Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ready to fight the slowdown

Command performance tomorrow?
Today's run (street). 5.3 miles

Today's workout was typical for a Sunday run, although I did follow an untypical route. In an effort to break out of the neighborhood, I crossed Rt. 25 and did my run along Jericho Turnpike. I turned north up Jackson Ave. and then headed east, past the train station. Once I reached a natural endpoint, I retraced my route with an additional segment going west on Jericho. This allowed me to reach my targeted distance.

It was a perfectly pleasant run and the weather seemed milder than yesterday. The route provided some hill challenges but the wind was less intense. Despite the nice weather and what felt like an efficient stride, I was shocked to see that I'd clocked a pace over ten minutes a mile. Usually I can blame the terrain, the weather, or simply fatigue for a slow run. Yes, there were some hills, but my net elevation gain was only 250 feet over five miles.

Sometimes I worry that I'm slowing down. Four years ago, I could count on at least a couple of runs in the 8:00 range every week. Nowadays, except for races, I rarely break 9:20. I know that some of this is due to a lapse in competition since October. I can't remember the last time I did speed work, although I often run the last five minutes of my treadmill runs in the eight-minute range.

I'm thinking about returning to the track to run some intervals. It will be a nice change from the local roads. While I don't love the work, I usually feel great after a hard workout. It's supposed to be extremely cold on Monday so I may rethink this decision in the morning. Our treadmill can go 12 MPH so I could always do my intervals in the comfort of my own home.

6 comments:

  1. I have a little fear of the track since I pulled both quads doing speed work once with a coach. :shudder:

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    1. Understood. Speed work can be tricky. I pulled an abductor muscle the first time I ran track intervals. It took months before I stopped experiencing soreness on runs longer than three miles. Needless to say, I'm much more careful now.

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  2. Don't let your ego ruin a good thing. Nothing wrong with a "perfectly pleasant" Sunday morning run. You got your exercise in; you cleared your mind; and you didn't injure yourself.

    I'm quite content training in the 10 to 10:30 range as my 45 year old body seems to prefer it over the 9 minute range and the slower running allows me to increase my distance.

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    1. It's a funny thing, but I continue to have trouble reconciling my satisfaction with the running experience with my desire to perform. It's much better on a long outdoor run when I can also appreciate my surroundings and the weather. Running ten minute miles on the bike path for 90 minutes works fine for me.

      But on the treadmill, something kicks in and I usually find myself pushing past my comfort zone. It would be much easier if I could simply run fast, nice and easy. But if that was the the case, I'd undoubtedly wish I could run even faster.

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    2. You're a better runner than me as I have only been doing it for about five months, so it might be harder for you to accept limitations. But whenever I experience similar emotions, I try to remind myself that since I run for health and fitness, it would be rather self-defeating to get injured pushing myself for better performance. I enjoy your blog btw. Thanks for the work.

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    3. Thanks for your kind words. I may be more experienced than you, but I'd never say I'm better for that. You have been running for five months and that shows commitment. You recognize the folly of over-training that often leads to injury. You run for health and fitness and to enjoy the experience.

      If you begin to compete you may look at performance differently. But your approach to running right now is great.

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