My New “Slow”

Last week the weather and my schedule cooperated so that I could run four days. Adding another run day to my workout schedule felt great. I used one of my mid week runs as a tempo run, something I’ve resisted doing in the past.

Every Saturday I run “long.” Currently I run eight, 10, 12 or 14 miles. Yesterday I was scheduled to run 8 miles. As I started out, my GPS watch told me I was running at a slightly faster pace than I normally run when I go long. (Coaches I’ve read [and my coach, Lynn] say one can’t do the long run slow enough.) But I noticed that while I was running a little faster, I didn’t feel any worse for the wear, so I kept going. I wanted to see how long I could hang on to that slightly faster pace. To my delight I stayed on pace for the entire eight miles.

When I got back to the house I checked my log book. The last time I ran an eight-miler I was 18 minutes slower than yesterday. Curious, I checked my 2010 stats. My best eight miles last year was eight minutes and one second slower than yesterday’s run.

While I still believe the long run can’t be done too slowly, I’m delighted that it appears I have a “new slow” which is slightly faster than the “old slow.” Runner friends have told me that if I stay with it, increased speed will come. I finally believe them.

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