Run often – mostly easy, sometimes hard

This is a mantra that I have heard repeated time and time again.  If you want to improve your running times & ability – “run often, mostly easy, sometimes hard.”

Last year – I followed this rule of thumb very well, and saw my 1/2 marathon time drop from a 2:04 to a 1:36.  I was incredibly pleased with that.  My personal best 10K time (a couple years ago) is a 47:47.  I just beat that – ON A TRAINING RUN!  When you factor in all the variables, I crushed the 47:47.

First you must know – that I set that 47:47 time back in the day’s when I struggled to run sub 9:00 min miles in training.  I’m pretty sure that it was all adrenaline.   Also – that time eventually led me to get injured, because I did not know how to train properly, and after that “blistering” time – I thought “I’m going to try to go sub 7:00 min miles!”  Fresh off y excitement of the best race of my life (since discovering running at 39 years old) – I went out that week and ran way more often, and a lot faster.  That’s the worst thing you can do – especially when you are 40 years old!.  Lesson learned.

I have since been running much more regularly – but the last few months have been a bit sporadic.  I decided that after the new year (not a resolution, as I don’t believe in making New Years resolutions) – I was going to start another run streak.  I ran 12 days straight – then had my streak interrupted by a major snow storm (which forced me to go to the mountains and ski for 2 days – I would totally run in the snow!)  🙂

I took the Monday after that weekend of skiing – and did nothing as I was sore – then promptly resumed my running.  I have a rule that I won’t run any less than 3 miles on any run.  Most runs are 3-4 miles…I sprinkle in some that are between 5 and 7 miles.

3 days ago, I started doing an exercise program called the “Daily Burn.”   This is an Insanity / P90X style workout program.  I am doing this because I want to add a little bulk, and really want the abs to start showing.  I am doing the Daily Burn in addition to my running.

I was very sore today (mostly in the glutes and the hamstrings) so I decided that my run would be a normal 3 mile – easy run.  For me, easy is about an 8:30 per mile pace.

I started my run (which is always uphill at the beginning) and right away I told myself that I was going to run 6 miles as I’ve ran to many 3 mile days in a row now and I wanted to mix it up.  I hit Mile 1 and my split was 7:46!!!  WTF?  I’m sore – I’ve been working out like crazy!  Where the heck did that come from?  I didn’t even feel like I was working hard!

I kept up my stride and my cadence – and the 2nd mile was a 7:26 (not unexpected as the 2nd mile is more flat land and rolling hills – not as much up hill as mile 1 – and my legs were warmed up by then.)  Miles 3 and 4 came it at under 7:30 and mile 5 (which had a good little uphill stretch) came in at 7:32.  Mile 6, which is mostly flat was a blistering 7:20.

I finished, on a hilly route and very sore hamstrings and glutes, 6.2 miles in 46:37 !  (I ran the extra .2 on purpose, to make it 10K.)  When you factor in the fact I was sore, this route was hilly, and it was cold outside – I absolutely crushed my personal best 10K time!  This was the kind of run that gets the endorphin’s going.  I was high as a kite as I finished tonight’s run, and I can’t wait until my next 10K race.

When was your last endorphin boosting run?

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