Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Speeding along

I have 39 days to train for my 4 miler in April. For those who have run many races my countdown is probably a little dramatic but it's my first race since returning to running. I was looking at my run data this weekend and noticed how my average pace time has improved between September and today. I look at the improvements over the first five months as organic, that is, directly related to improved fitness and weight loss. Obviously, running with less weight and better Vo2max capability will yield better performance. My pace history describes a Pareto curve with earliest times in the low 13:00 range, following a steep decline until it plateaus at around 9:50. Last month, with the encouragement of some of my more experienced running friends, I started integrating faster segments into my regular runs. As I've become more comfortable with faster paces I've held them longer and the result has been to move down that curve even more. My average pace for February had improved to about 9:30 and over the past two weeks it's closer to 9:15. This weekend I did my two long runs below 9:10 so I really like the direction,

This morning I decided to push the pace to the edge of my comfort zone and after starting around 9:30 I quickly turned up the speed about 8% and ended up running 2.05 miles at 8:46. Needless to say I'm happy with that performance. What I don't know is how well I'd have done if I had time to run another 2 miles. This weekend I almost broke 9:00 for 4 miles but almost doesn't count. Well it counts a little I guess.

2 comments:

  1. Totally counts!!! And by the way, I ran a full minute faster per mile during my second 5K than I ever ran in any training run. Probably a result of my being so new to the racing scene, but I was training at 10 minute miles (and maybe 10:30 more often), and maintained a 9-minute-mile pace throughout the entire 5K, despite the hilly course. All of this to say, you're going to totally KICK BUTT during your race!!!

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  2. I hope you're right. I'm getting nervous about runner congestion inhibiting my pace. But more likely I'll be the obstacle to those seven minute speedsters.

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