Friday, October 19, 2012

Random Unofficial 5-k PR

Went running the other day.  Thought it'd be a good day to set a pr, a 10-k* pr.  I'd been running slow to get fast.  Some heart rate monitor guru said so in a book, so I'd been running slow to get fast, although--to be honest, I didn't think it would work.  It sounds stupid.  Really stupid.  How the heck am I going to get fast by running slow--although, truth be told, while training for my first and only marathon to this point (I've another one coming soon.  I bet you can't wait to find out about it), I trained fast and got slow.

Every now and then, human beings lack the faith necessary to follow through on their plans.  My plan was run slow to run fast.  The theory, espoused by Phil Maffetone in The Big Book of Endurance Training, says that if I run with my heart rate in the aerobic zone, I'll build my aerobic capacity, allowing me to run faster at the same effort and to run faster at faster efforts.  As I said, I didn't really believe it, but I was actually enjoying the more relaxed paces.  It's like running was actually fun.  But I'd lost faith in the concept, despite ample evidence to support it, such as MAF test #3, the details of which I will not bore you, and I thought I'd better test the theory before my half marathon in a couple of weeks.

So I thought Monday would be a good, albeit random, day to set a 10-k pr.

I failed.

Instead I set a 5-k* pr.  It had been so long since I'd really tore loose that the concept of pacing didn't register and I ran a 7:21 first mile, which is fast (for me). Mile 2 was also a little faster than I should have gone.  It was 7:28.  Mile 3 was at 7:31.  These are close to times I was running 1-mile repeats at last January.  I realized after about 2.5 miles that I wouldn't have enough left in the tank for a 10-k pr, so I settled for a 5-k pr of 23:06 (a full 36 seconds faster than I'd ever run the distance befor), jogged a recovery mile, and called it a day.

As it turns out, you can get fast by running slow.  Who knew?

Here's part of the Sunset Dunes running trail in Las Vegas where my historic run took place.

*My current 10-k pr is 48:02.  I plan on breaking that before the end of the year.
*You could argue I actually failed since the plan was to run a 10-k pr.  I don't care.  Nobody was there but me.  Besides, in the Olympics, you can set the 5,000-meter world record during the first half of a 10, 000-meter race and it still counts.  If it's good enough for Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, it's good enough for me.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be testing this theory for you tomorrow! :^)

    Good job on that 5K--it sounds pretty official to me.