For two seasons, I was a coach for Girls on the Run–a program that educates and prepares preteen girls for a lifetime of self respect and healthy living. One of the end goals for the season was for the girls to complete a 5K race. We would talk to them a lot about what it means to pace in order to be able to run that distance. One day we had an activity where they had to write down things that they learned over the past couple weeks and we found that the girls had learned a lot about PASTING! (So cute!)
Pasting…I mean pacing…is crucial when you run, but it’s not always easy to do. When I was slow running it was quite easy as I never really picked up the pace. It was a constant slow–I just plodded along. But then I had some glimpses of speed and all that pacing went out the window. I knew I couldn’t keep the speed up for long so I figured I needed to bust it out while I could. I think this gets reinforced when I run in a group because I try to hang on with them as long as I can instead of just running my speed, whatever that may be. This weekend when running a 5K in the hills of Georgia, I made a pretty big blunder–my first mile was my fastest and it included a half mile uphill…oops! So this week has been one focused on pacing and descending my pace.
The past two days, my workout has been 2 EASY descending miles. It was more difficult than I thought it would be trying to keep the target pace. I didn’t take off “like a jackrabbit” and felt good running easy. But because I felt good I kept wanting to speed up so I had to consciously reign it in and take it easy. I tried to focus on having “fast feet” (a faster turnover) and on my breathing. After hitting the 1 mile mark I tried to relax more into the run and just go but when I looked at my Garmin a couple times and saw I was running a minute faster than my target pace I realized I still needed to be more conservative with my pace. Shout out to my Garmin 310XT as I would not be able find my paces outside without it right now–hoping it’s not long before I’ll be able to “feel” when I’m hitting different paces. Right now I know what it feels like to be fine and to be pushing too hard but not how to find the in between on my own…and the in between is where the magic happens.
How about you…how do you do with pacing? Are you a jackrabbit like me or do you naturally descend your runs? Would love to hear about your journey with running!