Friday, September 7, 2012

A long post about getting faster

For some reason I'm really into reading articles on running and how to run smarter and how to run faster.  I found this article: 8 Tips for Running an 8-minute mile on pinterest.  It's a good one.  I do most of the things on here but instead of doing fartleks I do speed work (intervals or tempo runs) once a week.  Maybe I could add in a fartlek as one of our speed workouts after the marathon training is over.  

So here is a little history on me and my story on how I have gotten faster.

I have run off and on since high school.  I ran cross country for 2 years then quit when my big sis graduated because for me it wasn't as much fun.  Back then I was around a  6:00 min/miler - oh the good old days. Then in college I would run anytime I had a roommate who wanted to run.  And it was all just for fun.  Never knew how far or fast we were going I just ran to keep in shape.  

Freshman year
When I first got into doing races was after I got married.  I had gained weight and needed something in my life that was just for me.  So I started doing triathlons.  I consistently ran at a 9:30 min/mile pace for those first few years.  About 5 years ago my running partner and I decided to kick it up a notch and see if we could run a 5K at an 8:00 min/mile.  So we incorporated "fast Fridays"  into our workouts.  We would jog a half mile then run 3 miles as fast as we could then jog a half mile.  I remember being so out of breath and feeling like I was going to puke by the end of the 3 miles and they were at an 8:00 min/mile pace.  However we did the freedom festival 5K that year and I finished in 24:43 with a 7:58 pace.

My 2 sisters and I at the Spudman in 2001 - My first tri

Then after my last baby (4 years ago) I decided it was time to really step up.  We signed up for a half-marathon and then I ran my first full marathon.  It was at this point that instead of just working out or being a triathlete I became a "runner".  I focused on my training.  What did I want....distance, speed, both?  How did other people do it?  Then started really training.  I have gotten faster consistently over the past 4 years.  As a matter of fact last year I ran the annual Turkey Trot and took first in my age group with a 7:30 pace.   

First Marathon 2009

So here are things I personally focus on as I've been trying to get faster.  

1 - Speed work.  I think it is so important to incorporate faster running into one run a week.  For me it's usually a shorter distance run and I put a lot more effort into the run.  I usually have music to block out my heavy breathing and I can't talk anyway.  My personal faves are mile intervals and tempo runs.

2 -Know where you are.  I wear my garmin when running outside and I love using the treadmill for speed work so I know exactly where I am running on fast days and slower days.  

3 -  Tracking my progress.  I love my blog for this exact reason but I've also had notebooks and apps on my phone to help me see where I was and where I currently am. 

4 - Downhill runs.  I think running down the canyon is a great way for me to feel my legs moving fast.  It forces a faster pace but doesn't kill me as much as if I tried to do it on a flat run.  There is something to getting your muscles used to moving fast.

5 - Uphill runs. Where I live there are no runs over 4 miles that don't include a hill of some sort so I run up and down on pretty much every run I do.  I know that powering uphill is the best way to get stronger and faster.  The goal with the hill is to just look at the ground and get to the top.

6 - Spin.  I love making my legs go fast on a spin bike.  I think this has helped my fast twitch muscles.  I like to find a fast pace and then hold onto that tempo for 3-5 minutes straight. 

7 - Fast Running Partners.  A few years ago we added a new gal to the mix who happened to be faster than us.  It rocked.  She naturally has a quicker pace than I do and it totally helped me just pick up the pace instead of going to my usual pace.  After running with her for a couple of months my daily runs were already at least a 10 second faster pace. 

I'd love thoughts on other things to incorporate to continue getting faster.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kathy! It's Amy (kami and Tara's friend). :) Just want you to know that I love reading your blog. It inspires me to get faster. You're awesome! St. George better watch out!