There comes a point in a runner’s career that running is no longer about setting PRs or speedwork sessions – because honestly, setting PRs and speedwork isn’t easy if you’ve been running for a while and you find yourself decades into your running career,
HOWEVER, I believe that sometimes PRs and running faster are often tied into the “mental” and not always the physical capabilities.
One of the great ways to start running faster, since many of us tend to settle down into what is comfortable for us, is to simply spend time visualizing yourself running faster – running light, quick, and easy. Seeing yourself, in your mind, pressing a little, using good form, driving forward, and breathing through the miles. You’d be surprised what you’re capable of ONCE your mind believes your capable of doing it. : )
The other way that I think is a great way to trick yourself into speed work is running hills. Not bumps in the road, but hills that are fairly steep and at least 200 meters (longer is better) long. The idea is to simply focus on your form and trying to maintain your pace up them. A trick I use to get up steeper hills is to focus on bringing my knees up as I drive forward and up. This “trick” does two things. 1) It distracts me from the fact that I am running up a hill; 2) I’m getting more out of my steps – instead of driving my feet INTO the hill (what happens when you shuffle/don’t bring your knees up), by bringing my knees up my feet land in a better, more energy-returning position and can better propel me up the hill.
Now, a lot of fall races are already underway, but fall has really just started, and with the cooler weather and incorporating some visualization and form tips into your running, you may very well find yourself running a lot faster than you thought you could!
Finally, remember, speed is relative to you and to your goals. You could be a sub-5-minute miler or you may have to work to break 14 minutes a mile. That’s okay. We all have our goals and capabilities and personal running challenges. Just be the best you because it’s guaranteed that SOMEBODY will need your best just to make it . . . and you're right, I’m not talking just about running. : )
And with that thought . . . have an awesome run today. : )
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!