…And then you’ve got to slow it down…

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As the serious business of half marathon training gets underway, or at least it should be, the focus is on getting the right balance of speed work, and endurance. One lesson I did take from marathon training is that it is just as important to run at a slower pace, as it is to run at my desired race speed, or quicker. If I was to train at race sipped, or quicker, I would burn out. But running too slowly would not give me the “kick” to beat my target.

I do a lot of my training on a treadmill. Running outdoors can be a struggle; if it’s warm, my hayfever plays up, and if it’s too cold, my asthma is triggered. Treadmills are also better for joints, as they’re not as hard as running on paths.

I used to think that once the treadmill was set to go, I would plod along at that speed, and that speed alone. Since using Nike+, it’s apparently not the case. I use my iPod to record runs. It uses my height, and a motion sensor to calculate my speed. The picture above is from this morning’s run, and as you can see, my speed varies somewhat. It also varies from day to day; this run was quicker than my last one, where id set the treadmill up at the same speed.

The iPod can be calibrated, but when I did that, I found I needed to calibrate it after most runs. I’ve had to calibrate it after using GPS outdoors to gets more accurate measure of my actual speed.

My runs of late have been quicker than the treadmill. I’ve wanted to slow it down, and it hasn’t worked. I get into a rhythm that is quicker than the displayed speed. For the last two runs, I’ve had to make a concerted effort to run at the selected speed, or thereabouts. Running slowly requires more effort, and concentration, than going for it. It’s bloody hard work!

Running on a treadmill can be dull. I choose one in front of a screen, which is hopefully showing sports, and listen to my iPod. It’s very easy to get distracted, though. As you can see above, the spike at about 4km cam about when Alistair Cook was dismissed, and I was cross. The spike about 1km after was after the review confirmed it. Angry Lisa = Quicker Lisa.

With regards to running slowly outdoors, I don’t want to be clock watching. It’s something where I think I’m going to have to trust myself, and hope that there are no distractions to speed me up!

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