Monday, September 12, 2011

Fast-ish, from time-to-time

I am not what anybody would call a fast runner.  I generally don't run faster than a 12 minute mile.  When I am just out there to see the scenery and make the miles go by, I usually settle into a slower than 12 minute mile pace.  For a long run, I usually average even slower.

But that doesn't mean I'm not capable of running faster than that. It's just not what I focus on.  I've recently been trying out something called a Maximum Aerobic Threshold run.  The idea for this is to get the body used to running with fat-as-fuel instead of using glycogen. The way to do this is to SLOW DOWN to a painfully-slow pace.  The best way to approximate this slow pace is to breathe through your nose while running.  When I do this, I usually slow down to an embarrassingly slow 15 minute mile.

The good news is that I can do this pace all day long, provided I have the patience for it. The bad news is that if I were to run any races at this pace, I'd be kicked off the course.  The good news is that I don't run races at this pace, I train at this pace.  Probably the hardest part about this is keeping the runner's ego away.

One of the benefits of this, is after a few weeks of running like this, you can get better endurance for the races.  I decided to run 3 miles as fast as I could: Trying to break my 3 miles in 30 minutes barrier that I have never broken before.

I headed out with my new running shoes, the Merrell Barefoot, and ran as hard as I could for the whole 3 miles.  Average pace 9:03, best pace 07:22 (for just a few moments).  That was fun, but I won't do it that much more until after the marathon is over with.

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