Turning up the Heat

TODAY’S NUMBERS : 8, 80, 800

  • 8: The number of fast laps I ran on the track Wednesday.
  • 80: The temperature outside when I ran.
  • 800: Yards per interval (set of 2 fast laps)

So why did I run fast? So I can run faster. It sounds like circular logic, but it’s unfortunately true – in order to run faster, I need to practice running faster. In other words, I need to train my body to run steady at a higher speed than I can at present. One popular method, called intervals, alternates short bursts of high-speed running with a slower pace (recovery) . So my training on Wednesday was 4 sets of hard running (for me, under 6:30 per mile pace) of 800 yards (about 1/2 mile), with recovery of 400 yards between each set. Coach originally wanted me to do 6-8 intervals, but since I’m racing on Saturday (see my previous post) we settled on fewer to save my legs (and given the temperature, all of me).

Noooooo!!!! Not me!!!!!

Building muscle in the legs (and overall) also factors into getting faster. The body conditioning class I take twice per week is great for keeping the muscles working, but the classes aren’t intended to build muscle. To do that, I will need to lift heavier weights. So all I have to do is combine the two physical activities I despise most – speed work and weightlifting – and I can run faster. You’d think a nation that invented Viagra could come up with a magic pill for running, too. (I mean one without side effects – I’m aware of steroids, and I ain’t going there.)

I suppose the real question, though, is why I want to run faster in the first place.

Jeff, why do you want to run faster?

Thank you.  Two reasons, I suppose – one, because it’s kind of fun to run fast, and it feeds the competitive streak I can’t entirely suppress, even on training runs. I get that urge to run with the front group. The other is complete vanity – I like getting the hardware!

1st place age 50-54, Leap Day 4 Miler.

Yes, I know some people have a drawer full of these, but I’m not one of them – yet.

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