All right. Last week, I mentioned how I had been struggling a bit in my running. I’d set a goal for 10 miles in 2012…and found that moving beyond 9.5 was difficult (I know…so close, but yet so far). I wanted to talk about this a little more.
Here’s what I wrote last week
“I hit the 9 mile mark on March 31, 2012 (I goofed in the April post and said 2011, but it was 2012). As of June 30th, I slowed down my quarter a month pace slightly but am at 9.5 miles and planning to attempt 9.75 on the next long run. I was having some issues with trying to do too much at once (too fast a speed, too steep an incline, AND increased distance) and was getting discouraged by how long it was taking me because I stopped a lot. Cathy offered me some very good advice…essentially that to achieve new distances, I needed to slow down. Her advice helped a lot. Anyway, I’m confident I’ll hit the ten by the end of the year if not before.”
Here was the exchange with Cathy, from her “Classic” post on June 18. For context, she ran a 10k in about 46 minutes.
Congratulations! Wow, I’m envious of your time…I’m really struggling with my long runs because if I run faster (not nearly as fast as you!) I need to take more frequent breaks…if I run slower…it takes a long time…so the overall time is always looooooooonng!
Enough about me…what a fantastic day for you! Love the shoes.
Cathy: thanks, zo! it seems all of the shoe companies have embraced colour and innovative design this spring/summer season – i love it! re long runs…can i give my opinion?! i’d go slower and just embrace that you GET to run for more time! your long run is meant to build endurance, and then on shorter runs, you can work on pace and tempo. find a captivating tv show or movie (if you are still using the tm) to help during the long runs
Me: Thanks for the tip. I’ve wondered what was the better way of approaching it..I’ll give the slow long run a try….just my slow run is practically a walk.
Cathy: since you use the treadmill, and you can access your pace quite easily, here is another suggestion: for your long run, your pace should be 60-90 seconds per mile SLOWER than what you usually run, or run for shorter distance.
Me: hmm…there’s no reply option by your reply…thanks for the tip..I guess I was thinking I should be able to do it at a “comfortable” pace…but comfortable for 20 and almost an hour and 20 are different! I’ll definitely let you know how it goes.
Anyway, thanks to this advice (and suggested attitude adjustment), I’ve actually been able to run an hour (the treadmill won’t let you set a time higher than that, so I have to stop and restart) without stopping, where before, I ended up taking several breaks in the first hour, even more in the second. I’ve slowed down, quite a lot, because I realized I was trying to do too much at once…run a longer distance at a “shorter distance speed,” setting it at an incline. I had to take so many breaks it was adding 20 minutes to the time I spent at the gym. I got what Cathy was saying, just focus on distance. And I did. So, even though I’m not really getting out much earlier, at least I’m running more and breaking less. And on Saturday’s run, I was finally able to push past the 9.5 to 9.75.
So, thanks again, Cathy (I hope the store’s customers appreciate you!) 10 here I come!
What good advice have you gotten that helped you overcome an obstacle?