Still getting faster? Apparently so.

It’s now almost exactly 3 years since I started running. Since getting a 5k PR last May of 19:29 and then hovering below that ever since (with the exception of a 19:28 PR in that same race this year) I figured I had reached a natural limit.

This year my focus has been on increasing my distances. I haven’t really done much in the way of speed work, and I really haven’t been running particularly fast in my regular runs, but somehow I’ve still been just as fast as last year and even managed a 10k PR by 16 seconds in addition to my 1 second 5k PR last month.

6 days ago I ran the President’s Cup Night race and ran a 19:44 5k on a humid night. Last night it was hot, and this happened:

lager

 

A PR by 13 seconds (on the chip time)!

Now, I did run this race last year but I can’t really compare to then because at the time I had been sick and still didn’t feel great (last year my time was 20:04). This year I felt good, and even said to a friend at the start line that I may even get a PR.

What can I attribute this gain in speed to?

Could it be one of these or a combination of them?

  • Perhaps it’s the increase in my weekly mileage;
  • Perhaps it’s the core strengthening work I have been doing with BodyPump and Bodyflow classes;
  • Perhaps it’s the focus on form – during the race last night I tried to pay attention to how I was running and forced myself to lean forward more and make sure I was picking up my feet even when I was tiring;
  • Perhaps it’s my more relaxed approach to races – i.e. I’ve been worrying less about how fast I can do it even to the point where I try not to look at my watch during a race;
  • Could it be that I’m faster in the New Balance Minimus Road Zero (I raced in these a lot last year, but haven’t until now this year)?

Alternatively it could just have been the increased aerodynamics from taking the clippers to my hair on Saturday:

haircut

 

Here’s a great photo of me in full flight on my way to my PR:

lager_running

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11 Responses to Still getting faster? Apparently so.

  1. paigesato says:

    great PR, and not just because of the haircut!

  2. Frank K. says:

    Nice going! It looks like it was a really fast field, too.

  3. the5krunner says:

    could certainly be a light pair of shoes – could be you are fitter! – could be that you tapered better. There’s always more than one variable in my experience so you never really know!! well done on the PR / PB.

    • runninginnj says:

      Thanks – you’re right, there are so many things that can make a difference. The course itself too – it’s interesting I seem to be faster on courses with rolling hills.

  4. Pingback: Targeting speed. - Running In NJ

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