my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise
Running slowly is something that has not come easily to me. I have found going slower than my ‘usual’ pace difficult to stick to. I often run at or around 4:00/km. Today, I accomplished something mega. I ran all but 1km of my 10k commute to work at over 5:00/km!
How did I do it?
Well, I sought out some advice, as my previous attempts at ‘recovery’ runs were still coming in at around 4:30/km, meaning that I wasn’t really giving myself a proper recovery. My heart rate was still pretty high, and still hitting zones 3 and 4 (where a recovery run is meant to be mostly in zones 1 and 2, according to your maximum heart rate).
I had tried simply running more slowly, but looking back now, I realise how daft I’d been in my approach to it. I was effectively trying to slow down my running action (think slow motion). However, this was troublesome because it meant I was spending more time in contact with the ground, meaning I was putting in an awful lot of effort just to run more slowly. Surely this wasn’t the way to go?!
So, despite having a fairly sensible brain and having some initiative, I couldn’t quite work out how to run more slowly without putting in more effort. Then, it happened. A running friend of mine suggested shortening my stride. Keeping the leg turnover speed fairly normal, but taking smaller steps. I tried it on my run commute to work this morning with the express goal of running my slowest commute ever. I accomplished it! I ran a different route, and put in a quick km just to stretch out my legs. It made me appreciate how fast I normally run, compared to the pace I was running for most of my run today! This was a wonderful experience, and made me appreciate the difference in pace.
Here is my recovery run:
Check out my split times!
So, the lesson is…if you want to run slower, shorten your strides, don’t try to run in slow motion like I’d tried to!