Citius, altius, fortius (faster, higher, stronger)
Today I achieved a running milestone; I was able to run my fastest pace for a 5 -mile race. Now to be honest, after running a marathon, a 5 -mile race may not be a lot to get excited about for some. In all honesty, I actually woke up this morning and skipped breakfast because it was “only 5 miles.” During my regular training, this would be a huge no-no, but I figured it would be easy. As I approached the start line, I began to regret missing breakfast, but at this point it was far too late to do anything about it. The race started and I followed my usual running plan of starting slow in hopes of speeding up as the race went on. After 5-10 minutes, my inner competitor started telling me “don’t just run, race!” This may seem like a small distinction but I realized that although I’ve been running for a few years, I have never really thrown caution to the wind and run fast for long. So, I did. I pushed harder than I have before and finished well. Don’t get me wrong, there came a point when I was completely regretting the lack of breakfast as my legs got heavy from lack of fuel, but I kept pushing. One of my strategies when I get tired is to pick a runner and try to pass him or her. If I accomplish that small goal, I pick another and another until the race is over. It worked! My pace for this race was almost 40 seconds per mile faster than I’ve run before in a race. So how did I do it? Intervals. The following is a workout I’ve been doing once or twice a week on the treadmill (which I totally hate, but switching up the pace makes it more tolerable) for the past few weeks. I won’t lie, it has been a challenge, but today’s results were well worth it.
Begin the intervals at a slow, easy pace at an incline of 1.0 to 2.0. This may not seem like much, but maintaining the incline for the duration of the run is a great challenge along with the speed.
0-2 5 mph (warm-up)
2-3 5.5 mph
3-4 6.0 mph
4-5 6.5 mph
5-6 7.0 mph
6-7 7.5 mph
7-8 8.0 mph
8-9 5.0 mph
Repeat 4 times. In 1 to 2 months, kick butt in a race!