Slowing Down

I am not fast by any stretch of the imagination.  Okay, I can stretch my imagination that far and think I am fast……compared to someone sitting on their couch.  But in the grand scheme of things I am pretty average.  So when I am talking about slowing down, it would be akin to changing from the “speed of sloth” to the “speed of slug”……not visible with the naked eye.

My particular problem with running too fast has to do with training.  For my long runs, I run one pace.  For my tempo runs, I run one pace.  For my easy runs, I run one pace.  For my recovery runs, I run one pace.  Please note that when I say “one pace”, I mean “ONE PACE.”  I could look back at my training log and have a hard time differentiating between a fast workout or a slow workout!  They are all the same!

So why do I do this?  Not sure, but I have some ideas.

Reasons I run all my runs too fast:

  1. Daily Mile Peer Pressure:  I am friends with some seriously fast peeps on Daily Mile.  There easy run pace would be my top end quarter mile pace.  So when I start my training runs, I will glance at my average pace and speed up.  Got to keep up with the Jones’ (or Drakes or Kims or Brentons….).
  2. Visions of My Youth Still Haunt Me:  Every time I think I am over this, I remember how easy it was to crank out a 17 minute 5K.  And then I look down at my Garmin and at 17 minutes I am still waiting to hit 2 miles.  Sigh…….
  3. Life Time Constraints:  Do you really think I want to get up at 2 AM on a Saturday and run 20 miles?  Or run at 3:00 in the afternoon in July?  Nope.  I have a lot of family engagements to plan around, so I don’t have time to go slow.
  4. Self Created Plan Sucks:  I make my own training plan.  It sucks.  Instead of spelling out workouts, it only lists miles.  So I just run miles.

Every one of those reasons is a valid point.  They are all a product of my life and where I stand with my training.  But here’s the deal: I’m setting myself up for some problems.

The Issues:

  1. No Quality Runs:  My long run suffers because I ran too hard earlier in the week.  My sloth speed suffers from no speed training.  My body gets used to one thing and I plateau.
  2. No Recovery Runs:  Hard should be hard.  Easy should be easy.  That is what allows your body to rebuild itself stronger.  Without recovery runs, your body stays broken down.
  3. No Long Run Adaption:  Doing my long runs too fast interferes with two key points: training my body to eat under moderate stress (100 miler!) and putting time on my feet.
  4. Injury:  This goes back to the recovery and rebuilding.  Constantly beating up your body with no weekly recovery will result in a beat up body.

The first step is to admit you have a problem.  The second step is to identify the cause of the problem.  The third step?  Fix the problem.

The Solutions:

  1. Daily Mile:  Be happy for my DM friends and their obnoxious speed.  And then forget about them.  I have my own work to do to get ready for this 100 miler.
  2. 17 year Old Timbeaux:  Grow up.  I am 45 years old, not 17.  It’s time I act like it.  Which in my case is slower and with less hair on my head.
  3. Time Constraints:  The weather is cooling off, so time is getting more flexible.  Plan my workouts when everyone else is busy or gone.
  4. Plan Sucks:  Go to Excel.  Open up training plan #8.  Save as training plan #9.  Rework it and emphasize quality and recovery.

I need to keep reminding myself of the goal:  Get to the starting line of Rocky Raccoon in one piece.  Then get to the finish line in as many pieces as needed to finish.


Question:  Do you use a structured plan with specific workouts or do you just go workout willy-nilly?

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