Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In which I get older and appear to get faster (but don't)

Yesterday was the third annual (for me, at least) running of the Dexter-Ann Arbor run 5k race. The event seems to grow every year, and this year it featured just a bit more than 1,700 entrants. A 10k and Half-Marathon event coincide with the 5k race, and all finish on the same climb along Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

How did it go? Well the image to the right tells the tale. I finished 5th in my age group out of 84 other 40-44 year old Male runners. My time wasn't terribly fast - not far off the last two years really, so I can't say that I am improving at all - but this year I'm in a new age group! Last year, I was on the oldest rung of the 34-39 ladder. Now I'm a young whippersnapper in the 40-44. That helped me to a top-five finish where I had been top ten (8th) last year. I sense a strategy here...

The truth is that I haven't trained for running in some time. And the 5k is a short enough pace that I can't really do well unless I significantly increase my overall speed at VO2 max. A longer distance race would allow me to compete at LT - something I am much better at doing naturally. For instance, I am fairly certain I could come close to a 7:39 pace for a 10k and I am sure I could do a half marathon at 8:00/mi or a touch faster. I've done it before (on accident, granted). But that pace for a 5k is not going to put me on any podiums.

I'm just not going to get faster in the 5k without doing the dreaded speedwork. One mile repeats at the top of LT range; quarter mile intervals at V02 max. Bleh. I have no desire or intention to do any of those.

Sorry running. I'm all out of love for you.

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