Barely okay, but better than the last one

Ready for some speed play

Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

My definition of an okay run has changed a lot in the last couple of weeks. If not for the intervals I ran on Tuesday, I’d be convinced that I’ve lost my ability to run at any speed but tepid. Wednesday was a difficult experience, made worse by the wind. I did manage to get through my five miles that day, but it was rough. I hoped today’s three miles would be easier, and they were. It was…okay.

The warmer temperature this morning seemed to help, and I improved my pace by over a minute compared to Wednesday’s. I was supposed to do today’s workout at half marathon race pace, but I fell short by about 35 seconds per mile. In truth, I wasn’t going for speed as prescribed, I really just hoped to have a decent experience.

I think about my friends who frequently run long distances at paces that I cannot match (except when I’m running 400’s and, in some cases, 200’s). Are they working that much harder than me? Probably, but I suspect it also has to do with being better disciplined about their workouts and putting in the necessary miles. I understand that running 18 to 20 miles a week is not going to build enough endurance get me to a competitive state, but I don’t think I can fit many more into my schedule.

I knew I wasn’t pushing as hard as I could today, but it wasn’t a leisurely effort. There’s a certain amount of energy that I’m willing to expend during a race that I seldom bring to my daily workouts. I’m always concerned about running out of energy on a training run and I tend to hold back to conserve what I have. Tomorrow I plan to add some fartleks (Swedish for “speed play”) to introduce interval level running into a continuous run. If I run out of energy, I can always take down the pace. Or take a recovery rest on the sidewalk.

6 thoughts on “Barely okay, but better than the last one

  1. It sounds like you're doing 3 speed work outs in one week. Too much. Start off with just one (Tuesdays) and then half way through your schedule add another on Thursday or Friday. Your risk injury or overall fatigue if you do too much.And yes, when I do my speed work (particularly the 4x1200s at 5k pace inside a 10 mile run), it ain't easy.

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  2. I'm not sure I'd call my other workouts speed work (besides the repeats) but I am conscious of keeping my pace above a certain threshold. I'll hold off on the speed play today and, as you say, wait a few weeks before adding more performance days.It makes me feel better to know that even runners at your level feel it on hard workouts. You make it look so easy, even though you're running very fast.

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