Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Running Faster

I have had quite a few people ask me how I transformed my run in such a short time. This actually has been quite flattering. I laugh because I knew I had speed inside me somewhere but just didn’t know the secret to unlocking it. I do have to give a huge huge thanks to my speedy friend Michael Arnstein who taught me the secrets to getting fast.

I would say that I did consider myself a runner before this whole triathlon nonsense came into play then the bike quickly put a major kibosh on the whole I’m a runner philosophy. I quickly learned that if I wanted to run well off the bike then I had to become stronger on the bike to be fresher for the run.

Lesson 1: Train hard on the bike. Push Power for strong legs. Without at least being moderately strong on the bike, you will never see true running potential.

My running prior to triathlon was long and at a much slower pace but the sheer length and amount of miles ran gave me the ability to accept and actually come to love running pain. That is one of the most important elements…to actually embrace the pain. Embracing the pain means some killer workouts with exponential results. Yes, in order to become fast you need KILLER workouts.

Lesson 2
: Learn to push through the pain and not just push through but go harder and faster. This is something I have yet been able to do with the swim. Once it gets painful in the pool,
I duck out…and that’s why I am a slow swimmer. I should take a lesson from my lesson!

Triathletes are not marathoners. Running off the bike is a whole different world then fresh running. What this means is stop pounding out the crazy mileage weeks. I ran so much last year. 60-70 mile weeks on average and had nothing really to show for it. I just couldn’t part with the miles but soon realized this was a major hindrance to my running and running speed. So, come April, I hacked the mileage and upped the bike time. For endurance, a lot of it is simply to train the heart and the heart doesn’t know the difference between biking or running. One important note is that I did put in a lot of slow running miles over the winter (3x2hour runs weekly plus long walk/run on weekend) then maybe 1-2 ‘keep the speed’ sessions.

Lesson 3: quality vs. quantity when it comes to the run and getting into race season form

Running Secrets from Me

1. Do your hill repeats…hard and every week.
2. Get your legs to a track and not a “but I measured it and from this post to that tree” Nope, not the same. Get to a track.
3. Run mile repeat days on grass. Saves the body. Shorter recovery.
4. Run hard off the bike once a week. 15-20-30 minutes. Doesn’t matter just get off and go.
5. Stairs. Find them and run them and then keep running. Burns but feels like you are running off the bike after.
6. Hold speed for long distances.
7. The only run you can slog through is the long run day and maybe your second brick run of the week. Yes, do at least 2 brick runs a week.
8. Change your running days, workouts, distances every week. Don’t do the Tuesday hills—Thursday repeats blah blah blah type schedule. It is boring and you aren’t listening to your body. Make daily decisions on your workouts.

Hope this helps add some speed to your runs but I’m no miracle worker…YOU ARE!


Tara said...

GREAT post Kate! You're an inspiration to me. You rock. I'll be cheering for you next weekend!!

Tara said...

GREAT post Kate! You keep inspiring me to work harder, thank you. You rock! I'll be cheering for you at Louisville!!