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To run faster you have to run faster

A couple weeks ago I ran the Soldier Field 10 miler in 1:21.  This is 2 minutes slower than I did it the year before and 9 min slower than my best time of 1:13.  It’s also 10 minutes slower than the 1:11 I ran for 10 miles during the Sunburst marathon in 2009.  I’m getting so slow.  joggling fast

And why?

Well, mostly because when I run I always run at the same pace…slow.  Of course, slow is relative.  My 8:30 training pace is faster than a lot of people run at all.  But when you expect to run 7:00 min miles and you run 8:30’s, you shouldn’t be surprised.  I’ve logged over 450 miles this year and most of them have been in the range of 8:30 – 9:00 min miles.  It’s no wonder that when I do a race I can only manage an 8:05 min mile pace.

Yesterday, I decided I really wanted to start getting faster again.  That means only one thing.  There is no mystery.

To get faster you have to run faster.

The reason I don’t run faster is because running faster hurts.  It’s much more painful than just plodding along at an 8:30 pace.  You feel the pain in your legs, the pounding on your joints, and the fear of gasping for breath.  It’s hard.  And that’s why I haven’t done much fast running for a while.

However, yesterday I added a little speed to my run.  I did an easy jog to the outdoor running track that is about 2 miles from my house, then did 4 laps with sprint 200’s every half lap.

You know what?

It hurt.

But it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.  Now, 4×200’s is nothing stellar and I wasn’t running really fast (maybe 6:45 / mile pace) but it was faster.  Hopefully, that will help improve my time in races.  We’ll see tomorrow when I run the Michelob Ultra Half Marathon.  If I’m good, I’ll break the 1:44 mark.  Last year when I ran it, I broke the 1:41 mark but that was a different time and my training was at a different point.

Remember, just because you run every day doesn’t mean you are training to run fast.  If you want that, you have to run fast.

Joggle on.

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