On one of my runs this month, after struggling to get to 5 miles, I decided, what the heck. I started with 2 minutes of running, 30 seconds walking. It seemed to work really well and the last two miles of that 7 mile run were my fastest. And way faster…over 30 seconds faster. How is this possible?
So fast forward to the Get Lucky 14K. I decided I was going to run the first mile straight and then jump to intervals. The first mile was great at 12:12. Starting with mile2, I ran 2 minutes and walked 30 seconds. Miles 2-4 were great. My overall pace was 12:24. But I got tired and last five were bad. At mile 6, I resorted to 1 minute run/1 minute walk. A lady that I was running with during the first 4 miles was doing this interval and she smoked me and disappeared so I thought what the heck. I survived the race but decided that 2 minute run/30 second walk may not be the best choice. How is it possible that I struggled to run 2 minutes?
Later that weekend, somebody posted on the Facebook running group that she changed her intervals from 1 min/1 min to 45 seconds /45 seconds. She finished a half marathon in under 2:30, which was her fastest ever by over 10 minutes. She walked half of it! How is that possible?
I like even numbers so 45 sec/45 sec would drive me crazy. I decided on my next run I’d do 40 sec/20 sec. What the heck right? Well I ran the first mile (to make sure I can still run a mile straight). It was terrible. Over 13 minutes. But like I promised myself, I tried doing for 40/20. It was amazing. I thought I’d be sick of all the stopping/starting but really it didn’t bother me. My pace dropped considerably. Mile 2 was 23 seconds faster than mile 1 at 12:53. Mile 3 was 30 seconds faster than mile 2 at 12:24 (almost a minute faster than mile 1). After mile 3, I stabilized and my pace was right around 12:42 for the last 4 miles. My overall pace for 7 miles was 12:45 pace! How is that possible?
During one of my mid-week runs I was playing around with the intervals but stuck around 40/20 or 45/15. Now Jeff Galloway has always said that you should start right away with the intervals. It was hard for me to accept that because, especially with races, my adrenaline is going and I want to run. The thought of stopping 45 seconds in seems crazy to me. But I wanted to give it a try so on my long run on Friday I did just that. I started my long 8 mile run with intervals of 45/15. Amazingly it went great. My pace was just under 12 minutes in the beginning. UNDER 12 minutes! I monitored my pace throughout the run to make sure that I wasn’t falling off. I tried my best to stick to the 45/15 the whole way. And much to my surprise my first mile was 11:56. Under 12 and feeling great. Mile 2 was 11:58. So I lost 2 seconds big whoop, still feeling great. Mile 3 12:59. Lost another second but really that is amazing. I just ran 3 miles in a training run in under 36 minutes...what is going on? Mile 4 was rockstar at 11:48…but mile 5 suffered a bit but still my over pace was 12:00. This is crazy. I’m 5 miles into my 8 mile run and I’m running so much faster than I have in a long time. Maybe Galloway knows what he is talking. I lost another 12 seconds on mile 6 but still my overall pace was under 12 minutes. UNDER 12 MINUTES and FEELING GREAT!! During the first 6 miles, my mind was set that I was going to do it under 12 minutes per mile. After mile 6 I figured I’d slow down a bit. But my goal was to not let my pace get above 12:15. I lost 24 seconds on mile 7 and another 17 seconds on mile 8. But mile 8 was 12:53. That is still way better than I would have imagined after running 7 miles. This was an incredible run. My overall pace ended up being 12:10. It was my fastest 10K and my fastest 8 miles ever. It was better than all my races that have been 8 miles or longer. I ran 7 miles earlier this month and my total time was 1:33:32. My total time after mile 7 on this run was 1:24:29. That is 9 minutes faster! How is that possible?
I can’t wait for my next race. I think it will be hard for me to start the intervals right away. Maybe I’ll start after the first 5 minutes or something just to get out of the starting area. Hopefully I found my solution to getting faster on my long runs?!