How to get faster

OK, so for a while now my goals with regard to running have mainly been to go further. A few years ago I started with a 5K, the following year I did a couple of 10K’s, the year after a couple of half marathons, and this year the full marathon. During that time, I have got a little faster, but I have not really focused on it much- I am getting ever closer to the 1 hour 10k, but have not made it yet. I have been reading (and listening to marathon talk of course) about this subject, but the bottom line is, in order to run a faster race, I have to train faster.

So Friday after work I did another audiofuel interval workout. I did the middle one again, which tops out at 180 steps per min. Although the recovery parts are slower than I normally run, I have come to realise that I need to have them slower in order to be able to run faster in the other parts. The first intervals feel a little fast, but fine. The second ones feel comfortably hard, and the fastest ones feel very hard (like, I want to stop and have a little trouble breathing but in a good way). Without access to a track I have always found doing intervals hard- it would be a combination of looking at my Nike+, flipping between time and pace to make sure I kept it up, or running fast between lamp-posts etc, so really more fartlek style. I like the fact that these tell me how fast to go and I manage to maintain that pace consistently, as oppose to my fake interval training where in realilty I must vary my speed all the time.

Anyway, the run was good,but I was glad to get home!

Time for some refreshing coconut water! My face does not look at all red, or in fact that sweaty and I have no idea why, as I was baking and dripping yet again!

Anyway, I am going to keep this up as I can see that it forces me to run faster than my comfort zone, which can only be a good thing.

While I am on the topic of running faster, I have a little plug for my beloved marathon talk. At the end of every interview they ask the question “if you could have 6 months of guaranteed perfect training dedicated to this, how fast could you run one mile?” and they have a little magic mile leader board. They are having a little magic mile summer challenge– basically you register on the site, and then between 1st -14th August you have to run one mile flat out, and log your time. There is some kind of complicated age ranked scoringΒ system, and it is basically UK vs the world,with participation ranking higher than speedy times. So go on, sign up! I am! They even have a training plan, if you want to take it super seriously. πŸ™‚

On Thursday it was body pump, and I did like the music a little more this time (phew). I found a couple of tracks a little easier (squats being one, although that may be because I have cut back the running miles for the moment) so I went a little heavier (although the lunges track is a killer)- I also went crazy and did full push ups! Well, we only have 4 at the start of the shoulder track (I normally do half girly ones- you know, on your knees but with hips low but I did used to be able to do full ones ages ago so I knew I was capable)- no going back to girly ones now!

Friday night we went to friends’ house for dinner, and I provided dessert. So, if you do not want to see cheesecake, STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER / scroll down a bit as healthy stuff resumes further on.

It was a chocolate, caramel and hazelnut baked cheesecake from the new Hummingbird book. You made the base, chilled it, made the cheesecake mixture and then mixed half with caramel sauce, and half with melted chocolate- you can kind of see the layers. Then it was baked.

After chilling overnight it was topped with caramel sauce and roasted hazelnuts. Yum. My friends actually discussed kidnapping me and keeping me tied up in their kitchen- to be honest I would love to be baking all day haha!

OK- healthy stuff resuming alert!

I have had some tasty dinners, including lovely pasta with roasted veggies and pesto (one of my fave meals).

I topped this with a little reduced fat cheddar (which was on offer and it actually pretty nice- I do not normally go for the reduced cal/fat stuff, but it tastes nice). Yum.

This was lovely banana-cocoa-pb pudding topped with raspberries. Delicious.

Today I went out on a run- I did the route from 2 weeks ago, and actually 2 mins slower, but my legs felt really heavy. I think the extra weight from body pump and also the harder run yesterday probably didn’t help that. I did though have water with me (well, water with a nuun tab) which did help a lot. It was lovely, but I was in a hurry after as I had to get to my school summer fayre. Anyway, before I left I could not resist trying a Clif bar from my bloggie swap!

Yummy! It was scrumptious. Andy had a bite and said “will we be living on Clif bars this summer?” (as we are going to America) and then “do they sell them in supermarkets over there?”- US blog friends- where do they sell them?? And thanks again to Britt- what a super tasty parcel πŸ™‚

Anyway, as it was hot I took some water with me to the fayre and then spent a few lovely hours, first manning a bouncy castle, and then wandering aboutin the sunshine. Love it. πŸ™‚

So, how do you runners out there get faster? And have you signed up for the magic mile challenge? Go on, you know you want to!

πŸ™‚

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22 thoughts on “How to get faster”

  1. F*ck the healthy stuff I want that cheesecake!! Chocolate, caramel, hazelnuts and cheesecake all in one?? That’s all my fave things haha… I would be dangerous near that, it looks amazing!

  2. Oh my………that cheesecake looks amazing! I showed the picture to my boyfriend and he agreed that we need to get that recipe book!
    Does your nike+ count steps per minute or do you run to a beat or something? My mile time is probably around 11 minutes at the moment, I haven’t really run since Feb when I got injured, it could be good motivation to get back out there actually! Have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

  3. I’m very interested in cheesecake … always πŸ™‚
    The audiofuel workouts sound good – I think I’m going to check them out. I’m trying to get faster at the moment, but as a novice runner I’m not really sure what I’m doing. From what I’ve read interval training and tempo runs help – that’s the strategy I’m going for.
    The magic mile challenge sounds really interesting – I’m going to check it out.

  4. The one thing that drastically helped my speed was running hills and maintaining my flat speed during them. It took a lot of dedication and hard work to not slow down..but after a few big hills, flats were EASY and I started flying! I’m still not super fast (those people that can run 6 min miles..yeah right!), but I can be pretty speedy for someone with short little legs. πŸ˜› So hills, hills, hills!

  5. Sounds like your really getting used to the audio fuel podcasts. I’ve really increased my speed over the last few months and the only thing I think I can put that down to is really pushing myself doing speed intervals on the treadmill which is basically similar to your podcasts. I’m sure you’ll see you speed getting better in no time!

  6. Thanks guys πŸ™‚ Yup it is all about running faster for small amounts of time, and then after a while I think you just get used to it πŸ™‚

  7. Speed workouts have always helped me to get faster in the past and also just the more I run, the more my endurance picks up and the faster I get πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  8. Getting faster is a bit of a mystery sometimes. Obviously speedwork helps for most but some of the fastest runner (in the Blog world anyway) seem to be ‘naturally’ faster without relying on tempos etc. at all (I’m thinking predominantly of Skinny Runner for example) Both with SR and myself (though I’m obviously proportionately a lot slower!) running higher mileages helped with speed, because for a half it’s a huge psychological advantage to know how much further than the given distance you can run at a certain pace. But with that comes the risk of injury. Your podcasts seem like an ideal solution πŸ™‚

    Who has a problem with you posting ‘unhealthy’ stuff? It’s your blog! Honestly, I’m the most uncontrolled person ever around food and the pics don’t bother me in the slightest…

    xxx

    1. Ah I am only joking about the unhealthy stuff! Lara said she would boycott my blog because she is going on a bit of a health kick! So it was tongue in cheek! πŸ™‚

  9. Oh. My. Word. That cheesecake looks amazing!
    Congratulations on the great workouts – I’m sure you’ll be faster than the speed of light in no time πŸ™‚
    You’ve completely made me crave pasta and pesto now too…

  10. The cheesecake was yummy (although I prefer fruit, but my friend does not like fruit at all, and in fact picked the nuts off!)- we left the rest there so no temptation here! πŸ™‚
    I think the intervals sound good, and Sarah thanks for your confidence in my speed! But you never know, I never used to run at all, so I am sure I can get faster! πŸ™‚

  11. I don’t know anything about running but I know that to make progress in any exercise you have to push out of the comfort zone so sounds like you’re going the right way – and brilliant to sign up to that challenge!
    I’m drooling over that cheesecake now too… πŸ™‚

  12. Clif bars are really easy to find in the US – supermarkets have them, grocery stores have them, even some gas stations have them. Supermarkets also carry the kind of stuff we have to go to running shops for – gels/chomps/shotblox etc etc. And of course they’re all ridiculously cheap so stock up!!!

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