Goal: 8 miles at 7:30 min/miles (8 miles in 1 hour)
I read somewhere recently that it takes between 10 days and 2 weeks for speed training (intervals and such) to have an effect on your overall speed. I can’t remember where I heard this but I can remember being surprised that it happened so quickly. I always assumed that building up your speed took months of slogging and practising paces and running round the track in fast loops like a hamster on a wheel. I wasn’t quite sure how you knew when you’d reached the right speed. Maybe they’d bring people with pompoms out or something.
However, I now think the interval training takes effect long before that. I think it starts immediately after a successful session – if not during. That moment when you think, “Bloody hell! I just managed to run a 6 minute mile pace!” And because you’ve done it once, you know you can do it again. So you do.
It was a bit like this for my run this evening. It was down on my training plan as 8 miles at 7:30 min/miles. This sounded fast. However this week I didn’t overthink it. I’d done 7 miles at this pace last week – I knew it was possible. And because I knew it was possible, it was a much easier run.
Last week I’d felt as though I was fighting the whole way to keep the pace at 7:30 and pushing every step of the way. This week, it felt more flowing, more comfortable, more possible.
I even hit the heady heights of a sub-7 minute mile briefly, but that was because I was listening to Running With The Kenyans again and got a bit carried away with one of the race reports. Maybe I should listen to race reports during my own races as they always make me run a bit quicker. Maybe I’ll never run with the Kenyans in real life, but in my head I’m matching them step for step.
Distance: 8 miles
Average Pace: 7:19 min/mile