That is the question running around in my head as of lately. I’ve been running long distance for over 10 years (before that I had only done 5k’s) and I feel like I have settled in to a comfortable slow pace…as if I am coasting through my runs. I have gone from a 9.5 min mile to a 10 or 10.5 min mile. How did that happen?? I’ll tell you how it happened, I got comfortable with my easy pace. I focused on finishing my runs without worrying about my time. Even with my short runs I save my energy for the end, as if by not conserving energy I will somehow collapse before I make it home. How ridiculous.
As I approach another year deeper into my 50’s I question my athletic abilities. My dog is also getting older. She can no longer run a slow 4 miles with me, which makes it the perfect time to change it up a bit. Maybe I should focus my training on 5k’s and pick up my pace. But I ask myself “Am I too old to change?” ” Am I too old to run a fast 5k?” I think not! If I can run for 13.1 miles I surely can run 3.1 miles fast. My husband seems to think that I’ve been running long distance too long to change now (kind of disappointing that he does not have faith in me 🙁 ), but I plan to prove him wrong. I refuse to let age be a factor in my goals.
Ironically enough Runner’s World (RW) had an article this month about running a fast 5k. Of course it didn’t say anything about being over 50 when you do it but whatever! In the same edition there is an article about running in your 50’s, 60’s and beyond…it’s quite impressive. Check out their website or better yet subscribe to their magazine for great articles and inspiration.
My plan is to follow RWs’ training schedule, “Run Your Fastest 5k” and incorporate it into my training for the Napa to Sonoma Half in July. The weekly long runs are similar to if not the same as my long runs that I do when training for a half. I figure it will only make me stronger. I refuse to let this body get old! Running fast helps improve running form, builds strength, increases efficiency, and (for me) makes you feel young.
My training will be a tad more flexible than the one in RW because of my schedule and I still need to take my dog for short runs. Today I took her out for a slow mile, brought her back home, went back out for a fast 4 miles (I surprised myself, my goal was a 10 min mile or faster, I did 9:10 – 9:35 and at one point I was at 8:10…I got this!) then came home and got Sadie (my dog) and did a mile of walking. I concentrated on each mile and pretended I was a kid again. Didn’t we all race our friends when we were kids? I felt pretty tired when I finished, like I got a good workout and figured there would be a nap in my near future…there was. 🙂
Check back next week to see how my training is going and if I collapsed before I made it home. Lol
Do you prefer short fast runs or long slow runs? Leave a comment below.
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