Thursday, July 4, 2013

Run For Freedom 5K or I Feel The Need For Speed!

Full Disclosure - I'm kind of a lazy runner.  I hate breathing hard and I don't like it when my muscles start to scream.

I ran my first 5K race (in a while) last week and got very close to my goal of 27 mins. What this tells me is if I had pushed a little harder, I could have achieved that benchmark.

Today - Happy Independence Day, by the way! - I ran another 5K, fully intending to bring it in under 27 mins.  My official time was 27:23...20 seconds SLOWER...and I have to say I'm pretty disappointed.  I had to do some serious weaving at the beginning and all the racing strategy articles tell you not to do that because it wastes energy.  But I gambled that it was worth it because 5Ks don't leave a lot of time to stretch out the pack and fall into your pace group.

Let's compare the two races:
  • Today's race had long gentle inclines, my last race had over a mile of fairly challenging hills
  • This race had great weather, my last race had a huge downpour for at least the last 2 miles
  • This race had ice cream at the end, my last race just had bananas
Looking at this data objectively, you would reasonably conclude that today's race would have been much better.  What happened?  Not really sure...but here's the worst part...I felt like I was running harder.

Honestly, some days I feel like this guy...
Image Source:

But the reality is that feeling speedy and clocking fast(er) times are not the same thing. Obviously the faster times are not going to happen without some work on my part...some hard breathing, and some muscles aching.

So, I found this article on speed drills (which I hate) and have decided that it is time.

The article says adding even one speed drill per week is going to make a difference. Speed drills are not rocket science, but I encourage you to read the article for some good tips.  The basic plan is to run fast, then run at a recovery pace - alternating until you've gone as far as you planned for that day.  

Pre-loading my excuse here, but I do have a crazy schedule coming up for the next couple weeks that will make it a challenge to just get my runs in...but if I want to get better, I have to work harder.  

I'll let you know how it goes...

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