Where's My Speed?

by Bryan on 6/10/2008 at 11:01 PM in Health and Fitness

Okay, I've got to know—how long were you guys running before you started getting some decent speed? Or were you already fast? I realize we're all built differently, but come on, I've got to have more speed in me by now, right?

Sure, I am getting faster. After all, I've set a new 5K PR every time I've attempted to set a new PR. And in the one race I didn't attempt it for myself, I paced Julie to a new PR, beating her week old PR by 8 seconds, on a hellacious course. And honestly, that meant more to me than any PR of my own. But I want to be faster!

On December 1st, 2007, I ran my first timed 5K in 31:15. On February 23rd, 2008, I ran my 2nd, with a PR of 28:45. On March 22nd, 2008, I ran my 3rd, with a PR  of 27:45. On April 19th, I ran my 4th 5K, setting another PR of 26:31. And finally, on May 10th, I set my current PR of 26:25. As you can see, I am faster, but I've also dropped 45 pounds since that first race on December 1st. I should be faster!

This Saturday Julie and I are racing the 2nd Annual Run For Dad 5K and Pancake Feed (for the exercise, of course), and I want another PR. But I am nervous. I am anxious. My last 5K hurt so bad. And I've had some tough runs over the last month. But my training has been consistent. I think I am prepared. I know I can't get a PR every time out, but I am not ready to not get one.

As a little test, I went out for an easy 5 this evening with Julie. With the route we chose, the first 3 miles were mostly uphill, and mile 4 was mostly downhill, after an initial uphill start. This would be a perfect test for this weekend's race, which starts off flat, with perhaps a little uphill, and is downhill to the finish. So the plan was to go out easy for the first 3 miles, getting nice and warmed up, and then do the 4th mile as a 1 mile time trial, finishing up with the 5th mile as a cool down. Here are my mile splits:

  1. 10:52
  2. 10:45
  3. 10:35
  4. 7:15
  5. 11:11

I am happy with that 7:15, especially after already running 3 miles. I wonder how that will translate to 5K on Saturday morning? According to the McMillan Running Calculator I could be looking at 25:07, if all of the stars are aligned.

Legacy Comments

My understanding is that if you want to get faster you need to run longer. I'm pretty new to running so I've been getting advice from the more seasoned folks at the running ahead forums.

Posted by AndrewE on 6/11/2008 3:33:51 AM

Andrew's got it right. Build up a decent base, mileage-wise, then maybe throw in some speed work. It sounds like you're already on the right path for both, it's just a matter of keeping it up for a while. In a couple of years, you'll be amazed how what you think of as "fast" has changed.

Posted by Michael on 6/11/2008 2:57:51 PM