Linking up today with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for Friday Five. Today's theme is running tips. I wanted to use this to share some tips that aren't often shared - about being a slow runner. I've always been, and still am, a slow runner. It's all relative, sure I'm still "lapping the people on the couch", but in the running community, I am objectively slow. But still a runner!
1. Run fast and push yourself sometimes. Sometimes it might not feel worth it, because your "fast" isn't that fast in the grand scheme of things. It might occur to you that people are running full marathons at the pace you're sprinting at for quarter mile repeats. So what?! Do your best, and push your limits. Your natural abilities will limit you at some point, you might never be a sub-3 marathoner - or even a sub-3 half marathoner - and that's ok. But put in your best effort, and you'll slowly but surely improve and make progress along your own path.
2. But run your easy runs easy, no matter how slow that feels. Run slow because it builds your aerobic base (which you need for long distance running!). Run slow because it's active recovery from your hard runs. Run slow because it's relaxing and enjoyable.
3. No, seriously, run even slower. Run embarrassingly slow. In order to build an adequate aerobic base and be able to sustain running for long distances, you have to run ridiculously slow at least some of the time. My "easy" pace has actually gotten slower over the past few years I've gotten more serious about running (even while my fastest possible speed - for mile trials, quarter mile repeats, 5k PR, etc. - has gotten significantly faster). I seriously had no idea when I started how wide a spread there should be between your fastest possible pace and your truly easy pace. It's really really slow. Embrace the slow.
4. Don't necessarily rule out running with other people. During tax season I ran with a coworker who can hold 7 minute miles for an hour! Obviously I didn't run with her for that - I ran with her the day after she did that, at a tempo/fast pace for me, which was a good recovery pace for her. Maybe a friend who runs faster will be willing to run at your speed regardless, but it's also a great opportunity to let someone who knows they can keep up your goal pace help you maintain it, while they recover from harder runs on other days.
5. Have fun and be proud of yourself! As long as you're enjoying running, it's worth doing, even if you'll never win a race.