Who are you calling slow?

It’s time to push. Crank up the speed. Put the hammer down.

Pick your cliche, but it all means the same thing. I’m making the shift to speed.

If the first half of this year was mostly about endurance (with my first ultra, run very slowly), then the rest of this year is mostly about speed.

I want to run shorter races, run them faster and go for new PRs in the 5K, 10K and half-marathon.

So it means I need to do more speedwork, some of it on tracks and pavement, and less slow trotting on trails and roads.

And that’s what I did this morning.

I took an old drill, the Pine Loops repeats, and made it harder by stretching the distance — from four-tenths of a mile to an even mile.

I ran a paved loop in my neighborhood, exactly one mile around, with a few mild hills. Every time I passed my house, I hit my watch and noted my time. Then, without a rest interval, I immediately started the next lap, with the goal of running each lap a little faster than the one before.

So this was a combination of speed and distance, a tried-and-true strategy for faster racing, I believe. Time will tell.

I ran five of these one-mile loops. Here’s how I did:

Lap 1 — 8:58 (warm-up)

Lap 2 — 8:22

Lap 3 — 7:52

Lap 4 — 7:33

Lap 5 — 7:04

My total time was 39:47. My average speed was 7:58 per lap.

OK, it’s nothing spectacular. But after weeks of doing the shorter speed drill (one-fourth of a mile, eight repeats), it felt good to stretch the distance, while continuing to push the speed on each lap.

Next week, I will try to increase my average speed to 7:30 a mile or faster. 

Of course, that means I will have to start a bit faster. That plodding first lap really pulled down my average time.


Speaking of plodding, my long, lazy recovery took its toll. I’m now up to 195.2 pounds, which is about 10 pounds heavier than just six weeks ago.

I need to get that 10 pounds off — maybe even five more, if I’m serious about PRs this fall.

I’ve done it before. I can do it again.


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