serious runner no matter what your time is. BTW - YOU ARE DOING AWESOME and improving so much :)

  8. Sometimes I wonder where RW and the like get their ideas. A lot of the times seem arbitrary. Also, I feel like predicting a marathon time off of even a half marathon time isn't super realistic.

  9. You know I'm right there with you in 5k time. Am I a serious runner? I'd like to think so. I'm at least serious about my training. There are some runners who are just "fast" and don't put in a lot of effort training. I think it takes a lot of work to become faster, but I also think some people have the genetic makeup to be naturally fast.

  10. I agree with MissFancyPants....if you enjoy running and run regularly, then you are a serious runner. Doesn't matter your time!


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