Trying: the new secret to running success

Don't mind that it says 4.79km. I assure you, it was 5K. Oh, and did I mention it was pouring rain?

Don’t mind that it says 4.79km. I assure you, it was 5K. Oh, and did I mention it was pouring rain?

I’m on a roll. For three weeks in a row, I’ve clocked a new 5K PB at the local Park Run. We have done the same run every week for 4 weeks and every time, I’m markedly faster than last time. This past week, I finished in 25:49, FIRST in my age group! FIRST! I actually didn’t think this was an achievable objective until I was in the 60+ category. But I beat all women age 30-34! I squealed with conceited glee when the results came in on Saturday morning and immediately dashed off to the computer to determine just exactly how many people I beat. Turns out it was only 8, but still. My pride remains.

Basically, in the course of 2 months, I’ve gone from a 5K PB of 27:30 to 25:49!

So what’s the secret? New diet? New shoes? New workouts. Nope, nope, nope. I am just trying.

I guess I have never really actually worked on getting faster. I just always assumed I was an average/slow runner and focused on distance vs. speed. But turns out the simple act of trying makes all the difference! This is actually borderline infuriating. What the hell have I been missing all these years? Could a 1:45 half marathon have actually been within my reach? Could I have shaved 15 minutes off my marathon time? Have I just been holding myself back? My whole perception on this speed thing has changed. Maybe I really am a much faster runner!

Some other interesting things. Running faster has some pretty awesome benefits like:

  • You work your abdominal muscles harder which means a flatter stomach without crunches. Yay!
  • You burn more calories
  • Your form is improved (not always, but sometimes running faster improves your posture and footstrike)
  • You improve race times in other distances!
  • You’re done your run way faster
  • You look like way more of a badass

Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list of benefits, and i’m clearly not an expert on the benefits fast running, but basically everything points to the fact that I have been missing out all these years.

I thought a sub 25 time was an impossibility, but I’m a little more convinced I could actually do this. Onward and upward… er downward I guess!

7 Comments

  1. afastpacedlife November 10, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    I love your attitude. I also used to think that I could never run a sub-25:00 5K and that I was permanently a 9-10 min/mile runner. But I gradually got faster and faster and I realized that I wasn’t *that* far off from a sub-25. Once I broke that goal, I became obsessed with becoming faster. It may happen for me slower than other people, but I’m far far far faster now than I ever was before. You can do it too!

    • Miranda November 10, 2015 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks so much for the encouragement! It is so crazy how much a mental barrier can hold you back!

  2. Shank November 10, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    Keep pushing M. What I found that helped me be a “fast” runner was completing the Insanity workout DVDs (without pausing)- it showed me how long I could exercise at a higher level of intensity AFTER my brain said slow down idiot. That allowed me to tell brai. To shut up when running 5km races. Many studies of bikers have shown as well the brain holds back peak performance more so than the body. Fascinating work.

    • Miranda November 11, 2015 / 4:05 am

      Who knew it was my brain holding me back this whole time!? Those Insanity workouts are intense. Graham and I tried a few and the fitness test which was only 20 minutes left me sore for days!

  3. Single-Tracked Mind November 11, 2015 / 2:08 pm

    My core ALWAYS hurts after I run a fast 5k! You can feel how effective running fast is.

    • Miranda November 11, 2015 / 4:39 pm

      I know! Way more fun than crunches, right?!

  4. petcottages November 12, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    A motivating post, Miranda! Maybe I, too, can strive for faster times, rather then resigning myself to be a mid-pack runner, in the upper quarter of my age group, still striving for a place someday!

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