Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Less time? Run faster

I found myself running behind schedule this morning and was unhappy to see that I had far less than 20 minutes to do a run that included time to warm up and cool down. At the same time I was concerned that I would not meet my (self imposed) minimum distance of 1.5 miles for a weekday run. Since time can't be controlled the only lever I had to play with was speed. I cheated a bit and got to my normal run pace in less than a minute before further cranking up the speed.

Now speed is relative, a fast pace for me would be an easy or even slow pace for an experienced runner. Indoors, I generally run at a 6.4 MPH tread speed which works out to about 9:22/mile. Today I ran closer to 7.2 MPH completing 1.62 miles in a little under 14 minutes for an 8:30/mile pace. That's where I want to be. It was hard work to maintain that pace, my average pulse rate was almost 6% higher than at my normal pace. According to what I've read I can even push that higher rate 9% to be within 80% of max. Having the HRM has been handy in helping me understand the effort I'm expending relative to other workouts (e.g., elliptical) and now I'm seeing that it's a good indicator for understanding how much further I should push to attain desired speed and pace.

My challenge now is maintaining that faster pace for longer than 1.62 miles. Completing a 5K at 8:30 would be great but I have work to do.

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