On any given day
It’s been an interesting week running-wise. I was talking to a co-worker on Monday about his run in the Denver Marathon the previous day. He made it and was able to get around pretty good, not too sore. We were talking about our training, and how runs that used to seem pretty big now seem routine. We both made comments about how we thought we could go out and run a half marathon on any given day.
I was planning on running at lunch, and decided to do a half marathon as a spur of the moment test. I haven’t raced any of the traditional distances (5k, 10k, half, marathon) so I really didn’t know what to expect. Most of my runs are slow and steady, putting in big miles to get ready for an ultra distance race. I ran my training half marathon in 1:43, averaging a 7:51 pace. I was quite surprised that I could pull that off only 2 weeks after my hundred miler and without any specific training. I felt like I could dip down into the high 1:30’s with slightly fresher legs, and maybe drop even more with some faster paced runs.
On Wednesday, I took the opposite approach. I worked on holding my heart rate at, or under 140bpm. I wanted to average less than 140 and still be able to hold a pace less than 10 min/mile for 5 miles. I didn’t quite make it (averaged 10:15), but want to keep working on those types of runs. I feel like I have a lot of gains to be made by improving my running efficiency and economy, and think that being able to hold faster paces at a lower heart rate will be the key.
In order to start working on my efficiency, I decided to run every day this week. And just do a lot more running in general. Up to this point, I’ve been taking a couple of days off each week and mixing in cross-training in the form of cycling as well. Those are good things to do, but I’m feeling that for me to improve beyond where I’m at now, I need to run a lot more consistently. This will condition my body to running at all different distances, levels of recovery, and hopefully trigger some more adaptation. I know from my cycling background, the key to a smooth and efficient pedal stroke is to do a lot of miles with that in mind. I’m hoping to replicate that effect while running.