TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Training to Run Slowly

Today, I kicked it up a notch and returned to trails with some slightly difficult elevation gains.  Adding flatter terrain in my running of late with hopes of picking up my pace, has left me yearning for hills.

Though I love those hills, they aren’t always good for my training.  You see, all my running up and down mountains has slowed me down significantly.  I’ve inadvertently trained myself to run slowly!  I’ve tried to run up mountains faster, but I can’t seem to manage it without killing myself.  I always knew deep down that I just needed to get my legs used to moving faster.  I just didn’t want to do it – run flats that is (because that inevitably means running roads). 

I’m here to testify that running roads and flatter trails is working.  My legs are moving faster.  I feel stronger.  So, back to the hills I travelled today.  I took on Aliso/Wood Canyons for a short run up to the ridge, then off to Top of the World in Laguna Beach.  It is after all not distance that scares me.  It’s elevation gain that scares the crap out of me (excuse my language).  It’s not distance that sends me staggering to the ground.  It’s not distance that whirls tiny stars about my head.  Yup, it’s elevation gain.  And oddly, I love it!  If I had to choose, I’d pick elevation gain hands down.  But the pace I’ve trained myself to run isn’t going to finish Twin Peaks within the cut-off times this October.  Gotta get those legs moving faster.  

DSC00735  Running Cyn Vistas to TOW and back 2-20-2014, Elevation

4 comments:

  1. I think I've got the same problem. Even though I run on the road during the week I have become very slow because of the trails. I'm working at it and my trail descending is getting quite fast. I try one shorter and faster run on the road per week. I don't like that run.

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    1. I'm noticing a significant increase in my speed from these road runs.

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  2. I like that concept. I'll have to do the same on a regular basis. I may add that learning to keep a strong, steady, speed hiking has helped me tons. We all know that it's basically impossible to run an ultra from beginning to end so it may be a good idea to learn how to hike at a good clip because there's a point, or should I say many points in the race where this will come into play. Just something to think about. Looking forward to Twin Peaks this year. Yeah!!!

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    1. I'm practicing my hiking too Hank. It's a difficult thing for me to do -- not hike, but power hike. Sometimes I think it's harder than running up those hills. I think if I can get a strong hike down, I can finish Twin Peaks.

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