Tonight was going to be a track session but the weather just didnt inspire me...cold, wet and still a bit breezy! I needed an alternative focus for the session so I turned my attention to a long effort. The intention was an out and back run similar to Saturday's effort but (hopefully) a bit quicker.
Sometimes I feel it is the first mile of my pace run that sets the pace for the whole run....Saturday's first mile was 7 minutes...the rest of the run did not get much quicker and I averaged 6-48 miling and felt tired and deflated.
Tonight was different...maybe it was because it was later in the day or was my body just fired up for intervals tonight and I was wimping out! Mile 1 was a nippy 5-58...great. Mile 2 was another 5-58....excellent.....Mile 3 I clocked 5-59...damn slowing down....Mile 4 back on track with a 5-53. And so it went on. The route I use for these regular pace runs are generally the same out and back route with a few variations en route to add additional miles on (not to make the run more interesting I might add!). Tonight I was looking for about 10 to 11 miles. The outward leg is a slight climb and quite a bit of focus is needed in the final mile before the turn point. Another 5-59 bagged and feeling good...5 miles in 29.48 with the rest of the run generally a bit quicker. I finished the run strongly with the second half quicker by about 20 seconds or so. 11 miles in total at an average pace of 5.55. Definitely one of my stronger runs on this course so more than happy with my efforts tonight...I certainly showed a clean pair of heels to the imposter who ran my favourite long course on Saturday!
Tonight I have been reading an article about a true legend...Charlie Spedding. Charlie is the current English Marathon record holder with 2-08.33 set 24 years ago. His book "From Last to First" is a superb read and very inspiring. In the Runners World article he gives some top tips on how to lift your running a notch or two. My favourite tip and a message for some of my fellow runners who might be reading this blog is this:
"Progress is never a straight line. Becoming a better runner usually involved plateaus and setbacks, but perseverance with optimism always brings improvement in the end".
Nice one Charlie!