April 10, 2014

Catching Up

by pyrad
Categories: General Running and/or Fitness
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Comments: 1 Comment

I had a really good run yesterday evening. It was a great moment because the weather was pleasant, I pushed myself, and felt good throughout.

Since my clinic ended at the Chilly Half-Marathon, I have been something of a ‘freelance’ runner. But, I continue to be very active in my local Running Room. I am often called-upon to give a clinic talk about the philosophy of heart rate training. And I’ve been filling in as a substitute instructor/group leader for other clinics when their instructors can’t be there. Someone last night called me a Locum. I had to look that up

Last night I planned to do about 8km. There was a 10k clinic that I’ve guided sometimes that was doing 5k, so I decided to join them. Most of them are doing the Toronto Yonge Street 10k this weekend, so I suspected they’d be doing their 5k pretty slowly. Of course not, they took off at about 6:10 min/km pace!

About 10 minutes in, the instructor had to bow out because something felt weird in his leg, and I was nominated to be backup group leader, again! Locum tenents indeed!

Well, we kept moving pretty fast. I was impressed that the group stayed together.

Graph of pace
My pace according to Garmin Connect

Near the end, one guy was pulling away pretty quickly. He’s engaged to someone in the group, and someone joked that he was practicing for the wedding. We got split up at a stoplight and I thought to myself I wanna try to catch him. This was kinda ridiculous: He was about 200 meters ahead and moving at about 5:30 min/km. But the light turned green and I took off in a crazy sprint. Not only did I catch him, but we stayed at his pace for the last bit.

I checked my Garmin Connect data after the run and discovered that I was moving sustainably faster than 4:00 min/km for about 30 seconds to catch him. What?!

Detail of the data showing my sprint followed by sustained race pace
Detail of the data showing my sprint followed by sustained race pace

The first thing that sticks in my mind is that I was able to move that fast at all! I was all knees up full gazelle form kinda deal. Then holding 5:30 min/km was an experience I haven’t felt in a while. I had to re-learn how to breathe at that pace. And it felt good. That’s the kinda pace I’ll need to set a new personal best, so I better get used to it. I seldom hold that pace when I run by myself, but this little ‘chase’ got me out of my comfort zone.

I’d been so wrapped up in the idea of slow, aerobic, comfortable, long distance, that I’d kinda forgotten how good the intense, anaerobic sprint feels. I needed that reminder, and I’ll be sure to incorporate that into my future runs, somehow.

After I made sure all of the group got back, I did another 3k. I might have gone even more but it was getting dark and I wasn’t equipped properly for a night run. I expect there will be more sunlight next week.

My Garmin Connect stats from Wednesday's run
My Garmin Connect stats from Wednesday’s run


And can we talk about how awesome the weather was?! We’ve suffered through a long, crappy, cold, icy winter, and now we have almost ideal running weather!

Post-run selfie. I regret nothing!

The weather made me feel happy. I decided to wear a yellow shirt. After all, yellow is probably my favourite colour now!

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1 Comment »

  1. Lisa says:


    I’m coming home this weekend, did you want to meet up? Email me!