I hope everyone had a great weekend! I know most people dread Monday’s, but even when I was working outside the home I kind of liked them. It’s the start to a new week, new beginnings, and a chance to get back on track after the weekend fun. Make today a great day, and the week will follow!
I have been asked/had comments about why I’m running so much faster in such a short amount of time. (Specifically from Sep of last year until now. Last year was about qualifying for Half Fanatics, so I didn’t give pace much thought until after the last half in Sep). And, it got me to thinking Why am I running faster? Since my goal this year is to PR every distance I run it would actually be good to know!
Let’s be honest here, 9 to 8:30 minute miles (depending on how motivated I am) is not fast for some, but given that when I started running I was closer to 11:30-12 and for the longest time got stuck at 10, then yeah anything 9 or under is fast – For Me!
Sunrise from Saturday Morning’s run!
Here’s what I think:
–Tuesday Night Run Group – It’s a fast group, and despite this being my fastest run of the week I’m still finishing towards the back, but it’s getting easier.
-Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning group runs – I torch my legs Tuesday night with speed then turn around and push the stroller Wednesday morning. The two hardest runs of the week are back-to-back so to speak. It probably goes against “proper” training wisdom but there is something to be said for pushing 40 to 50 lbs on already tired legs. It’s a great workout!
-Conventional training says that the first run after your long run should be slow and easy. My long runs happen on the weekends and then the next run I do is the speedy Tuesday night run.
-I’m inevitable going to get as fast as I naturally can just by running more. Without speed work, or putting ton’s of effort or thought into pace I know that the more I run the more I naturally speed up.
-Good Form Running has made a huge difference. It makes it way easier to be comfortable being uncomfortable (from an exertion standpoint) when I’m pushing the pace.
-adidas Energy Boost – Some people say shoes don’t matter, I’m here to tell you they do! Now that I’m in the right shoe I feel like I can run as fast I want for as long as I want. It’s not true…yet. But, I’m a more confident runner in the Boost than any other shoe, and feel like I can hit my 1/2 goal this year!
-I have given myself the freedom to run alone. In no way is this a reflection of those I run with…I know that every single one of them could run faster than I can on any given day. The fact is there is some freedom when you run alone. I can run how I want, the time of day I want, and I can focus on what my needs are. I don’t have to worry about if someone else is having a good day, needs to take it easy, has an injury etc. It may sound selfish, but I get to focus on me, my running, my pace and I can make myself as uncomfortable as I want to and not feel bad about it. I have never done this before, but I’m picking specific races to run alone, and will do all the training runs alone. Or, if someone does want to join me I will be upfront about the pace I’ll be running and that I won’t be adjusting my training or pace.
-I’m a social runner, despite the previous bullet point, I prefer to run with friends or in a group. So, while I will be pushing myself I will also be taking breaks here and there. Right now my race schedule is more social than PR attempts. I have a few fun/social races taking place during training for the 1/2 I’m going to PR…it’s all about balance and not losing my love of running!
-I foam roll, stretch, and get massages as needed. I’m staying on top of injury prevention and when things do pop up I’m quick to get it taken care of.
-It took a few years for me to feel like a runner, and I think I spent a lot of time underestimating what I’m capable of. I feel great about where I’m at in my running life, I have a training schedule that I know works for me, and I’m enjoying pushing the pace to an uncomfortable level and seeing how long I can maintain it. I’m stronger mentally with my running and just more confident overall.
Are you a social runner, or solo runner?
What are your running goals this year?