A 10-mile PR and How It Happened : )

You guys … I knocked SEVEN MINUTES off my previous best 10-mile time this weekend by doing something I’ve never done before. Β Normally on long runs I go at at very slow, easy pace the entire time. On Saturday I decided to treat my 10-miler as a progression run.

In the past I doubt I ever would have been able to do this, but since I only ran a total of 2 miles the previous seven days my legs were feeling really fresh. Plus, since I’m not currently training for any distance races, I figured if things went wrong and I couldn’t finish the 10 it wouldn’t be a big deal.

Also, I decided to do the run on the treadmill that way it would be easier to increase my pace (and I could enjoy the A/C since it’s really hot and humid here).

smile

Around mile 7 I had to decrease my pace and let my legs recover a little bit, but then they started feeling good again so I included strides into my last two miles to finish strong.

The whole run was awesome — I felt great but afterwards my legs were sore. They definitely let me know they worked hard and wanted to lay down on the bed for a while : )

The best part of running the 10 and getting a big PR is that it confirms what I’ve been thinking for a while: that I haven’t been pushing myself enough on long runs. My coach always says to just take them nice and easy, but I have been suspecting that this thought process has been holding me back from making progress.

I know long runs need to be slow and easy, but they should also increase in pace after a while, right? I’ve been running the same pace for long runs for months now… so I’m really glad that I went for it this weekend. This will give me the confidence I need to increase my pace on future long runs, slowly but steadily. And hopefully it will help me race better too.

Speaking of racing, I was reading through a running blog on Friday, and saw this saying in the comments:

trail-racing-running-prayer

I really, really like this and thought about it during my 10-miler.

I’m not sure who to give credit to since the comment was by someone who didn’t leave a link. I Google’d it but only one other result showed up that didn’t have a source either.Β If you wrote this, let me know so I can give you credit – it’s awesome.Β 

Hope you had a great weekend and are hitting the work week with energy!

How do YOU know when it’s time to increase the pace on your long run?Β Or do you just do it naturally?

21 comments

  1. Ali K. @ Hit the Ground Running

    What an awesome PR! It’s crazy what we’re capable of. I take long runs REALLY slow in the beginning, and push toward the end if I feel strong. But because the idea behind a long run is to train your muscles/break them down differently than with hard/fast workouts, I try not to push too much because I don’t want to defeat the purpose. It’s all about finding balance…maybe your “easy” pace is actually TOO easy and you’re faster than you think!!
    Ali K. @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…And So it EndsMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Absolutely, I think my easy pace has just changed a little bit. I have been running the same easy pace since December, and it seems like I’ve made some progress in that area since then!

  2. Dana

    Ahh, that is an awesome PR, congrats! πŸ™‚ I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve only ran maybe twice in the past 6 weeks…lifting weights and plyometrics have taken over, haha. Last time I ran though my pace was faster, so I think the strength training has been helping even without doing running cardio. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      That’s awesome! I find that I can really only focus on one thing at a time – running or weight lifting. I tried doing both at once and was just always sore. Now I just try to incorporate decent weight training while putting my main focus on running. It’s all about balance, right? πŸ™‚

  3. cheryl

    Congrats on the PR!! Don’t you just love that feeling? I think I treat almost every long run as a progression run, I start off slow and slowly build, the longer the run I hold back a bit longer…

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thank you! It’s the best feeling! I definitely held back a bit at the beginning. My warmup pace lasted 2 full miles before I started progressing πŸ™‚

  4. The Running Schlub

    Congrats on the PR, that is huge. I tell The Fiance all the time that she is too conservative, she likes to play it safe, and sometimes you just need to go after it and see what happens. Sounds like that is what you did and killed it. My training runs are always progression just seeing how my body is feeling, but when I have a race coming up I mix in agressive runs to replicate race day, helps my confidence.

    http://runningschlub.blogspot.com/
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    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Absolutely! I’m pretty much all about playing it safe, but sometimes it feels good to just break loose and see what happens! I would never do that during a training cycle, but right now seemed perfect.

      Doing some training runs at race pace makes a lot of sense, especially for shorter races. I don’t know if I could do race pace for a 12-miler only a couple weeks before a half. If I did I probably wouldn’t be able to make it to the end of the half πŸ™‚

  5. Amy

    Woot Woot! Way to go. Oh man, AC sounds crazy just about now. We had more snow here and I cannot imagine a day where AC feels good πŸ™‚
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    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      I wish we could switch weather a couple days a week. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to handle the cold seven days a week, but the heat seven days a week is brutal too!

  6. Kim

    Hooray for the 10-mile PR!!! I love progression runs on the treadmill (helps break up the time!)
    I think that it is easy to get in a rut and forget to try and increase the pace on occasion – so awesome that you not only tried it but nailed it!!!
    Kim recently posted…Lessons Learned from my Biggest Role ModelMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ It definitely made the time go by faster (as did watching an intense episode of Chopped haha). I was feeling in a rut (thank you for the perfect word to describe how I was feeling), but now I feel so much better!

  7. Lou @ Running Through China

    AWESOME!!!!! That’s fantastic Kristina!!! Well done. Bet you felt unreal afterwards, if a little sore. I like the soreness though if it comes from having done something awesome/hard/running/working out – a nice physical reminder of what you accomplished. Yay! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Lou @ Running Through China recently posted…Well Hello There!My Profile

  8. Jennifer

    Wow! That is so great! I generally start out really easy on a long run and if I’m feeling good my pace will drop on its own…it’s usually not something I do on purpose πŸ™‚
    Jennifer recently posted…Weekly Workout RecapMy Profile

  9. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Awesome job, Kristina!!! I think slowly pushing yourself on you longer runs is a great idea. One of my coaches said of speed work, “Anyone can run and feel good.” It’s so true. Sometimes we have to push ourselves, too.
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Weekend Wrap Up! (And WINNERS from my 2 Truths & 1 Lie post!)My Profile

  10. Jodi @ 13.1 Miles to Disney

    Awesome PR! I’m almost at the point to want to run distances again. Almost. πŸ˜‰
    Jodi @ 13.1 Miles to Disney recently posted…Weekend RecapMy Profile

  11. Jennifer @ The Final Forty

    AWESOME! I think you’re right on, here. My long runs have been at the same pace for, oh I dunno…forever? And then I wonder why I have such a hard time kicking it up a notch in races (especially towards the end)! Looks like your strategy is definitely worth a try — WTG! πŸ˜€

  12. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    It’s amazing how one PR or change in our running pattern can give us the confidence we need to step it up. I just started incorporating speed work into my training program and am shocked at my body’s ability to handle the intensity and effort. I think whenever I start to feel too comfortable, that is when I know I need to push it a little harder. Great job on your PR
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Ironman Boise 70.3 Training Ҁ“ Week FourMy Profile

  13. Karen

    Awesome job on the run! seven minutes is huge!! I think you should go off feel, it seems to be easier now than when I first started running. Some days I know I can push for two miles, sometimes I vary the entire run. I just play around a little so I don’t get bored. And then there are times when I couldn’t go fast if you paid me lol, I just go with it now. I am still so impressed you can do long runs on the treadmill πŸ™‚
    Karen recently posted…Weekends – Never Long EnoughMy Profile

  14. Karla @ Run, Karla, Run!

    Congrats! I love a progression run. It usually happens naturally for me, but if it doesn’t I love to pick up the pace the last few miles of a long run if I’m feeling good. If I’m not, then I’ll keep going easy. I try to play it by ear. So awesome that you keep just getting stronger and stronger!
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