So I had a little bit of an epiphany while I was out running last night. I had a good run...went 4 miles in 26:34, and ran comfortably for the most part, and well within myself. (didn't push too hard, and certainly not anaerobic at any point) So that's a good thing. But I was experimenting with my pace and my stride a little bit and I thought about the things that usually make me burn out or build up lactic acid during a hard run. I mean, let's face it, up to now I haven't been the best at pacing. My runs usually end up like an up-tempo interval workout with long sections of surges and fast pace efforts. That's good every once in a while but it really doesn't help you to learn how to pace yourself and run within what you KNOW you're capable of.
In the past, whenever I'd push the pace a bit, and I'd realize I knew I wouldn't be able to hold onto that pace for long I'd just try to gut it out...I'd hang on for dear life and push that much harder to hold onto the pace. In turn, when I DID actually slow down and somewhat fizzle out for a bit after that, I REALLY slowed down, and it took me a while to get back up to the pace I was at before the surge.
So yesterday, when I felt like I wasn't going to be able to hold onto the pace I has sped up to, I just backed off ever so slightly, took my recovery break at my original pace, and then slowly eased back into the faster pace I was running. This was SO much more effective, and I didn't loose any time or momentum because of it. It really helped to hold off the lactic acid buildup until much later in my run.
This is such a simple concept, and for so long I was thinking about it totally backwards...always trying to grit my teeth and hang onto a pace that realistically isn't good for me. It's more than ok to push during a run, and it's great to train your body to run fast, but I need to be looking out for my run as a whole and not just "in the moment" speed that I may be latching onto.
This post was completely useless to 98% of you, but it's ok...I just needed to get that in writing, and put something out there for me to mentally munch on this week.
Side note, tomorrow I'm running with the Fleet Feet team at 7am...I guess there's a pretty good group out there that meets for casual Sat. AM runs every week. Should be a good time...