Fast slow run or Slow fast run

I decided to walk yesterday as after my run on Tuesday my back was not happy.

However, as I got about a half mile into my walk, I was feeling fine and thought that I’d try running slowly and with little pounding.

Confession: I have a hard time with a LSD (Long Slow Distance) or any slow distance.  I don’t say this to brag, but to confess a weakness.  When I run, I do run to feel, but after a bit I am running faster then I should on an easy run.  Of course I have the faster runs down, but doing a fast run everyday is bad, not only for my body, but also for my mind.  If I am running hard everyday, then I am always pushing myself and never just enjoying the run.

So my goal is to slow down, especially now that it is getting hot out.

Back to yesterday.  I achieved my goal… sort of…

I managed to run about a minute a mile slower then my normal runs have been over the past month.  It felt really good.  I wasn’t huffing and puffing.  I wasn’t tired.  In fact I received a call about 2.5 miles into my run and answered in a normal conversational voice.

I have been reading about bloggers who are going beyond the marathon.  You ultra marathon runners really impress me.  A coworker had a friend in NY who ran 50 miles last weekend.  That would be a cool goal.  If I could just run at a pace that was comfortable and run longer, that would be awesome and maybe one day I could do something beyond what I have already accomplished.

My goal for the time being is to slow down, especially for the summer.  I’ll keep running my mountains and doing faster runs and workouts, but on my normal average day, I will try to develop a running style that has much less impact and will allow me to go further with less effort.

Sounds like something I should have figured out before now… huh?


14 thoughts on “Fast slow run or Slow fast run

  1. I am with you on this. I love long runs but I tend to get into a vibe and just start speeding up. Not long ago I was running faster than normal on my LSD’s. When I was marathon training I didn’t know better and was running to see what I could finish in. But now that I am older and wiser (ha!) and know that those LSD’s actually add more value to your training and overall running than any other run you do. Sometimes running with someone else helps me to slow it down. Great post…I guess you are just getting too speedy 🙂

    • I think some of my problems go back to last year. I was running in the 8:00 mile pace and then between the summer and marathon training, I got down to 9:30 pace and it was hard to bring that back up. Most of it is probably fear of losing what I have. Like just about everything with running, it seems much of this is mental. I just have to change my mindset and start enjoying a slower longer run (sometimes). 🙂

  2. Long slow runs are really difficult! They require a lot of willpower to keep yourself going slow. I usually feel like I’m not even moving. Most of the time, I find it difficult to maintain a slow pace for the beginning of my long run. But towards the end, I’m pretty happy for it because I can at least attempt to keep a steady pace throughout the Run instead of bonking at the end. Good for you for trying to conquer the long slow run. Good luck!

    • Thanks. I totally agree. In fact, I think it helped yesterday walking for a half mile before I began my run (though it was totally by accident). That allowed me to get going really slow and just be thankful that I could run and not feel badly. Thanks for the comment. That makes total sense!

  3. Though I am much slower than you, I fall into the same trap with my LSDs and speed up too fast because it feels good, and I think I just have some mental block that makes me feel like I will accomplish something by doing so. I read something last week about pacing that was talking about doing the long runs with a focus on the physiological process involved, which is not helped by speeding up. The author talked about not going one second faster than is necessary for that process to happen, and how by doing so we will allow our bodies to stay healthy and achieve more gains in the tempo runs/speedwork/fartlek workouts, etc.. I’m going to try and keep it mind as I build my base miles this summer before starting my NYC marathon training!

    • Hmmm. How do you know what that one second is? Sometimes I just don’t understand all this running stuff. If my iSmoothRun app can’t keep track, how can I? 🙂

      I like what you wrote. I’ll do some work on figuring it out. Maybe you can tell me where you read it?

  4. It definitely takes a lot of willpower to hold a slow, steady pace, and there are plenty of days I lack that willpower. But I have to say, running my recent half marathon as a training run and restraining my pace until the final miles was an eye opener. It was the most I maybe ever enjoyed a run, and I love running a lot.

    • I hope to do a half as a training run this fall. I can’t imagine just enjoying a race and not torturing myself through it. I hope I can figure this out, as I think I might actually enjoy running if I can get past the feeling of passing out all the time. 🙂

      • I have a hard time disciplining myself to run to the point of feeling sick and holding it like you do. I like pushing for speed work, but I think I’m a little too reserved in this respect. Although I’m overall happy with how I keep getting faster, I wish I was more able to get to the edge like you do.

        • I’m not sure you do. 🙂 It isn’t fun to always be pushing. I do think my mountain runs have given me the strength to push harder and not feel as badly. This summer I really want to run and have fun since I don’t have many races planned. I guess there is some good in either way.

  5. I have the same problem, I’m so bad at pacing myself when I need to run at a slower than average pace. Sometimes I manage to do most of the run at the easy pace I set for myself, and then run harder in the last couple KMs, just to get that “running fast” feeling.

    • I try that as well sometimes. Right now I’m trying to avoid hurting my hip more and having to walk (ugh). Yesterday I kept it slower as well, so maybe I’m going to be able to adjust to some slow, hot summer runs.

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