For the past few months I have been running most of my workouts pretty fast. Even my easy runs were fast, ranging anywhere from an average of 8:45 – 9:30 per mile for easy runs around 5 miles.
This speed made me feel good, because it was proof that my running was improving. It was not long ago that I could not hold a 9:00 minute mile for more than a mile or two.
But something wasn’t feeling right.
It was not injury. There were no odd tweaks or twinges in my muscles or legs. But there was something that was…missing?
I did not know what it was until yesterday.
The weather was perfect. Almost 50 degrees with little, if any wind. I turned on a regular podcast of mine and started at a nice easy pace. A very easy pace.
Mile one ticked by and I looked at my watch. 10:59.
The second mile was faster at 10:10 and then the third and fourth miles stepped back to 10:32 and 10:31.
Between the weather and the pace, I was feeling fresh.
I went a little more than five more miles with pace ranging from 9:30 to 9:44 and the last mile clocking in at 9:16. I finished my run of 9.11 miles in an hour and a half and some change. An average pace of 9:59 a mile.
After walking the last few blocks to my house and settling in from my run I realized what has been missing from my workouts the last few months.
That cleansing feeling you get after a long easy paced run.
My legs felt like they had been washed from the inside. My entire body felt slightly worn and at the same time relaxed. My mind felt completely clear.
This is a form of runner’s high.
Before this, I was feeling sore and worn out from even my shortest workouts. It was not a bad feeling, but it was not the same feeling that I felt after yesterday’s run.
This is not the first time slowing down has helped me to have a better run. Lessons like this I am constantly learning and re-learning as I grow as a runner. You may have learned this lesson already. Perhaps you have learned this lesson multiple times. Or perhaps you have not learned it yet.
Either way remember this…
Sometimes you need to slow down.
It will cleanse the body and give you a better run.