I love interval running. I have sang it’s praises time and time again. I have not been running long enough to be able to run a half marathon straight through without walking breaks. I am not consistent enough with my training plan, my cross training, or my nutrition to be a long distance runner. Maybe some day. But until then, I will love the hell out of my 10-1’s, thank you very much.
Now that I have set my sights on different goals – running happier and sticking with shorter distances instead of hating the process of training and running for half marathons – I want to get my running base back up. I want to be able to run a fast, steady consistent 5k and 10k. I want to take a break from intervals and become a stronger runner.
This process has left me feeling like I’m back at square one. Like I’m that newbie runner who is lacing up my running shoes and heading out for my first couch to 5k run.
Here are the things I’m working on these seemingly boring base building runs:
Slowing it down
I am not a fast runner. Sometimes I even struggle with calling myself a “runner” and not a “jogger”. My fastest 5k was 27:07 and left me dry heaving across the finish line. It still feels like an anomaly, that it was really someone else’s body that slugged its way across the finish line attached to my number.
That being said, I know my running pace. I know that I can run significantly faster than a 7:45 kilometre. It doesn’t even feel like running. It’s boring and annoying and all I want to do is HURRY UP AND FINISH MY 5K, SO WHY THE HELL AM I RUNNING THIS SLOW?!?! For me, this test in patience is important. I need to feel the success of completing a consistent 5k again. I need to build back up the base and endurance, so when I want to crank up my training again with intervals and sprints, my body can be strong and speedy.
Stick with the slowness
The hardest part of these runs is maintaining these slower speeds. After a few minutes, I just want to gallop and sprint like the tiny race pony that I am. Pacing has always been my biggest hurdle. I tend to start out too fast and burn out too quickly. I’m now priding myself on holding consistent pacing. My average pace for my first base building run was a 7:41 minute kilometre- and I’ll take it.
Stay present with your pacing and speed. Keep it consistent. It’s harder than you think.
Trust your body
I love my Garmin. I spend more time staring at it than I do the road in front of me. I love having all that data – speed, time, pace – at my fingertips. I’m trying to slowly break that obsession and trust my body to know the right pace. I’m taking stock of how my legs feel during a run, regulating my stride and breathing, and using to that guide my run.
I strive to be the runner who can self-pace without technology. One who trusts her body. One who can run “naked”. I’m not there, but I’m taking strides on every run going forward.
I have a couple more weeks of base building before I jump into training runs to hit my next goal – a 29 minute 5k race. Looking to stick with the slowness. Become more in tuned with my body. Then hammer out my goal.
Do you have any tips or tricks to share about building back up your running base? Share em with me here or on social media.