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.
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?
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.