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 my "gutsy" run
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

my "gutsy" run Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:12 pm 

Last night I was thinking some more about the topic of "guts" or pain tolerance in running, and I really started to believe that I'm being held back from running faster by mostly mental factors, not physical. I thought that maybe all I need to do in order to run faster is to, um, run faster. So I decided to test that theory on my Sunday long run this morning.

I normally run 12 to 22 miles on Sundays along the same bike path, a beautiful route through woods along a resevoir at the base of the coastal mountains. I've been running there for about four years, and all my long runs seem to fall somewhere into the 8 to 9 minutes per mile range, with an average of maybe 8:15/mi. Anything with an average pace under 8:00/mi is "fast", and I rarely break that barrier on these long runs. My fastest times on this route were during fall 2004, when I was in peak shape, and I managed a few long runs a bit under 7:30/mi while during marathon pace runs.

I decided that maybe if I just decided to suck it up and run hard, that's all it would take. I thought I'd take a stab at breaking the 8:00/mi pace barrier, which I hadn't done in a while, and set my goal as 7:50/mi average pace for a 14 mile run. Off I went. 7:50/mi didn't feel too bad at all, although it was certainly faster than I'm accustomed to running on that route. Maybe I've just gotten used to the feel of a mid 8's pace, and automatically home in on it.

After a couple of miles around 7:45/mi, I felt pretty good, and just kept rolling along, getting gradually faster and faster. By the final few miles I was running around 7:15/mi. I finished the 14 miles in 1:45:14, for an average pace of 7:31/mi. For me, that's really fast. In fact, I've only had faster long runs twice in my life, at 7:26/mi and 7:28/mi when I was in peak form and doing long MP runs. So I consider today's run something of a breakthrough, especially considering that while it certainly felt faster than I normally do long runs, it wasn't like race pace either. Normalizing the time to 13.1 miles yields a time that's better than 3 of my 6 half-marathon races, too.

Maybe it is all mental.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: my "gutsy" run Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:39 pm 

Nice run Rickshaw! Now, will tomorrow be a rest day or recovery run? I often guage a good run like that with how I feel the next day. If I have a stellar training run like you did and I am able to run easy the next day without an problems then I feel the previous days run was a breakthrough workout. If I feel beat up the next day then i know I over did it and have screwed up my training for the next few days.

I had an interesting experience during my 10 miler today. I was feeling tired around the 7 mile mark and found myself increasing my pace when i saw a person about a quarter mile in front of me (I was running on the canal path that has very little foot traffic on Sunday mornings). I've had this experience many times before. I'll be out running and come upon someoen running in front of me. I can tell I'm slowly gaining on them but soon my speed picks up and I pass them running at a much faster pace. I then slow back to my original pass shortly after passing them. This response seems to be involuntary. I don't believe I consciously decided to run faster; it's as though my mind perfers that I get past this person sooner than later. This happens a lot to me in races. I often find someone I can pace off of in front of me but after a while I get bored, or something, of running behind them and I pass them. Then I have to find another person to pace off of.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: my "gutsy" run Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:05 pm 

Whoa, wow, Rickshaw, that sounds like an inspirig run!

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: my "gutsy" run Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:00 pm 

mfox wrote:
Nice run Rickshaw! Now, will tomorrow be a rest day or recovery run?

Well, I did an easy 4 mile run today, which is my normal Monday routine. I took it pretty slowly, although I was running with a friend who's a little slower than I am, so I think that's normal.

mfox wrote:
I'll be out running and come upon someoen running in front of me. I can tell I'm slowly gaining on them but soon my speed picks up and I pass them running at a much faster pace. I then slow back to my original pass shortly after passing them.

I've noticed this myself. I'm not sure if I actually speed up, or if it's just that the difference in our speeds becomes more noticeable the closer we get to one another. I don't want to look like an ass by blowing past someone, only to slow down and get repassed right away!


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