Sometimes you know that you need a good test, to try and see where you are now. Not where you were, not where you think you are or where you will be in a little while. Just where you are in your running fitness right now.
The humidity levels were a bit more reasonable this morning, so even though when I drove by the Bank on Outer Civic Center Drive and it said 82*F, even with the full sunshine, it didn’t feel totally unreasonable to do a good run outside.
I have been wanting to give my Zoom Fly SPs a real test to see how they perform in road conditions and to give me a pretty good idea of what kind of work that I need to focus on going forward.
Something that I wanted to accomplish this morning was to get under 24:00 for a 5K, not really all that fast, but longer than I have run fast for a while. I also know from long experience that I have to callous myself (body and mind) to running harder for longer, before I can race hard.
Thinking it over I had a few choices on the course to use:
- Rail Trail
- Piggery Road
- PF Leighton 5K Course
I chose the Planet Fitness 5K course more because it was closest than any other reason, plus I had to go to Home Depot after I got done running for some odds and ends.
Okay enough background.
How did the run go?
The first mile was just getting things sorted out and figuring out how to run faster for a longer distance for the first time in a while. It was a pretty good first mile and while it wasn’t super fast, I did what I wanted it came in under 8:00 minute pace.
While the second mile was a little slower and I was still running well, but having to really focus on continuing to push the pace. That is something that I have to work on maintaining my focus especially from about 1.25 to 2.5, the dead spot in a 5K race for me.
The last mile was not easy, no it was not at my hoped for race pace and was the slowest mile of the run, but I made it under 8:00 minute pace. While the course is not all that hilly, the last mile has long uphill slopes that if you don’t pay attention to will lull you into running slower. Luckily the last part is mostly downhill or flat and I was able to pick it up a little.
Now I could tell when I got my pace down to sub 7:00, because my stride changes. I seemed to float more and don’t feel as though I am slogging along. Unfortunately, my current fitness levels are not good enough to hold that running form for very long. However, I do recognize it as a long lost friend when I do get down there to visit, no matter how briefly.
How did the Zoom Fly SP do?
No issues to complain about. They have a different feel than the Beacon 2, but after a few hundred yards, I stopped noticing the difference and just ran. I really didn’t think about the shoes all that much during the run, other than attempting to shorten my stride a little and up the cadence, which is not really about the shoes.
Overall, I did what I wanted:
- Kept my splits all under 8:00 minutes
- Finished the 5K in under 24:00 minutes
- Didn’t break or tweak anything
So I consider it a very successful test run.
What do I need to work on?
Stamina to hold faster speeds for longer distances. More speedwork at increasing distances. I will probably use the Hansons Method’s Speedwork training progression to work up to faster paces for longer distances.
Speed, I could feel the speed was there, but it was elusive. Less of a body issue than the mind not wanting to push too hard at this point and I wasn’t able to shift to that faster gear – yet. This is where the callousing of the mind has to be done. My mind has to know that I can do it and not hurt myself while running faster.
Need to really work on strengthening the hamstrings to get them ready for faster speeds, I could feel them – not bothering, but they were not really happy about the extra work they were getting. Get back to my daily squats and other strength work.
Racing Weight. My racing weight is 145 and I am – according to the scale this morning 155. Which means that I have to start paying attention to portion control and cutting even more of the processed junk out of what I eat. My problem is that what the family prepares and eats probably is not the same as what I would eat if left to my own choices.
Now to get back to it.