Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Hard Look at the Middle Miles

I'm a fast starter and an even faster closer. Those middle miles? I just try to hang on until I get close enough to the finish line to kick. I want that to change.

Last night's four-miler was a scheduled tempo run. I wanted to kill those middle miles. My plan was to ease into my pace slowly, kill-kill-kill and coast back home after about 32 minutes.

Oh, and I wanted this all to feel effortless. I don't want to work too hard for my speed.

My form was my main concern. I tend to get all long-strided, jostly and loud when I speed up.

I'm on this foolhardy mission where I try to run like I'm barefoot while I'm wearing shoes and trying to be as silent as those annoying waifs who blow past me at my local running paths while I jump two and a half feet out of my skin because they didn't alert me to their presence.

On this run, I focused on keeping my shoulders back, my feet under me, my turnover fast, my stride smooth, and my footfalls stealthy. That was a lot to think about that first mile, as I tinkered with my form until it felt right.

Once my form felt smooth, it was time to start pushing the pace. I had eased into a comfortable rhythm, but I knew it wasn't too speedy. I started using lightpoles as interval markers to ramp up my effort.

This route includes the Bastard Garman Hill, which seems less bastardly in comparison to Memorial Parkway. However, that tune will change after 21 miles come marathon time. Once I turned onto Garman, I tried to maintain my lightpole interval effort until I hit the hill.

After the hill, I hit the home stretch. I kept my effort level high, but a bit more relaxed until I reached my neighborhood and started coasting to a 32:29 finish. An 8:07 mile pace. Not too bad. My goal is to get my tempo pace into the high sevens. Can I do that without effort?


barefootjosh said...

Next time you're trying to go faster but feel like you need to push off/overstride to do it, try clenching your butt. You know, the pelvic thrust.

Let's do the Timewarp again.

I don't know if it will make you faster, but that song will stick in your head.

misszippy said...

Thanks for that one Josh!

One question--why have you picked that number for your tempo pace?

drdave said...

All that thinking and you still nearly hit your goal time. Pretty sly....just think soooooo much that you don't think... I've figured you out.

Nice job