Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Slow and steady

One of the unexpected benefits of my knee surgery has been that's taught me patience in my running. Before surgery, I tended to look at each run as a race against the clock for a new PR. I mean, if I ran that 3-mile loop in 26:22 last week, shouldn't I try to do it in 26:15 today?

Of course, training doesn't really work that way. The key is to build a strong base with a lot of aerobic running that doesn't beat up the body, then when the base is strong, add on tempo runs and speedwork. Easier said than done -- at least for me. Almost without fail I've beat myself up too much during my running, sacrificing the base by jumping right into tempo and speed work.

Recovering from my surgery meant a lot of short slow runs, done on flat surfaces, with ample walking breaks. But surprisingly, when I finally got back to racing, my 5K time in a sprint tri was faster than I'd done the year before, when I ran hard, but not consistently.

So bring on those slow and easy runs -- nothing like a cool fall morning, trotting along with the dog at a nice 10 min/mile pace. The speed can come later.


Check out my blinding run speed in the training log.

1 comment:

Myles said...

It looks like you are working on the same lesson that I am. At the beginning of this season I was hammering my runs and doing a lot of hill work. My gains in speed were pretty stupendous, that is untill i developed a stress fracture in my hip.

Fortunatly I got some good medical care and was able to jump back into the season about a month and a half later.

I think I've learned my lesson.