Gaining my speed back and cold weather running

29 Oct

It’s that time again…but it seems way too early this year. Time to pull out our long sleeves, gloves, running tights and thicker socks. I am happy to say that I haven’t wimped out just yet. I am still running several days a week and just trying to stay as warm as possible in our already 30 degree temps.

I’m not sure how much longer it’ll last, but I’ll try to stick it out as long as possible. I really prefer running outside to running on a treadmill, but sometimes the weather has other plans and running can be more painful than fun when the temperature continues to drop. Here are some tips I found today.

Wintery day

Lately I’ve been gaining my speed back and I’m beyond happy about that. For the past 9 months I have gotten a little slower in my times, and I was not really sure why. I’m still not sure why, but I have a few thoughts. Last year, my times were consistently in the mid 7-minute mile range after I made strides {no pun intended, but hey, it works} to improve my running form. I had fewer injuries, too. Gotta love that!

But I got a little slower and I wanted to change that. Over the past few months, my times have improved a bit. I admit I don’t work in tempo runs in my weekly schedule, but I probably should. Here’s where I was 3 months ago for just a short 3 miles:

Avg Pace
Summary 24:03.7 3.01 8:00
1 8:03.4 1.00 8:03
2 7:49.5 1.00 7:50
3 8:07.7 1.00 8:08
4 :03.1 0.01 8:10
 I had negative and positive splits all over the place. Here’s where I am now:
Avg Pace
Summary 22:39.2 3.01 7:32
1 7:33.5 1.00 7:34
2 7:30.8 1.00 7:30
3 7:32.3 1.00 7:32
4 :02.6 0.01 6:19

There’s still a small positive split in there, but it’s significantly faster overall. I made sure to measure the change for the past week just to make sure I was running consistently faster. And yep! I’m gaining my speed back. If you’re like me though, you want to know why you get faster or slower.

I can think of a few things that I believe contribute to my speed overall:

1) How much water have I been drinking lately? I used to be better about this, and I would like to get back to staying more hydrated throughout the day.

2) How much sleep have I had? This one is really important and I’m very aware that I probably don’t get enough sleep. Gotta work on this, too.

3) Mental game. This is probably the toughest for most of us. I really believe that if your mind is in the game, your body will follow. It’s too easy for us to think we’re tired and want to stop, slow down or get into a mental slump when it comes to our running. For me, I’ve noticed that my mental game is not where it used to be, and I really think that this has affected my time and endurance. Really have to work on this.

Are you running faster or slower lately than you used to run? Are there other factors you think affect your times and endurance over a period of time? Are you ready for some cold weather running?

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Exercise, Running


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