Friday, April 22, 2011
GPS and getting faster
I've been following a thread on the Nashville Striders board about runners wanting to get faster. My first response is run more. Duh, you want to get faster run more miles. For me that's pretty easy to correlate to race results. When I don't have a specific race or goal in mind, I'll average 35 or so miles per week. I know at that kind of volume, my 5k time won't be anywhere near as quick as if I'm actually running 50+ miles per week and doing some speedwork.
I guess the bigger question is; "do they want to go faster and put in the required effort". I think the majority are content where they are with their running. That's ok, good for them, at least they're getting off the couch for some portion of the week. I've gone the other extreme. I'm the one running before the sun comes up, in the rain, snow, wind and what ever else mother nature throws out for that day. Don't get me wrong, I'll whine to those around me, but at least I'll be out getting the work done to try and see some improvement. Perhaps even more important is I actually enjoy running. Most days are fun. Not always, but the good days for outweigh the bad ones.
I have no illusions that I'll ever be as fast as the fast guys that I know. No problem. But, I do have goals that I'd like to attain. For me its just about getting out the door and doing something. I run so I can eat whatever I want and to drink beer, and not in that order.
This morning the brothers W and I met to do a speed workout. None of us had a planned workout, just the need to get in some speed. We wasted 10 minutes trying to program one of the GPS's for a particular workout. I probably have ten or so workouts already in mine, but none that struck anyone's fancy this morning. We gave up on the programming and decided to just head out for our warm up and then decide what the workout would be. We ended up just running three times approximately a half mile. Only know that because of our GPS watches. We actually just ran from landmark to landmark or more specifically "that yellow sign to the main road" and so on. Old school stuff. Really that's all it takes to get a little bit quicker. Run lots and some of it alittle faster. It's nice to have the GPS to give you some feedback during the run or when you're back home, but it isn't necessary.
I've been running for about 23 years. It's only been in the last few years that I've become obsessed with the GPS. I probably could count on one hand the number of times I've run in that time without it on my wrist. But when we go to the track, I'll put on the Timex, along with the GPS. Both give me data that I use to train with for future races. I just looked at my training before my last 5k PR. The thing that stands out is the mileage. Roughly 58 miles per week. That was the average for the 3 months, including the month of the race.