During my last couple runs I’ve had the opportunity to run with one of our city’s Marathon Clinic run leaders, who is also a friend of mine. You see, normally I never get to run with him as he is just too darn fast (usually runs 6 minute miles), but he is recovering from a shoulder operation and is slowing building his running speed up again. Even during his build phase, I am still under pressure to keep up with his pace. So, although I may whine and complain, I love to run with him as I know that I need to have these runs at a quicker paceto improve my running speed.
This very topic has also brought up interesting conversations during our runs. While I have been sucking air, he has been explaining to me the physics of running. Basically, our runs and conversations have been a gentle reminder that, although I love running at my own pace and at my own comfort level, I will never improve doing that. I will possibly even run slower as I am not getting any younger and my running speed has definitely seemed to slow over the years. As he has been explaining to me that while it is important to get those speed runs in, whether is be intervals at the track or fartlek training, it is equally important to have a slow run day as well for recovery or ultimately you will get injured, which means – stop running while you recover. And nobody wants to do that.
So this post is just a gentle reminder that if you are looking to have a better run time and improve your pace, don’t forget to include some faster runs into your running schedule. I have achieved this without even knowing by picking up with a run partner who is a faster pace, and the nice part about this is that he has been able to keep me motivated with stories during our runs. Maybe you are self-motivated and can head to the track and work on your speed by timing your 1/4 mile intervals or else work to your heart rate monitor during your regular runs. Whatever way you do it, don’t forget to add a little speed!