I really really need to get faster.  At first, I didn’t mind my slowness, I had others in my running group who were just my speed and kept me company.  I would claim that I couldn’t conquer the speed, but I could conquer the distance.  And my priority was the distance.

But then, everyone else started getting faster.  One of my training buddies got much faster and now no longer runs with me.  Karl trained with me for the half marathon, running much slower at my speed, and he was able to drop half of minute on his pace between the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and the Army Ten Miler when he ran by himself.  (Training with me, even at my speed, makes others faster!)

Other people from my running group have also thanked me for how much faster they got after starting with the group.  Some have shaved a minute off their pace, others have shaved over 2 minutes off.  Me?  I’m at exactly the same pace.

The joke at home now is that everyone else gets faster, but me.

True, before having to take time off due to injuries (the plantar fasciitis now, but have I mentioned I got burned this summer?), I ran my best 5k yet.  When your training runs are 8+ miles, running 3 miles is nothing.  But for my long runs?  I’m still my old 12 minute/mile pace.  And that’s slow.

It means that in a marathon, I’d be running for over 5 hours straight.  Over 5 hours!!!

My goal this year was to get down to a more respectable 10 min/mile pace.  I couldn’t have foreseen the accidents and injuries.  So I end 2009 at the same pace I started the year.

How do I get faster?  Most just tell me “to get faster, run faster” — but of course, doing that I cannot run as long.  I heard that running uphill is another great way to get faster.  Again, if I run uphill, I can’t run as long.  Any other tips?

One of the organizers in my group started posting runs in the local high school track.  Once I’m done with the move and the vacation, I’ll give it a try.

My next challenge will be acclimatizing myself from running in 35 degree weather to running in 100 degree weather.  Vacation is less than 10 days away…


Filed under Random, Runs, Training

3 responses to “Speed

  1. Hello! I was quite thrilled to receive your comment on my post (about running the LA RNR in Oct). I was even more thrilled to discover your running blog! I’m sorry to hear about your injury, but it sounds like it’s healing well. I’ve only been running for about a month or so now (I had done so well a couple years ago), but already see quite an improvement in my ability to run for longer periods of time, etc.
    You mentioned increasing speed… I’ve read a bunch that a good way to increase speed (if you don’t want to do hills) is to do intervals. For example, five minutes at your usual pace, then speed it up for 30-90 seconds before returning to your usual pace for a couple minutes. This is how I originally broke into running a few years ago and use it now and then to increase speed and lung capacity. Something to consider (or google).

    Looking forward to reading about your progress. 🙂

  2. I think tempo runs have helped me to get faster. I think making sure to focus on your speed work on certain days is good, but the other days its ok to run slower. Also, if you really want to work on speed, sometimes keeping the mileage slower is the key. Increasing speed and mileage at the same time is a big risk for injury. If you keep your mileage the same and start working on speed, I bet it will start translating to your longer runs. Be patient, running is a patient sport especially when you have had injuries to deal with. Good luck!!

  3. Kristin, thanks! I started working on intervals at the beginning of the summer, but I had such a hard time acclimatizing to the heat (it was 40 degrees in DC one day then suddenly it was 80 degrees every day — no gradual change in temperature), that I just dropped it. Maybe it’s time to bring it back now!

    Aron, I haven’t tried tempo runs yet. I’ll have to increase mileage soon, since there’s way too many races already scheduled to train for, but maybe I can do the tempo runs in my shorter runs. I hadn’t thought of that before!

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