I hate trying to be fast at running. I used to be, maybe 27 years ago. As a sophomore in high school, I ran my fastest ( and last ) 2 mile cross country run in 10:13. I was 16 and finally figured out I didn’t have the legs to warm up with the elite and run the race. Then came the military and heel beats. This is where you drive your boot heels into the ground to make a thundering noise when marching. We also ran in formation at 9 minute mile pace in the Air Force, so I never really recovered from gliding rather than running.
Today I can manage a 8’00″ mile at sea level, but not 2 or 3. I ran a 26:00 5k this past month, just not at altitude. Do I really care? Is speed really important? Well, being a competitive guy, yeah it is. I really compete with myself on training times, but in a race, I like to pass, not be passed. I just need to add some speed work. Ick.
Today’s active.com training had me doing just that, in some complex ratio that didn’t make any sense therefore my brain deletes that almost instantly. What I got out of it in my simplified brain was jog easy 10 minutes, do 2 minutes hard, one easy and repeat until 35 minutes. This put me at 45 minutes and while the time didn’t concern me, running fast was not appealing.
To run the first mile as an easy jog was actually tough. I know I run my first too fast which in turn hurts my later mile times, and I really wanted to focus more on that then the speeds. I had just read a how to on running a great half race and it said run the first three miles very easy, the next 8 miles at race pace and the attack the last two miles. That is now my newest plan, so I have to get that first three miles slower to keep energy for the last push.
My first mile was slower tonight, around 9’28″, I just know I should have gone easier, but man is that hard. I felt as if I was walking, yet the pace was solid. I got to 10:00 in and stepped up my pace for 2:00, then eased back for the 1:00 as planned. It actually felt good and I was trying to keep the speed up reasonable and then the ease back refreshing. This went on for the rest of the run, even though the intervals don’t show up dynamically, what I am impressed with is that mile 2 was faster than mile 1, mile 4 was faster than mile 3.
I actually ended my uphill run at one of the faster miles to end a run in a while. While I think I can improve, the key was the effort in this run for me. I do need to add some more strides at the end of longer easy runs and I need to do some runs on a track IF I want to really get faster. Will I ever like it, probably not. We’ll see, just won’t be holding my breath.
On the race report, I have added a 10k in less than 2 weeks and actually considering a half MAYBE on labor day weekend. I just feel strong enough to resume the mileage buildup and don’t want to wait 3 more months for my first half. It may end up being a another 10k, but we will see.