How Slow Can You Go?

As promised, a post about running.

Sort of.

If you can call what I did this week “running”.

To make a potentially long intro short – I really want to work on running to my heart rate and gaining speed. Sure, I met my goal in that first 5K race, but at a certain point I stopped really paying attention to my heart rate since I just needed to be able to go fast for 3.1 miles. I plan on running in another 5k in Feb but this time I’d like to be more efficient at that speed so that I have some kick left to perhaps sprint to the end like Alex did and break that 30 min barrier.

Which means, than in order to go fast, first I have to go slow again.

Really, really, REALLY slow.

With a top heart rate of 185 when I do wind sprints (also in my range for my age/gender), that means my aerobic heart rate range is between 150-160. Coach Tanja said I should be shooting for even lower – 130-140 if possible. Lordy! All I do is barely jog the one length of my street and my heart rate is up to 140!

So, I whined about it to Eve and she told me about how damn hard it was for her to start off like that last year, and how frustrated she was watching Renee gallop away but that it did work. The psychological pain pays off. Because it really is only psychological. At those slow paces nothing else hurts that’s for sure!

So, off I went twice this week by myself so I didn’t feel bad about dragging anyone else down. Over an hour both times on the fairly level 56 trail both times. Kept the average heart rate in the low 140s both times. Max rate was 153 both times.

And my “speed”?

Oh, barely over 3.5 miles an hour. Or a 17 minute mile pace. (By comparison I ran a 9.52 min mile pace in the 5k).


How slow?

Let’s talk about the folks who passed me while I “ran” causing much embarrassment and then fits of giggles for Eve after I shared my pain with her.

  • The lady walking FOUR medium and large sized dogs who I spotted ahead of me – and then it took me FIVE FULL MINUTES to catch up to her.
  • The lady pushing a double stroller WITH two kids in them who passed me along with her friend…..who was TEXTING while she ran!
  • The elderly (by elderly I mean – at least 25 years older than me, OK?) man who blew past me. BLEW.
  • The very long legged lady, walking her very long legged standard poodle dog who entered the path just ahead of me and PULLED AWAY!

Sigh….this better work. Not sure my ego can take much more 🙂


2 thoughts on “How Slow Can You Go?

Add yours

  1. with respect to your coach; that advice assumes you have the correct HRmax figure (which is notoriously difficult to measure…MEASURE not estimate). If you want to run faster training 2-3 times a week then I would suggest you run at a speed where you can just about have a conversation with difficulty and do that for 45+ minutes. I would **guess** that your HR will be 10 beats higher. Slower running is good at teaching your body how to burn more fat but maybe once a week you can have a few bursts of speed in one of your sessions. good luck


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