My target this morning - an average speed of 6.30 per kilometer. Since I resumed running a couple of weeks ago, I had been running twice a week during the week days. But from this week, I will be running every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My target is to slash off 10 seconds every time I run. So far so good. Will I make it today though? On Monday I ran an average of 6.33 which slashed a whopping 20 seconds of my previous average. That’s why today I am still allowed to run in the 6.30s range. My previous faster run gives me this luxury. Besides, I have learned to improve my speeds incrementally, not exponentially.
I am on rhino stretch, so named because one year ago when I was still weighing 95 kilos, I used to resemble a rhino whenever I ran along this stretch. Actually, ‘ran’ is a misleading word. I used to teeter along, sort of running but more like walking very fast. My generous pot belly back then simply wouldn’t allow me to break free from that no-man’s land between fast walking and slow jogging.
I am supposed to stop at this junction and walk for a few meters to catch my breath. It’s the half-way point of the first kilometer. But am feeling good so I run on. I attribute this to my even breathing. To run optimally, your breath must be in consonance with your steps. Those two must be in agreement.
Since running is a strenuous activity, it pushes your respiratory system into overdrive, thus causing your body to demand for more oxygen. Consequently, you start ejecting the carbon dioxide buildup in your system. All this causes your breathing to be more difficult.
Back to our run, I end up running for the entire first kilometer in 5.59 minutes. Not bad. Of course this is still way slower than my good 2020 runs but its the first time I have run a sub-6 kilometer since resuming running this year. One step at a time.
Think about the touch of the morning or evening breeze as you run. It usually feels as if the breeze accompanies you for the entire run. If you acknowledge its presence and give it a high-five from time to time, the breeze will power you on. It did that for me this morning. When I arrived back at White House 1 hour and 14 minutes later, I had finished my run in an average speed of 6.26 mins/km. Hmmm… I exceeded my target.
It is always better to set realistic goals and exceed them than to set unrealistic goals and keep falling short. Once you gain momentum, go for that crazy ambitious target and throw everything in you at it. This is true for running and for all other endeavors in life.