Slow is the New Fast

 Today I had a chat with the local track coach.

Sometimes I call upon outside experts when the haze and fog of training make it impossible to dissect what the hell is going on with me.

I needed to know why I was running slower and not adapting to this heat and humidity.

It took him all of 15 seconds to respond.

I fail to recover adequately.

WHATT???!!  Who Me??? I know all about recovery. I’ve studied it. I’ve taken exams on it. I preach it. I write about….I am the master of all that is recovery!

A-hem…apparently not.

I’ve scored a big fat F in summer recovery run class.

It would seem that every time I head out the door to run, my ego gets in the way.

My focus is more with the numbers on the Garmin than actually performing the scheduled workout.

An ugly truth, but the truth it is.

I’m actually training to race almost 7 min miles with my 9:20-9:30 min mi aerobic/recovery runs. YIKES!  Kinnda explains the mind-numbing fatigue I’ve experienced as of late.

The thing is, I know better. I know I should be running slower, but I don’t like to be a slow runner.

I want to be a FAST runner…apparently this isn’t how you get to be fast.

This is how you get to be tired, worn out, and having to rest more than train!!

Time to re-group, draw up a new plan, and try again!

Damn I love this sport! 🙂

Run Happy, My Friends!

9 thoughts on “Slow is the New Fast

  1. Start running by heart rate instead of pace… that’ll really frustrate you! When I’m doing long slow run training I set my Garmin to vibrate every time I go over 140. 140 results in a pretty slow pace… over 10:00 on the flats and often up to 12:00 on hills. But I remind myself that I can still feel a sense of accomplishment if I redefine the goal! The goal being, see how much my pace drops at the same HR over time. Or the short-term goal: yay, I actually completed a run at a low HR as instructed 🙂

    • Jenn…I normally run by heart rate…almost 100%. But since the summer and the heat/humidity has been a factor I can’t rely on it as much. My heart rate STARTS at 122-128 instead of 78 doing my 1/4 mi walk warm up b/c it’s so hot. I was granted an extra 10 bpm b/c of the conditions so my easy days are suppose to be 155-160bpm running and 130-135bpm on the bike…riding I have no problem following protocol, although if I lived among the hills I probablly would because my pace would be “off”. Running…well…you read that one…..But spent yesterday reviewing my 1/2 marathon data and looking at how good I felt. I ran slow every day…10+ min/ miles, singing while I ran..talking on the phone on the TM one time… until the end when I was allowed some “just go run” days and I started hitting 8s-9s. I ran the race quite well considering I didn’t “race” I stopped 10 times to stretch my hamstring and be sure I wasn’t pushing too hard. I think really reviewing this data may have been my light bulb moment…we’ll see… 😉

  2. Hmmm… this could be why I was so dead on my long run, I ran fast the night before. Tired legs. You should have posted this sooner! (haha, I kid).
    It’s great you have a good coach to tell you like it is. Be a good example for me and recovery adequately!!

    • He told me and I KNOW this (you do too)…long runs and fast runs are very hard on your body and need about 36 hrs of recovery…depending on age. I need about 48 hrs. Doesn’t mean no running though…actually nice, SLOW running is ideal. It’s why so many have to alternate night runs w/ moring runs…for recovery periods….I’m making he spreadsheet from HELLL right now, trying to work out the when’s and how’s… and if I don’t loose my mind I’ll post it when its done.

    • Yes we will..Maybe we should all start a support group! Seems to be very common…I wonder how many of us are wasting good potiental by not following these principals??!!

  3. I just run by feel. I know, sounds simple but it just works for me. Some days i get out there and can run 8 minute miles all day long and it feels like I’m running 10 min/mi. Other days I run and a 8:30/avg feels like I’m running 6:30’s. So, I listen to what my body needs from me that day and go with it. It has never misled me. My heartrate is too crazy to use as a guide b/c i have a hyperthyroid and my HR tends to run on the high side but my rate of perceived exertion is much lower. Did you really study this stuff? In college? Inquiring minds want to know. And, when you were living in FLA, did you ever do St. Anthony’s tri?

    • I did..BS in athletic training and human performance and MA in human performance. It’s very easy for me to tell other people WHAT to do and apply the science..or breakdown what’s not working for them…NOT so easy to do for myself. Primarily b/c I tend to be non-compliant. I WANT to be a runner and I’m just not. I mean like 5-6 min/mi marathon runner 🙂 Facts are facts. If you saw me, you’d understand. I’m built like a swimmer…BIG, tall, broad, muscular….fine for swimming and as I’m finding I can hold my own on the bike, but running….And at 40+ I may just need to be happy with a sub 2hr 1/2 marathon given the facts…Basically stop working against the system and work WITH it…..Never did St. Anthony’s…or really any tris when we lived there. Our son was a newborn (and I was postpartum..ugh!!) and my husband was so consumed in his last 2yrs of medical school we were trying to just survive!! I ran though…pushed that child in a baby jogger in many road races!! We have talked about coming back to race it now though!

  4. Jenn, I had a feeling you had the exercise science background. So do I. But just a BS in Exercise Phys. Had my own training studio for 8 years but in the biz for about 20 years. Sold my business in 2004 and now in the medical underwriting field. Love it! Miss the training but do it on the side still with a few long time clients who couldn’t stand to part way and would never, ever do any exercise on their own.
    I did work at St. Anthony’s Wellness Center in the mid 90’s so I had the opportunity to “work” the bike course during the race and also do the race in 97 and 98. Let’s just say, I was a pathetic swimmer back then and just okay on the bike/run. It is a great race but has grown exponentially since I last did it. It is a mad house with a bazillion swim waves. The swim is notorious for getting cut short or cut completely b/c the water in that basin can get all choppy.
    Ok, when you do St. Anthony’s, let me know. We are in the same age group, LOL!!

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