Every now and then I find it tough to continue running. I’ll go out on a long run and I just feel like walking.
It’s not that I’m tired, I just don’t feel like running. All of my runs tend to be Long Slow Distance running – I just go out to be outside and have some fun. But after awhile, it just feels like a good day to go walking. Its all mental, I want to run but … I want to walk.
Adding speed work to the mix seems to ‘reset’ my mind. Getting my heart rate up for a max effort does something to the mind to positively change my attitude about distance. Perhaps its like racing. LSD runs have no real goal other than complete the run. With no objective, the run just kind of peters out.
A race though is a RACE. I’m there to beat the clock, beat the distance, beat the runner in front of me and not let the guy behind me pass. Speed work has the same intense type of goal setting – I’m going to cross the distance hard. And then do it again. And again.
For days after the speed work I can still feel the intensity. My mind and energy level gets renewed. My speedwork is simple. I drive to a local paved trail and run 3/4 mile repeats. 3/4 mile simply because that’s the length of the trail.
- Run 1 direction, jog back the other way
- Carry your water bottle.
- I used to leave my bottle at my finish line. I ended up getting distracted worrying about the bottle – would someone take it? — And Yes someone did take it but I was able to recover it 🙂
- I drive to a trail.
- I’m trying to reset myself and treat it somewhat like a race.
- Fartleks just don’t seem to have the same intensity for me. The preset ‘course’ of speed work lets me feel more like racing.
- 3/4 mile is a bit far.
- You want to be able to run the whole distance at a steady hard pace, the shorter the distance the easier it is to sprint!
- But my trail is 3/4 mile so 3/4 mile repeats is what I do.
- Gives me an excuse to buy light weight flats.
- Not really going to use racing flat style shoes during an Ultra but I can for speed work.
- I’ve taken my kids to the park when I’m doing speed work. Since I’m just going back and forth over the same ground, they can goof around while I’m playing 🙂