Friday, May 8, 2009

Keeping my distance

Up until this March I was focusing much of my run strategy on building distance. As a relatively new runner I felt that I needed to establish a baseline for progress and that meant adding more length to my weekend runs. I was tracking very well through February and, though it's the shortest month of the year, I totaled more miles than any previous month. Once March rolled in my strategy changed as I focused on my April race. I put more attention to speed and pace and less on distance. My weekend runs that were averaging between 4 to 5 miles became shorter and faster. Prior to March my average pace was about 9:30 per mile and since April it's been under 9:00/mile. I'm pleased with my progress and with the results. My two races clocked in with pace times well under nine minutes.

Since my next race is 5 miles it's necessary for me to refocus on distance training. I'm okay about giving up some speed to do this but I'm concerned about finding a training route near my home that allows me to cover 5+ miles without the tedium of repeating many of the same roads. The issue is psychological. The farther away I am from the finish, the easier it is for me to run distances. Once I come close to my home I begin to fade in anticipation of stopping. In the past I've been able to will myself to take a longer path back when I'm near home but lately I've just headed in, usually after 3 to 4 miles. I used to trick myself by running up and down parallel streets to build more distance in a tighter area that was relatively far from my endpoint.

The alternative is to go to the track and pre-establish a circuit with no stopping until I hit 20 laps. I have done this a number of times and while it is a solution it can also be mind numbingly boring. I'm thinking that, for tomorrow, I'll map out a route in my neighborhood that will allow me to cover 5 miles without traveling the same road twice that won't come close to my home until the very end. I'll incorporate neighborhood #2 to gain an extra mile or two. As for pace, I'll let nature take its course.


  1. I would rather run down the middle of the L.I.E. during rush hour then do 20 laps on a track. Good luck finding a nice route by your house!

  2. Ha! Of course during rush hour a runner would be the fastest moving object on the LIE.


Comments appropriate to subject matter are most welcome! Any comments that promote or link to commercial products will be swiftly deleted unless deemed relevant by administrator.


blogger templates | Webtalks