Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You Have to Slow Down to Get Faster

Do you give advice to people and then have a hard time listening to your own advice?  One piece of advice that I always give to people, that I truly believe in is: Slowing down will get you faster.

And I have listened to this advice for the past few years of running.  My long runs were always much slower than my goal pace for my marathon.  I always begged people to slow down on their long runs so that they can build their endurance.  This year I have been focusing more on heart rate training so my runs have been speeding up, but there is a reason for this; I am not speeding through my workout.

So this weekend is my last race of the season.  I am running the Runners World Half Marathon and I can't be more excited.  I am heading down on Thursday and will be participating in some blogger events throughout the weekend and then ending the weekend with the half on Sunday.  An entire weekend of running with other ladies who love running sounds perfect!

I don't have an actual goal for Sunday.  My main goal is to have a nice PR and to run as hard as possible.  I know what I am capable of, and I have a race plan.  I will follow my plan and trust that my time will be one I can be proud of.  My PR for the half marathon was this same weekend last year when I crashed and burned at the Baystate Half Marathon.



I ran a 1:41:53 that day.  I was incredibly happy with my time but I was unhappy with how I ran.  I started out way too fast and I felt it in the last few miles.  The fear of crashing is something that I am afraid will hold me back on Sunday.  I have done one too many death marches and driving home from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania by myself after a death march does not sound fun.

So getting back to slowing down to get faster.  I met with my coach today for a swim lesson and we talked about my schedule until Disney.  The Runners World is not only my last race of the season but it also starts my required rest.  AHHH!!!

I am not one to take rests.  I hired a coach because I needed someone to tell me when to step back and rest.  My main goal in 2013 is to do an Ironman.  In order to get there I will put my time in on the road and shockingly it begins with time in my bed and doing nothing.

I, of course, questioned my forced rest.  (Around 2-3 weeks off, at least 1 week of nothing.) I mentioned I was worried about losing fitness, particularly in the pool.  And she told me I will lose fitness.  Obviously, this was not something I wanted to hear.  But she pointed out that in order to get faster this year, I had to start out by getting slower.  My body can't just keep going, going, going.  I have already done that and it ended up burned out and injured.  She says the rest will make me feel sluggish and craving my runs/rides/swims. I am a stubborn athlete who doesn't like to watch everyone around me doing stuff while I am doing nothing.  But, rest is what my mind and body needs. My DailyMile will look pretty boring for the next few weeks, but I promise, the miles will return.  Disney is just around the corner!  :)

14 comments:

Amanda@Runninghood said...

Thanks for this post. Really, just what I needed to read today. :) I can see why Jenn likes you so much and I'm glad I realized your blog wasn't on my blogroll..now it is and now I won't miss out... :) I think there is so much truth to slowing down before you can get faster. There are many times I get antsy and want to run faster when I'm feeling good just because it feels good...but I'm trying to remind myself to stay within a certain zone (I dont' do heart rate training but I'd like to someday)...just because I can doesn't mean I should when I comes to running faster...that way I'll have more to give when it actually counts. Hoping for some PRs in the next few years WITHOUT injury. Good luck to you at Disney! I'm inspired by you as I read over your story here and your past posts....thanks for inspiring by sharing your story and your training.

Jen said...

Indeed! Just what I needed as well. Rest is great for your body. I know it but I don't always do it. I've had lots of awesome running friends telling me to do nothing and to rest. It's hard and I want to get back at it, NOW. But I won't. Good for you having a coach a game plan. AND having that huge goal! Wow! That's incredible and you WILL be an IRONWOMAN!

cristina @triathlonmami said...

ah! rest is tough but enjoy it, soon it all starts over again. i am in the peak of my 70.3 training and i am tired! what IM race are you shooting for? I am hoping to get into IM FL. lets see .... looking forward to your return!

AmyC said...

I wish I could join you for RWH. Have a great time! Good luck with your time off - I'd be feeling restless and anxious too, but I'm guessing your coach knows what she' talking about!

Laura @ Mommyrunfast said...

Oh my, I really needed to read this. My shin was acting up again after Sunday's rest and I was just promising myself that I will build in some required rest into each year's training. It's just silly to push myself on the "off season"- which for me was this summer, and I got injured. :( Sounds really smart... like you, I would never do this without a coach telling me too! Thanks for the wise words, and best of luck on Sunday! I know you have a nice half pr waiting for its chance to come out and shine!

Amanda Loudin said...

First, you are so gonna crush that 1:41! And I think rest at the end of the season is SO smart. I have skipped it too many times and paid for it. This year, Dec. 3, the day after CIM, you will see me resting hard too! It pays off--trust your coach. See you tomorrow!!

Jenn said...

I can't wait for your race this weekend! I'm bummed because they don't have a stalking option-ha! Just looked through your Daily Mile and even more excited for you now;) You have a GREAT race in there! Ah-so beneficial to have a coach to just trust! I agree that the body NEEDS rest and a slight loss in fitness is truly beneficial in moving forward! Now, I've really struggled to do this and then I've INJURED myself..... This time, I'm wiser:) You will be SO excited after this rest when you start marathon training! FRESH and motivated;) Best of luck to you Robin. Can't wait to hear!

Bill Hurley said...

Robin, Good luck this weekend. I know you will be great. You have been flying as of late. That rest time sounds tough, but I bet it will help you in the long run. I am looking forward to your race reports. The half this weekend, Disney inJanuary and IMLP. Aftre seeing what you did in your first HIM I know you will rock LP. Have fun this weekend.

Krysten @DarwinianFail said...

SO EXCITING! Can't wait to hear all about it. I think having someone to help push you when you need to be pushed and to tell you when you are going to hard is ideal. I think getting a coach is great idea! Way to go girlie

Erica G said...

I so agree that we all need rest and to slow down at times. It can be hard, mentally, but it pays off. Going short and slow a couple of days last week triggered some awesome FUN runs for me! I'm sold!!

Michelle D said...

Enjoy Runners World and good luck! Trust your coach the rest will do your body so much good in the long run!

Mary IronMatron said...

I can't wait for you to have the fastest 1/2 ever!! :) You are seriously going to crush this one...
And rest isn't SO BAD. Okay, yes it is.
What's so crazy is that I TOO need a coach to tell me to take time off! I can tell you to do so... but I basically have to be hand-cuffed and foot-cuffed... :) Just ask my coach! xo

Suzanne said...

Have a great time running the Runner's World half this weekend!

RunToTheFinish said...

you had such great advice all weekend! I really look forward to following your training as you take on some brand new tough things...because girl you got this running thing figured out!