That’s me.  In the middle wearing all black.  I wasn’t intending on wearing all black, but it was so cold that day I raced in my warm up clothes.  I had just started racing again after losing 120 pounds and seemed to always be pondering the question:

“Why is my race time so much faster than my training time?”

I was only treadmill training at the time.  It was never about speed, it was always about distance.  Well, it was somewhat about speed.  I remember in high school thinking how easy a 10 minute mile pace was.  At home I was having a hard time completing this pace on the treadmill.  I had done it once, but it killed me.

I went into my first 5K after 20 years of no running and hoping for a 30 minute or less time.  This is me after I finished.  My shoe came untied in the race but there was no way I was going to stop and tie it and risk going over 30 minutes.  My finish time?  23:58.  I was stunned.

So, I have found this to be an overall truism for me.  I have added speed workouts, I have added hill workouts.  I work towards 35 miles -50 miles a week.  I feel stronger and over time I conquered longer and longer distances until I was running marathons.  And I am always surprised when I come across the line and see my time.  “HOW THE HECK DID I DO THAT?”

So I looked it up.  Do other people experience this?  Overall, yes.  The excitement, the adrenaline and for me – it’s somewhat just instinct.  I hear the horn blow and mentally I am saying, “GO! GO! GO!”

But there was also a lot of information on this one area which seemed to be what I was doing.

“Have easy distance training runs, race fast”

The key to racing faster is to aerobic development.  The details (and how to spruce up aerobic training) can be found in this article here, and to quote:

First, aerobic training sparks your body to create more capillaries, which are the small blood vessels that surround muscle fibers and help deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscle tissues. Second, aerobic training creates more and denser mitochondria, which break down nutrients into usable energy. Third, the number of myoglobin in the muscle fibers is increased, which help release oxygen to the mitochondria.

Simply speaking, aerobic development allows you to more efficiently deliver oxygen and energy to your muscles, thus allowing you to run significantly faster.

A lot more information on the issue is listed in this article here, as well.  And it follows up with the concern of over training.  I will talk about this more later – on a high level – I always wanted to go faster.  I want each race to be better than the one before.  Do you know what I realize (NOW) that I did wrong?  I OVER TRAINED.  I focused on increasing my speed.

Live and learn, live and learn.  

But in the season where I am working on my mental training for the treadmill run, I will be satisfied to complete a slower run, KNOWING that I am developing aerobically which will help me to be a faster runner.

Happy treadmill time!  Happy trails!