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Crazy FloridianAdam Culp (Crazy Floridian)

Adam Culp's blog dedicated to his running and training

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10Mar, 2010

Oops, I did it again!

· 8 Comments

confusionHi, Adam Culp the Crazy Floridian here.  Well, it happened again.  I’m sure I am not the only one to experience this, and I hope I am doing the right thing, only time will tell.  I am talking about those moments when we realize our fitness has increased enough that we now have a new level to operate at.  Isn’t it funny how it kinda sneaks up on you? I mean, think about it.  One day your out doing a workout, just running along and minding your own business, when suddenly you look down at your HRM/GPS watch and realize “WOW, am I running fast.  I should really slow down.  No wait, I feel great!  Why slow down, this is comfortable!“.

This is what I have experienced on each run for the past week, and today I didn’t fight it.  Instead I simply let my body run at whatever speed it wanted to, which was much faster than my normal workouts before.  Today I ran at an 8:40/mile pace, and it was completely comfortable. (5 miles for those who are wondering)

Now I know what your thinking…but it is not true.  I wasn’t pushing at all, I wasn’t out of breath at all, and I had lots of reserve left.  In fact I could have comfortably carried on a casual conversation at this pace.

In the past when this happens (and after the initial shock wears off, as well as the “YES!” factor) I have simply adjusted my paces to accommodate and continued training at the new pace.  However, at the moment I am a little concerned.  How fast is too fast for training?  At what point (if it exists) do I simply stick to “the plan” and not increase my speed during workouts? (Does such a point exist?)

I am relatively new at this, so I really do not have the answers. (I only have 2 marathons and one 50 mile ultra behind me so far.)

I mean…sure it is nice to hit a new level of fitness, and feel the little boost that comes from that.  But truthfully, doing 8:40/mile for a normal workout runs seems INSANE! (But I’m lovin’ it!)  I felt this way when I increased from 10:30, 10:00, 9:45, and 9:30, and now here I go again.

So blog-land, let me know your thoughts on the subject.  When do you know it is time to increase the intensity of your workouts? (Or do you just remain the same?)

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Tags: Adam Culp · Endurance Training · Marathon Training · Running · training

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Julie // Mar 10, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Adam,
    That is awesome news!! Looking down at the garmin when you feel totally fine and realize that you are kicking some big time butt!! I just wish that it happened to me more:) You have already done an ultra…that is impressive:) Happy Wednesday!

  • 2 Jill // Mar 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Hey Adam…
    You ARE getting speedier!! I learned you have about a 10-yr window to keep gaining in strength and speed, so it’s time to pick up the pace! Just be sure to slow the recovery runs down and get a tempo and interval run in each week and you’re gonna be smoking in S.F.! (Holler if you wanna get more specific on the plan I sent awhile ago 🙂 ).

  • 3 The Rockstar // Mar 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Adam,

    There is a great book by Matt Fitzgerald “Brain Training for Runners” that sets training zones on pace breakthroughs like the one you are experiencing. Take a look – I think you’ll find it interesting.

    Even without the science around it, congrats! It definitely shows your fitness and ability are improving. What once was hard is now easy.

  • 4 Ginny // Mar 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Congrats on “the jump” Not much in the way of advice here. I have made great progress, but mine has been from years and years of running, babysteps, here and there.

    One idea – if you do shorter races, 5ks, 10ks – race some of those, and then use Mcmillians Running Calculator as a guide for training paces, etc.

  • 5 Rick // Mar 10, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    hey, thanks for following and commenting on my blog. You have some great advice from others, and I really can’t add to it!

  • 6 Ted Beveridge // Mar 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Go with the flow brother, go with the flow. You’ll have more information on your next run I’m sure 🙂

  • 7 Tricia // Mar 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Ooops, sorry. I should have put his whole blog name up there. Man I wish I had something to give away to everyone. 🙁

  • 8 Psyche // Mar 11, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I have experienced what you describe, and have wondered about it, also. I think a lot of different things are reflected in your pace on a daily basis. Energy level, mood, how much fatigue you’re carrying, etc. For me, “base pace” is 9:15 – 10:00, and I’m all over the place within that range. Personally, I only consider changing that pace level if my races suggest that I have actually gotten enough faster to justify it. I agree with the Rockstar- Matt’s book is fantastic and he provides a great section on how todetermine your target pace level-which will change as you get fitter. Worth the read. McMillan’s online running calculator is also a good tool to see where your paces for various types of runs should be.

    Enjoy feeling speedy!

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