Week 83: Slowing Down to Go Faster

This was another week in a post-weight-loss world for me.

I have already deviated from the “new normal” routine I talked about last week because I needed a few extra recovery days from my long run last week. I also skipped yoga this weekend because of a big winter storm that dropped tons of snow on Columbus. So it wasn’t the best week for my new routine.

Fortunately I did stick to some of my new routine this week. I had a good training session on Wednesday. I did a short run on Friday. Plus I had a killer workout for over 2 hours on Saturday including weights and running over 7 miles. So it wasn’t a lazy week by any means just not the week I had planned.

So far maintenance mode has been a mixed bag for me. In some ways it is uncomfortable because I am no longer pursuing a goal and it feels like I am in neutral. It just feels strange to not be focused on my weight after the journey I have just finished. But I am only 20 days into the new phase of my fitness journey so it will get easier.

On the other hand not focusing on my weight has enabled me to focus more on other goals. While working on these other goals I am learning some valuable lessons along the way.

Slow Down to Go Fast

A few years ago an executive I worked with said “we have to slow down to go faster.” It was an interesting point of view on focus and prioritization. If we focus our energy on the highest priority work and avoid the distractions we get deliver faster.

I learned this week that the slow down to go faster concept applies to running as well.

On my longer runs, greater than a 5k distance, I tend to stick to a pace of 9-10 minutes per mile. At this pace I end up getting tired after 2 miles or so and need to slow to a walk for a bit to recover. The net result is a total pace of mid 12-minute miles and a fair amount of pain after a 10k, quarter marathon or a half marathon.

This weekend I tried a slightly different approach to my long runs by slowing down to go fast. I ran over a quarter marathon on the treadmill this weekend just like last weekend. But this weekend I slowed my running pace down a bit to 11-minute miles. The result was that I was able to keep running longer without having to slow to walk as frequently.

Because I slowed my running pace my total average pace was 11:23 which is 1 minute and 10 seconds faster than my half marathon! It was also about 35 seconds faster than a nearly identical run just one week earlier.

I have learned this week that the pursuit of a faster distance running pace, like many other goals, can benefit from slowing down to go faster.

Thanks for reading!

Last week’s stats (1/7-1/13):

Maintain avg. weight of 189-199 pounds: 196.8 lbs average
Run 10+ miles per week: 12.4 miles
Total walk/run miles: 41.2 miles
Weight training 2-3 times per week: 2 workouts
Yoga 1+ times per week: 1 Sunday yoga class
One race per month: January 5k complete on 1/1
Continue to track & manage calories: 4019 calories under budget