Speedy or Slow?

I usually like to blog about my run soon after I get in. But as last night’s run was a bit longer than usual, I decided to leave it until today to write about it.

According to my training program for the BM10K, I’m supposed to do speed work on Tuesdays, but after Sunday’s long run my legs were still a bit tired so I decided that I would take it easy and see how it felt once I got going.

It was dark by the time I got down to the seafront but there were still plenty of runners around as I followed my usual 10K route down towards the Peace Statue and up towards the Lagoon and then back again. Surprisingly, my legs felt pretty good once they got moving and by the 8th kilometre I I knew that I didn’t want to stop at 10K. So, instead of doing my usual shorter loop that takes me to 10K, I decided to head back up to the Lagoon a second time and just keep going until I felt that I’d had enough.

By the time I got to the Lagoon again, the place was pretty much deserted, other than a few dog walkers, but I was enjoying the peace and quiet of the dimly lit promenade. Even though I wasn’t paying much attention to my Garmin, my pace felt pretty consistent and I began to wonder if I could get to 15K without stopping for a walk break.

When I returned to my starting point for the second time, I had pretty much covered 12K and my legs were starting to feel tired. I knew that this would be an obvious place to finish the run, but something inside me just wasn’t ready to stop, so I kept going and going until I completed 15K, my longest non-stop run to date.

15K 2013-03-25

I was surprised that I had managed to go that far, but when I checked my Garmin later I discovered that my average pace was just under 7 minutes per kilometre, which is quite a bit slower than I usually run but more in the region of what I am aiming for when I do the London 2 Brighton Challenge at the end of May.

I guess it’s ironic that what should have been a speed session turned into a slow session, but being able to keep going for 15K gave me a real boost in confidence as far as my ultra marathon training is concerned.

It was good to get a longer run under my belt, but for the rest of this week and next I need to focus making sure I’m readyΒ for the BM10K.

How’s your training going? Do you prefer speed sessions or slow runs? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


12 thoughts on “Speedy or Slow?”

  1. I prefer steady quick runs. I tend to stay at a certain speed while running outside; however speed runs are necessary for getting fastest obviously! Sometimes I just need to bite the bullet and do a tabatha run on the treadmill.

    1. I have been focussing a lot on speed work lately as there is a real sense of achievement in getting faster and maintaining that steady pace; but I think the long slow runs could start to grow on me πŸ™‚

    1. It definitely gave me confidence. I really didn’t think I would be able to do 15K, but it just goes to show how quickly the body can adapt – especially for newer runners like myself. πŸ™‚

  2. Being able to adapt your run depending on how you are feeling is the best you can do. Sure following a plan is the main idea, but sometimes you need to tweak it.
    I love speed work but I’m not always up for it. I try to schedule my runs “guessing” on when I’ll be recovered from a previous speed session or a long run, but it doesn’t always go according to plan.

    1. I do the same, but generally ending doing more tweaking than following. πŸ˜‰
      I think getting to know how hard or easy to run on each session is important to make sure you recover for the next one – I’m still learning that lesson! πŸ˜‰

  3. To be honest, I now enjoy my speed sessions more than slow runs, probably finding a 5km flat-out or 8km threshold session the most challenging, and rewarding. That said, there is something special about going that epic distance on a Sunday that has it’s own allure, but it’s a different thing to that feeling you get from running fast.
    One thing to note from your recent running – you are going to crush 10k if your midweek run is an easy 15km. Throw a bit of speedwork to get your aerobic threshold up and your speed honed and you’ll monster that 10k. It will also help you with leg strength, which you will need for the hilly sections and extra weight of the backpack on the L2B100k.
    All the best and happy running!

    1. Thanks Bernie. I’ve been really pleased with my 10K progress over the last two months and am feeling pretty good about next Sunday’s race. Going to do one more 10K on Sunday to check my pace, followed by a short speed session on Tuesday/Wednesday. Then it’s rest until race day. Can’t wait! πŸ™‚

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