Run Test #3

Text message conversation with Matt

Me: Great day to crush a run test

Matt: Hell yeah. Beautiful out there. Remember, run relaxed, it's about smooth speed not muscling through it.

Me: Noted and filed

Me: Smooth speed, I like that

Matt: It's just like swimming, the more you fight the slower you go and more energy you use.  Have cue words like "quick feet", "smooth speed", etc. Relax and run!!

And just like that I had my new running mantra, "smooth speed". I thought about this mantra all day long while at work.  I freaking love it.  After work I started my trek back to Huntington from Brooklyn thinking about and saying numerous times, "smooth speed".

I'm not the type of athlete that can just show up and race.  I need time to mentally prepare for the race or in this case a run test.  The more prepared I am mentally the better success I usually have.  My mental preparations include; visualizing the race from start to finish, going over the exact sequence of events during transition, envisioning when things go wrong and how I will cope with them etc.  Preparing for this run test was no different.  I re-read my blog entry from last test, I re-read and wrote down Matt's goals for the test, I pictured each mile and how I should feel in terms of breathing, and effort level, I rehearsed what I would do as I began to approach my anaerobic threshold and that I need to be comfortable while being uncomfortable on the last few laps, etc.

I drove over to the Half Hollow Hills West High School track and began my warm up.  I should mention that I was in shorts and a tshirt.  This was the first test that I didn't have multiple layers on.  It felt great to be warm and feel my feet during the warm up.  I have always had poor circulation in my feet and more times than not I haven't been able to feel my feet while I have run the past few months.  It is nothing that I have been concerned about rather just have learned to deal with.  My warm up went very well.  I felt very loose and strong and mentally I was very focused at the task at hand and ready to go.

Mile 1
Right before I started mile one I said to myself, "don't go out too fast".  Obviously I did the opposite and went out pretty fast.  For each of the 4 laps I tried to dial the speed back.  Each of those laps my legs just wanted to go but my mind attempted to put the breaks on.  I felt great for each lap, smooth speed. I was running at a great pace but was putting little muscular effort into it.  My legs were not working over time, I wasnt experiencing any burning sensations and my lungs were not being taxed.  All was good with mile one.
Mile 1 - 6:47.01

Mile 2
I had run the same exact pace for the first mile on test #2 and then proceeded to run successive 7:22 miles.  The difference with the start of this second mile was that I felt very relaxed and smooth.  I was by no means muscling through it or exerting any extra energy.  I did begin to notice that on the back stretch there was a nice head wind.  Every time from that point forward when I hit the back stretch I would think, wow, nice head wind. Then I would become unfocused for a few seconds as I thought about the wind then, I would look at my watch and notice my pace dropped to 7:23.  This sequence happened every single time for the next 8 laps! WEIRD.  Anyway, each of the laps for this second mile I continued to feel smooth, loose and confident . . . smooth speed.
Mile 2 - 7:01.26

Mile 3
I entered mile 3 with plenty of gas in the tank.  I immediately planned out the 4 laps.  Lap one I wanted to stay right under a 7:00 pace.  The second lap I wanted to pick up the pace by a few more seconds then for the next two laps I wanted to go for it.  This might be the first time where my game plan actually worked.  Even though I was planning on increasing my effort level and would certainly be surging out of my anaerobic zone I wanted to remain smooth and not muscle through it.  I can proudly say that I was able to maintain this smooth speed feeling for the entire mile.  Despite the game plan calling for an all out effort on the last lap I didn't feel that I had to muscle through it despite my effort level increasing exponentially.  With out even looking at my watch I knew I had done it. . . .
Mile 3 - 6:52.05

I broke 21 minutes. I never thought this would happen.

   Test #2                                             Test #3
Mile 1 - 6:47                                   Mile 1 - 6:47.01
Mile 2 - 7:20                                   Mile 2 - 7:01.26
Mile 3 - 7:22                                   Mile 3 - 6:52.05
Total Time - 21:29                          Total Time - 20:40
Avg Pace - 7:09                              Avg Pace - 6:53

Smooth speed is now my running philosophy

I never thought I would break 21 minutes. . .I wonder how far Matt and Organic Coaching can take me?

Shout out to Ignite Naturals and their GSH Ignite ( Their products are the truth and are my choice for nutritional supplements.

Bike test Saturday.


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