It took me some time to learn this lesson but when it comes to running it has been best for me to work on endurance speed, which is first? I’ll share why in today’s post.
2 miles / 24-ish
This was supposed to be 5 miles but I was pretty much miserable. It was 90 degrees and pure humidity.
Recently I was talking to someone about the 7-miler I ran about two weeks ago. They asked immediately how fast I completed the run. My face turned red. I felt a little uneasy. “Uh, about an hour… and 20 minutes.” Then I quickly rebutted myself by saying “I’m really working on endurance first. The speed will come later. I run 5Ks faster.”
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I realize what I said was completely true. But I couldn’t help but feel like an inadequate runner. I felt like my long run pace should have been faster. I felt like a running failure, at least in that moment. I know this isn’t true, but at times I can be my own worst critic, especially when it comes to my running performance.
But why did I feel the need to justify myself? It seems there is a stigma that you are less of a runner if your time is not up to par. You run 8-minute miles during your long run? Totally understandable, and respected. Twelve or 13-minute miles during your long run? Not so much.
My 5K time has improved. I have come quite a ways from the first time I ran three miles. But sustaining that same 9-ish minute mile pace over five, seven or more miles is not easy for me. Franky, I’m not sure it’s ever happened! But I do believe someday it will happen. I have been a firm believer in my training that the endurance comes first, then speed.
All of this talk and “knowing” what is true doesn’t make it any easier when I feel embarrassed by my long run speeds. But it’s comforting when I find other runners who experience the same thoughts, and also those who have overcome them. I would (and I’m sure others too) love to hear your success stories.
How has your pace and speed improved during your running journey?