How to Run Faster: Chase Speedy Friends

Earlier this week I posted this picture to facebook. 


Despite the fact that I ran a 5k PR just last month, my runs since then have been slow.  I’ve mostly been running 6+ miles at a time, and taking it easy.  So it was nice to see a sub 10 minute pace on my Garmin after a 3 mile run.  I wasn’t dying to hold the pace.  My heart wasn’t pounding in my ears.  I was just out for an easy 3 miler, and the 9:23 pace just happened.  I was pleased.

Then yesterday I drove out towards Walnut Creek to meet up with these ladies to celebrate Aron’s birthday with a long run.


(photo credit: Kristin)

We all headed out through the neighborhoods and then onto a gorgeous trail.  We even saw a coyote run through a park near us!  A small group of us turned around after 5 miles, while the other group went to the base of Mt. Diablo and back for a full 14 miles.  I did a lot more listening than chatting on this run, as I was determined not to fall of the back of this pack of speedy girls.  When we got back to Aron’s, I saw this on my Garmin:


That’s 10 miles in 1 hour, 34 minutes or a 9:25 pace.  That’s also about a minute per mile faster than I’ve been running my long runs.  It felt hard, but not impossible during the whole run. 

Generally, I get nervous about running with people who are faster than I am.  I’m afraid of slowing them down, or of ruining their run because I can’t keep up.  That said, when you’re trying to keep up with faster runners, you push yourself way more than you would on any other training run with just your iPod for company. 

So that said, to my speedy friends, if you’re doing an easy run and want some company, I’m your girl.  I won’t be much of a chatter, but I’m a stellar listener as long as my heart isn’t pounding in my ears.


How to Run Faster: Chase Speedy Friends — 10 Comments

  1. I love this, because I rock the slow train, and often get self-conscious about running with faster people. I’ve made peace with my slow-roll, but I don’t want to hold people back. I’m always the first to say “you go ahead, we’ll meet on the way back.” But I think this advice is good…maybe I’ll stay with my husband first. 🙂

  2. I am so bummed I missed Aron’s birthday run! 🙁 The last time I ran with those girls, I found myself running almost a whole minute faster per mile than normal too. And, like you, it felt hard but not impossible. Lately, I’ve been running with my husband (whose legs are, literally, nearly twice as long as mine) and I’ve actually been keeping up with him! Sometimes we just need someone else to push us a little, I guess!

  3. Are you kidding me??! I kept asking you questions and you gave me more than single word answers! You weren’t even out of breathe (so it seemed). You did AWESOME & I knowwww you are capable of so much more (sub-2 SUB-2)!!!

    I totally credit running with speed demon Katie for getting me into better & faster shape. We don’t get to run together much anymore, but I did help me so much during my marathon training. And if I can help you the same way she helped me, I’d love to! Soooo, tell me when we’re running again & I would love to meet up. I had such a good time running & chatting with you!

  4. All that matters is that you’re trying, not how fast you’re doing it! I’m new to running via my crossfit gym, and it’s a huge challenge, but I’ve had to accept my status as the girl bringing up the rear. I’m really excited to meet your blog and all these healthy, yummy looking recipes!

    Catherine @ The Spring (in Brisbane, Australia)

  5. It was so fun to finally get to run with you and chat a bit! Awesome job! And for the effort you were putting out that day, I definitely think you’ve got a sub-2 pace in you for a half for sure!

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