Over the last couple of weeks, I have been running much more slowly than usual and it has been having some unexpected effects on my mind and body. I have also had to learn a valuable
running life lesson – patience.
As I mentioned, I have started a training plan to specifically reduce my 10k time. I originally intended to use a Runtastic plan but was some what put off by a session in week 2 that had me running for 1h 40mins. I currently can’t run that long, and frankly, if I’m committing that much time to a run, I want it to be part of training for a half marathon at the very least.
A chance comment on Twitter led me to the My Asics plans, which I had not heard of before and decided to give it a go. I now know that they use the concept of pyramid training, by which you start by building a very strong base before moving onto any thing even remotely resembling speed work.
Which leads me to the slow running. My last 6 runs have all been 8K (5 miles) at a 9.37-9.07 min/km pace (15.24 – 15.0 min/mile). I really couldn’t see the point, to be honest, but decided to stick to the plan and see where it takes me. In doing so I have learned a lot about running and myself. In my arrogance, I thought that the best way to get faster was to run faster using intervals and tempo runs. I kept looking ahead in the plan to look for these workouts with the intentions of fast tracking to these sessions. After all, I can already run a lot faster than 9.07 mins/km.
Then I took myself to one side and we had words:
When did I become a qualified running coach? (erm, never)
When did my opinion override the collection and analysis of large amounts of running data over a number of years (ummmmm).
Finally, What is wrong with you woman, can you not just relax, have some patience, listen to someone else and enjoy the feeling of running being really easy??? (errr, me do as I’m told? well, ermmm).
So I stuck to the plan and do you know what? Asics were right! Each slow run has strengthened my calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes to the point that I am sore the next day which has not happened in ages (if anyone can explain why, I would love to know). I think a huge amount more on these slow runs leading to better form and a much better ability to maintain a steady pace, even on hills. I am starting to learn what the pace feels like in my body and to recognise when I am slowing down/speeding up. I hydrate better during the run and basically I am a better runner.
P. S. When I was looking for a good image to attach to this post, I found the following and include them for for your delictation.
2 more weeks and I will be in the speed-building phase. Bet I’m not complaining about it being too easy then.