Find Your Pace for the Long Run

One of the most important things you learn while running is pace.

Somewhere on the knife edge between too fast and too slow is athletic nirvana. This fine balance allows you to perform at an optimum level, covering great distances in no time. The situation generates a peculiar feeling, a paradox in which you are certain of the energy being expended while simultaneously taking stride after effortless stride.

Every few days, I brush aside regimented intervals to play with my speed.

I go outside and fartlek.

Well, I do it in my own particular way. Instead of set periods for exertion and rest, I use the time to run as fast as I please. The focus shifts from pushing myself to the limits in favor of trusting my body to find the sweet spot I mentioned above.

My goal in each session, regardless of the training philosophy I employ, is to build my ability to handle miles upon miles. Whether in a 5K fun run or testing myself in a half marathon, I intend to be at my best.

The peak clip one person moves at is wholly different from everyone else.

I have a distinct memory from around ten years old in which I joined my grandparents for a morning walk at a nearby mall. In their early 70s at the time, Grandma and Grandpa E. zipped along the tiles like Olympic speed skaters, waving and greeting fellow regulars along the way.

“It’s really nice of you to let us old folks keep up,” Grandpa would say with a wry smile as Grandma moved her hands rhythmically from side to side for variety in her workout. Accustomed to sprinting around a soccer field, I was well out of my depth on their turf.

Trying to keep up with someone else is a questionable pursuit.

Sure, there are benefits to following another’s lead from time to time. It is helpful to witness “the right way” and set about emulating the example, but it’s important to remember you’re on a different path–regardless of how similar the destination.

The simple fact is this: you are you.

Making an effort to match someone else step for step discounts your value. It is a disguised way of buying into “I’m not good enough.”

Assimilate others’ methods into your own style, if you like.

Mix in useful characteristics to amplify your effectiveness.

Pump your legs and arms at your ideal rate.

You’ll be better in the long run.

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The Fatigue Soliloquy

3 Reasons for a Short Run

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