Half Way There. Previous Best Smashed

I was right yesterday when I thought perhaps I’d finally break 7:00 mins/km average! Just didn’t think it would happen so dramatically.

To give you an idea, my first “best time” was 4.20 km, set on day 15. The next best was only 50 metres further (4.25 km) and didn’t happen until day 38, after running a half marathon, followed by 4.28 km on day 40.

So you can see that progress wasn’t very fast or dramatic.

running manToday I ran 4.47 km in 30 minutes at average pace of 6:43 mins/km, average heart rate of 150 bpm!

There was nothing special about today (it was raining and I usually don’t do well in the rain as I overheat too easily). It didn’t even feel that fast. The difference was I barely slowed down throughout, starting with a 6:02 first km. It was a slightly hilly route that I’ve taken several times. Could have broken 4.5 km if I had’ve continued on a flat near the end rather than going up a hill (didn’t want to finish too far from home).

Today, being day 45, is the half way point in this challenge.

Some of the things I’ve learned so far (in no particular order):

  • I can actually run every day, without injury or residual soreness. Wasn’t completely sure I could do it.
  • It’s a lot easier to maintain running when you do it every day. My marathon training plan had 2 days off a week, but I sometimes missed other scheduled runs due to lack of motivation.
  • Extra workouts, particularly speed work, really benefit the slower, aerobic workouts.
  • Running just 30 minutes a day was enough for me to easily complete a half marathon with only 3 days notice.
  • I really love running.
  • Running 30 minutes a day makes logging 30 km a week (good off season mileage) a breeze.
  • I don’t think it would take much to build up to running 10 km a day. I believe this is achievable for me and will go a long way towards reducing the likelihood of injuries.
  • Speed work or hill work at the end of more moderate running is a lot harder than done separately, but produces disproportionate gains to the time spent.
  • Walking is a valid and useful form of warming up, cooling down, and quickly dropping one’ s heart rate.
  • The best results from walking to lower the heart rate during a run are from casually walking at strolling pace. This allows the muscles to relax quickly. Contrary to what seems right, this allows a faster recovery and maintains better running speed throughout the run.
  • Coffee doesn’t affect my running heart rate much, if at all, despite what I thought early in the challenge.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’ll be continuing my extra speed work, hill sprints, longer runs, etc, because they’re obviously helping increase my performance in this challenge.

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