Thursday, October 7, 2010

Go slower to get there faster

What an interesting concept.

Last week I was working on trying to keep a faster pace with longer distance. In the end, I only ended up with a slower overall average pace because of all the walking I was doing between my miles. What I consistently found out was that by the 3/4 or whole mile my cardio ability was shot. I was panting, tired and mentally exhausted. My legs were feeling great though. So I'd walk for a few minutes and then take off again.

This week, I decided to run slower and just run for time, not distance. A training tip I've read many times online and in Runner's World. So I went out and did just that. I ran at a comfortable pace, and held it for a while and then I looked at Judy (my Garmin watch) to check how I'd been doing. Already I had noticed that mentally and physically, I was feeling awesome. I felt like I could run that way forever. So what does Judy say? Dontcha know she says I'm doing high 10 to low 11 min miles. These are my averages when I'm pushing to run in the low 9 minute miles, but then I'm walking so much because I'm exhausting myself. It felt much more enjoyable to run at a steady soft pace and I ended up at a same if not faster average!

Oh and guess what? I looked forward to my next run. This is a feeling I've been missing. I know I love running, I know I will do it, but I've missed that love affair I used to have with it. I thought it was just the heat. Well even though the heat played a HUGE factor, it was also how I was running. At this rate, if I can hold that comfortable pace for my long runs (going to try 10 miles this weekend), then I know I can definitely achieve the 2:30 goal!

So now I know, I need to slow down to go faster! Saving speed for 400m laps and speed work. Sometimes we make things harder than they have to be. The LOVE of running should always be highest priority, when you feel you've lost it, find it.


Gail's Card Cafe' said...

My girlfriend suggested that too! Slowing down just a little allowed me to run longer and further. go figure hu?

Val said...

good to know it's not just me and some weird quirk! lol

It's really working! I ran 3 miles straight the other day with no breaks. I usually walk a little at every mile. I felt strong the whole time and had a really great time. I ended up getting finished faster than when I run a faster pace (but end up walking more).

Keep it up Gail!!!

Anonymous said...

You are acutally supposed to run your long runs at a minute to two minutes per mile slower than goal pace. Some people might do progression runs where they start that slow and then the last mile or so if they still have energy they speed up. During the week for shorter runs, run slow and then put in some bursts. That will help with speed too. Run your slow comfortable speed and then do a minute at a faster place and then slow back down to your slower pace for awhile.

I was super skeptical too about running that much slower but the first time I broke 5 hours in a marathon I was running my long runs with the 11:30 minute pace group. My last marathon I ran with the 13:00 minute group, the runs were way easier and I still managed to break 5 hours and not hit the wall in the race. It really works! I'm a believer now. :)