Introduce - Improve - Perfect
On three consecutive Tuesdays, my workouts were identical...well as close as I could make them. Here's the workout:
- warm-up (10-15 minutes)
- five half-mile repeats at near 10k pace with a three-minute recovery after each
- cool down. (5-10 minutes)
Introduce a workout, putting your body through stress and being uncomfortable.
Improve, come back the second week do the same workout and notice the improvement.
Perfect, on the third week of doing the workout, you should sense a feeling of accomplishment as the workout becomes easier to do, or that you accomplish more during the workout.
My three-week plan introduced the repetition of half-mile repeats at my 10K pace. (The difference in the length of the workouts as noted below is the length of the warm-up and cool-down. The meat of the workout was the same.)
I had every intention of doing the three weeks of workouts as identical as possible.
Each week I tried to keep the effort the same for the half-mile repeats going on feel more than pace. The first week I did try to keep the pace around 7:40. Then each following week trying to remember how that felt and going from there.
Three things really stuck out when I reviewed the data at the end of week 3. (The graphics below show the data.)
- Run cadence was almost identical from week to week.
- Average heart rate went down in week two but was the same in week 1 and 3.
- Pace for each week's half-mile repeats went down.
From these I deduct:
- my effort in week 2 was a little less than week 1.
- my effort in week 1 and 3 was almost the same.
- my fitness level improved each week
The training micro-cycle of three weeks can make a difference in your fitness and a micro-cycle of speed workouts can be beneficial to improving your pace.
If you haven't tried the concept of 'introduce, improve, perfect' give it a try you might be surprised at the results.