My last event before heading kicking off into my travels again, the South Australia 3km State Championships. It seems counter-intuitive to run such a short and fast race whilst training for an ultra marathon, however, for me, it was like an experiment. For nearly a year now, I have been running at a very slow pace.
Big thanks to Eamon, pictured above, we pushed each other along throughout the whole race.
Running slow translate into a lot of other areas of life.
Going slow means:
– You build a solid foundation.
– You don’t rush, because it’s a long term game.
– The journey is long, and as a result becomes filled with many more stories, mini-triumphs, new relationships, re-defined goals and so much more.
– The slower you run, the quicker you recover. The quicker you recover, the more you can run. The more you can run, the better you get. Like any skill, the more you do, the better you get.
– Slow running means longer time spent on legs.
– Running slow allows you to talk and run at the same time, a conversational pace. This makes group jogging extremely enjoyable.
The benefits are endless as are the different studies on the variety of training models people choose to employ or self-select.
Heading into my last evening, it was time to hit the track. What could my legs and lungs produce? This was the big question in the weeks leading up to the race. Only 10 days before, I ran for 4 hours 30 minutes at a very slow pace, now I was hoping to run for less than 9 minutes at a very fast pace.
Coming into the race, I had been pushing out 100-100kms a week of running. This was consistently my biggest load of running ever. After warming up and doing my drills, I surprisingly wasn’t nervous. In fact, I was excited. Toeing the line, I was up against the best middle distance athletes of South Australia. To be honest, the race tactic was to hang on to the back of the pack and hopefully not be dropped. It was going to be hot.
I wrote out a plan before the race, partly for something to follow and partly as part of my visualisation technique. I found myself where I wanted to be after the first kilometre, and again for the second kilometre. With one kilometre to go, I was ready to fire for the sub 9 minute 3km. I picked up the intensity, trying my best to keep the pace, and gave it everything I had. Over the course of the race, I overtook a few other runners, and finished the race in 11th. BOOM! I did it, I went sub 9 minutes, to run an 8:57. This was a goal I wrote out in Colombia last year, and I couldn’t be happier with how the consistency has paid off.
Going slow has brought about tremendous consistency in my life. As a result, I have improved slowly but surely at many of my passions.
Go slow to go fast they say.