When I was younger, I was very young…and much faster as a runner. It was effortless and my body never disappointed me when I went out to run. I used to go out for a run and just nail the speed after a brief warm-up. Though then I used to hate warming-up, I feel differently now.
As I learned to sprint at Summer Camp, I ran with the boys because the girls were slower. That was exhilarating but short lived. It was a fine for me to go out and run. Puberty came and went. I became a slower runner. The more I aged, the slower I became. Or maybe it was all in my head. My speed lasted until I was in my 30’s. I noticed that I could still with proper training get back to my former glory. Speed training was a difficult process to achieve, but it was not impossible to accomplish. It would only take a month or so. That too changed.
After 40, I had to add diet, weight training and frequent running into the mix to keep my fitness level. Consistency worked for me during my training. Consistency became my mantra. One thing I am adding now too is mental training and visualization. I have always needed a way to push myself so even if I am not exactly matching my speed. I can imagine that I’m running a 5-minute mile and just go faster than I was going, even if it was as slow as a 12-minute mile. Maintaining the pace was difficult but some speed is better than no speed. The more training I perform, the faster I become. Some speed is important to any athlete, as we tend to judge our progress on both speed and endurance. Endurance is the one thing that did not fade with age, but it does diminish with inconsistency. Endurance seems to return faster than speed and stays with you longer.
Running comfortably is another theory that I often use for my training. As I get older. I learned that running around and huffy and puffing around the park is great for some, but it was horrible for me. When I ran slower around the park, at a deliberate speed I enjoyed the run. It made me happy. I felt great after the run and I wanted to do more. This was different from the usual wisdom that I obtained during my years as a runner. Running comfortably would be the theory that brought me back to fitness from the brink of being overweight. I started this type of work out one snowy, cold day in January and a few months of easy, progressively, faster running made me lose weight and run a 5K. I carefully ran myself healthy.
Patience and consistency are my new mantras.
- Speed Training Workouts for Competitive Sports (dualfit.com)
- How to Become a Better, Stronger Lifelong Runner (greatist.com)