Saturday was a day of extremes. Chris ran a race first thing in the morning. It was in the 30’s and snowing/raining and super windy. Cold+rain+wind is my least favorite weather. It was on a dike along the Mississippi River, too. Brr!
I opted to stay home. I am not a fair weather runner, but I’m certainly a fair-weather racer. Paying money to run is bad enough; I’m not doing it in miserable conditions. Luckily where we live there are plenty of tiny races where preregistration is not necessary and I can make last-minute decisions.
By 5 p.m., it had warmed up to the 50’s and stopped spitting ice, although the wind was still fierce. I ran alongside Campbell while she rode her bike. After 2.5 miles, she was getting tired, so I dropped her off at home and ran a mile and half tempo run. I guess that’s a tempo run…is a mile and a half long enough? I ran the 4th mile in 8:36, and I honestly do not feel like I could have run a smidge faster (I used to race 5k’s between 7:30 and 8:00 pace). I ended with a very leisurely trot around our block a few times to make 4.5 miles.
It wasn’t just my breathing, it was my body. It’s like I forgot how to run fast. I am getting adjusted today for the first time in 4 weeks, so it’s possible my body is out of alignment, and there was a strong head wind for some of it, but more likely is that I just haven’t tried to run fast in a very long time. Clearly I need to work on at least one tempo run a week!
Chris has always been of the mentality that people CAN run plenty fast enough but that they just need conditioning to hold that speed. He feels that hill workouts and other strength types of workouts, and tempo runs/races, do more for your speed that track intervals. I’ve always agreed with him in the past. However, after Sunday’s performance, I’m wondering if I do need a little practice in getting my legs to turn over faster!
Do you feel like you lose the ability to run fast after a sluggish winter? What is your favorite method to increase speed?