Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I think, therefore I pace

Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

Okay, now we're talking. After two days off from running, I went out this morning for the first time since the Dirty Sock race. I recognized the need to keep my focus on speed, despite having come off a fairly hard run. It's always a lot easier to do that if you're energized from the start. I was pleased that my legs responded to the challenge.

Everyone has a different default running pace. By that I mean the speed that you'd run if you didn't care about performance. It's probably what people think of as their easy pace. For some, "easy" is 8 minutes a mile. For me, it's much slower than that. When I need to run faster, I know I need to think about running fast. No zoning out and letting my legs carry me along. I've read that running performance is largely mental and my experience supports that.

Today I put priority on cadence and form. I focused on holding a faster pace than my body naturally wished to run. At times, my mind would drift and I'd detect a little deceleration. I dialed back up to "urgent" and tried to reengage my focus. This was not running at 10K race pace, but it was much faster than I've been averaging.

For all that work, I'm still worrying about my readiness to sustain that pace for 6.2 miles in Northport next month. With James Street, Waterside Ave. and Pumpernickel Hill in the mix, I'll have to do a lot more than I did today. But it was a start.


  1. Wonderful! I can't wait to see how you're going to continue to train for CH. I always learn something from you.

    1. Thanks TPP. My strategy for CH is to build up my base, increase hill practice and do speed work on the weekend. Whether I follow my plan, that's another story : )

  2. This James St you speak of sounds daunting...

  3. You reach the hill about 1.5 miles into the run and it comes on like a punch to the stomach. On paper, it doesn't look that bad, with an average grade of only 3%. But the hill goes on for .85 miles and gets steeper as you approach the top. And after you're over it, you think that the worst is behind you, but it's not...


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