How?

>> Sunday, October 31, 2010

In the workouts that Coach Jen gave me, she often had pretty specific time goal for me to hit. It was never a "total run" goal, but they were always "mile-by-mile" goals. And I got good at hitting them on the head. When I got home from those workouts, I'd tell Pharmie my times and how they corresponded with Jen's goals for me, and we were both shocked.

How could I do this so consistently?

I did it again on Tuesday during a long run. (If you're a local, you remember that Tuesday was the stormy / windy day with 60+ mph gusts - running in that was an ad-ven-ture!!) I told myself this: "2 WU miles, 1 mile at 6:30, then build: 6:15, 6:00, 5:45 (or at least sub 6). Then a 2-3 mile CD."

Here's what I actually did: 2 WU miles (6:58, 7:29), then 6:30, 6:13 (swirling wind at my back), 6:02 (running more into wind), and 5:43 (which felt smooth and ALMOST easy). Then 3 CD miles. (I spent my first CD mile throwing big downed branches off the trail along the Mississippi - good way to cool down!)

So the first "building" mile was right on, the next was 2 seconds fast (but with some wind at my back), the next was 2 seconds slow (but into the wind), and the final mile was 2 seconds fast. So overall for those 4 hard miles, I was 2 seconds faster than I had hoped. (And I only had mile splits during that run - I had no way of checking my splits every 1/4 or 1/2 mile.)

Here's my Tip of the Week: If you don't give yourself specific time goals DURING a run, I think you should try it sometime. Don't just try it once - you've got to get used to doing it. Try it for a month or 2 to get used to running at a certain pace that you dictate for yourself ahead of time. AND HERE'S WHY: At some point, you can say, "I learned that can do 8:00 and 7:50 for the last 2 miles of my tempo run. Next time, I'll shoot for my last 2 miles to be 7:50 and sub 7:45."

And guess what? You'll be able to get those numbers.

You'll be able to run FASTER than you ever have before. And it's because you've told your body to run a X:XX mile and it knows what that feels like. And then you told it to run a FASTER mile, and it knows how to do that.

But you have to spend some time TEACHING yourself what it feels like to run a X:XX mile. In the middle of a run, tell yourself to run 3 miles with the first at X:XX, the next one 10 seconds faster, and the final one at least 10 seconds faster yet.

And then watch your running improve over the next few months!

Happy Halloween everyone!!


Our 2010 jack-o-lanterns

4 comments:

Jenny Davidson 12:54 PM, October 31, 2010  

I ran with a coach once who had a great pace workout. Run one mile on a track at a truly hard but sustainable pace, one that you think you can hit again for another mile after having run 4-5 more miles. Then run 4-5 miles easy, plus a very short break. Then back to the track for 1 final hard mile, trying to hit the exact pace you had for the first one.

Colleen 2:27 PM, October 31, 2010  

Thanks for the tip Steve! We've recently talked a lot about this thanks to your posts and will definitely be incorporating specific mile split goals into our workouts!

Julie 7:34 PM, October 31, 2010  

Cool pumpkins Steve! I wish that ours turned out as good:)

Chris 8:38 AM, November 07, 2010  

Steve, After a year of moving to 50k and now a 50 miler I still have a lingering issue from my running past that I need to tame. Sure I can do the distance but I've never been a big speed guy and this where the problem lies. For some reason I need to complete a Marathon in under 4 hours. I've come close with a 4:05 but the 3:xx has eluded me.

After reading this post something clicked that I knew all along. We rarely live up to our expectations but rather our training. Instead of just going out for a run I need to go out and train, train my body to run 8:30 or better. Train through pain and if anything welcome it and embrace it.

I think I've come complacent with the Marathon distance since I run it on regular bases. I feel I need to break the distance down again and begin teach my body to run fast. This work will only show dividends on the Ultra scene as well.

Sorry about the rambling - But thanks for the motivation.

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