Getting Faster Isn’t So Easy

Now that I’m done celebrating finishing four half marathons in four months, it’s time to refocus on getting faster.  I can squeak out a 5k in less than 30 minutes and I’ve done a 10k in under an hour in training but never in a race.  When I get any longer than that, I can’t seem to maintain my speed.

I was hoping to be able to finish the Gate River Run 15k in under 1:30 this weekend, and my short runs last week were at a good pace, under 10 minutes per miles.  So on Sunday, I decided to go for a longer run at a faster pace.  Yeah, that didn’t go so well.

Here’s what I did wrong:

  • With the time change (and Eli slept badly) we all slept late, around 9am, then between getting dressed, breakfast, going to buy groceries and putting them away, I didn’t get out the door to run until noon.  It was a really sunny day, so although the temps were in the 70’s, in the sun it was pretty hot.  I should have gone out sooner!
  • I didn’t really have a plan.  I figured, 3 miles, 6 miles, 9 miles.  I took Honey Stingers but I didn’t take any water.  I headed out from my house instead of going to the park I usually do my long runs at.
  • I went out too fast.  I really should have kept the first two miles above 10 minute miles or even a little slower.
  • With my last two runs at a sub 10 minute mile pace, doing another speed work based run was not really recommended.

Here’s what I accomplished:

Mile 3 is when I made it to a water fountain and walked a bit to catch my breath.  The run home was difficult and I wanted to stop and walk, but I sucked it up and kept running.   I wanted to do at least six so I’d feel prepared for Gate but I did do what I set out to do which was to find out if I could maintain a sub ten minute mile pace for a longer run.

And the answer was:

Here’s what I’m going to do for Gate:

  • Program my Garmin for 5 minute run/ 1 minute walk intervals. I may skip some walk intervals but having them preset will give me the chance to recover if I need it.
  • Do the first 5k no faster than a 10 minute mile pace.
  • Do the second 5k no faster than 9:45 minute mile pace.
  • Do the last 5k as fast as I want.
  • Let go of the need to finish under 1:30.  My new goal is to finish under 1:45.  My time from last year is 1:50 (but I was sick).
  • I’m in the 4th of 5 seeded corrals and I still want to start in the seeded corrals, but I’ll start in the very back.

And after Gate I’m going to:

  • Lose 40 pounds.  No really.  Stop laughing!
  • Do speed work at least once a week that makes me want to puke.
  • Add serious strength training.
  • Start placing in my age group locally.
  • Finish the WDW 10k in January 2015 in the top 5% of my age group.

Time to get focused on my speed goals.  I’m going to spend some time researching specific speed and strength workouts and will share my plans once I get them all ironed out.


Getting Faster Isn’t So Easy — 14 Comments

  1. Sounds like you have a great plan for your race – best of luck! :0)

    I did some speedwork on Monday with the treadmill at a slight incline. Hoooooly moly, it made me want to puke.

    I’ll be at the WDW marathon weekend as well. Maybe I’ll see you there!

  2. Haha Twinkie! I should have just come to your blog to see what I was supposed to do today. I worked on speed today too, which was pathetic and nowhere near my speed just 8 months ago before my injury. My lungs were on fire, but that let me know I was doing something right. LOL. I’m gonna lose 40 pounds with you, K? What else? Oh yeah, that god-awful strength training. That too! If you do it, then I’ll do it…so you gotta do it. That’s how it works! 😉

    • Sounds like a plan. Although I did strength training on Monday and seriously overdid it (look for the painful details tomorrow!) so I haven’t been able to run (or barely walk!) since then. My race this weekend will be interesting! But yes, let’s both lose 40lbs AND do strength training 2x a week and run sub 9 minute miles, ok?!?! Let’s do it! :)

    • Strength training is tricky I think! We have trainers at work, so maybe I’ll see if they can help me with a plan that’s not quite as intense as my poorly designed one!

  3. You’re doing great girl! I reached my PR in both 5k and 10K so now i’m done..haha. I know that’s not how iit works but I just don’t have the desire to work You are inspiring me though!