|As you can see, a year ago my long runs were slower than they have been recently.|
So how did I bring my paces back down this year?
First, and I think mostly importantly, I stopped quitting. Since I began running, my pattern would be to run consistently for a few weeks, maybe even a month, and then take a chunk of time off. Having to start over so frequently obviously set me back and stalled any progress I could be making.
|My training over the past 26 weeks...There were times I rested heavily (most noticeably during the height of my calf issues), but there are no major gaps in my training.|
|Compare this training from March 2015 to my recent training. Major gaps like this are nowhere to be seen in 2016!|
I've balanced my training. I loved training for marathons but I am not a strong enough runner to truly train the way a marathoner should. For my body, marathon training was very close to over-training. These days, my workouts and training schedules are much more balanced, allowing for better recovery. I can also push my paces and test my limits more because I'm not paranoid about getting injured before a big goal race. That's probably a factor, too: I'm racing less frequently.
Finally, I think 10-minute miles come naturally to me. When I'm feeling healthy, strong, and centered, my pace easily falls into the mid-9s for short runs and 10s for longer runs. I'm comfortable and happy at these paces most of the time; this is how my running looked before I got into marathons, and I think my body is just getting back to its equilibrium.
What is your happy pace?
What did you do (training-wise) to reach that pace?