Up until this year, I’d pretty much run at a 10:30-11:00/mile pace, even slower on longer runs. The fastest I’d ever run consistently was when I was running 10:00/mile pace back in 2004 or 2005, but that was for 3 miles max at a time… and never running farther.
Then, earlier this year, I just got faster and stronger. I’m not sure what I did differently in the beginning of the year, although I think the recent addition of spinning and strength training in the past few months has definitely helped. I ran multiple 5Ks at faster than 10:00/mile pace during the Friday 5Ks back in April. I ran 7.5 straight miles without a walk break in the GW Parkway Classic 10 miler, finishing at a sub-11:00/mile pace. (Dropping more than 12 minutes off my previous 10 miler time.)
I’m now training for the Army Ten Miler, coming up the end of October. So far, I’ve run all of my short runs at sub-10:00/mile pace, and I’ve also run all of my long runs up to 5 miles at a sub-10:00/mile pace. I ran my 6 mile long run outdoors, which is usually slower for me for training runs than the treadmill because I can’t quite judge my pacing yet, but I still managed to do it at 11:00/mile pace without a single walk break. I’m pretty sure I could have done it at a 10:00/mile pace if I’d been on a treadmill, and I think I might even be able to finish my 10K next weekend in sub-60:00. (There’s a fast downhill in the beginning and no real uphill.)
A sub-60:00 10K. I never even considered that would be a possibility. I just always assumed that I was a 10:00/mile runner, at best, and only for short distances. Now, I think I may be able to get up to 9:00/mile pace within the next year. I know that’s not a fast pace. I know people who have never run before can run that pace with little to no effort. But for me? Being able to run several miles at a 9:00/mile pace would be a huge accomplishment.


1 Comment

Filed under Pretending to be a Runner

One response to “Faster!

  1. KateKirk

    Wow, your comments describe me perfectly. I was always 10:30-11 (especially while marathon training this year), but for some reason, I’ve sped up quite a bit this year. Some of it I think is gaining comfort with going faster…I only started running casually 5 years ago and only racing 2 years ago. (I call it “racing” since I’m at the front of the back of the pack) I did start speed training this cycle and have to admit it is my favorite workout of the week, if only because I proved I could run sub-8 for 100 yards :)
    Have you done A10M before? I am curious about how hardcore they are about the iPod ban. Sounds like you are doing Clarendon 10k – I’m just doing the 5K.