Finally… A good, hot summer run

Finally, finally, finally.  Yes, I am rather relieved and excited.

I had a good summer run yesterday.

I ran 5 miles in a heat index of somewhere between 97 and 106 (depending on the app).  But unlike Tuesday’s run, I ran negative splits.

As I wrote yesterday, I decided to use my iSmoothRun app and allow the interval coach tell me to speed up or slow down based on my pace and my preset goal.  In the past I did this to keep up a pace, but my goal yesterday was to SLOW down.  I wanted to run the first mile really slow and the second mile slow and then the next three at an average pace.

So I set my app to keep me at 10:30 for the first mile, 10:00 for the second and 9:30 for the next three.  I figured that 9:30 might be too fast as this summer my pace has deteriorated into the 10:00 range, but but I decided to give it a try and see how I would do.

Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 9:25
Mile 2: 9:20
Mile 3: 9:18
Mile 4: 9:14
Mile 5: 9:05
Mile 5.5: 8:49

I choose to keep at the 5 mile range so I would not feel overwhelmed and make the run a negative experience.  My run went so well that at 5 miles, rather than walking home, I ran harder for the last half mile!  I did walk a little during the run, but that was just at the top of a couple of hills and not for long.

So what made the difference?

I really believe that starting out slowly made the run much better.  I kept up my energy and I never had that mental moment of, “I can’t continue”.  The heat was really bad and it was still hard to breath, but starting out slowly really made the run like night and day.  Also I began my run at the top of my street so I wouldn’t begin by running up hill.  Finally the app I use is fantastic.  It doesn’t nag about pace, but gives good feedback and keeps my mind in the run.  In fact the last half mile I didn’t have the coaching going since it was only set up for 5 miles and I noticed my running getting more erratic, even though I was able to push myself.

So this is a major victory for my running this summer.  It has been so tough and tiring that I felt I wouldn’t have another good run until the Fall.

Hopefully today will go as well.  I’ll let you know tomorrow. 🙂