Yesterday, Julie aka Mawil asked me a couple of interesting questions on a post from January. It made me reflect the following during my 80 minute run today: “How would I feel if I found out/find out that I will not get faster” and “Am I getting faster”?
The second one is easy to answer, yet I don’t have a fully qualified response. The easy answer is: Yes – I am getting faster and here is the “proof”:
Similar runs on the beach – the one from today – and ~ 1 month apart similar run, same area, same sand/surface, same average heartrate.
|2016-04-25||9:59 min/km||144 bpm|
|2016-05-19||9:31 min/km||144 bpm|
I also feel faster/fitter. I can run for 2 hours consistently without walking breaks, I run now between 6 and 7 hours per week. Over the past year I had 3 breaks: One due to a none-running related injury, one flu and one stiff neck. For all 3 I had to stop running and the cool thing is, that afterwards I didn’t succumb to the sloth and got back into it. After each run I feel good, relaxed and have tons of energy to get my work done.
But then it isn’t as simple and that is where the interesting questions start to come up. Questions I’ve had in the past and they are quite similar to questions I have in my business:
- What are the long-term and short-term goals (6 months, 3-5 years …)
- How do I measure performance?
- How can I make sure I enjoy it and it has a future?
So … what has the questions “am I getting faster” to do with all this? Speed is a performance metric, but it is just one of them! There are a lot of others and this is what I am interested in right now. What are the others? Speed is only relevant in relation to duration. Everyone that does a bit of running knows that it is a whole different thing to run for 20 seconds vs 10 km. So next to the pace I can run at for a defined heartrate, we also have to take into consideration how long I run it for and how it changes during the course of the run. We also have to include hills/beach/trail etc surface and wind into the equation. Oh and let’s not forget fatigue and form … It is a whole different situation if I take a rest day in the middle of the week and then run fully rested. I will be faster then.
Confused? So was I and still am … however I love to read and been digging through a lot of research/books on the topic and think I will be soon able to try an “analysis” of all the data I have collected over the past year. I also hope to achieve one “simple” thing. Create KPIs (Key performance indicators) for my running that are updated automatically, so I don’t have to obsess all the time, but still am in full control and able to learn more about me and my running.
Oh … and to answer the first question: “How would I feel if I found out/find out that I will not get faster?”
I still would feel amazing and proud of what I have achieved. I’ve not only lost tons of fat (17kg since I started last May to be exact), I also went from couch potato to running 6 times a week. My resting heartrate decreased, my blood pressure went into the normal range. I am now fully plant-powered and learned to cook the most delicious things from scratch on the way. Oh and not to forget I made the most amazing memories and can’t wait to continue doing so – even if I don’t get faster, the sun will still rise each morning: