I CAN run slowly!!

Today I did one of the most satisfying, but challenging and tiring, 5Ks so far -- at around half the speed of my PB of 34 minutes -- that is 5k's in 60 minutes.

What is he taking about?? - I hear you say. Well today I was the "tailrunner" at my local Parkrun. I started way behind everybody else - and soon discovered that the slowest "runners" today were indeed walkers - one of whom had very recently had a baby. So they were out for a chatty 5K stroll- which is their right :) So, wearing running shoes which are not very good for walking ( almost no heel support) , I decided I would jog along behind them as they walked. Turns out they walked quite slow -- around 12 minutes per klm - so I jogged behind them using quickish and smallish steps , the whole 5K. I have previously told my wife that I wouldn't take a sweat towel because I would probably walk most of the way -- but as it turned out this "run" was quite a tough workout. It was very difficult to continue to run at that very slow pace -- but I did it. During the run, I noticed that my breathing was almost normal, I could easily talk -- but the strain on my leg muscles was considerable.

Most training plans for longer runs (even 5K training plans) often call for "long" runs at paces up to 2 minutes per klm slower than race pace. - and I have never really been able to do this , and mostly I do train at paces which are a bit too fast (no injuries yet but the potential is there) . But today this situation forced me to run very slowly - it felt right and I am going to use it once per week to increase distance and time (on my feet) to build endurance.

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11 Replies

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  • Very thought provoking as usual Bazza - and not an easy thing to do unless you have someone who dictates that pace with you. I bet you will feel it in your legs afterwards!

  • Yes, I've just done what I would describe as my first "easy" run, and think I normally run too fast.

  • I did something similar running a 10k with a first timer - it is SO hard on the legs, but weirdly feels good elsewhere! Definitely good practice and really does re- inforce just how much progress has been made since starting this running lark!

  • I agree, it is hard to take the pace down. I keep trying to run the first half of a 10k slower than the second but it always ends up the other way around.

  • Fascinating! Great post - and thanks for being a tail runner too. :)

  • This is very interesting. I too am a "fast" runner 5K PB 25:12. However, I am now getting niggles in my knee. I also have a 10K coming up but I am wiped out at 8K. I have tried to run slower but it feels weird!

  • Then stop and walk for a short while!!!!!!! :)

  • Haha! Sounds simple doesn't but I am obsessed with getting PBs

  • *it

  • Hmm - well if you are "wiped out" at 8k in a 10 k race, it doesn't sound to me like your current race strategy is working and therefore not likely to result in a PB??? :) Possibly time for a rethink. What makes you think that some walking will not result in a PB???

  • love all your responses you talk so much sense and logic!!!

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