If you a frequent reader of this blog, or you follow me on Social Media, then you’re probably well aware of the progress that I’ve been making this training cycle. I haven’t kept the increasing of my running speed a secret whatsoever. My average speed for each of my runs has increased dramatically. Since late fall, for the majority of my weekday runs (which are usually from 3-3.5 miles in length), I’ve been averaging a sub 10:00 min/mile. For the majority of my long runs, I’ve been averaging a sub 11:00 min/mile. My recent training has me hopeful that I’ll be able to run Shamrock at a sub 11:00 min/mile. My current half marathon PR was set with me running an 11:27 min/mile pace.
But my running speed is not the only area of my running where I’ve recently made improvements.
My endurance has also seen vast improvements over the past year. A year ago I might, on a very good day, be able to run a 5k on the treadmill without any walking. That was a very infrequent occurrence though. Now, its rare that I walk at all when completing one of my weekday runs on the treadmill. Its only been when I’m facing a difficult run that I walk at all during a weekday run.
My endurance has also carried over to my long runs as well. I’ve been able to greatly increase my run-walk intervals over the past three months. I completed Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach last August with 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for the first six miles and 3 minute run/1 minutewalk intervals for last six miles of the race. I completed the Army Ten Miler back in October with a combination of 2:15/0:45 and 3:15/0:45 intervals. For the majority of my long runs during my Shamrock training, I’ve been maintaining 4:15 run/0:45 walk intervals, and the only run where I really felt tired at the end was my eight mile run last weekend. I’m hoping to maintain these long run intervals, but even dropping down to 3:15/0:45 intervals would be an improvement from my last two major races.
Mentally, I’ve also been becoming stronger. Last winter, I was very quick to head straight to the treadmill on cold and snowy days. Many of my runs, both short and long, while training for my first half marathon last winter, were completed on the treadmill. This winter, I’m proud to report that all but one of my long runs have been completed outside. I’ve bundled up, embraced the cold, and am learning to not use the cold as an excuse.
I’ve also become mentally stronger in terms of how I approach difficult runs. If I’m having a difficult training day, I try to talk myself through to the end of my run, instead of talking myself out of completing a run. A year ago, I tended to do the opposite if I was having a difficult day.
Is there still room for me to make more progress? Absolutely. But am I proud of the progress that I’ve recently made, especially since I started my Shamrock training back in November? You bet!
QOTD: What progress have you recently made with your training?
Be sure to enter my Gorton’s Realistic Resolution giveaway! It ends at midnight tonight.