An oddity

Having done my first Parkrun and first continuous 5k on Saturday I wondered if I should have an extra rest day, but, much in the vein of Irish-John 's thought for the rest day, out I went because I needed to feel my best before driving over 200 miles to sort out stuff for my mother. I can just play it by ear, I thought.

So, after a while I found I was more tired than usual and breathing was harder so I walked for a short distance. Got to a hill I've been practising going up, ran halfway up, walked a bit then ran again. Back down, rinse and repeat, followed by another brief walk then running all but a few strides till 5 minutes from home, thinking how good it had been even though even slower than usual. Well worth going, to set myself up for the day ahead.

So here's the oddity. Strava tells me I was quite wrong about the speed - it was one of my "faster" runs, and the 2 efforts up the hill were the "quickest" I've got up there, even though I walked a bit! Not that it made a difference either way to how much better the run had made me feel - the endorphins were there either way!

I can only think that it stemmed from the 2 runs before. Last week I had my first try with the run/walk section of a local running group. They definitely set off faster than I normally do when by myself but do it for shorter distances then walk (very briskly). I just about managed that. Then after 2 days rest there was the parkrun where I'm pretty sure the effect of being in a big group was to make me start off faster, but in that case, knowing I wanted to try to do 5k continuously, I remembered what Laura says about keeping steady and slowed down. I guess those 2 runs must have got me starting quicker than before so it looks like I've accidentally started practising improving my "speed" :-D as well as the hill stuff improving.

5 Replies

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  • If you're a recent graduate then as long as you keep up with the regular runs you can expect to experience speed improvements without consciously trying to go faster. Parkruns and races will give you an extra adrenaline boost and running with more experienced and faster runners helps to improve speed too. And those hills-great way to build strength and endurance. Keep it up and you'll continue to get quicker. Good luck!

  • All my pbs have walk breaks - that recovery time allows me to put extra oomph into the running bits.

  • I've found it really difficult to be able to judge how fast I'm running until MapMyRun chirps the distance and time/splits. The other evening I was leading whilst my running buddy followed behind, I'd told him I'd take it nice and easy that evening. After 5 mins I glanced over my shoulder only to find him trailing by about 50m, I slowed the pace and let him catch up. At the end of our run he said that at the start I was just running to fast for him and he couldn't keep up the pace. I was so surprised! I really had thought I was running slower than normal...weird eh?

  • Even after four years of running (on and off), I have realised that I simply cannot judge my pace while I'm running. So often, a run that feels as though I have leaden legs and am running through treacle, barely moving, turns out to be quicker than usual. The only exception to this is my last run, on Sunday, when I was aware that I ran the middle 5 mins quicker than either of the others - but that's it, out of about 270 runs! :)

  • Skywatcher and RainbowC it's nice to hear about other people finding it hard to judge speed! I really was way out on this one though - because I was so convinced I'd been really slow and in any case had gone out with the explicit intention of not thinking about it that I nearly didn't bother to look at Strava!