There is a big difference between running and quality running. Anybody can go out and shuffle their feet mile after mile, day after day, for years. This past year I've taken a break from "racing" and thus real speed training. What does that mean? Well, becoming slow... obvi. It also means that even though I have a base kept up, it's going to take a little work and a lot of quality training runs to get back where I was. Now I'm not saying every run has to be b***s to the wall, but it's important to get a few key runs in a week. Here is how I've been torturing myself lately...
- Speed work! I don't care how far you've come, you can get faster by adding one speed-work day a week in. I like to do either Yasso 800's or mile repeats. Yassos get your body used to really pushing hard so that your tempo runs feel like there is a lot less effort...
- Tempo runs! Who doesn't like a good tempo run? These should be at a comfortable hard effort level. Lately I've been trying to do sub-8:00 /mile tempos to get my body back in the swing. I've started with 6 mile tempo runs and hope to get up to 10 soon. This is also a great chance to run with a faster running buddy or group to push the envelope a little.
- Long Run! I prefer my "long runs" to be done in the form of a race... that I get a medal for... and is 26.2 miles. Hmmm. I find it much easier to to use marathons as training runs.
Until a few weekends I thought wearing flowers in your hair while running was just for beauty queens (sorry Juli) and girls who were just trying to be "cute"-- not my thing in athletic competitions. That is, until a few friends gave me an edumacation on Fellow Flowers.
This is a pretty cool company that is focused on empowering female (and maybe some male) runners. We all run for different reasons and the flower color is supposed to represent why you run or why you are running that day-- or maybe just reflect what you need a little in your run that day to motivate you (running united, gratitude, courage, embracing a challenge).
During the Kentucky Derby Marathon a couple of wild marathon maniac chicks introduced me to Fellow Flowers. Being just a few weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, we wore shirts designed by fellow flowers as a support of unity. That's exactly the purpose of the flowers-- to connect friends, physically and emotionally. The flowers create a tie between friends while running, while allowing each chick to show their individuality by wearing different colors that show why they run. They're also a fantastic way to find each other in races!!
I've recently ordered the "Fiercely United" shirt and the black "rock star" flower. How perfect is this?
I'm (not so) patiently awaiting the arrival of my Fellow Flowers package with my new running stuff :) Flowers... running skirts... what's next??? Maybe a little girliness CAN find it's way into running.
"Run to Win" -Meb